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5 Qualities of a Great Applicant Tracking System

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As a small business owner, you don’t always have the luxury of affording the software that your competitors may use to improve their processes. You learn pretty quickly that you have to do more with less in order to stay ahead of the competition. Because of this, you have to pick and choose what expenses you’re going to invest in since every dime counts. By definition, you have a smaller budget than larger corporations and are forced to operate on a much more frugal structure. This often means that small business owners sacrifice seemingly pricey software options and opt for more manual processes because they appear to be cheaper on paper. This is particularly true when it comes to the hiring process.

Organizations have been using paper processes for their hiring purposes for decades, which is why this is typically the last area business owners are looking at to make more efficient by implementing an online solution. However, it’s more important than ever to streamline your hiring processes to ensure there is constant communication between candidates and employers. A quality applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you keep track of all your applications, offer efficient correspondence to candidates, keep all your records in the cloud, and still not break the bank. Let’s look at five qualities of a great applicant tracking system.

1. Improve Your Candidate Pipeline

Without a quality applicant tracking system, it’s hard to keep a nurtured candidate pipeline. When it comes time for you to hire a new employee, it’s in your company’s best interest to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. The cost of turnover is extremely high, sometimes costing employers the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement, according to Huffington Post. This number can be asinine when you get to higher-level employees, which is why it’s vital to have an applicant tracking system that has a full, well-polished pipeline to nurture candidates into new hires.

At Dominion, we continuously monitor our talent pipeline. The moment someone submits an application, we review it and decide whether or not to move them from ‘applicant’ to ‘candidate’ in our system. This is useful because we have a selection of candidates to choose from the moment a position becomes available. This allows us to be proactive in our hiring process and has saved our company a lot of money in avoiding excessive turnover costs.

2. Streamline Hiring Workflows

If you’ve undergone the process of hiring new employees, you know how complex the process can be. Every application is reviewed and considered, regardless of whether or not that applicant gets brought on as a new employee. Within our marketing department here at Dominion, each candidate for a position must undergo the following steps:

  • 30-minute phone interview

  • One hour in-person interview

  • A separate interview with our CEO and the Marketing Manager

  • A critical thinking test

Our hiring process takes around a month since we typically start with a candidate pool of about 40 to 50 candidates for a preliminary phone interview. The person conducting the initial interview will vary depending on availability, so it’s important to have a hiring workflow that makes it easy to manage this process without any issues.

There is nothing more frustrating to applicants than applying for jobs that they never hear back from. Such a lack of correspondence is unprofessional and leaves a bad impression, so it’s important to make sure you’re keeping open communication with all your applicants. If you choose to reject a candidate, your applicant tracking system can automatically send them an email. This automation will ensure that there are no loose ends and you can fully respect your candidates and their time.

3. Integrated With Job Boards

Dominion’s Applicant Tracking System is integrated with Indeed. When a job is created on ATS, it will be sent directly to Indeed where it can be discovered by countless job seekers. Dominion’s integration with Indeed streamlines recruiting by delivering jobs created in ATS directly to Indeed, making it possible to advertise on Indeed from our ATS dashboard. Together, these benefits help you reach more of the right talent faster and create a positive impact on your bottom line. In fact, employers using an ATS that integrates with Indeed typically report a decrease in cost per qualified applicant from Indeed. 

4. Accurately Track Turnover Rates

The average total turnover rate in the United States is 19.3% percent, according to a 2018 study by Salary. But employee retention rates vary by industry. For example, the restaurant, hospitality, and retail industries experience lower rates of retention due to abnormal hours and high levels of stress, while utility companies and insurance agencies experience a much lower percentage of attrition.

Averages and percentages are well and good, but how can you tell if your company has a solid retention rate? In order to gauge your retention rate, you’ll first have to calculate the turnover rate for your company. To do so, determine these two numbers:

  • The number of people you employed at the start of the period (A)

  • The number of terminations you had during that period (B)

Use these numbers with the following formula: B / A x 100 = Turnover Rate.

Using an ATS will automatically track this information for you, so you can get important analytics at a glance.

5. Record Rejection Reasons

Another great applicant tracking practice is monitoring reasons for rejecting candidates. Without the right software, it can be difficult to record and track rejection reasons, but the data is useful when logged. Create a selection of categories to filter your rejected applicants into, such as under-qualified or insufficient experience. Once you have a fair amount of data compiled, you can look for trends in this data in order to help maximize the efficiency of your job descriptions. Once you clarify what the requirements are for each position, you limit the number of unqualified applications to sift through. 

Ultimately, the most effective reason for applicant tracking is doing simply that: tracking your applications and job postings. Using an applicant tracking software can help you keep your records organized and easy to navigate, ensuring a smoother hiring process.

Check out Dominion’s Applicant Tracking System to learn about how our software does everything listed above and more!


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