Hiring is a costly affair—it costs about $4,000 to hire an employee on average.
However, if you know your way around streamlining the hiring process and bringing in the right tools at the right time, you can save significantly on the cost. A significant part of that involves tracking candidates in each stage of their recruitment—job posting, screening, interviews, background checks, selection, and onboarding.
This is where an ATS comes into play. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) helps a business address hiring challenges, save time in the process and hire the best candidates.
What is an ATS?
An ATS is a tool used by HR professionals and recruiters for tracking candidates during a hiring process and filtering and managing candidates’ data as per requirement. These tools are usually AI-backed for automating multiple hiring processes in one go, such as scheduling interviews and sending out communication to candidates.
Using an ATS, recruiters can:
- Filter particular parameters and source the right candidate from their database
- Organize candidates’ data systematically in their database
- Track a candidate’s records at every stage of the hiring
- Automate some redundant tasks such as onboarding emails, interview emails, resume formatting, etc
How an ATS can help your business
Here are six ways an ATS can take your business to the next level and streamline your hiring process.
1. You build a talent pool for your organization
Hiring is not only costly but time-consuming too—from sourcing candidates to onboarding the selecting candidates, it can be exhausting for hiring managers to conduct the whole process seamlessly. That’s where an ATS helps you build your own talent pool of candidates, from where you can simply pick candidates based on the required skill set as and when required.
This data comes from your past recruitment drives, which include candidates you didn’t end up hiring (who were a close call) and those who weren’t available to join at that moment. By building the database of eligible candidates, you’re essentially saving yourself the time to source candidates every time a new requirement comes up and saving up on costs.
To build a talent pool for your company, consider multiple touchpoints, including:
- Your previous recruitment drives
- Data from your referral drives
- Your current employees looking for changing departments or a promotion
- Passive candidates who weren’t looking for a job change earlier when you were hiring, but are a great fit
- Candidates you see could be a great fit for your organization
2. An ATS helps you process cover letters seamlessly
Since we’re talking about how an ATS helps you save time, a significant function to mention here would be applicant screening. With an ATS, you can skip the whole process of going through resumes and cover letters one by one and finding the best fit, and automate it all.
You can simply put in your company’s requirements as to what you’re looking for in an ideal cover letter, so you don’t have to spend hours finding suitable candidates for a role.
To save more time and ensure you only get the best candidates applying for the role, you can even put out guidelines and some cover letter examples for job seekers along with the job description. This will help the candidates understand your requirement beforehand and follow guidelines to ensure their cover letter doesn’t get screened out by your ATS.
3. An ATS helps you conduct inclusive hiring
Often, when hiring candidates, hiring managers and recruiters tend to indulge in bias (intentionally and unintentionally). This is not only unfair to the candidates but also against recruitment compliance laws set by many countries and associations (Example: EEOC by the US).
To ensure you’re abiding by the laws and conducting a fair hiring process, you need to consider the following factors:
How you’re screening applications—is it done manually, or are you automating it?
How bias-free your job descriptions are—are you using gender-biased language or mentioning an inappropriate (example: a job post written in a racist voice) requirement?What kind of questions you’re asking in your interviews—are these questions too personal or inappropriate?How your company culture is—is your team trained to be bias-free in the vicinity?
Automating hiring processes using an ATS eliminates the scope of biasing during the process and conducts fair and square recruitment. You can automate processes, including:
- Screening and reformatting of candidates’ resumes
- Sending out communication and updates about the hiring
- Sorting candidates based on their skill set, interest, experience, etc
4. Hiring managers can spend their time on strategizing and other important areas
The average time to hire for hiring the perfect candidates can get as long as 49 days. The lack of an efficient process can further delay the process, depriving hiring managers of participating in other important responsibilities.
ATS will free up their time and speed up the hiring process significantly. This way, hiring managers can devote their time to selecting the best candidate for the role and pivoting their hiring strategy based on the response they get.
They can invest their time in other important areas, including:
- Coming up with a better approach to assess candidates’ skills (example: skill assessment test) to shortlist them in the early hiring stages and know if they’re fit for the role
- Ensuring all your hiring processes are bias-free and fair
- Coming up with smart interview processes to assess your candidates in the best way possible
- Analysing data and reports generated by the ATS to understand what they’re doing right and what needs improvement
- Offering better recruiting and onboarding experience to the candidates to ensure they accept your job offer and stay with you for the long run5.
- ATS allows you to offer better candidate experience
- The way you make your candidates feel during a hiring process stays with them for a very long time and plays an important role in impacting their future decisions. Fast-tracking the hiring process will smoothen each step, making it more convenient for the candidates to undergo each stage.
This involves getting prompt updates within a day or two about an interview they gave or getting informed about each stage or process in advance, leaving no scope for confusion.
Moreover, it makes it easy for the candidates to apply, go through each hiring stage, and make an informed decision about joining the organization.
6. It provides you with a comprehensive analysis of hiring metrics
The best part about using an ATS is it lets you keep track of all the crucial data about hiring and make informed decisions. These are the decisions that can impact your business revenue and success.
Ideally, ATS gives you access to hiring metrics such as:
- Time to hire
- Quality of candidates you hire
- Cost per hire
- Source of hire
- The time it took for a candidate to accept an offer
- Attrition rate
- By measuring these metrics, you can analyse how they compare with previous data and work toward improving them to get better hiring results.
Accelerate your hiring proces with ATS
Hiring the perfect candidates takes a lot of effort on the recruiter’s part.
First, there’s always going to be another company that’s competing with your offer. Second, it all depends on the candidate’s final decision of whether or not they want to join hands with you. It all boils down to having a streamlined recruitment process, and an ATS takes care of everything very efficiently.
Not only do you fast-track the whole process, but you also offer an excellent candidate experience that helps you retain them for the long run.