It makes more sense than ever to pay as much attention to the way you treat candidates as you do your customers. After all, the pandemic and the resulting Great Resignation arrived at about the same time as the long-expected skills gap and talent shortage. When it comes to netting top talent, hiring managers in 2022 are caught in the perfect storm.
That perfect storm is why businesses are paying close attention to concepts like candidate experience and their employer brand. But now that we’re finally thinking about the humanity behind our human capital, where does that leave our use of applicant tracking systems? Isn’t there something antithetical about reducing applicants to a data set while working to create a hiring process that makes them feel valued?
True enough, early applicant tracking systems were built to improve the recruiter’s experience. I think we can all agree that writing Excel macros should never be part of a hiring manager’s job description. ATS freed us from Excel and from a leaning tower of paper resumes and applications.
But the best applicant tracking systems in 2022 can take your candidate’s experience to the next level, too. In fact, the right ATS can boost your employer brand and make your company a place top talent wants to work. Read on for 4 reasons an ATS can really help you find your next candidate.
An ATS Can Make Your Branded Careers Site Do More
Your next new hire can find your job opening in a number of ways. Whether they start their application process at one of the top job sites, a niche job board, or from your social media page, an ATS will take them to the same place: your branded careers site.
Why is a branded careers page important?
To start, job seekers can read about your company’s mission and values. They can see photos of smiling employees and an enjoyable workplace. You can even include a virtual tour of the office. Your branded careers site is where you set the stage for a welcoming place to work.
But when it comes to applying, simplicity is key. A single webpage–or applicant portal– linked from your careers page (and integrated with your ATS) puts the focus on your job opportunities and encourages job seekers to do one thing: Apply!
Applicants should be able to browse all of your job openings. They may find a position for which they are better suited than the one that initially caught their interest. And you should make it easy for them to apply for more than one job without re-entering the same information multiple times.
Applicant Tracking System Makes Applying to Your Job Opening Easier
Online applications are great for recruiters because the information candidates enter goes directly into the ATS. But if your applicant tracking system is outdated and old school, you may be giving your candidates a headache. Manually entering information like work history and education only to also upload a resume will drag down your candidate’s experience.
The best applicant tracking systems will allow for custom job applications that provide applicants the the option to upload a resume or provide just the basic information needed to start the application process. Now you can save your candidate time and also include some screening questions that can’t be answered from the resume. You’ll have fewer abandoned applications and a greater wealth of data from which to screen applicants.
Many candidates prefer to fill out applications on their smartphones for a variety of reasons. Younger candidates tend to prefer smartphones over laptops for just about everything. And many applicants for hourly positions may only have access to a smartphone. That’s why an applicant tracking system that includes a mobile-friendly careers site and application is so important to improving your candidate experience.
ATS Lets Your Candidate Decide the Best Way to Keep in Touch
Text message? Phone call? Email?
Letting your candidate decide the best method to communicate isn’t just about prioritizing their preferences. If your candidate already has a job, a phone call during business hours may not be possible. Or if an hourly worker has multiple jobs or commitments, getting that first screening out of the way by texting can make background noise less of an issue.
Using an ATS lets you ask applicants up front which mode of communication works best. And it also protects your company. When managers reach out with a text message, they’re doing so from within the ATS rather than their personal phone. And all messages, including email, are stored with the candidate’s information regardless of who was sending the message.
Use an ATS to Craft an Organized, Seamless Candidate Experience
Part of creating a positive candidate experience is reassuring the applicant that your company is run well. A well-planned hiring process that is free of drama is a great place to start. An applicant tracking system will allow you to create a hiring process complete with tasks assigned to different stakeholders.
You’ll always know which step of the hiring process is next, and you can clearly communicate a timeline to the candidate. With all of the candidate communications in one place, you can avoid calling twice to schedule an interview or phoning an applicant at their place of work when they clearly prefer a text message. You can also create email templates for each point of communication. Your emails will always hit the right tone without typos no matter how hectic your day is.
All of these features found in the best applicant tracking systems certainly make your job easier. But they also create a smooth, orderly experience for the candidate. After all, the hiring process goes both ways. And when you make that offer to a stellar candidate, you want to make sure you’ve put your best foot forward each step of the way.
Keep the Positive Candidate Experience Going by Building a Talent Pool
By the time you get to your final round questions, you’ve got two or three high quality candidates. But you can only choose one–for now. You know you can count on another position opening up. And when it does, you’d love to call those great candidates back.
You can easily call up past candidates’ information when you use an applicant tracking system. But if you’ve also used your ATS to improve the candidate experience, you’ll increase the odds those top applicants are still interested. And if they’re not, they’re likely to refer a friend if you’ve used your ATS to treat your candidates as great as you do your customers.
Find Your Next New Hire When You Use an ATS to Improve Candidate Experience
If you’re using an old school ATS from the early 2000’s or still writing macros in Excel, you’re probably spending a lot of time reading through resumes or scrolling to find that one highly qualified applicant that piqued your interest–if only you could remember her details. And if the hiring process is a headache for you, chances are it’s miserable for your prospective applicants.
You’ll win the talent war when you treat your candidates (and employees) as great as you do your customers. And that’s where the real power of the best applicant tracking systems shines.
An applicant tracking system can improve your candidates’ experience at every step. Your branded careers site can put your employer brand on display, while also providing a simple, clean interface to apply for multiple open positions. Mobile-friendly, custom online applications make the application process shorter and friendlier. You can put the candidate first starting with the initial contact. Your entire hiring process will sell your company as a great place to work. And if that candidate isn’t the one, they’re more likely to point their friend in your direction.
Ready to modernize your hiring process with a top-rated ATS? Give ExactHire a call today.