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How to Successfully Integrate an ATS with HCM Software

Job requisitions and employee data need to move seamlessly between the applicant tracking system and HCM software. In the past, creating these integrations was clunky and often required weeks or months of custom coding. Today, the ATS and HCM can be integrated in days or even hours with low-code/no-code tools. 

Even with the ease and simplicity of today’s integration capabilities, it’s still important to design integrations thoughtfully. Not only that, the possibilities that low-code/no-code solutions bring up invite talent acquisition leaders to embrace a new mindset that will empower their teams’ success over the long term. 

Here are three things you need to know when integrating an ATS with an HCM.

1. Define your data requirements

Not every piece of information in an ATS needs to connect with an HCM. The primary purpose of the ATS is to move the most qualified candidates through the hiring funnel. The primary purpose of HCM software is to manage the employee lifecycle through payroll, promotions, and more. Therefore, each system prioritizes different data fields; the key to good ATS-HCM connections is defining the fields that overlap.

Building a map of data fields and processes will help you create a smooth integration process. As you start building your map, ask these questions:

  • What information do you need to connect? Look at both ends of the ATS: how do job requisitions come in, and how do hired candidates come out?
  • When does it need to be accessible? To prevent the transfer of duplicate or unnecessary information, consider the triggers for data transfer.
  • Who needs to have access to it? Not everyone needs to see everything. Consider permissions for data access.

You don’t need all the data to move from system to system. Thinking carefully about which data is needed in each system prevents challenges down the line and helps ensure compliance. You’ll also want to consider what data needs to be captured for effective people analytics on the candidate-to-employee lifecycle.

2. Understand system capabilities and limitations

Every system has a specific data structure. A strong understanding of each structure will help define the points that connect. Additionally, some data points are related to legal requirements and must be deleted after a specified time period.

It will also help to understand what happens when data is moved from one system to another. Will the data be overwritten, duplicated, or appended?

3. Embrace an agile mindset

In the past, integrations were more of a one-and-done affair, and it was difficult to make changes. With low-code/no-code automations, recruiting leaders have the ability to pilot and experiment with new tools without rewriting code, which was often a lengthy process that could take months.

For example, a team wants to deliver different assessments to internal and external candidates. By adjusting the series of if-then statements, the internal candidates would be put into a slightly different workflow with just a few minutes of workflow changes.

Agility might be a new mindset for TA teams that have used legacy systems. Once one new idea is implemented, other ideas will start to arise that enable more effective recruiting processes for everyone. 

An agile mindset includes an awareness that tools and processes are going to change in the future. Someone with a legacy mindset builds software architecture based on how things are now, while a leader with an agile mindset sets up an architecture that is intended to change.

Integrations can be easier than you think

Some companies hold back on updating legacy systems simply because they fear change and have an unfounded belief that change has to be hard. With a new host of tools that make change easy and capable people who know how to implement it, change can actually be fun. 

“It’s fun to work on new solutions and integrations with IT, HR, and hiring managers.” 

– Claudia Model, former Manager, Talent Attraction, National Media & Tech at Axel Springer.

Because we know that every company deserves best-of-breed software for each of its HR functions, SmartRecruiters customers integrate with many HCM systems, including ADP, Oracle, SAP, UKG, Workday.

Here’s an example of the difference between working with code and low-code solutions.

Example of code versus low code integrations

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support your Hiring Success with a top-rated ATS that integrates seamlessly with your HCM.

Experience Seamless HCM Integrations

Lee Ann Prescott