Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Important?
It’s no easy feat being a hiring manager in the digital age.
A dozen online job boards means a dozen passwords and methods for posting openings. Over 150 million applicants are scouring those job search sites. Every position you post will likely receive hundreds of resumes. You have to sift through them all before you find the four to six candidates with the skills and experience to warrant an interview.
Or maybe you don’t. An applicant tracking system will give you the power to harness the digital age to make the most of your recruiting data.
You can let an applicant tracking system do the grunt work for you. The benefits of using software to track your hiring efforts go beyond saving a few clicks or tossing your password book. The built-in analytics that come with the system will help you hone your most effective hiring and retention practices. Ultimately, better candidates will become more valuable new hires with better retention rates.
Intro to Applicant Tracking Systems
An applicant tracking system will help you manage all your recruiting efforts, from posting the position to sending the offer letter and everything in between.
You’ll finally be able to post your open positions to multiple job boards and social media sites with just one click of your mouse. You’ll also be able to monitor your posting’s response across all those platforms. The data an applicant tracking system provides will help you optimize postings to attract higher quality candidates.
An applicant tracking system will allow you to customize your application for each position and location. You won’t need to depend on an individual job board’s capabilities. You can also use job screening questions to automatically rule out unqualified applicants. With an applicant tracking system, you can test your candidates’ resumes by requiring them to complete assessments.
Now that you have only qualified candidates in your job pool, you can begin sorting and applying status codes to applicants. An applicant tracking system can find resumes using keywords and other search parameters. You can save applicants and import them as potential candidates for future job openings.
An applicant tracking system doesn’t just make finding the perfect new hire easier. It also helps you track data for federal reporting purposes. You can automate the tasks and reports you require to ensure recruiting compliance. An applicant tracking system will even update the latest requirements to help you remain compliant.
Applicant Tracking System Features and Benefits
Applicant tracking software offers benefits and features throughout the hiring process.
Being able to attract more qualified candidates is just one applicant tracking system feature. For example, perhaps you’ve been too swamped to post your positions to more than a couple job boards. If so, you may have been missing out on your ideal applicant. With an applicant tracking system, you can post to multiple job websites with a single process.
Once job seekers find your posting, they can opt to apply for more than one job. The resumes and applications you receive can be saved for future job openings. With an applicant tracking system, you’ll be able to create a pool of applicants who have already expressed interest in working at your company.
You’ll be able to engage applicants on the devices they use the most. Millennials make up the largest demographic in the workforce. Your hiring process must be mobile friendly if you are going to reach the most candidates.
An applicant tracking system will make it easy for job seekers to post their resume and fill out your application from a mobile device. When it comes time to contact desirable candidates, you’ll be able to send text and email messages from within the applicant tracking system.
An applicant tracking system can improve the workflow of your entire hiring process. Everyone on the hiring team can work within the same platform. You can set up multiple users with varying levels of access. You’ll be able to set up interview questions and other documents for each position. You can search, sort and apply a status to applicants so only those who are most qualified are at the top of the pile.
From there, you can easily view all your communications with applicants. You’ll be able to schedule interviews. You can even disqualify candidates for future consideration. You can order background checks and send offer letters from within the program. Once you have your new hire, you can transfer all of her relevant information into employee onboarding software.
Applicant Tracking System Advantages
Companies spend billions each year in their recruiting efforts. Much of this cost comes from the time it takes to find, hire and train new employees. The cost is compounded when new hires leave before their first anniversary and hiring managers must go through the process all over again.
An applicant tracking system can help you reign in those costs. Many companies lack a centralized platform for their recruiting efforts. Job postings, resumes, and candidate communications are scattered in a slipshod collection of spreadsheets and filing cabinets.
An ATS offers features that you just can’t replicate. For example, the system can seamlessly integrate with online job boards. When an applicant tracking system is an Indeed partner, you’ll be able to allow candidates to view and start the application process for your job posting directly from Indeed. An applicant tracking system can upload a resume in PDF format to make it easy for job seekers on-the-go to quickly indicate their interest. Then, you may invite screened candidates to provide more information later in the selection process with a multi-step job application.
