Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have become an indispensable part of the hiring landscape. According to a Capterra research, 75 percent of recruiters and talent managers use some form of recruitment or applicant tracking software. Amongst these, an overwhelming majority of 94 percent HR professionals attest to the fact that using an ATS have significantly improved their hiring process.
An applicant tracking system is essentially a software that recruitment managers use to streamline their hiring process and make it more efficient. It creates a centralized repository of candidate data building a robust talent pipeline for your organization.
The algorithms of the ATS software scan and screen the resumes and cover letters ensuring that only the candidates deemed as the best fit for the role you are hiring for, are shortlisted.
Why use an ATS?
Posting of job listings online through job portals, career pages or even social media channels have resulted in a unique challenge for recruiters today. Online listings attract hundreds of applications and not all of them are qualified for the job.
Sorting through thousands of data points in the quest for relevant candidates is a highly resource-intensive task and this is why you need to switch to an applicant tracking system. An ATS thoroughly scans and parses each application for skills and gives you a skill percentage match to support your decision making.
Using an applicant tracking system can help in making your hiring process much more organized and effective while significantly slashing down the time and costs associated with recruitment at the same time. Companies that use an applicant tracking system have reported
- 75% lesser time wasted in hiring process
- 70% faster report creation
- 15% reduction in time to fill
- 10% more placements per month
How does an ATS work?
Everytime an applicant submits the resume it gets uploaded to the ATS database. The storage of data continues even after the position applied for gets filled. This ensures that every job requisition gets matched with candidates with the required skill-set and qualifications.
The applicant tracking systems use varying technologies to sort through the candidate data. It ranges from simple keyword matching to use of artificial intelligence algorithms to delve deep into the candidate data.
ATS creates a centralized data repository which allows the hiring managers to access candidate data and past communication at one location, irrespective of the stage of the hiring process.
How to pick the right ATS for your company?
The ATS market is highly competitive and crowded. The ATS market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 8% and expected to reach $2.34 billion by 2026. There are hundreds of applicant tracking systems available in the market right now and each system offers a different combination and scope of features.
With so many options available at your disposal, choosing the top applicant tracking system for your company requires a significant amount of research and due diligence to be conducted.
A good ATS helps automate multiple aspects of the recruitment process right from posting of jobs, tracking of applicant information, and conduction of interview to offer and onboarding. Here is a list of features you should be looking for when selecting the best applicant tracking system for your organization.
1. Automated job listings
Your ATS should allow you to post job listings at multiple places including your career’s page, job portals and social media to attract a wide range of candidates. The option of updating jobs on the career’s page of your company website is a cherry on top of the cake.
Your ATS should be able to track which listing has been the most successful at connecting with the right candidates so that the data can be utilized when planning the next hiring cycle. This way your hiring managers can focus their recruiting efforts on the areas where the data shows they have the most success while reducing or eliminating efforts in areas that show little results.
2. Integrated candidate database
An applicant tracking system should not only attract the best talent, it should also compel them to complete the application process. A whooping 60% of the candidates fail to complete the application process because they find it too complex or too lengthy.
The ATS you choose should facilitate the application process in the least cumbersome manner possible. Sometimes the candidates might be applying for different positions, being able to bypass the tedious process of retyping their information for every application is a valuable time saver which can boost the completion rates for your hiring process.
3. Skill parser and Screener
The ATS needs to scan each application and individually parse it for the requisite skill set. Applicant tracking systems like MyNextHire give the results in the form of skill percentage match so that your hiring managers can quantify their recruitment decision making and back up their decisions with data.
Your ATS should also make searching for information within the database seamless for your team. A mobile friendly ATS or one that comes with a mobile app adds an element of accessibility to it.
4. Calendar integration for effective scheduling
ATS plays a crucial role in the interview process too. Having integrations with the calendar of your preference ensures that you never lose track of the scheduled interviews. An ATS that allows the recruiters to reschedule and cancel interviews within the system itself saves them from the hassle of juggling between different applications and makes the hiring process much more streamlined.
Some ATS like MyNextHire also give you the option of conducting video interviews and recording them from the application itself making it one stop destination for your entire hiring process.
5. Harness the power of AI
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have found widespread application in the hiring and recruitment landscape. Some applicant tracking systems like MyNextHire, use chatbots to interact with the applicants during the application process and to keep them engaged.
The ATS also offers sentiment analysis of the applicant emails, ensuring that the candidate you hire is a cultural fit within your organization and has the right attitude.
6. Analytics and tracking metrics
The age old advice of management guru Peter Drucker “What gets measured, gets managed”, holds true to this date. Knowing how efficient your hiring process is, knowing its shortcomings and improving upon the same is essential for building a robust recruitment plan.
Your ATS and the analytics it offers to gauge the effectiveness of the entire process is crucial for bringing in process improvements in the future. Dashboards with clear visualization of your progress and regular reporting of the same is something you shouldn’t miss out on when selecting an applicant tracking system.