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Your Applicant Tracking System FAQs
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) manages candidate applicant information and the application process.
In simple terms, this means that an ATS manages and streamlines all steps of the recruitment and hiring process, from when a candidate applies for one of your jobs to when they’re placed in the role.
This includes the entire interview process, all communications and any further steps required like compliance checks, reference checking or background screening.
With an ATS organising your applicant data in one central place, you can streamline the entire application and interview workflow, helping you stay on top of all tasks and information.
Basically, it improves the quality and speed of your recruitment process at scale.
JobAdder’s ATS streamlines the recruitment process from sourcing candidates to making that all-important placement record. JobAdder gives you a complete view of your candidate pipeline and customised workflow, which means you can recruit more efficiently and reduce time to place. Simple UI helps minimises clicks and makes it easy to use. And with the JobAdder app, applicant tracking isn’t limited to the desktop.
JobAdder is made for recruitment agencies, staffing firms and talent acquisition teams who want everything in one place without the complexity typical of legacy systems. Use it as a standalone platform or plug and play with 10+ add-ons, 100+ partners and 200+ job boards to create a custom recruitment management solution.
Buckle up, this is a long one! There are a wide range of benefits when using an ATS, including:
Massive time-saving efficiencies
It goes without saying that a move from using Excel or Google spreadsheets and email as your primary source of recruiting to using an ATS would result in immediate time-saving benefits.
Transitioning from one software system to another is a little harder to measure unless you’ve been keeping track of key metrics such as time to hire/fill, applicants per hire or cost per hire from one platform to the next.
Nevertheless, you should expect to see improvements in efficiencies simply from the reduced number of steps you need to take across your hiring process. For example, if you’ve been having to manually upload the same job ad to multiple job boards individually, a system that allows you to post to all your selected job boards at the same time would clearly be a time-saver.
Not convinced? JobAdder’s ATS also has one main dashboard with a drag-and-drop workflow, custom workflows to suit any pipeline and slideout task windows, which means you can work faster with fewer clicks.
Scans job applications and resumes so you don’t have to
One big benefit of an ATS is that it can scan resumes and job applications, easily matching a candidate’s experience with the job posting.
An ATS uses algorithms to scan a candidate’s skills, education, work history and other qualifications. Recruiters can assess and action applications for open jobs seamlessly and efficiently, which means you’re more likely to find the best possible fit for your business when using an ATS.
By using an ATS, you can improve the quality of your hires and quickly identify the most qualified candidates. This streamlined process can also help expedite the decision-making process, empowering you to choose who to hire sooner.
Recruiting on the go
Your ATS should have a mobile app that works across Android and iOS and provides you with the ability to recruit on the go.
This could include messaging and responding to your team members within the app, evaluating candidates, reviewing job descriptions and job ads, reviewing team notes, scheduling interviews and more, all in real-time.
The JobAdder mobile app offers all of the above (sorry for the shameless plug) and it also provides voice-to-text functionality so you can add notes easily and avoid manual data entry. This means that your team’s notes can be organised in one place and be kept up-to-date in real-time, so nothing gets lost.
Easy interview scheduling
With an ATS like JobAdder’s, you can sync your Gmail or Outlook email to your JobAdder account. This means you can view all email communications centrally, with any email activity syncing directly back to JobAdder for a consolidated view.
You can also sync your existing calendar to JobAdder, so all your interviews, tasks, meetings and associated notes feed automatically into your JobAdder account.
With these seamless connections, you can quickly schedule interviews in JobAdder, update your calendar, respond to candidates and send follow-up reminders (even via SMS) all within our platform.
Review and approve applicants seamlessly
The recruitment process can mean endless back-and-forth communications as recruiters, candidates, hiring managers and other stakeholders all play a part in the complex hiring process.
Cut to the chase and remove this back and forth with seamless communications, skills matching and testing, background screening, general assessments and reference checks all connected within your ATS.
It’s crucial that your ATS has an open API that allows easy connections with other tools in your recruitment system. For instance, JobAdder has a partner marketplace of more than 150 partners, ensuring quick integrations with your back office tools.
This way, you can assess and check applicants all within JobAdder, removing frequent delays for background or reference checks and boosting your hiring efficiency.
Compliant and efficient onboarding
Onboarding new employees can be complex with a bunch of procedures and processes that need to be followed.
An ATS can automate how you collect employee information, how you track the training progress and how you manage the checking and storing of personal documents.It can also ensure compliance by offering configurable mandatory compliance rules for every job, plus global compliance settings, which means you can place candidates with confidence and get them set up for success quickly.
A Recruitment CRM (which stands for Candidate Relationship Management) or talent management system is all about centralising and collating your talent pool in one place. This means all info on job seekers and potential candidates for future positions in your company is housed in your recruitment CRM. This way you can easily source, store and track candidates, helping you boost your proactive recruitment.