Putting your hiring documents and information in one easy-to-use platform will help you avoid wasting your team’s time. A robust platform that integrates with the latest hiring trends is better than learning how to build an ad hoc applicant tracking system with spreadsheets and a paper trail.
An applicant tracking system is better than an Excel template because it’s designed to parse through a large collection of data. Applicants will be loading their information into the system themselves when they apply on an easy-to-use job site featuring your company brand. From there, you’ll be able to search through applicant data without complex formulas. You’ll have simple searches and reports readily available.
With your system and hiring process in the cloud, you won’t need to rely on your company’s slow IT team. Your applicant tracking system also won’t be limited by the functional requirements of your company’s server. The scalability of an applicant tracking system means it can grow with your company.
Applicant Tracking System Disadvantages
Tracking applicants through an ATS doesn’t work for all employers.
It’s nice to have the capacity for data. But you’ll need to invest time for training stakeholders to manage the hiring process within an ATS system. For that reason, even stand-alone applicant tracking software is not for employers who hire rarely. And, an ATS that may be a part of an enterprise HRIS (human resources information system) is generally used by mid-sized organizations and larger businesses.
An applicant tracking system may not be necessary for employers that are not required to file recruiting compliance data. For example, businesses with fewer than 50 employees that also don’t have government contracts may not benefit from the data capabilities of an applicant tracking system. Such companies likely have just one person who manages the bulk of the hiring process using email folders, spreadsheets or a web form on their corporate website.
Characteristics of Top Applicant Tracking Systems
The best applicant tracking systems in 2020 bring candidates and the entire hiring team together. They’re more than a holding place for data. These platforms work harmoniously across users and sync across multiple websites.
Look for a platform that gives appropriate levels of access for all stakeholders. Your team will be able to collaborate from within the program. From the job’s qualifications to the interview questions, you’ll have an organized repository for the position’s important information.
A great hiring experience isn’t just important for your team. It’s essential for the applicants too. Look for a system that offers a customized online application on a jobs site that complements your branding.
The top applicant tracking systems in 2020 work seamlessly with the latest hiring trends to save time and money. But the savings don’t stop with the text recruiting feature. ATS analytic capabilities will help you zero in on the hiring practices that net you the best new hires. Increasing hiring efficiency is how many companies use applicant tracking systems.
Countless valuable features are why 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on applicant tracking systems.
Perspective on the Applicant Tracking System Free Scan
One of the most powerful features of applicant tracking systems is their candidate profile scanning capabilities. You want to make sure the system you choose gets this feature right. Otherwise, the best candidates may float to the bottom of your talent pool if you can’t perform robust search queries.
Tech-savvy applicants will strive for an ATS-friendly resume. They may load their resumes with the keywords they think you’ll search for in your job scan. There are plenty of blog posts about applicant tracking system free scans online that may inform them and impact their perspective.
You don’t want a new hire who can manipulate the system. You want the best qualified candidate for your position.
Some online job boards offer an applicant tracking system free download. But these low-quality platforms don’t offer a robust job scan for candidate profiles. An applicant tracking system that’s free is not necessarily good for qualified job seekers and could sabotage your hiring efforts.
The digital age connects you with more highly qualified candidates than ever before. But if you don’t have a robust applicant tracking system, you’ll be bogged down with too much data and redundant processes. You’ll never know where you consistently find your best hires, and you’ll have trouble knowing how to increase your employee retention rates.
Coordinate more efficiently with your team. Advertise across job boards and social media sites with minimal effort. Find the best resumes without bothering with low-quality job seekers that try to buck the system.
A robust applicant tracking system will help you manage and organize your hiring efforts. Once your open positions are populated with rock stars, you’ll be able to retrace your steps and gain insight that will save time and money in the future.
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Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash