Buyer's Guide For New Age Applicant Tracking System
Applicant Tracking System was born in 90’s and was originally built to automate candidate applications and for companies to manage those applications. Since then talent acquisition processes have changed. These processes have evolved to new standards. For example, today, we see social media has become one of the critical candidate sourcing channels. The number of recruitment agencies and staffing companies have increased tenfold. With rapid growth in technology in every sector the varieties of jobs available in the market are endless.
Upcoming infrastructure technologies like Clouds have changed the we store, secure and flow our data. Business models like Software As A Service also known as SaaS have changed the way softwares are used.
Also, in this information era, data has gained importance like non other. As they say “data is pure gold“. Today, stories that data reveals are sought and decisions are made based on data.
The question that we may like to ask is that if Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS have evolved to meet the fast changing recruitment and selection processes? Many recruiting softwares have added modules or adjusted existing functionalities to meet the new requirements. But while doing so, have they compromised the simplicity of the tool? Have they compromised the overall ease of use experience for its users?
We have compiled an applicant tracking system guide for buyer that can help in finding answers to most of the questions. This will also help you in deciding the kind of ATS that might suit you over other.
WHY DO YOU NEED AN APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEM ?
That’s the first question everyone might ask, why Applicant Tracking System? Although the generic answer is to automate the recruitment process, you need to look beyond that. The right question could be “why do you need to automate your recruitment process?” OR what are the pain areas in your recruitment process that you need to address?
WHAT ARE THE PAIN AREAS
Identify problems or pain areas in your hiring process. It will help you understand if you need an applicant tracking system to address those problems. As part of applicant tracking system guide, below is a set of certain frequent observations that could help you identify pain areas in your recruitment process.
- You take long time to close positions
- You are not able to source enough quality candidates
- Candidates you reach out to are generally not interested in the job position
- You struggle when you get high volume of resumes
- Most candidates shortlisted by recruiters don’t get shortlisted by hiring mangers
- You are not able to utilize your existing candidate database or recruitment database
- You need to create & post your jobs manually to different platforms like JobBoards, Social Media platforms
- Need to follow up frequently with candidates and hiring managers
- Interview scheduling takes lot of back and forth
- Many times you work on duplicate applications
- You have no idea on why you are successful at times and fail other times in closing job requisition
If your pain areas synonyms with some of above observations then you are in need of recruitment automation. Recruitment software or an applicant tracking system can solve most of above problems.
Benefits of An Applicant Tracking System
Automate & Streamline Recruitment Process
As we know the main purpose of an ATS is to automate hiring process, here are some of the instant benefits of an applicant tracking system.
- Post job ads to multiple job boards and social platforms at a click
- Store resumes in a centralized location
- Avoid duplication of resumes
- Resume parsing helps you save important information about the candidates
- Resume Screening
- Share resumes with hiring managers at a click
- Collaborate among recruiters, hiring managers, and external recruiters seamlessly
- Track candidate progress thought recruitment and selection process
- Maintain history about candidates
- Schedule Interviews effortlessly
- Send job offers to candidates
- Gain insights into your recruitment process using recruitment analytics
Better Candidate Experience
In recent past if the candidate had to apply for a job, he or she would need to fill up the 5 page form disclosing qualification, work experience details apart from his or her resume. It’s a big turn off for any candidate. Similarly, if candidate is not getting enough information about the job or company it leaves a bad impression about the hiring company.
ATS solves such problems and improves candidate experience by simple click to apply interface where candidate just needs to drop the resume and every information is picked up automatically using resume parser.
Similarly, ATS integration with career page makes sure that candidate gets most information about the company, organizational hierarchy and job.
Improves Quality Of Hire
ATS provides filtering and skill matching capabilities that help you screen through resumes quickly to identify most relevant candidates from the lot. Identifying relevant candidates much early in the recruitment cycle will help you engage most suitable candidates right from the beginning without compromising the quality of the hire.
