Using an Applicant Tracking System to Improve your Candidate Experience

If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume your company either doesn’t have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or doesn’t utilize it to its full extent. A solid ATS can turn your hiring process into a well-oiled machine that will relieve stress from your HR department and offer an enjoyable, easy to follow process to your potential job candidates. What exactly is an ATS, though? It's a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs. A bad candidate experience can negatively impact a company's ability to recruit quality hires, as well as its bottom line, so implementing an ATS is the best step to simplifying this process. Not convinced? Let me throw some facts and figures at you.

Software Advice surveyed job seekers and recruiters to help employers understand what constitutes a good hiring experience. Here are the results:

  • 93% of job seekers stated they received unclear application instructions.

  • 90% expressed that the forms were extremely long and arduous.

  • 34% wanted more communication throughout the process from start to finish.

  • 74% desired a clear timeline of the hiring process early on.

Recruiter’s Perceptions

Recruiters are instrumental in assisting potential candidates in finding employment, and because of this they often work closely with many businesses throughout their hiring process. Below are some perceptions recruiters have gleaned over a period of time.

Top Causes of Positive Candidate Experiences:

  • 35% Excellent Recruiter Training

  • 26% ATS Software

  • 21% Adequate Staffing

  • 18% Low Hiring Volume

  • 1% Other

Obstacles to Providing a Hiring Timeline

  • 46% Unsophisticated Hiring Process

  • 31% Inadequate Staffing

  • 15% No ATS Software

  • 8% Inadequate Recruiter Training

The Candidate Experience

Of course, if we’re going to attempt to improve the candidate experience, the best place to start is by speaking with candidates themselves. In a sample survey, job applicants were asked about the impact of three different communication methods recruiters often employ. Here are the results:

  • 64% think sending a personalized email to the candidate would significantly improve the process.
  • 74% say a timeline of the hiring process contributes most to the applicant experience.

  • 53% feel sending an automatic email would only somewhat improve the candidate experience.

So What Does this Mean for You?

From these numbers, it is clear that the key to having the best quality candidate experience is by implementing an applicant tracking system. You will be able to communicate with your prospective employees from start to finish with the click of a button, keeping them informed on where they stand and giving your HR department the time it needs to find the best candidate. Additionally, it will cut down that time significantly by allowing you to have the system flag relevant qualifications or keywords within the applications you receive so you can pull candidates who have the necessary skills and experience without having to sift through each application. At that point, you can advance certain applicants along the hiring pipeline with the click of a button.

 Additionally, having an ATS can offer you some great insights into your hiring process overall. Through this platform you’ll see the following information in concise, easy-to-read reports:

Average Days to Hire

Keep track of the average time that elapses from posting date to hire date over the last 12 months for each job opening. This will help you determine if your process, from start to finish, is too slow and needs to be refined in order to speed up productivity.

Turnover Rate

Being able to assess your turnover rate will allow you to monitor how many employees are leaving over a set period of time. Your ATS will provide a percentage that you can track over each month so you’ll always know if your retention program is effective or whether you need to focus on keeping your current employees happy enough not to leave.

Rejection Reasons

You’ll have a selection of categories to filter your rejected applicants into, such as Under Qualified, Insufficient Experience, etc. By looking for trends in this data, you’ll be able to clarify in job descriptions what the requirements are set for the position, thus limiting the number of unnecessary applications you (or your ATS) need to sift through.

If you’re still not convinced that having an ATS is right for your business, let us prove it by showing you a personalized demo of our software.