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Making Toast: A Lesson in Integrating Testing and Assessments into your Applicant Tracking System

August 30, 2011
A toaster may or may not be the most essential part of everyone’s kitchen. For me it’s an appliance I use sparingly, but I really like a good piece of toast with jam on occasion. The ability to “plug in” my toaster makes the toast making process simple and efficient.  This is all possible because the plug was created from a standard that electricity suppliers, electricians, and manufacturers have subscribed to for years.  Just as the electricity standards make it easy to move any toaster to any plug, common data formats allow information to flow easily from one system to the next.

Nowhere are these standards more welcome than in the area of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).  Whereas in the past it could take months for IT departments to create routines to move data from one system to another, it can now be done in hours or days through these “plug and play” technologies.  ATS users can now use any ATS and any testing content and easily integrate the two.

Why? Because ATS vendors and software developers have adopted a common data format standard called HR-XML.  It covers a wide range of services provided by human resource organizations including recruiting, payroll, benefits, performance management, and even time card tracking.  Select International integrates outside test content into our HR-XML, ATS, and we know that it is quick and painless process.

Be warned however, some ATS vendors have decided they can increase their own profits by making it cost and time prohibitive for you to use their ATS with another vendor’s testing content.  They provide lots of technical jargon to explain the high cost of integration while, at the same time, explaining the much lower cost of simply using their own test content or a test vendor that is one of their “preferred partners.”

A quick reality check confirms that cost of integration should not be a significant factor since HR-XML is plug and play technology.  Our advice is to push back and use the ATS and testing content that will best meet your needs and to not settle for anything less.  ATS and testing integration should be as easy as making toast.

View more information on HR-XML and how it can help streamline your HR integrations and process at http://www.hr-xml.org/.

Louis Simon