HRIS + ATS Magic: How To Boost Your Hiring Efficiency with One Simple Integration—Interview with Yesha Sharma from Crimson Education

7 min read

Phone vs. email, salad vs. doughnuts, ATS vs. HRIS: The world’s full of difficult choices. 🍩

But what if you could skip the heartache and have both?

With an HRIS ATS integration, you can—but not all hiring pros have gotten the memo just yet.

Yesha Sharma, People and Performance Advisor at Crimson Education has been there: “Before we discovered the HRIS ATS integration, we were on the hunt for something to answer our questions: ‘How do we streamline this process down? How do we put it in the hands of our leaders to take charge of? And how can we get the system to do the work for us?”  

Whether it’s messy onboarding, bad hires or reputation with candidates, there’s a lot that can go wrong—and the stakes are high. In fact, nearly 50% of candidates say they’ve turned down a role due to a bad hiring experience. 😵

Don’t let it happen to you.

The good news is, integrated tools can make the candidate experience and new hire onboarding process work like a dream. But do you really need both an HRIS and an ATS to make that happen or one tool that can do both? And if so, how does the whole thing work?

With a little help from Yesha and our friends at Sapling, we’re here to help you get to the bottom of it once and for all.

What is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)?

Human Resources Information Systems (or HRISs as they are lovingly known) are the all-singing, all-dancing digital HR center. 

In other words, they offer all HR generalist functions a successful business needs. Here’s what they bring to the table: 

  • People management, onboarding and offboarding
  • Payroll features
  • Benefits admin
  • Training management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Employee self-service features
  • And more

In other words, an HRIS covers every people function with one system. Plus, they help you stay organized across the biz and improve your everyday workflows so you can focus on =high-value work.

In short: 

If you’ve got a growing business and want to solve all your HR problems in one place, an HRIS is the tool for you.

Bear in mind though, because HRIS software is designed to cover so many diverse HR tasks, these systems don’t always drill down to the details of recruitment and hiring. 

That’s where a super seamless HRIS + ATS integration comes in. 🎯

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (a.k.a. ‘ATS’) differs from the HRIS in that they only cover one function: recruitment—but they do it awesomely.

For companies with limited hiring needs, you might be able to squeak by on whatever ad hoc Trello + Google sheet recruitment “system” you’ve got in place. But if you really want to rise above the other employer brands in your niche and bring in the best, hands-down most highly-qualified talent to uplevel your business, an ATS is a must.

From customizable pipelines to automated candidate contact, a smart ATS will cover every recruitment need. Plus, the right ATS will have teams of developers and customer support pros dedicated to constantly improving each function. (Cool, right?)

Here are the top ATS features to look for:

  • Candidate Management: Customizable pipelines show exactly where each candidate is in the hiring process and automatically emails candidates when you move them to the next hiring round (or not).
  • Team Collaboration: Features like @mentions, team scorecards and easy candidate rating systems help keep every member of your hiring team on the same page. 
  • Automated Job Posting: A smart ATS will help you save time and money by automatically posting ads to top job boards—meaning no more manual job posting for you. 🎉 (Hint: Be sure to look for systems that target both free and premium sites.)
  • Email, SMS & Scheduling: Look for an ATS with built-in scheduling features and linked emails/SMS to let candidates choose the best time for them.
  • Reporting and Analytics: A top ATS will make compliance a no-brainer with one-click EEOC, OFCCP, and GDPR reporting, plus actionable hiring intel through sourcing reports and candidate surveys to help you see which parts of your process might need a little work.

Not sure which ATS to use? If you’re having trouble telling one recruitment system from the other, check out our complete breakdown here.

Finally, your ATS should seamlessly integrate with your HRIS ✔️

If you’re looking for enough flexibility to create your perfect personalized hiring-to-onboarding process, there’s one feature to look for above the rest: HRIS integration. 

By integrating your ATS with a powerful HRIS, you can make the entire candidate experience work seamless. Let’s check back in with Yesha Sharma, People and Performance Advisor at Crimson Education for a closer look at how it works.


Breezy’s smart pipelines help organize top talent as they move through the hiring process.

How Crimson Education achieves automated onboarding magic with Breezy + Sapling

New Zealand-based Edu-tech company Crimson Education was founded on the idea that through personalized education, they can transform students into the world’s leaders of tomorrow. As the world’s most successful university admissions support consultancy, with over 350 employees and a tutor/mentor network of 2,000, the talent team at Crimson Education has a lot on their to-do list. 

Yesha Sharma, People and Performance Advisor, is responsible for streamlining the global recruitment process. For her, A+ hiring is all about choosing the right tools. 

“Our original ATS wasn’t empowering our Hiring Managers, and they were spending too long on the administrative side of building a great team. . We did a lot of research and testing, asking, ‘how do we streamline the recruitment process and get the system to do the work for us?” 

After reviewing their options, Yesha and her hiring team settled on Breezy. 

“It was an easy  no-brainer switch moving to Breezy. The user experience is intuitive and you can set it all up yourself. It was exactly the kind of tech automation we were looking for,” she says.

