6 Things Preventing Tech (ATS) Upgrades and What You Should Ignore

Continuous improvement is dynamic – it means learning and adapting. Yet bizarrely, while organizations embrace this concept in almost all other aspects of business when it comes to tech, there is often resistance to change.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) and CRMs are the cornerstone of recruitment software, but upgrading them can feel like a huge hurdle. However, sidestepping the issue of tech upgrades seriously threatens your position against the competition.

Here’s the crazy thing – so many common fears around tech upgrades are unfounded. So, for any recruitment professionals out there fretting about whether or when to upgrade recruitment tech, here’s all you need to know about the things preventing ATS upgrades and what you should ignore.

When Do You Upgrade a Legacy ATS System?

Enhancing efficiency throughout the recruitment cycle is a continual goal in staffing. This is especially critical in today’s job market, where perfect-fit candidates are like gold dust. The big question is, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your applicant tracking system?

Fear of change can be a significant barrier. But, if your legacy system lacks the full functionality required to optimize your recruitment processes, upgrading to leverage modern technology capabilities is never too soon.

Here are the key questions to determine whether your legacy system is falling short:

  • Is a lack of automation causing workflow bottlenecks?
  • What are the third-party integration capabilities of your ATS?
  • Can you post to all the major job boards without leaving your platform?
  • Can you import candidate information easily?
  • How easy is multi-channel outreach?
  • Can you source candidates from social media platforms?
  • How integrated is your data?
  • Is there a lot of duplicate data entry going on?
  • Are your ATS and CRM integrated?
  • How good is your candidate’s experience?
  • How efficient/long is your application process?
  • Is text and email communication automated?
  • Is your ATS mobile-friendly?

6 Reasons Recruitment Firms Delay Tech Upgrades

Colleagues discussing new presentation on computer

Slow, outdated ATSs lead to downtime, inefficiencies, and frustrating user experiences (recruiters and candidates). But all too often, recruitment businesses refrain from making upgrades. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  1. Costs: Upgrading tech can indeed be expensive. There is the cost of the new system and training staff, not forgetting the costs of maintaining, updating, and scaling a system.
  2. Competing priorities: In the fast-paced world of recruitment, there will always be competing priorities, which means a tech upgrade can get shelved many times. This is especially true when the people making the upgrade decisions aren’t using the system daily. The finance gatekeepers may be oblivious to workflow issues and have other priorities.
  3. Implementation disruption: Most recruitment leaders are worried about not just the system’s initial cost but also the disruption and downtime. The thought of disruption alone can kick the tech-upgrade-can down the road.
  4. Productivity: A huge consideration when upgrading any tech is training staff. How will getting to grips with a new system impact productivity? Businesses are understandably nervous about taking this step, even though it is clear the new system will benefit them in the long term.
  5. Stuck in ‘our system is old but good enough’: When you’ve already spent a lot of money, time, and energy on a system, it’s easy to overlook its annoying issues and inadequacies.
  6. Confidence: The reason for delaying a tech upgrade can simply be a matter of confidence. Change can be scary, so it can be easy to put off the big decisions as long as possible.

The consequences of sticking with end-of-life or outdated ATS systems

Humans are creatures of habit, so dithering over a tech upgrade is more common than you might think. Why change what you are comfortable with, especially if you’ve become used to the workarounds? But sticking with the same old can have unwitting and harmful consequences. Here are some of them:

Data Security Vulnerabilities

The recruitment industry holds a vast amount of personal data, including passport scans and bank details, meaning the data could become a target for cybercriminals. As technology advances, so too does the sophistication of cyber-attacks. Old systems can lack the security features necessary to protect against modern-day cyber threats.

Productivity Nosedive

Corporate communication. Portrait of busy young male manager working remotely, holding paper and reading financial document, using laptop and talking on mobile phone, sitting at desk.

If you are using an outdated ATS, your hiring process almost certainly isn’t as efficient as it could be. Older ATS platforms facilitate fewer automations, creating a more frustrating user experience and longer time-to-hire.

Financial Sinkhole

Outdated solutions squander a lot of business time and staff resources. Duplicate data entry is typical when systems are patched together but don’t sync properly, which takes up recruiters’ time and leads to more errors. Inadequate reporting and poor data analysis also affect the speed and accuracy of business decisions.

Operational Roadblocks

Outdated tech throws up all sorts of operational challenges, including scalability issues and data management effectiveness. With many older systems, there is often a lack of support and updates.

