13 Questions You Need To Ask During Your ATS Demo

It is critical that staffing and recruitment agencies find an applicant tracking system (ATS) that meets their specific needs, but with so many systems to choose from, the ATS selection process can become a bit of a minefield.

The best way to compare platforms is to see them in action. Product demos offer a closer look at the features available, but to fully understand the suitability of a system, recruitment personnel should be clear on their own specific requirements and ask the right questions throughout.

Not sure what to ask? Keep reading to discover 13 key questions you should be posing during your next ATS demo…


1. How does the ATS integrate with other HR systems or tools?


Software integrations can enhance the capabilities of an applicant tracking system and significantly improve efficiency in the process. For example, a full-service staffing agency is not just responsible for sourcing candidates, they need to provide onboarding, payroll, and timesheet services too. Managing all of this in one platform reduces complexity and boosts recruiter productivity.

Reporting procedures can also be integrated. Mindscope applicant tracking software works in conjunction with Microsoft Power BI to give staffing and recruitment agencies a comprehensive view of performance.


2. Can the ATS automate the job posting process across multiple job boards and social media sites?


The competitive nature of the modern-day recruitment sector has made it imperative for staffing and recruitment agencies to make their job postings as visible as possible to potential candidates. A significant online and social media presence is key.

Job seekers won’t wait around for a suitable role to find them. As well as browsing major careers websites, candidates will conduct google searches to widen their search. It has therefore become critical for recruiters to make their job postings easy to find online.

An applicant tracking system can assist with this. For example, Mindscope applicant tracking software enables recruiters to select jobs stored within the system and automatically post them to online job boards including Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and more.

Staffing and recruitment agencies even have the opportunity to cut out the middleman and attract candidate web traffic by hosting fully integrated job board pages within their existing website. Job postings hosted in this way will be SEO-optimized and formatted for Google Jobs to give listings an even better chance of being seen.

Social media now plays a significant role in helping candidates find a job too. Research by Glassdoor suggests that around 80% of job seekers will use social media during their search – a figure that is likely to be even higher among the Gen Z demographic.

Recruiters can take advantage of this trend by using Mindscope to post jobs directly to LinkedIn. Any applicant sourced via this channel will automatically be added to the ATS within the relevant workflow.


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3. Does the ATS have resume parsing capabilities to extract relevant candidate information from resumes?


Resumes are generally the starting point for candidate assessment, and there are a number of ways in which they can be obtained by a recruiter. While most will be submitted as part of an online job application, there are also many instances where recruiters receive resumes as email attachments.

Mindscope applicant tracking software is capable of parsing resumes directly from online job applications and Outlook email, creating a corresponding candidate profile in the system using the information provided.


4. How does the ATS search functionality work? Can it handle complex search queries?


A large candidate database is only useful to recruiters if it can be filtered to locate individuals that meet the relevant job requirements. Advanced search tools can make a big difference when trying to secure talent ahead of the competition.

An ATS with powerful search capabilities will enable recruiters to search their entire database in seconds – whether they are filtering candidate lists based on basic info like candidate name or conducting more advanced searches that filter profiles based on specific criteria such as skills, salary expectations, and proximity to job location.

Mindscope incorporates a number of features that help recruiters achieve pinpoint search results. The Boolean Search function enables users to combine search criteria, while Skill Tagging makes it easier to identify qualified candidates by matching the skills listed in their profile to those associated with the role in question.


5. Can the ATS track candidate interactions, such as emails and interviews?


The main reason for choosing an applicant tracking system is to improve the organization of day-to-day hiring activities. Creating a structured workflow is vital in order to source high-quality candidates in a fair and efficient manner.

Thanks to its many communication software integrations, Mindscope is able to record all candidate correspondence and recruiter notes within the relevant profile as well as track the various milestones of the candidate assessment process.



6. What kind of reporting and analytics does the ATS provide?


In order to make continuous improvements to business processes, agencies need reliable performance review procedures in place. Performance data allows business leaders to make informed decisions, but to obtain clear insights, information must be analyzed effectively.

