Why Job Seekers Love Applicant Tracking Systems

The last time I was job searching, I used so many different Applicant Tracking Systems I should have been a critic. I knew which ones were the easiest to use, which were the hardest, which had the best user interface and which gave me the best chance to get an interview. How potential employees find, fill out and submit their info/resume/cover letter on your site can make a huge difference in getting the best talent at your company.

“Even though software continues to gain popularity and become less expensive for small to mid-sized businesses, only 26% of employers use an applicant tracking system to manage their hiring process.”

When I was interested in a company, there was a systematic approach to trying to get an interview. If it was a small company and only used social media or job posting sites, I would post on every portal (linkedin, monster, indeed, etc.) I could find the job posting on.

If the position was at a larger company, they generally had an ATS that I could create an account and save all of my information on. This made applying frequently and to multiple job postings a breeze.  

Little did I know that some of these companies had applicant tracking systems in place that kept track of all the applications and added them to my ‘profile’.

Applicant tracking could show them;

  • how many times I applied
  • where I applied
  • if I applied for other jobs
  • if I was copying and pasting cover letters or writing unique ones each time
  • any flags I might have raised with my resume or background

On my end, I could log in to see what jobs I had already applied for, the status of those applications and update my resume, cover letter or basic information. 

Though some applicant tracking systems made it very easy to apply, some made it infuriating. Features I could not stand would be;

  • making me fill out the same information over and over
  • hard to follow workflows
  • difficult to use interfaces
  • no feedback after submission (email, confirmation page, etc.)

And to be totally honest, whenever I came across an applicant portal that frustrated me, the experience had me less excited about the company. Frustrating portals or archaic methods of job postings seemed like an indication of how the rest of the company might run. Speaking of archaic methods, let’s talk about the cutting edge method - social media.

“Now we get into how hiring is changing. 94% of recruiters use, or plan to use social media for recruiting. This number has increased steadily for the last 6 years. However, only 39% of employers use social media for job postings.”

To attract the newest, best talent ATS needs to be capable of collecting applications from anywhere and everywhere, offering an intuitive portal for applicants (and people in HR) to navigate. Human Resources needs to understand where the best talent is and how to communicate with them.

Next week, I’ll be talking about the other side of ATS and what HR people were seeing when I applied to their positions. In the meantime, why don’t you check out Dominion’s updated ATS on the video below! 

*All data came from this awesome article on recruiting statistics - http://www.blog.capterra.com/top-15-recruiting-statistics-2014/