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Selecting applicant tracking system in Malaysia/Software Selection

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What is an applicant tracking system?

Applicant Tracking System, or “ATS” or Talent Recruitment System (TRM) for short, was initially targeted at recruitment companies, especially in Malaysia. Today, ATS system has become candidate tracking application software that can be used to improve productivity in any human resource recruitment house and agencies.The “best ATS” system is one which is most suitable for the company's size, budget and operations.

Although the term ATS has become more common today in Malaysia, there are still confusions over the purpose it serves and the extent of its capabilities. In addition to the common requirement of applicants tracking, accounting and finance, Terms of Business, ATS can be used to manage other functions such as human resources and payroll. It is highly customizable and can be scaled as required for use in Malaysia companies, be they large Employement Agenices or small SMEs.

Choosing and implementing ERP

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or staffing agency software , when successfully implemented, can break down tedious paper work and increase the visibility of an hiring agency and create a truly productivity entity in which its operations are aligned with its strategy.

However, purchasing and implementing an Applicant Tracking System can be a huge commitment of time and money for a hiring agency . Thus, it is critical to decide how an Applicant Tracking System system can benefit the agency, and select the right system to fit the hiring agency aims. With a multi-racial, multi-lingual background for Malaysia staffing agency , it is also important to consider that some users may not be fluent in English. Thus, a software with menu in languages, such as Chinese or Malay, would be preferred.

Any considering an Applicant Tracking System(ATS) system should start with an analysis of its current situation, as shown in the table below. Then subsequent steps can be followed through to select a suitable ERP system and an ERP vendor to achieve aims set out at the analysis stage.

This table below details the actions to be taken, where to find the necessary information, tools available, people to be involved, the reason behind the actions, and the desired output from each step.



Where to find?Tools available




  1. Situation Analysis

  • Find out the “Hiring Agency's Objectives for next year and next 5 years”

Business plan

Head of departments, CEO

The Applicant Tracking System objectives must be aligned with the business objectives.

List of business objectives with explanation

  • Study the existing hiring process flows and department functions

  • If process flow is not available, draw out the existing process flows.

ISO documents

Process owners,

QA department

The Applicant Tracking System work-flow must follow the ISO work-flow or change existing work-flow to follow Applicant Tracking System work-flow

Flow diagrams

Standard operating procedures

  • Work with IT department to know the existing IT infrastructure

  • Data include the different types of workstations and their operating system

IT Asset list,

Personal own assets who need to access to the system.

IT manager

As Applicant Tracking System is an IT project, it needs to take into consideration of the existing IT infrastructure as it needs to be implement the system in the existing infrastructure

List of the existing hardware, software used in the hiring agency, network diagrams, configuration etc.

  • Analyse areas of weakness of existing business process flows

LEAN tools,

Queue theory

Theory of constraint (balancing process) ,Swim Lane Diagrams,

Principles for business process re-engineering.

Process owners, functions heads

Some of the Applicant Tracking System system is to reduce the waste in an hiring agency. By studying the existing process, one can identify the areas of wastes.

LEAN- list all the wastes based on 7 types of wastes

Queue theory – identify the areas bottleneck.

Theory of constraint

Swim Lane Diagrams, - all the swim lanes AS-IS.

  • Gather the head of department and users to understand the existing problems and wastes.

Root cause analysis (Fish bone diagram,

6 sigma, etc.)

All head of departments

Make potential users see that current situation needs improvement.

Fish bone diagram

5 Whys

  • Analyse the benefits of solving these problems and cost if not solving them in the short term and long term. The benefits can be tangible and intangible.

Cost analysis

All head of departments .

Get buy-in from potential users.

Table with challenges and cost if not solved. and benefits if solved.

  1. Establish an objective of the purpose of an Applicant Tracking System.

Select those problems to solve based on the benefits and cost. Break down the objective into the following areas

    1. Increase customer satisfaction

    2. Increase Quality

    3. Increase market share

    4. Increase productivity

    5. Reduce Cost

    6. Increase revenue

    7. Increase profit

Compare these objectives with the overall objectives of the company's business plan and make sure that they are aligned.

Prioritise the objectives based on benefits, cost and speed of implementation.

All head of departments

Written document will be used to evaluate the success of the ERP project 1 year after implementation.

Inside the RFP document.

  1. Work out the requirement of the Applicant Tracking System

Based on the objectives of the ATS, work out a detail specification.

