Applicant Tracking Systems -

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In this post we will review Applicant Tracking Systems and the impact an ATS can have on the recruiting process as it pertains to culture from internal and external perspectives.

Recruiting Today

Today, recruiting and hiring takes place in a competitive and ever-changing landscape. The ability to identify qualified talent, to attract that qualified talent to your organization, and in turn hiring those qualified people can be the determining factor on whether your company is successful or not.

There is a common theme amongst many small & medium sized organizations whereby they are unable to find and attract the right talent to their organization. This leads to lengthy delays in the recruitment process and the higher probability of hiring the wrong candidate which results in lost time and resources.

Avoiding Common Mishaps

To avoid these common mishaps, many organizations are turning to an increasingly popular tool known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). There are countless systems in today’s marketplace, all which have their own unique interfaces, processes, and ability for organizations to customize the system to make it their own.

How an ATS Can Help

ATS’s are a great way to reduce hiring costs and to reduce the time allocated to individual recruitment projects. What many recruiters fail to recognize is that using an ATS solely for recruitment purposes is only utilizing half of the system’s capacity for the organizations benefit. One of the most untapped benefits that an organization can gain from using an ATS is defining both internal and external culture.

BambooHRWorkforce NowTaleoJazzHRNjoynfitzii, are all examples of popular systems that are used by many organizations for recruitment purposes in North America. If you are familiar with some of these system’s you may be thinking right now, “Conor, not all of those are ATS’s, but in fact HRIS systems”. True. What many people don’t know is that most Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), are equipped with an embedded ATS for their company to use at no extra cost.

I come from a background of previously using multiple tools to facilitate a recruitment process; using Excel to track applicants, using Dropbox to save candidate resumes/cover letters, using Outlook to communicate with various hiring managers/applicants, and all while having had posted the same job to 3-4 different job sites. The result of this process is more time taken up by administration efforts and less time being spent focusing on the candidate experience and interactions with your organization.

Where Culture Fits

Many business owners will tell you that their organization has the best company culture in the industry. In some cases, that may very well be true, but what people fail to recognize is that your internal culture is only as good as your external culture and the way that people view your business.

The external culture piece starts right from the moment that a candidate lands on your website home page. Is the website sleek? Is it easy to navigate? Will the candidate know what the organization does from the first 10 seconds they are on your site? If yes, then great, you’ve already made it halfway into winning the hearts and minds of your job seekers. The next step is to reel them in with an ATS. Most ATS’s are designed to be integrated with your company website which allow job seekers to easily navigate all of the open positions available within your organization on one webpage.

From there, candidates will submit their application for positions which interest them, or they can be given the opportunity to join your ‘talent community’. Some ATS’ are built in with a pipeline feature which allows candidates to be notified when a new position is posted by your organization. If there isn’t a current opening in your organization for something in their area of expertise, but they are still very much interested in your company, then having a ‘talent community’ at your disposal is a great way to not only reduce hiring costs/time, but to also build an external culture with potential candidates.

Once the time comes where a position becomes available that they are interested in, then you already have a leg up on the competition because you’ve already built a relationship with those pipeline candidates. Often they will also become advocates of your business and encourage people in their network to look at the organization and apply to open positions. It’s a great way for smaller businesses, who don’t have a dedicated marketing resource, to tap into a word-of-mouth marketing channel.

However, it’s not only up to the candidates to determine how the culture of the organization is defined. Much of the onus is put on the recruiter or HR representative who is on the other side of the ATS communicating with these potential candidates. An ATS gives the recruiter the tools to increase response times throughout the hiring process, to have more time for additional engagement with pipeline candidates, and to give candidates a first-class level of service through a professional platform.

ATS Cost

ATS’ pricing can vary depending on which solution your company decides to go with, but I can definitely say from my observations using various ATS’, I’ve seen an increase in qualified candidates, on average, of roughly 10%. This is due to the fact that using an ATS adds more click-through requirements for candidates to apply for jobs, thereby weening out all un-desirable candidates who will mass-apply to jobs on any given job site.

Take Aways

Ultimately, ATS’ present organizations with a win-win solution to their hiring needs. ATS’ can be a key factor in increasing efficiency in the hiring process from an internal perspective while also giving the candidates a unique applicant experience from an external perspective. ATS’ are a great way for smaller businesses to grow and become more dynamic players in their field and rise above their competition.

About the Author

Conor is a Talent Solutions Specialist here at Business Sherpa Group. He works directly with clients to handle all of their recruitment needs. With a background in sales and customer service, he’s created strong, long lasting relationships with his clients. In dealing with employees from all levels of an organization Conor has developed a deep understanding of company requirements and knowledge of the business environment as a whole.