In today’s new world of work, digitization is a core imperative to make organisations navigate an uncertain future. New-age technologies and tools are fast becoming central to business operations and people processes. When it comes to people processes, recruitment technology is one of the basic needs to streamline the talent acquisition efforts. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a must-have tool to enable the recruiter to perform well and add value to business.
The ATS evolution
The applicant tracking system tool is software used to manage end to end recruitment activities from sourcing to screening to scheduling to candidate management to offer roll-out and onboarding. ATS as a concept is not new, however, in recent times it has transformed from a mere CV-access tool to a smarter and more intuitive application. Features such as automated responses, advanced UI, analytical reporting and advanced search capabilities are transforming work for all stakeholders. It is also boosting candidate experience. Organizations are looking at ATS to make the talent acquisition function more strategic to the organization’s needs.
Easing the recruitment process
People are the key driving force of an organization and in today’s times, the war for talent has changed – with increased unemployment, companies have to be able to attract as well as identify the right candidate. Finding the right person for the right job requires significant effort from various organizational stakeholders i.e. the recruiter / talent acquisition, HRBPs, hiring managers, leadership, recruiting vendors and talent itself. As a result, recruitment has become a highly collaborative process. An ATS tool can help streamline and enable proactive participation of all recruiting partners, and thereby help identify and hire the right fit. On the other hand, candidates also expect a great experience while going through the hiring process, and an ATS is the best way to enable this
Here is why organizations must think of investing in ATS technology to realize gains in the long-term:
- Improve efficiency: Recruiters may often get thousands of applications for a role, and sifting through them becomes impossible. ATS has features that allow recruiters to intelligently search for the right talent, using intuitive fields and keywords. Parsing through realms of data now comes at the click of a few buttons. Integration with external platforms such as job sites and organizational career site helps candidate data to flow automatically to the system, from where the right profiles can be chosen. Right from CV screening to candidate management, ATS reduces the need to conduct recruiting activities manually.
- Improve quality of hire: Modern-day technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have made ATS systems highly intelligent and enabled recruiters to automatically screen out unqualified applicants. By customizing the right tech-filters, recruiters can filter out undesired profiles and build on criteria that shortlist the right candidates who can be shared with the business, thereby accelerating efforts.
- Offer a compelling candidate experience: ATS has capabilities to automate communication with candidates by enabling certain trigger-messages. For example, an auto-email going out to the candidate when a hiring manager rejects the candidate at his or her end will keep the candidate updated and aware. Moreover, a well-designed ATS allows the candidate to easily carry out activities such as updating his or her profile, asking for feedback, etc. ATS adds an open and transparent communication channel with the candidate, thereby enhancing the candidate experience.
- Access to hiring & reporting data: Today’s ATS systems come with advanced reporting capabilities, from understanding why certain candidate profiles have been rejected to tracking candidate movement through the recruitment pipeline and other such recruitment metrics. Many of the reports can be customized to provide business stakeholders the exact data-view that they want to act upon hiring decisions. Data-driven hiring definitely helps build better credibility with the business.
- Analytics-driven objective hiring decisions: It is ideal to move away from intuition and judgement while making hiring decisions. KPI tracking tools and analytics tools in ATS can help minimize human biases and human errors, and make the hiring decision more objective.
- Cost savings: By streamlining and simplifying the recruitment process flow, recruiters spend less time, effort and resources on transactional recruitment activities such as skimming resumes and manually scheduling interviews. This can translate to significant cost savings.
- Attract passive talent: ATS can be integrated with a host of job forums not limited to just job sites, and can help reach out and engage with a wider talent pool. For example, social recruiting can be boosted thanks to integration capabilities with social media platforms, and can help reach and assess a more digital-savvy millennial population. Certain inbuilt personality and cognitive assessment tests can help parse the social media profiles and look for passive talent.
- Boost the employer brand: ATS enhances the overall experience for all stakeholders. For organisations, confidence in recruitment as a strategic value-adding function can increase. For the candidate, the employer image can be enhanced. Today’s candidates are looking for a digital-first seamless experience even when they apply for jobs, and a well-designed ATS enables just that.
- Engage the recruiter better: Because automation optimizes the recruitment processes and frees up recruiter’s time, they are now able to move away from transactional work and focus more on value-adding activities. With an ATS in place, recruiters are in a better position to influence hiring decisions at a more tactical and strategic level. This is a job enhancement for the recruiter because he/she can now see the bigger picture and may feel more engaged.
Embarking upon recruitment digitalization is a change management process and does not happen overnight. While HR and Talent Acquisition specialists may make decisions related to what ATS to implement, a key success factor is the “how” element. The decision to go the ATS-way demands leadership buy-in and participation, and must be married with a deep understanding of the business. There is a need for an intense change management exercise, taking all recruitment stakeholders along the change journey. From designing the best tool-experience to educating the partners in the transition, the ATS journey comprises many small steps towards achieving the larger objective of hiring right, hiring effectively, hiring efficiently.