Get Insights Using Recruitment Analytics
Applicant Tracking System captures most data points though the hiring process. Recruitment analytics could unveil important insights like which sourcing channel works best for you; is it job board, social media platform, recruitment agencies, employee referral, etc. Or know which kind of jobs you company is taking longer to fill. Find out cost per hire. Budget your talent acquisition process smartly.
Know where you are loosing grip on recruitment process. Is it your sourcing channel that is not effective or if hiring managers take forever to shortlist candidates.
Identify which element slows you down in the recruitment process. When you have data you can identify the leak in the hiring process and you can fix that rather than being clueless about it.
Be Compliant with Various Laws
Hiring laws varies across the geographies. Also, compliance laws like GDPR are very stringent. If you are using ATS, it helps you to identify compliance related needs and assists you in adhering to it.
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WHICH ATS IS RIGHT FOR YOU ?
As part of applicant tracking system guide we have compiled a list of some important parameters that could help you in deciding the right applicant tracking system, ATS, for you.
What Type Of Company You Are
Are you a staffing or recruitment company or a small-medium business (SMB) or a big enterprise. Because, based on your type, your company size and your presence, your requirements would vary. For example, If you are a recruitment agency you might be catering to various clients from various industries e.g. Blue Vs White collar job industries. You might only be into executive search or high volume hiring, etc. There is no one product that might suit all. For example Bullhorn, iCIMS are type of applicant tracking systems specifically used by large staffing companies.
If you are a big enterprise, you probably have offices in various countries. That means you might also need support for non english languages in strictly non english speaking countries. You would also expect seamless connectivity in your recruitment database across all regions or you even might want the data of each country to be stored in isolation. To name a few, Taleo, Workday are couple applicant tracking systems largely used by big enterprises.
Make sure you figure your exact needs in terms of how you want recruitment workflow to work.
SaaS Vs On-Premise
If you believe in “pay as you go”, SaaS (Software As A Service) model is for you. Most SaaS Models are hosted on secured cloud. This means you can access your work anytime and from anywhere and in the world.
SaaS also has other benefits such as free upgrades, quick performance scalability, easy management of your financial budget.
On the other hand on-premise assures you restricted access. Meaning, your employees or recruiters will have access to data only when they are at work. However, you will be responsible for managing the required IT infrastructure. This is more conservative solution and would cost you much more compared to SaaS or Online Applicant Tracking System.
Costing & Timelines
In general, applicant tracking (ATS) system used by big enterprises are very expensive. There is a minimum commitment required. Also, installations of such ATS would take longer. On the other hand, recruitment software that are preferred by small and medium businesses are affordable and almost ready to use in few hours.
Ease Of Use
Is the ATS you are choosing really easy to use? Can a new user start using it with minimal training? Because there is no point in buying a recruiting software that may have tons of features but is difficult to use. And then nobody uses it. Look at the design of the software. Find if it aligns to your recruitment workflow.
Also, find out how long does it take the installation or subscription to get active. Find how will they train your recruiters, etc.
Database Search Capabilities
Although database search mere sound like another feature offered, it is probably one of the most demanded and most used features in any ATS. Recruiters like to search their database to find out right candidates. It’s one of the channels they also use to reach out to passive candidates.
Find out how accurate, deep, intuitive, quick and simple the search capabilities are. Can you search anything and everything that might exist on a resume? can you perform boolean search operation? how long does it take to get results back? can you filter on results, etc.
Check what kind of customer support ATS offers. Is it paid or free. Is it email only, or also includes on call support? Does it support your time zone?
A good ATS always supports various integrations. Generally, integrations are needed with job boards, assessment platforms for both technical and psychometric assessments, background checks, etc.
Data security is a must. Check if applicant tracking system provides data security for data in transit and data at rest. Also, find out if data is backed up regularly.
