Cutting over to Attract

I haven’t written much about the Talent apps in this blog so far, mainly because there’s plenty in Core to keep us all busy. Today though I’ve been planning a customer cutover from their existing ATS to Attract, and it prompted a few questions and some testing. I’m recording the outcomes here so me and the team can refer back to it later, but it might be of interest to anyone planning a cutover.

It concerns this scenario:

The customer has a live ATS (I won’t say which one) with a number of active vacancies and corresponding applications. We’re building a cutover plan that sees live applications transferred into Talent. The existing ATS has its own identity manager (users create an account with email address and password), whereas Talent uses the Google/Microsoft/LinkedIn/Facebook identity management options. The question being asked was – how does the authentication process work for users who haven’t applied directly themselves through Talent?

To answer the question I tested a few things.

First of all – I manually created an application against a job, entering an email address that had already been used to apply directly for a job in Talent. It’s an email address which can authenticate using different passwords into both Google and Microsoft’s ID managers. To apply for the previous role I’d used the Google IDM. When I logged on to Attract directly with the Google IDM, I could only see the previous application, not the new one which had been manually added with the same email address. This tells me that the applications are saved against the authentication method, not just the email address.

I then access the mailbox associated with that email address, and found the ‘we’ve received your application’ email. I’m using an on-tenant service account to send this email, and iCloud sent it to my junk folder. Noted for future reference but not a huge problem for this testing. I clicked the link to Talent that’s included in that email and used the Google IDM to authenticate into Talent. Sure enough, I could then see both applications. The old one that I’d applied for directly and the new one that had been manually added to the same email address.

To test my theory that applications are linked to authenticated users not purely email addresses, I tried something else. I wondered what would happen if I clicked the link in the application confirmation email and authenticated in using a valid ID, but one based on a different email address to the one entered against the application. When I tried it I received the following error:

Screenshot of authentication error

So… what I’ve learned from this is:

  • You can upload applications which are active at the point of cutover from your existing ATS
  • Applicants will be able to log in and use the portal as though they had applied online themselves
  • They must authenticate into Talent with the same email address that you upload against the application
  • That email address can use any of the ID managers provided, but the same ID management option must be used each time


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