Best Practices for Data Migration

In the recruiting industry, you often accumulate a large sum of data with candidate information and notes to keep tabs. When you transfer to new CRM’s or recruiting software programs, it can be tough to make sure that all of your data is in the right format. If not, you could lose valuable notes, data or information.

With some best practices, you can make sure that all of your data migration processes go smoothly and you ensure your important documentation is kept safe. Follow these best practices to help guide you:

Clean up your data

Whether your data is being stored in an ATS or in a spreadsheet, you’ll have to go through and make sure you know which data you really want and which you can part ways with. After many years of recruiting, it is normal for databases to get quite large, but there are ways to minimize the extra candidate information.

Typically, if it's been over 5 years since a last interaction or another reasonable amount of time - it is probably okay to delete their information in a secure fashion. Keeping this sort of data for a long period of time can slow you down in your recruiting process in having to wade through candidate upon candidate. Even when searching through a list or database, it can be really time consuming.

The best thing to do in this situation is to set a rule for yourself. You should set a date in which any candidate obtained before that date needs to be rid of. This will help your clean up strategy go much smoother and allow you to get to cutting down your bulky database. Whether it be 2 years, 5 years or even 10 years the more time you spend cutting down on unnecessary candidate information, the smoother your data migration process will be.

Be flexible with ATS Systems

When transferring your data over to a new recruiting software, it can be difficult to get used to at first. With all the different changes to fields, properties and tagging, this process could take a bit. These changes are inevitable as you move from ATS to ATS, however the process will not disrupt your process forever. With the possibility to move your data over, it is just an interim process that you’ll have to learn and get through.

In order to have a successful process, it is important to sort of map out where your data is going and what sort of process you want to undertake. Most often, there will be some sort of meeting or consultation with a developer or person who is migrating your data. Someone who can meet with you, know your needs and make recommendations based on your data is really crucial in keeping things orderly and in a fashion that you can use. This person more often than not, has experience in this area already and has the credibility to make these decisions and recommendations.

Choose a Responsive ATS to eliminate your downtime

Depending on how much data there is to transfer can determine how long your migration process is going to take. The quantity of data, the quality of it and the time in between meetings or talks during the process can really make all the difference when it comes to data migration. Both parties need to be held accountable for being responsive and providing up to date feedback and green-lights.

The first thing to do in any migration process should be an export of data from an existing database. Whether that means exporting data from your current recruiting software or making your spreadsheet layout ready for an export. Typically, this can be sort of a tricky thing and you might have to resort to contacting customer support instead of trying to do it yourself.

Certain recruiting softwares are limited in the types of file types and formats that they can process the data. Whether it be XML, JSON or different format types. These can be really complicated to migrate and can make your process end up being longer than originally intended. The easier formats to migrate are typically ones that can transfer CSV or Microsoft SQL backups.

Find an ATS that works for you!

This can sometimes be the most important step for a person looking to migrate their data. Not only does this matter if the software works for you, but it matters if the support and assistance along the way will match your wants and needs. For the right opportunity, it takes the right steps and the overall fit has to be justifiable. Considering things such as the process, data handling and company culture are not out of the question.

When doing research about different recruiting software, you should be asking different questions about the practices of data migration and data handling. These can typically be pretty telling of how honorable and responsible the vendor might be. Taking this into consideration can save you from having to switch ATS providers in the near future.


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