New Age Vs Traditional Applicant Tracking System
Technological innovation like AI in recruitment, new frameworks like material design that are built for UI and UX design and development have changed the way ATS automates the hiring process. New age or modern recruiting softwares is more advanced, intuitive, and much simpler to use compared to traditional applicant tracking systems. Traditional ATS are also bringing in changes to their products to stay relevant with recent changes.
Let’s look at what new age ATS brings to the table.
AI In Recruitment
AI helps in various ways in the talent acquisition process. AI for resume screening can screen resumes based on your job descriptions, your company’s hiring standards, etc. This helps companies mine their existing recruitment database as well.
AI chatbots can strike a conversation with potential candidates and can also help with initial screening of candidates.
Modern ATS comes with such AI powered capabilities. However, traditional ATS also partners with such AI service providers and achieve similar capabilities using API integrations.
New age ATS help you improve your social reach. It help’s you spread the word to attract active and passive candidates by means of posting jobs to various social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. Career page integration helps you to improve candidate experience. Social hire capabilities helps you identify and hire candidates from specialized platforms like GitHub, StackOverflow, etc.
Recruitment marketing automation is largely seen as part of CRM activity. Earlier only recruitment CRM products used to have such capabilities where you could track your candidates and every single communication with them. Now, new applicant tracking system are coming up with such features. We believe, gap between recruitment software and recruitment CRM diminishing quickly.
Google For Jobs
Recently Google has decided to get into the recruitment industry and they launched Google For Jobs. Basically, you can post your jobs on the google search engine. It means candidates can now simply google search for their next opportunity. This makes it very important for companies to make sure that their jobs appear on google searches. Unfortunately, you cannot simply post your jobs on some google page. It needs to be achieved via integrations. Again, new age ATS has already built such capabilities. It’s not a difficult task to achieve for ATS and traditional ATS have already started making relevant changes to adapt to this new platform.
Almost all new age ATS are on hosted on cloud. This means they are easily scalable, provides better performance, handles any performance related issues quickly, are accessible 24 x 7. Traditional ATS have started slowing moving to clouds as that’s the newer and better way to go.
Ease Of Use
New age applicant tracking system follows the more advanced design principles that makes these softwares very intuitive and very simple to use. Simple example could be; same application that you access on the web is easily accessible and usable on mobile phones and tablets. You may not find such ease of use and adaptability with traditional ATS.
Applicant Tracking System Guide Summary
In this Applicant Tracking System Guide we have touched upon various aspects such as how recruitment processes have changed, how technological innovations such as AI in recruitment changing the way recruitment is done, various factors that could affect buyer’s decision, etc. Below is a quick summary of the ATS buyer’s guide.
What Are Pain Areas In The recruitment Process – Once you identify problem areas such as delay in closing positions, not able to find right candidates, not able to source enough quality candidates, etc. you would understand what is making your recruitment process inefficient. If such pain areas exists then it confirms the need of an applicant tracking system.
Benefits Of An Applicant Tracking System – Beside the main advantage that ATS automates and streamlines your recruitment and selection process that are many other important benefits such as insight into recruitment process, better financial planning, reduction in the cost per hire, recruitment marketing, etc.
Which ATS Is Best For You – Factors such as the type of company you are, your recruitment size and needs, on premise vs over cloud solutions, annual contracts vs monthly subscriptions will help you decide the best ATS for your company
New Age Applicant Tracking System – ATS have evolved since 90’s. Recent advancements such as in AI for recruitment, AI chatbots, advancements in the UI and UX design frameworks, etc have changed the level of recruitment automation you can achieve. Where traditional ATS brings the trust with their established brands on the other hand new age ATS brings in innovative ways to automate the recruitment process.
Learn More About New Age Applicant Tracking Systems
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Learn more about advantages of using a cloud based applicant tracking system over on premise recruitment software solution.
If there are many recruiting softwares to choose from then use these 3 key things to narrow down your choices quickly.