We use sophisticated software for accounting, sales, marketing, and communication. Yet when it comes to hiring, we tediously wade through emails and spreadsheets to find information about that one candidate that got away! Hiring may seem like a complex and challenging task with many moving parts, but it doesn’t have to be.
Virtual recruitment is gaining unprecedented momentum in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) have emerged as integral parts of an organization’s toolkit to reorganize and track candidate information. Organizations may turn to Salesforce when they need a customer relationship management platform or to Marketo when they need a marketing automation platform. Similarly, they are used to turning to ATS platforms to help recruiters and hiring managers stay organized and efficient.
A brief history of applicant tracking systems
In the pre-ATS era, recruiters and hiring managers depended on countless files and address books to keep track of applicant resumes and contact information and facilitate the scheduling of interviews. ATSs were born when Human Resource (HR) departments were searching for easier ways to keep candidate information.
Over the years, ATSs gradually evolved into secure software systems to store candidate information in one place. Eventually, recruiters and hiring managers didn’t have to worry about finding or losing candidate information. But there were still some limitations—they still had to search outside their ATSs for emailing and scheduling interviews with candidates.
What does an Applicant Tracking System do?
Fast forward to the present, and the modern ATSs have transformed from being mere document management systems. They are now integrated platforms that connect to several other platforms and help teams manage the overall recruitment process. Right from finding candidates to onboarding them, ATSs allow teams to handle the complete recruitment process with ease.
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS), also known as a talent management system, is a secure and centralized software system that streamlines the entire recruitment process. The information stored in the ATS database helps teams organize and manage data and keep track of job candidates. It empowers teams to manage job postings, target suitable candidates, and communicate with them. It also stores their resumes and screens them. Moreover, an ATS allows recruiters to schedule interviews, check references, collect interview feedback, extend offer letters, and complete the entire new-hire paperwork process
End-to-end automated and AI-powered processes and workflows in modern ATSs provide a seamless digital experience to all stakeholders in the recruitment process. It allows them to safely and securely access and uses specific information stored on the platform. AI-driven ATSs can also handle high-volume recruitment requirements and speed up the hiring process. The advanced and customizable analytics and reports provided by an AI-enabled ATS platform help efficiently track each candidate’s stage-wise conversion.
Let us now explore some of the important reasons why you need an ATS.
The Need for an Applicant Tracking System
- To save time and money
- To streamline, customize, and configure your hiring and onboarding
- To increase efficiency and productivity
- To improve the quality of hire
- To improve candidate experience and boost employee retention
- To get valuable insights with actionable analytics
- To improve your company’s image
An ATS allows you to do more work in less time by automating several tasks that previously required manual work, such as inputting data into spreadsheets. For example, when candidates fill in their resumes, the ATS will automatically import all the candidate data into the platform, store the data, create profiles, screen applications, and eliminate unqualified candidates. Your work is made easier as you will now have to choose the best candidate from the list of most qualified candidates filtered by the ATS.
Automating manual tasks using ATS is also highly cost-efficient. For example, an ATS allows you to find and track highly qualified candidates. This reduces the money spent on recruiting strategies, advertisements, and other ineffective channels. With an ATS, you can easily build and maintain talent pools and reach out to candidates in the pool as and when a job opening arises.
When you implement an ATS, you will not need to rely on multiple tools such as emails, excel spreadsheets, calendars, social media, your company’s website, mobile phones, candidate interviewing tools, and candidate assessment tools. An ATS simplifies, streamlines, and unifies your whole recruiting process in one single platform, removing the need to switch between different systems and tools. It also makes team collaboration easy.
Each type of business has its own unique hiring needs and requirements. The hiring and onboarding process of a retail store is very different from that of a manufacturing company. With an ATS, you can customize and configure your preferences and processes in innumerable ways. What’s more? You can also opt for add-on features and plug-ins, such as video interviews, pre-hire assessments, and remote proctoring.
An ATS increases speed and efficiency by allowing your team to access and review the database at the click of a button. For example, an ATS enables you to accurately search your talent pool for candidates based on specific categories, such as location, education, skills, and work experience. It also supports the standardization of candidate data as well as the entire recruitment process, thereby allowing you to optimize the recruitment cycle to find the best candidates and make the right hiring decisions every single time.