An ATS and CRM can be used at different stages of your recruitment process, but ideally you’d want a tool that can do both (like JobAdder).
Your recruitment CRM provides you with a handy place to store all your jobseeker and candidate info and also acts as a recruitment tool for marketing purposes, empowering you to engage and nurture future applicants.
An ATS handles everything after the candidate moves into the applicant process, organising information and streamlining tasks and communications. Shameless plug incoming… JobAdder offers a full-stack recruitment and talent acquisition software solution, incorporating both a Recruitment CRM and an ATS, seamlessly moving from the talent pool to the application process.
Some Recruitment CRM providers don’t integrate with an ATS or they use a clunky middleman in between. To ensure you’re using the best recruitment software possible, explore how your potential provider’s ATS and CRM work together.
Whether you’re a burgeoning or established recruitment agency or an in-house talent team in desperate need of automation and tech tools, an Applicant Tracking System can transform how you recruit.
Any company with an in-house HR team and talent acquisition function can see big benefits from using an ATS.
An ATS can significantly improve the candidate experience, ensuring candidates and placements view your company in a positive light, thereby improving your retention rate.
With an ATS, you can quickly message candidates, either one-on-one or in bulk. You can communicate with candidates about their application and how it’s progressing or ask them for more info.
You could also send job openings and company updates to candidates that have expressed an interest in your company in the past. This ensures your candidates feel much more involved in the hiring process. Don’t underestimate the importance of consistent communication!
Your candidates will appreciate it, your employer or recruiter brand will get a boost in their eyes and even if they’re not successful they’ll associate your company with a pleasant experience.
Choosing a new Applicant Tracking System, or finally making the move from Excel to an ATS, is a big decision and a big investment for your business, your recruiters and your candidates.
Questions to ask
There are a bunch of questions you should ask when you start comparing ATS providers and choosing an ATS for your business, including:
Why are you changing (from spreadsheets or another ATS) in the first place?
What existing features can you not do without and what is your utopian idea for a super-efficient and profitable recruitment process?
How do you rank each in terms of importance?
Is it essential or nice to have?
Conduct a SWOT analysis
Strengths could include:
The supplier brand and reputation
Patents and intellectual property held by the supplier
Sales and Support location
Key employees and experience
Advanced technology or leading-edge processes, and QA
Weaknesses could include:
A lack of expertise, skills or funding for the software
Aging infrastructure and technology, no innovation or progression in functionality
An inflexible workforce or delivery/support infrastructure
Communication restrictions (email only for support etc)
Opportunities could include:
New markets the software supplier approaches
New technology and innovation
Changes in customer support and success
Events, webinars and conferences for education
Evolving knowledge base through client contribution to evolve the product and service
Threats might include:
New regulations at the state or federal level restricting functionality or data
New competitors emerging
Operating system and hardware changes
The state of the economy in particular market sectors
Go beyond feature comparisons
Comparing features is an inevitable part of your decision-making process. This is crucial when considering features and processes that form the baseline of what you need to even consider a product in the first place.
When it comes to your shortlist of providers, most people take into consideration time-saving and money-making features that exist in front-office automation or back-office efficiencies.
But what about your long-term growth plans? It’s equally important to consider the product roadmap and whether this aligns with the rate of growth your company is aiming towards.
Though due diligence should be done to ensure that features actually work for you and function properly, it’s also important to consider the ability your considered product has to support and accelerate the long-term goals of your business.
It can be costly and disruptive to switch systems, making it a decision that should be made with future-proofing in mind.
How to get the most out of a demo request
Start with a list of requirements that you need. Rank the features or items that you want with different rankings of importance, research the providers’ websites and check out their reviews on G2 and Capterra.
Don’t get caught up in the detail during early demos. You don’t want to demo every system for five hours or you’ll lose focus and interest.
Conduct a high-level evaluation and then drill down on further calls, removing suppliers at each round until you have three or four options. It’s then time for due diligence, details, deep dives and a little bit of a gut feeling.
Budgeting and shortlisting
Try not to start with a budget and instead align it to value. Ideally, the evaluation process should start without a strict budget in mind.
You can purchase solutions for $25 a user a month or build technology stacks that cost $400 per user a month, but if you can hire 50% fewer people and make 100% more money with the latter it’s much, much more profitable and budget, in a simplistic form, goes out of the window.
When it comes to shortlisting your top options, while there are a number of providers out there, generally once you get through your must-haves and key nice-to-haves and understand why you’re leaving your current provider, it’s pretty easy to narrow the field down to three or four candidates.
Kickstart a successful implementation
This is an integral part of the valuation process as you need to ensure your data is moved across and tested at multiple stages, the system is configured to your liking and your users have regular access to training.
Many providers overpromise and underdeliver here and some providers use third-party implementation to accommodate this.
You need to ensure your chosen provider has the right processes in place, a dedicated team, your goals are clearly aligned, and there is honesty, accountability, and clarity at each stage of the process.