Losing Out to Competitors

Recruiters are savvy, but poor tech can let them down. An outdated ATS can overlook high-quality applicants. It doesn’t have the sophisticated features to sort and assess less traditional skills or to ‘rediscover’ talent in its archives. Old-school ATSs lack messaging and notification features to support optimal collaboration within talent teams.

6 Tech Upgrade Blockers You Should Ignore

In a minority of situations, delaying a tech upgrade can be a wise decision, but in most cases, the benefits of upgrading far outweigh the short-term costs and disruption. If you are debating about whether or when to upgrade your ATS, here are some of the nagging doubts you can ignore:

1. Fear of new tech

Tech is evolving at such a rapid pace that it can be hard to keep up with new developments. Feeling like you don’t know enough can make the whole process of choosing an upgrade daunting. But software isn’t your area of expertise. Recruitment is. Don’t let fear of tech get in the way of the practicalities.

2. Overwhelmed – Not Knowing Which Tech to Choose

Shot of corporate colleagues working together in their office

With so many ATS software products, knowing which one is right for you can be difficult. But this really shouldn’t be a reason to delay.

Take it step by step. Demo some products and see what’s out there. Talk to providers. You’ll soon get a handle on what is available, what will suit your business best, and what kind of provider you’d like to work with.

A good software provider will listen carefully to your needs, show you how their product can help you overcome your unique recruitment challenges, and demonstrate how they will support you beyond implementation.

3. Fear of the Unknown

Resistance to new tech is rooted in the genuine human fear of the unknown. With recent developments in intelligent AI, we can be forgiven for finding technology a little scary – deep fakes, quantum computing, and killer drones, to name a few! Back in the land of recruitment software, simply evaluating the risks and opportunities of tech upgrades can help to take unfounded anxiety out of the equation. Generative AI is making waves in recruitment, but it’s to be embraced, not feared.

4. Afraid of Wasting Money

Since we’ve moved to cloud-based computing solutions, fear of wasting money on an expensive system is a thing of the past. A carefully chosen ATS will have features and plans to fit your business, so you only pay for what you need and can add features as you grow.

5. Can’t Face the Disruption

Back in the day, tech upgrades involved untold disruption for weeks on end. But these days, with the right provider, implementing new cloud-based ATS systems can go as seamlessly as you could hope for – check out our recent case study to find out just how seamless it can be!

6. Worried the Project Will Fail

Let’s be clear – we’re talking software upgrade anxiety again here. Of course, project failure is entirely possible if you choose the wrong system, take a punt with a new-to-market provider, or don’t do your homework on what ATS features your business needs. Understanding your operational challenges, what your existing system does well, and what it doesn’t will stand you in good stead. Then, demo, demo, demo, and get to know providers before jumping in.

Great Reasons to Upgrade Your ATS

Happy business colleagues cooperating while working on laptop at corporate office.

  • Hiring metrics aren’t where they should be
  • Lack of insights and analytics/poor reporting functionality
  • Workflow inefficiencies – a lot of time gets wasted on admin
  • A lack of integrations – you are duplicating data entry
  • Communication bottlenecks
  • Lack of customization
  • Lack of support
  • Poor system development
  • Not mobile friendly
  • Not user-friendly/your current system is complicated

Why Choose Tracker

The first thing you must know about Tracker is that we’ve been in the recruitment software space for over 15 years and our fully integrated ATS and CRM platform was built by recruiters for recruiters with a relationship-first approach.

Our cloud-based software provides a plan for all business sizes and is easy to scale and use. We provide optimal data security, seamless implementation, dedicated ongoing support, and innovative integrations to ensure your entire recruitment business runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Tracker’s extensive automation provides a myriad of automated triggers and workflows to fully automate your recruitment funnel. Moreover, the Tracker APP enables 100% mobile functionality from any smartphone or tablet device.

Our modern ATS can help reduce time-to-hire, minimize administrative costs, and enhance the quality of hires. Our mission is to help recruitment firms break free from the chains of outdated systems. We are continually developing our software to make your life as a recruiter easier.

Why not book a demo now? We’ll show you how Tracker can transform your recruitment business. Do you have any questions? Contact our team, who are here to help.

As a seasoned marketing professional with a proven track record in driving results, I've successfully navigated the dynamic landscape of B2B SaaS marketing with over 12 years of experience in performance, events, SEO/SEM, demand generation marketing, and business development. I have a proven track record of driving revenue growth and optimizing ROI through innovative strategies and strong leadership.

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