Question 1: I am hearing more and more about “3rd party add-ons. Is that something I should look into?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. What people are beginning to understand is that they want “best in breed.” Great ATS companies are the first to admit that they cannot do everything for all people (beyond what they know so well, applicant tracking). The trend over the past few years has been to partner with those companies who do those “extras” really well. I would not hesitate to work with a third party company who integrates with your current ATS company. BUT (in caps), make sure you do your due diligence…check those who have the product, see if it integrates how it is supposed to, see what support is like (no finger pointing, please). Just like any other reference checking, once satisfied, go for it!
Question 2: So what would you recommend for 3rd party integration?
Answer: Wow! There are many areas of discussion here. But let’s start with an easy one: SMS. Short Message Service (SMS) has been around for a while. SMS is the text communication service component of phone, web or mobile communication systems (SMS is simply “texting”). With integrated SMS to your ATS, you can select a list of people who may be a potential fit for a job, and – instead of emailing them, perhaps this time you want to TEXT them about it. How about texting those folks the night before they have a temp assignment or the morning of the job. Use this as a reminder to be sure to be prompt on that first day of the assignment. More importantly, use texting to schedule appointments and even interviews. How often do we see people text us almost immediately yet when we call them, they do not answer….texting is on the rise, especially for scheduling.
Question 2: Give me another one, please!
Answer: Leaving the big topic for another day (integrating to a back office package), another great integration to consider is a job posting integration. There are many 3rd parties out there that can handle this. You should have the ability to post jobs from your ATS directly on to your corporate web site and other job boards and your social networks as well. This means without re-entry of the data. It should be fast and painless. And, people that view your web site or these other job boards where you have posted, should be able to apply for those jobs, again, with a minimal effort. The reason for all of this “fast and painless” emphasis is so that people will return – come back to your web site – often, look for your postings – often…they will know that your site is always fresh with new opportunities, so they will learn rather quickly that it’s always a great thing to check back. Further, it should be just as easy to “unpublish” a job as well (once they are filled!).