There has been a lot of movement in the recruitment space in recent years - A lot of emerging startups coming into existence, people switching companies in search of better growth opportunities, plenty of hiring, and new products being introduced in the HR tech space.
The core driver of this ecosystem is the Talent Acquisition team - a team responsible for finding, tracking, interviewing, closing, and nurturing talent. This journey involves a lot of work - sourcing, scheduling, monitoring status, stakeholder management, offer negotiation, and more.
It becomes crucial to enable the Talent Acquisition (TA) team with the right tools to make sure they stay focused on the core aspects of recruitment. Here's where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) comes into the picture. An ATS can make the complete recruitment process much more streamlined by bringing in the right amount of visibility and unlocking more time for the Talent Acquisition team.
Key benefits of an ATS
1. Brings visibility into the process
The right stakeholders are kept in the loop for all the activities happening for a particular candidate application. Any hiring manager should be able to track a particular candidate's status. The right amount of bookkeeping can also help in referring notes at a later stage if a candidate re-applies for a new position. The candidate should be aware of the rounds that are going to happen and basic details like video conferencing link/location, time, what the round is about, etc. Any interviewer should be able to see the upcoming interviews. If the TA handler of a particular candidate is on leave, some other TA should be able to pick up from there instead of making the candidate wait. Recruitment agencies can view the status of the candidates that they have referred.
This entire orchestration can also be guided with the right metrics like - Turn around time, approvals, number of candidates in the funnel, source-wise closing ratio, etc. A lot of these aspects, if tried doing manually with emails and spreadsheets - would occupy most of the time of the Talent Acquisition team.
2. Speeds up the recruitment processWith an ATS, a lot of things are offloaded to it instead of manually doing it.
- Templated emails/offer letters
- State management
- Publishing jobs to job boards
- Bulk upload candidates
- And more…
Needless to say, if you roll out an offer faster - your chances of influencing the candidate to take the offer increase as they might choose to stop interviewing with other companies. Note - offer shopping is anyways going to happen and should be handled with other strategies, regardless you rolling out the offer sooner or later.
3. Improves the experience of everyone involved
Every stakeholder is involved only in the right amount of activities. Usually, organizations who have not introduced the right processes from the beginning, end up hiring more Talent Acquisition folks to keep up with the amount of chaos that comes with more and more candidates - Evaluations shared on Slack, Agencies creating different spreadsheets and sharing over email, receiving applicants on an email need to be transferred to a spreadsheet, reminding panel to submit feedback, etc. This chaos not only leads to reduced efficiency of the Talent Acquisition team but also increases the chances of sloppiness - losing out on responding to all candidates, updating status on different channels, etc.
Coming to the candidate experience - it becomes very important for a company to keep the process quick and smooth. In case there is any sloppiness in interactions with candidates - it can lead to unhappy candidates. According to a study, ~59% of candidates will share a negative experience with their friends or family and ~31% will post about it on social media. This can hurt the employer's brand on a long-term basis and attracting talent in the future would require a lot more effort.
4. Access control
A lot of aspects of recruitment are inherently associated with an access layer. For example -
- An interviewer shouldn't be able to see the CTC details of the candidate.
- An employee who referred a candidate should not be able to see panel feedback submitted.
- A candidate should not be able to see internal comments and panel feedback.
- A recruitment agency should not be able to see internal comments.
- An interviewer should not be able to see the score of previous interviewers (introduces bias in the process)
Bringing in an ATS introduces these standard access control practices by default and makes sure the right stakeholders can view and manage scoped operations of the process.
5. Allows TA team to focus on sourcing and strategizing
If tactical aspects of recruitment are offloaded to an ATS, then they can work on what they are the most skilled at - sourcing and strategizing. Does your TA team organize events that can improve employer branding? Do they measure the conversion rates of various sourcing channels? Do they try various cold reach-out templates and measure the click-through rates? Do they evaluate to find the right communities to post their jobs to?
There are a lot of such strategies that can improve the hiring funnel. The eventual goal is to close requisitions (impact) and not gather 100s of applicants (effort) & hope to close a few.
With the right Applicant Tracking System, an organization can achieve its recruitment goals in a much more effective way. It is the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure they move towards productivity tools that can help the closing of candidates faster - be it the leadership team pushing the TA team or the TA team convincing the leadership for adopting the right tools for recruitment effectiveness.
Happy recruiting! 🎉