Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Integrations

Applicant Tracking System integrations open streams of data between a system of record and a third-party service provider. An ATS integrates with a third party to provide services it does not, such as background checking software. While integrations can be useful, when an ATS begins outsourcing their core components—such as their search, sourcing and portal functions—to third parties, this is alarming. The core functions of a software should all be developed by the same team, so that the solution is as holistic and effective as possible. When ATSes integrate for essential functions, they act as a middleman rather than a system of record. This makes them less accountable to the consumer; in order to save on research and development costs, they are providing 'bare-bones' software solutions that integrate for their core functions and are often jumbles of disconnected features. Though they make high promises, they should not be trusted.

What Does ATS Integration Mean?

An ATS integration connects a system of record—the main system that a company uses as its ATS—with an external service, for a specific functionality that may or may not exist in the original system of record. For example, if an ATS wants to provide a background check service, the ATS could integrate with a third party that has a background check product. Then, users of the ATS can use an external background check service while the service's interface is "hosted" within the ATS User Interface.

What Are the Risks and Rewards of an ATS Integration?

There are numerous risks and rewards associated with ATS integrations. Integrations can be useful, but only in certain circumstances.

The risks. It's important to realize that, when integration is mentioned, the ATS provider is not the one developing the solution with which the integration occurs. Rather than creating the tool or functionality themselves and incorporating it holistically in the ATS, the ATS provider is simply partnering with an already-developed solution from an external source.

So, if the ATS provider's product has a harmonious design, a solution developed by another team might be an awkward fit. This is particularly true for ATS providers that have unique, intricate systems.

If you don't want a discombobulated-feeling ATS, it's maybe best to steer clear of integrations, unless they're fairly small in scope. However, ATS providers that integrate for core functions should certainly be avoided. For the sake of analogy, think of an automobile manufacturer that acquires its product's most vital parts from other companies, rather than manufacturing them itself. You would be right to feel skeptical of such an arrangement.

Perhaps the greatest risk is that of added costs. Because an external integration usually costs the ATS provider money, the costs will be passed on to you, particularly because the integration will be considered an added cost—even if it constitutes a core service.

The rewards. The rewards here are fairly simple. An ATS integration provides a service that the ATS provider may not be offering. Thus, the ATS user gets to leverage a functionality that the ATS must import from an external provider.

As mentioned, this reward might be important for the ATS user, but is it justified by the external integration's long-term costs? All rewards must be measured against their associated risks, and it is no different with the idea of an ATS integration.

If there are so many risks linked to an Applicant Tracking System integration, what should I do?

Yes, in some cases, it's unwise to adopt an Applicant Tracking System that integrates with many external systems to deliver its service. Particularly watch out for those who integrate to deliver core functionalities. But there is another way.

Certain staffing software providers, rather than integrating for important capabilities, choose to develop these functionalities themselves. JobDiva, notably, does this, choosing to develop their own functionalities that are exclusive to their service, for both core and secondary functionalities.

This means that where other ATS providers might offer scattered solutions, JobDiva delivers a multitude of top recruiting solutions that are all smoothly incorporated into a single platform.

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