An ATS is armed with many advanced features and functionalities that improve your productivity. For example, it allows the automation and streamlining of repetitive tasks such as posting jobs on multiple job boards and sending integrated template-based emails for communication with candidates. Further, an ATS also promotes collaborative hiring. It allows your team to comment, share features, and give feedback about candidates. This positively impacts individual and team productivity and improves the decision-making process.
A mobile-friendly ATS increases your pool of applicants and reduces the time taken by an applicant to fill in a job application. This helps decrease their drop-off rate. ATSs enable you to screen and qualify candidates in a smarter and better way. Thinning out the candidate pool with preset minimum requirements, such as years of experience and assessments based on personality and relevant skills, helps vastly improve the quality of hire.
An intelligent AI-powered ATS offers several advantages. It accurately and objectively analyzes resumes, removing human bias in the selection of candidates. It automatically ranks candidates based on your criteria and transparently presents candidate data for fast and straightforward comparisons. The custom analytics and data-backed reports generated by an AI-driven ATS help you easily and seamlessly manage and monitor the whole recruitment process. Using the data on job posting click-through rates, engagements, demographics of applicants, and more, you can further optimize the steps and procedures of your hiring process.
Most often, candidates attribute poor candidate experience to not having received regular status updates and continuous communication from employers. An ATS can significantly improve the overall candidate experience by enabling you to automatically schedule interviews and communication and launch personalized email campaigns without losing the human touch. For example, ATSs have built-in recruiting email templates that can be automated and sent in bulk.
Making a candidate feel welcome and valued right from the application stage to the onboarding stage and beyond boosts the employee retention rate and prevents drop-outs. An ATS enhances employee retention by making applicants feel like they are a part of the company from the get-go. An ATS allows you to maintain a well-designed, mobile-friendly, and SEO-optimized career site which candidates find easy to use. It also provides customization and branding options that help candidates establish an emotional connection with your company.
An ATS with robust built-in analytics enables you to automatically track and measure every step of your recruitment process as well as every single one of your candidates. The ATS can gather and compute this enormous amount of data based on specific recruitment metrics. It creates well-designed, visually appealing, and easily comprehensible reports to provide you with insightful data.
Actionable analytics and reports provided by an ATS help you make better decisions. ATS reports can reveal which job posting stood out the most, which channels attract the best candidates, or what is your time to hire or cost per hire, and more. An ATS could help identify bottlenecks and problems in the hiring process based on which adjustments and improvements can be made. This helps you make course corrections by taking the necessary steps and optimizing your hiring process.
Every company considers and evaluates several factors like cost, learning curve, and desired automation level before implementing an ATS. An ATS system offers far-reaching and long-term benefits that make it a must-have tool for companies to boost their image in a rapidly evolving human resource landscape and a highly competitive market. It also adds to the company’s employer branding efforts.
The job market today is highly candidate-centric. With companies vying for top talent, candidates have developed specific preferences on what kind of companies they are inclined to work for. Candidates prefer to work for companies that use the current technology to their advantage. Delivering a modern, organized, and engaging candidate hiring process not only adds value to your candidates but also enhances your company’s brand image.
Initially, ATSs were developed to manage job applications. The Recruiting Software Impact Report by Capterra states that today, more than 75% of modern recruiters and talent managers use ATSs. From large corporations to medium and small-sized enterprises, ATSs are gaining popularity across the board. Modern ATSs allow hiring teams to not only store information but also attract, engage, and nurture candidates. By easing recruiters’ administrative and manual workload, an ATS helps them perform better in the candidate selection process and deliver overall improved hiring results.
HirePro’s Campus ATS and Lateral ATS is a best-in-class AI-powered platform that automates and manages your talent pipeline by driving the entire hiring lifecycle. An ISO 27001-certified and GDPR-compliant ATS, HirePro’s ATS is 100% configurable, does not require custom coding, and gets smarter with the evolving needs of your organization.