We use applicant tracking systems because they provide helpful recruiting tools for companies. You can do a whole bunch of things with an ATS but it’s primary job is to collect and sort thousands of applications.
When candidates apply for roles within larger organisations with an ATS, their applications never usually go directly to a resourcing specialist, recruiter or hiring manager. Sure, they might be notified of the submission by an alert but the first port of call for an application is the ATS, and here’s the real shocker - a real, human recruiter might never even set eyes on an application, depending on how well it is optimised for ATS algorithms.
But why do we use an ATS? It’s simple; volume. More often than not, resourcers are hiring for several jobs at any given time and might receive hundreds of applications for any given job opening. The art of the application has become easier because of the internet, and so many of these applicants are unqualified and figure “why not?”.
ATS systems help to keep applications in one, ordered place so that resourcers can remain organised and compliant. The ATS will also save resourcers some time by making use of the algorithms which skim each and every applicant - highlighting top candidates and binning the time-wasters. This kind of activity does help narrow down the applicant pool, but because resourcers are looking through every single application it means top candidates sometimes slip through the cracks.
What an ATS does:
An ATS automates the boring parts like sending rejection interviews, scheduling interviews etc. To tie in, an ATS will also source qualified candidates via job posting, using powerful algorithms.
Hiring is a collaborative process involving stakeholders at all levels, and an ATS will help to encourage open collaboration between resourcers and hiring managers, so they can exchange feedback on specific applications. An ATS is often the first insight into the business for a prospective employee, so it’s critical that a good ATS offers a streamlined process for candidates - candidates will get a really good impression of you as a business if your ATS is well oiled. If you’re a data-driven organisation, an ATS will allow you to import/export data for slicing and dicing which in turn will provide actionable reporting information, like time to hire.
What an ATS doesn’t do:
Hiring isn’t solely a data driven exercise. Even an ATS which proclaims to be artificially intelligent can’t ever replace the human aspect of ensuring a candidate is a good fit culturally. Therefore an ATS won’t fully evaluate the fit of a candidate, and neither should you allow it to. Humans should be ultimately responsible for moving a candidate through an application process. Neither should an ATS disqualify candidates automatically, again human intervention is required as an ATS is by no means the perfect hiring solution and you could be missing out on great candidates. Similarly, an ATS won’t spot discrepancies in the hiring process - as an experienced resourcer, you’ll need to download the reports and interpret the stats yourself. The ATS is just a framework for effective collaboration and communication, which can be manipulated to suit your organisation so it’s important to remember this fact when looking for a system to assist you with the tracking applicants.
But how can you leverage your ATS to provide the best experience for all stakeholders?
It stands to reason that most job seekers won’t be willing to participate in a drawn out application process, and we already know that most job seekers are mobile-only users. The application process you provide needs to be intuitive, easy to use and most importantly, mobile friendly. You might well need to rethink your recruitment strategy to accommodate this. To improve your conversion rate you’ll need to have a fully optimised, mobile friendly application process - most job seekers will now see this as mandatory.
Application processes are slow. If your recruitment process is disparate then an ATS will help you to manage all aspects of the recruitment cycle. As a busy resourcer, you won’t want to be spending your valuable time dishing out rejection emails and aptitude tests - all this stuff needs to be automated so you can focus on the important aspects of recruitment. If you’re using a Word doc to keep track of applicants - STOP. An ATS will have all of the candidates’ information centralised and organised into one single platform, allowing recruiters to have a clearer overview of the hiring process. If you’re using Excel to move candidates to different stages - STOP. The automated communication features within the ATS shorten the recruitment cycle, making it quicker to provide general follow up and to move candidates forward to the next steps.
Candidates can get pretty annoyed when they’re left in the dark. The beauty of the ATS is that it handles all the monotonous updating automatically, so candidates don’t feel forgotten about. Maintaining constant communication and providing feedback at every stage of the process is crucial to avoid a poor candidate experience and strengthen your company’s employer branding.
Here at ecruit, we offer you the perfect opportunity to bring strategy and innovation to your hiring. ecruit offers flat fee recruitment; a low-cost recruitment method that enables businesses to reduce their cost per hire without compromising on candidate quality – and with no hidden fees, ever.