But the work wasn’t done just yet. After setting up her perfect-fit ATS, Yesha quickly realized there was more to the story. 

“At the time we were using another HRIS [integrated with Breezy]. We realized that although the recruitment side was sorted, the HR generalist part was lacking. We don’t waste time on systems that don’t serve us, and we quickly swapped our HRIS to Sapling. The next question was how do we minimise the administrative burden of using different tools and that we need these systems to talk to each other.”

Enter the integration. Once Breezy and Sapling were integrated, things started coming together for Yesha and her hiring team.

“We want innovative, best-in-class technology and a one a system fits all approach doesn’t do that. We have a dynamic workforce, distributed across 23 different cities and we need technology that supports our rapid growth. Having the flexibility of different systems that pick up different responsibilities in the way we want is powerful stuff. Taking it further and   having seamless and easy to set up integrations makes implementation and adoption a breeze (pun intended).”

Here’s how Yesha’s HRIS ATS integration seamlessly onboards her new hires.

Step 1. Send top candidates your offer letter

Once you’ve found your high-quality new hire, you need to get them onboard ASAP. 

Yesha uses Breezy to source, screen and interview candidates, before sending out the offer via the offer approvals stage.

(Psst! For bonus points, make sure your formal offer letter not only ticks all the right boxes, but also has a little extra snap and sparkle to get your new hire excited!)

Breezy Offers helps you create a uniform custom template for new hires. 

Step 2. Automagically add new hires from your ATS to your HRIS ✨

The next step is to pull new employees over to your HRIS using Breezy Stage Actions

“It’s simple. We just click a button saying ‘Add to Sapling’ and it pushes all relevant information  across to our HRIS, which then initiates onboarding, g-suite provisioning, payroll, and connects to other much-loved HR tech. This integration is the catalyst.” explains Yesha.


With Breezy as your ATS, you can push your high quality hires over to your HRIS and start an awesome onboarding process in just one click.

Step 3. Make it a warm welcome with clear employee pre-boarding instructions

As Yesha puts it, “One part of the stage is recruiting and the other part is actually keeping employees engaged and satisfied.” 

For Crimson, that means creating a killer pre-boarding/onboarding process with a little help from Sapling

“Now we have a comprehensive pre-boarding flow for employees to go through, where they can learn about us, watch videos, meet their team and more. It takes someone on a journey in this new chapter where we can say, ‘Hey, you've been hired, let's get to know each other.’”

Sapling’s preboarding experience helps you tell your company story to new hires.


Step 4. Automate a stellar employee onboarding process

Before the new hire even steps through the door, Yesha and her team use Sapling’s customizable interface to create a custom onboarding experience

“Before Sapling, we didn't have any pre boarding or  onboarding experience for our employees other than tasks—which isn’t engaging,” says Yesha, “Now we can create custom onboarding plans for each new hire. Sapling automatically emails the new hire a link and gives them a bit of background. The way it's set up covers admin and the nice ‘fluffy’ stuff at the same time.”

And all that extra “nice stuff” should not be underestimated. Data shows great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%. If you want to hang on to that new hire, it pays to ace this step!


With Sapling’s easy to use onboarding flow you can personalize onboarding activities for each new hire.

The result? Time + cost reduced

Yesha and the team were thrilled with the results. The combined features of the HRIS ATS integration power combo not only reduced Crimson’s time-to-hire, it also saved the time and cost equivalent of one full-time employee.

“We used to have an additional full-time headcount for recruitment. We've now easily absorbed that entire role into our already-lean team’s workload, by using the systems efficiently.”

Plus, with the help of Breezy’s Video Responses, Yesha and her hiring team were able to collect important screening info sooner, gather and track data metrics, and completely eliminate the phone screening phase to bring on the best candidates faster.

“Our hiring managers love the ability to use custom questionnaires and receive video responses back. It saves a tremendous amount of time, and it entirely eliminates the phone screen stage from our recruitment process. In a fast paced world, this saves ours and the candidates time,” explains Yesha. 

“The HRIS ATS integration has redefined what recruitment looks like for us.”

Because for Yesha, acing the hiring process is all about choosing the right tools for the right job. “. I would rather have world-class experts in their domains like Sapling or Breezy to be able to   pick and choose how we cater to our unique organization”

Why integrating your HRIS and ATS just makes sense

The recruitment and hiring landscape has changed at a mile-a-minute in the last few years. As millennials swarm the workplace, they bring a ton of new expectations in return for their loyalty. From flexible working hours (think: remote working from a beach in Bali ⛱️) to sky-high CX expectations, these folks know what they want—and your hiring process needs to reflect that. 

Forward-thinking HR departments know one thing for sure: digital is the future.

To stay in the game, today’s businesses need to make sure their recruitment processes meet the demands of the modern workforce. From automating your interview scheduling to finding the right HRIS ATS integration to make the candidate experience one they’ll never forget—there are a ton of tech-savvy actions you can take to save time, improve candidate experience and take your business to whole new heights.

Because at the end of the day, HR automation is about more than just choosing the flashiest new tech tool on the market—it’s about using those tools together to create the optimal experience for your team, both current and future.

Start optimizing your recruiting process with integrations today.

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