Moving to a new applicant tracking system (ATS) can be a scary proposition for any staffing or recruiting agency.
All your candidate records – the hard-earned life-blood of your agency – are stored within this piece of software, and losing them or reducing their integrity could irrevocably cripple your business.
But when you’ve decided to make the switch to a better-performing ATS, or you’ve simply decided to move to system that’s a better fit for your agency, migrating your candidate data is a necessary – and potentially painful – step.
At Crelate, we pride ourselves on how we help make our new customers’ data migrations smooth and error-free. In fact, our team team has completed several thousand data migrations, and we’ve pre-built migration approaches for over 40 competing recruiting and CRM products.
Additionally, because our Product Consultants come from a recruiting and staffing background, we often take advantage of a customer’s replatforming to educate their team on staffing and recruiting agency record-keeping best practices and how to best use our products.
To learn more about how Crelate ensures a smooth data migration for our new customers, we spoke with Crelate Product Consultant Melody Spraw:
Crelate: Melody, you used to be a recruiter in a past life. How do you think that experience helps you work with our new customers when they’re preparing to migrate from their old ATS to Crelate?
Melody: That’s right. Like many of our Product Consultants, I used to work in recruiting. I spent six years on both sides: sales and recruiting.
I chased leads. I did both contract and perm. I’ve been on the staffing agency side, and I’ve been on the perm side, so I’ve seen it from both ends. I worked as a recruiter in IT, finance, and a little bit in manufacturing, so I’m familiar with the ins-and-outs of recruiting for a few different industries.
I think because I understand the recruiting process as a whole, I’m more familiar with candidate data and how our customers use it.
When I tell our customers a little bit about my background, they say, “This is great! I’ve never had somebody I’m doing an implementation with that actually worked in the industry.”
Another benefit of my recruiting background is, when I’m going through the data discovery process with a client and seeing the different data fields that they have, I can help them to implement best practices. I can say, “Hey, you actually don’t need this,” or, “Hey, I might have a better way of doing this with Crelate.”
Crelate: What is the biggest concern you hear from new customers when they’re preparing to migrate from their old ATS?
Melody: When we’re going through the scoping process, people are worried about their data integrity. That’s the biggest thing. They want to be sure everything’s brought over and nothing’s forgotten.
This is important info that they can’t lose. It’s crucial to their business, and they want to be sure that it’s brought over completely and it’s brought over correctly.
Crelate: How do you start the ATS data migration process?
Melody: First, a Crelate Product Consultant and Software Developer dig into your process on the initial call: the ‘Discovery’ stage.
- ‘What does your process look like?
- Are you doing any contract recruiting?
- Are you doing more perm/contingent? What kind of industry are you working in?’
That way, I can cater your experience and setup toward whatever your industry and focus is.
We dig into the process and say, ‘Okay, you’re on the contract side, let’s gear this more towards the agency staffing side of the house. Oh, you’re more on the perm side. Great. Let’s talk about contingency or retainer, or whatever may be.’
Crelate: How does Crelate ensure we migrate our customers’ data correctly?
Melody: In the ‘Development’ stage, we really focus on mapping out your data: names, skills, qualifications, phone numbers, emails, everything. We locate exactly where it lives in your current ATS, and then we do whatever it takes to get it exactly where it needs to be in Crelate.
That’s also where our data review process comes in. We guide our customers through the process and give them full visibility.
I have a lot of customers who love that because they like to see what’s going on in the background. They’re not being kept in the dark or kept outside some sort of black box.
Another way we ensure that accuracy is to carefully bring everything over to a staging environment. We don’t push it live until the customer’s full consent is given. Then we do a review process, line-by-line to make sure everything looks good.
If they still have access to their old ATS, we ask them to pull up a contact record and make sure it matches up with what we just migrated into Crelate: the ‘Verifying’ stage of our process. That way, we can see, “Nope, actually this is a wrong phone number. Let’s bring this over instead,” or, “Yup, everything looks great.”
We really do a deep dive on that review process. And we do that at least twice, working with the customer on reviewing their data in that staging environment. And once we’re 100% sure everything is accurate and where it should be, that’s when we flip the switch.
Crelate: For some customers, this might be their first data migration. How do you set those customers at ease?
Melody: It’s really important to stress that we’re with our customers throughout the whole process. And not only do you have a Product Consultant who knows the industry, you also have a technical developer working on your migration.
We see ourselves as partners in this process; any technical issues you run into, you relay it to me and we work it out together.
It can be scary switching your ATS, right? You don’t know what you’re getting into. You don’t really know where to start. But it’s exciting at the end of the day. And working with Crelate – with people who really know what they’re doing and really know the industry – it becomes an easy process.
Crelate: What are the final steps in a data migration?
Melody: Training, training, training. Once everything’s been confirmed and the migration into their live Crelate environment is complete, we do a team training on all of Crelate’s core functions. So that you become experts on our tools and nobody feels left out. We coach your recruiters, and we do one-on-ones with them to make sure that everyone is getting the most out of the new system. We answer all your questions, and we’re super transparent.
The team training is also a great time to share some of our best practices: “Here’s how to use our search as a recruiter. This is how I worked when I was running a desk. Let me recommend how to do that in this system.”
One of the great things I get to see during onboarding is that moment where a customer says, “Hey, Crelate‘s actually easier than the ATS we were using. It’s super intuitive!” They get really excited about it. Once they see their candidate or sales data in action and we’re working one-on-one with their team to show them what’s possible, we always hear, “Oh, okay. This was definitely the right decision.”
Learn more about ATS Data Migrations in our e-book: The Agency Guide to Data Migrations