Microsoft Power BI is among the most powerful data analysis tools available today. When integrated with Mindscope staffing software, it opens up an array of reporting capabilities to give staffing and recruiting agencies a user-friendly dashboard of customized KPI and sales reports based on the data housed within the ATS.

“Power BI has the ability to analyze average cost-per-hire, offer acceptance rates, turnover rates, and more in a matter of minutes. Data is pulled from various sources to build interactive dashboards that are designed to visualize information in a simple, easy-to-digest manner, making it possible for everyone in the organization can understand what is going on.”

– Bryn Burbank, Sales Specialist at Mindscope



7. How does the ATS handle candidate data privacy and security?


Data is a critical component of the majority of day-to-day recruitment activities, but without the correct safeguards in place, it can become compromised.

Mindscope’s cloud-based software is easy to maintain and upgrade, with security updates made as soon as they become available. In addition to this, Mindscope users can take advantage of comprehensive infrastructure maintenance and tech support services via phone and email.


8. Can the ATS be customized to fit the recruitment agency’s specific needs?


For an applicant tracking system to be as effective as possible, it needs to be tailored to the specific needs of its users. Customization is key, and a lot of consideration must go into which fields are included across the platform.

Mindscope allows sector-specific staffing and recruitment agencies to set up custom fields, re-label sections and hide various aspects of the system.

User requirements are identified before the software implementation process begins. Mindscope’s implementation team completes a collaborative review of customer needs to ensure that the vocabulary used within the ATS is relevant to the industry in which they operate. Custom fields are also reviewed on a customer-by-customer basis to establish what should and shouldn’t be part of the interface.


9. How easy is it to use the ATS? Is there a steep learning curve?


Modern applicant tracking systems feature a wealth of complex technology, and the sheer number of features available can seem overwhelming at first. However, some platforms do a better job than others at taking these features and making them user-friendly.

Mindscope has managed to combine comprehensive functionality with ease-of-use by creating an intuitive ATS platform that has been continuously improved over time based on client feedback.


10. What kind of support and training does the ATS provider offer?


Expert tech support and training is a key consideration for anyone looking to get the most out of their ATS platform. As well as having the help they need to become proficient with the various tools at their disposal, recruitment personnel can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with 24-hour technical support.

Mindscope users can access specialist implementation and training services customized to meet the needs of their specific organization.



11. Does this ATS have features specific to one area of staffing and recruitment or does it meet the needs of companies in different areas of the industry?


A comprehensive applicant tracking system will have all the key features an agency needs, regardless of which sector they specialize in.

That said, there will of course be some functionality that is geared towards specific circumstances. Although Mindscope is most commonly deployed by Light Industrial, Manufacturing, and Healthcare recruitment agencies, it has the wide-ranging capabilities required to suit any industry and can even be implemented by HR departments conducting internal hires.


12. How frequently are changes, updates or improvements made to the software? How does this impact us as potential users?


Recruitment technology is an area that experiences constant change, which means that regular software updates are required in order to stay ahead of the game. Mindscope typically produces at least one new software release every 4-6 months, with changes made to the product based on client feedback, technological advances, and proactive development.

The result is an improved ATS platform that is more powerful and efficient than before thanks to the implementation of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. Release notes are provided to give users a clear rundown of the updates and help them utilize new features to their full potential.


13. What data import capabilities does the ATS have? Can a user conduct data imports or does it need to be done by a technical resource from the provider?


Client and candidate data is a precious commodity, so it is critical that data import capabilities are taken into account when choosing a new applicant tracking system. Not only does an effective data import ensure that no current or historical information is lost when migrating to a new ATS, but it also reduces the administrative burden for agencies by removing the need to manually transfer client and candidate profile information line-by-line.

Mindscope will map every data point from a customer’s previous ATS/CRM platform and conduct several levels of data auditing to guarantee that new users hit the ground running with the same data they had before. In addition, the self-serve Mindscope data import tool makes it easy for staffing and recruitment agencies to upload bulk files containing client or candidate contacts to the system.



The Mindscope sales team is happy to answer these questions (along with any others you may have). What are you waiting for? Schedule your free demo today and find out how Mindscope’s intuitive ATS software makes it easier than ever to attract and secure talent ahead of the competition.