RSS icon

Top Stories

How to Grill an Applicant Tracking Vendor

December 28, 2000
Related Topics: Candidate Sourcing, Featured Article
Here are some questions you’ll want to consider asking vendors ofapplicant-tracking products before you sign on any dotted line:

Installation and training
Customer service
Security and stability


  • What is the maximum number of users who can use this? Can they use itsimultaneously?
  • Can a hiring manager use the technology in such a way that prevents him orher from seeing other hiring managers’ candidates?
  • Tell me about how the system finds jobs from job boards. Where else can itfind resumes?
  • Does the system work with my existing company Web site with job listings?How?
  • Does the system work with my e-mail program (e.g. Microsoft Outlook)?
  • Does HR have the option of having as much or as little control as itwants?
  • How does your system interface with services such as background checks, relocation vendors, or drug testing companies? Do you have "preferred partners" I have to use?
  • Is your system compliant with the various international laws regarding data importation? For example, moving data from Germany to the United States?
  • Does the system work "wireless"?


Installation and training

  • What are the installation fees? How long does it take? Who on my end wouldbe involved? Tell me about the process.
  • What are the training fees? How long does it take? Who on my end would beinvolved? Tell me about the process.
  • Will the system interface with my HRMS? Are there any difficulties indoing so, or things to watch for?


Customer service

  • How many people will handle customer service for my account? When are theyavailable (what hours)? Tell me about the estimated response time. Any feesinvolved?



  • Does scanning resumes cost extra?
  • Are there any other added fees? Tell me about them. Are there anydiscounts?
  • What are the costs per additional user? As my company grows, how willcosts be affected?
  • Do I have to pay extra for the test environment?

Security and stability

  • How often do you back the system up? What happens if you’re down—whatsafety-net plans are there? How are fees discounted?



  • How customizable is the system for me? Can it be used with a specificlanguage I need (Italian, Spanish, etc.)?
  • Can I change the layout or the navigation?
  • How can the system adapt to the unique aspects of my industry?
  • What are the prices on this customization? How long would it take to do?



  • How often is the system upgraded? Does this cost more? How much more?
  • What upgrades do you have planned? Can our version be meshed into theupgrade?



  • How long have you been in business? How many clients do you have when itcomes to applicant management?
  • What is the normal/ideal company size of a customer of yours?
  • Tell me a little bit about data recovery (what happens to my data if you go out of business).
  • Can I have names and contact information of your references?

Recent Articles by Todd Raphael

Comments powered by Disqus

Hr Jobs

View All Job Listings