4 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Buying ATS for Your Recruiting Agency

As a recruiting and staffing business, your applicant tracking system is the most important piece of software that you can buy. As a recruiter, you are going to spend hours every day in your ATS. On an average, a recruiter spends at least three hours a day in their applicant tracking systems. Now that’s a little less than half of your working day.

The importance of your central recruiting software makes it difficult to chose the right one. A modern recruitment agency software is not just where you store your candidate data but the place where everything happens. It posts jobs for you, stores applicants for you and helps you run your recruiting operations!  The importance of an ATS is not lost on most recruitment and staffing businesses. However, the path to the right ATS is trodden with a lot of hellfires.

How to be a sucker when choosing your next ATS?

Create a laundry list of features

Yes, features are important. But not all features are created equal. You need to know what features you want the most and how much does the usability of those features matter to you? If you create a list of all the features out there and buy what ticks the most boxes, you will end up with bloatware.

Self-awareness is the path to nirvana. That’s as true for agencies buying software as it is for Buddhist monks. You need to be very sure about your workflow and your challenges before you buy software. Buy the one that helps you do what you do in the best possible way!

Judging a product on its price

It is easy to proxy price for the quality. It hardly ever is. Price is not the best proxy for product quality. There are mainly two camps on the pricing front. While one camp chooses the lowest-priced product, the other camp thinks that a highest-price software is inherently better. Both of these thought processes are rife with errors. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Due to democratization of software, the right software for YOU may be a small startup and not the industry leaders.

Proxying brand for quality

Anyone who understands marketing will smack you in the head if you tell them this. However, it is generally true when it comes to SaaS software. Of course a Mercedes drives better than a Toyota. However, internet makes this assumption turn on its head.

The best brands are legacy software that are clunky and not user friendly. The maturity of SaaS ecosystems comes from the fact that internet makes it easier for people with specific pains to find their specific solutions. This enables entrepreneurs to make tools that are optimized to solve a specific problem you have and do it better than anyone else in the world. They may not be a big brand but they solve your problem alright! You need to figure out the right one for you from a plethora of choices. Make sure you research the options available to you and select the right one that helps you stay productive.

Selecting a software without a free trial

The market is filled with vendors who doesn’t provide a free trial and only give you annual or multi-year contracts. That’s like buying a car without actually driving it. The proof is often in the pudding. Work with a software for a few days to get the real sense of its speed, its information architecture and overall user experience. The only way to judge a software for its workflow is actually working with it!


Okay, so now that we know what not to do. Buying a software to manage your workflow is more critical than you think. It is important to understand your challenges and pick a tool that will help you solve those challenges. You want something that helps you get things done super quickly. I am not talking about the speed of the app, but rather how well it is designed to get you the things you need at the right place.

If you are looking to buy a recruitment software for your agency, Better Buys is a great place to start!

Author Bio: Manan Shah is co-founder and CEO of Recruiterflow – A modern ATS & CRM for staffing and recruiting firms. He writes about sourcing, recruiting and how you can bring productivity to your recruiting agency. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn