Is Your ATS User Interface Focused on “U”?

Bright, shiny and new. Allegedly advanced User Interface (UI) features are eye-catching, but does slick and fancy translate into a better ROI? I believe it comes down to one thing; at the end of the day, you need to accomplish your business goals using technology that will not hamper your efforts.

All That Glitters… Isn’t Necessarily Gold

It’s easy to be dazzled by a supposedly exciting UI that may, ultimately, lack essential functionality. Some of the newer products on the market are weak-featured, code-generated software. What this means is, the interface may look cool during a demo, but ultimately the software doesn’t add value or work well, especially in a high volume or specialized recruiting environment.

Consider a few important qualities before you get tempted by a sparkly new object. The qualities you should be most concerned with are speed, highly useful functionality, and of course, user friendliness.

Beauty is more than skin deep when it comes to effective ATS. If the system lacks important features and the DB is not optimized for heavy transactional use in a production environment than any perceived benefit from a slick interface is a dangerous illusion. Look for an ATS user interface that’s proven in real-world, high-production situations. The UI should be straightforward, designed and optimized for all-day heavy transactional use, and most importantly, it must provide features that significantly contribute to your organization’s operational efficiencies.

The interface should be simple and intuitive enough that most users are proficient with the day-to-day tasks without a lot of training. The faster your users can become productive, the better it is for the bottom line and maximizing your return on investment.

Another consideration is the distinction between the UI and the underlying system and database. It takes all three to make a productive ATS. Amazon and eBay are prime examples of this. They’re not fancy, but they’re very effective for their tens of millions of business users, and the bonus is, the end-user requires zero training.

You Need a Configuration Wizard… or Do You?

Configurability is king. You want your ATS user interface and tools to align with your organization’s unique needs and workflow. This is essential for creating the optimal, user-friendly environment and for ensuring user adoption so management can generate reports to measure and monitor activity, as well as drive process improvement.

Many of the newer ATS products with simplified, cookie-cutter UIs are not feature-rich enough to capture all the data you need, and can’t be configured much—if at all.

Search for a UI that’s highly configurable—one that allows you to set up preferences to store and manage data, as well as provide easy search capability. It should present a look that conforms to the appearance you want to see so you can adjust the fields, screens, colors, text sizes, and menus to optimize the user experience.
Of course to some extent, the usability of the UI is subjective, but one thing is a constant, optimum effectiveness and efficiency in getting the job done is going to make the big difference for you, your team and your company.

About the author

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., maker of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. Under Doug’s leadership and unique perspective on the development and user adoption of software and technology, APS pioneered the resume scanning based system as a new approach to digital candidate management. In the ensuing years, APS continues to reign as one of the industry’s most innovative software developers in the field of HR technology. APS currently services customers on five continents, serving both corporate human resources, as well as the staffing industry. Doug attended Augustana College and the University of Minnesota. He’s the father of two sons and is an avid automobile enthusiast. Doug lives in North San Diego County, California.