This specification will be for functions areas like

  • Clients relationship

  • Candidates relationship

  • Sales Transaction

  • Accounting

  • Reports requirement.

  • All transactions layout requirements (e.g. Terms of business layout, invoice layout, sales transaction etc)

Feature list of Applicant Tracking System, comparison charts etc.

Applicant Tracking System vendors

Users need to know what is in the market and what the technological limitations are.

Initial specification to be given to software vendors to determine which one(s) can potentially meet the requirements.

  1. Applicant Tracking System infrastructure requirements

Based on IT Asset list – work out the hardware requirements

Ask for a “wish list” and what other gadgets the staff will want to purchase in the next 6 months.

IT manager

This to ensure that the Applicant Tracking System can be used with existing infrastructure. If not, determine changes and the cost involved.

Initial specification to be given to software vendors to determine which one(s) can potentially meet the requirements.

  1. Preparing demo data

Collect a set of data as follows:

  • 5 candidates data with English, Chinese and Malaya, India languages

  • 5 clients details

  • 5 Job descriptions

  • 5 Job requirements

Create the type of transactions you want vendor to demo

Specify language requirements for the Applicant Tracking System software

Test the demo on the necessary hardware.

Existing database, systems, excel sheets etc.

All head of departments

This is to ensure consistency of data and work flow to be used for demo of the Applicant Tracking System system and how it can fit into the organisation.

Information to be given to vendor to create a prototype

  1. Create flow diagrams and checklist to evaluate each vendor

This is the final flow diagram that you want the vendor to show you in their system.

Examples of areas of concern:

  • Applicant Tracking System functions meeting your requirements

  • Ease of use

  • Speed

The Evaluation Checklist can be on a scale of 1 to 5 for meeting the requirements.

Flow diagrams

All head of departments

To ensure consistency in demo, the vendor need to show functions of the software based on the flow diagram and users can answer the checklist.

  • Flow diagram for demo

  • Evaluation Checklist for demo

  1. Arrange for demo session with vendor

Ask the head of departments to come in for demo and determine if concerns in the Evaluation Checklist are addressed.

All head of departments

Ensure that each vendor is evaluated fairly.

Completed Evaluation Checklists.

  1. Shortlist of vendors

Compile the results of the Evaluation Checklist and have a meeting to shortlist the vendors.

Look at cost, and benefits.

Excel worksheet to calculate all the results

Internal project manager (for the applicant tracking system implementation)

To get the buy-in and determine why the vendor is selected. This is part of change management.

Benefits and costs of each vendor.

  1. Diligence check

Check the vendor's experience, case studies and carry out customer visit.

Account department.

Internal project manager

To ensure that what the vendor said was correct.

Diligence checklist.

  1. Negotiation of contract

  • Project scope

  • Implementation time line

  • Payment terms

  • Implementation style

  • Cost

  • etc.

Sample contract.

Internal project manager, senior management

To tighten the final details and ensure that all the agreements are in the contract.

Customer and vendor contract.

After diligently carrying out the ten steps outlined in the table above, a company would have greatly enhanced the chances of success in achieving its staffing agency aims with the help of a suitable Applicant Tracking System. In a competitive and multi-racial environment like Malaysia, improving productivity is important to stay ahead. This can be made easier when users understand their roles and are comfortable with the choice of language for a tool such as the ERP software.

Implementation can be made smooth with cooperation from users, especially when the vendor understands the company's requirements well. With Heads of Departments taking the lead in encouraging adoption of the new technology, the promises of the Applicant Tracking System system can be realised for the employment agencies.

About Tigernix Pte Ltd

Tigernix is a one of the leading Malaysia software companies and software development provider that offers state-of-the-art software across all technology platforms, operating systems, and infrastructures to clients worldwide. Based in Malaysia, Tigernix has its presence in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Tigernix's extensive line of software and customized software services enable organizations to choose based on their specific requirements or even customize to make it personal. We deliver Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Student Management system(SMS) , Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP), Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), web portal, Content Management System (CMS) software and E-commerce software with comprehensive and useful features catering to every business-need. Our software helps you to largely reduce operational costs and improve efficiency.

Tigernix's information technology consulting and software training services act as a catalyst to your success in business from idea-generation to implementation and training.

We provide top-notch enterprise software solutions and services to assure you of steady profits and a definite ROI (Return On Investment). Our core competency is in delivering quality software solutions, on time and always.

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