For most companies, labor is their most significant operating cost.
If you’ve been working in recruiting and staffing for any length of time, this is probably old news for you. What you may not know is that technology can make this work easier, and less expensive.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are powerful software tools. They help companies and recruiting and staffing firms automate their recruitment process.
Businesses of any size can benefit from streamlining their hiring practices. Small local businesses, large Fortune 500 companies, and all businesses in between have begun using ATS systems.
So what exactly are Applicant Tracking Systems? What do they do, and how can they help your company?
Let’s take a closer look.
New Features of ATS Systems
Applicant Tracking systems have been around for a while now. That said, advances in technology have made ATS smarter in recent years.
This smarter technology also brings new features. These features help your ATS system to integrate with other platforms and make your hiring process even more efficient.
Let’s take a look at some of the more innovative features of modern ATS systems.
A blind review process
No matter how impartial we try to be, the fact of the matter is that humans are imperfect, and have implicit biases.
This is true even for people who believe they don’t possess an ounce of racism or sexism. In reality, we all can sometimes make snap judgments based on these factors.
This is why, for example, orchestras began holding auditions with the performer playing behind a dark sheet. This system has helped orchestras increase their diversity significantly.
So what does a violin audition have to do with the hiring process?
There is evidence that employers struggle with bias the same way that orchestras do. For instance, several studies have shown signs of racial bias. For instance, applicants with “white” sounding names may get more callbacks than applicants with “black” sounding names.
Additionally, in male-dominated fields, female applicants often have a harder time getting interviews.
ATS systems can address these problems. In a sense, they provide a metaphorical dark sheet for recruiters.
These systems analyze job seekers only by their qualifications. Employers can train the system to look for certain words. For example, they might choose keywords related to education, experience, or skills.
The software evaluates all applications based on the same common measures. This allows applicants to be judged based on their fitness for the job, rather than their demographics or backgrounds.
Streamlining the hiring process
Of course, ATS systems cannot automate the entire hiring process. At some point, you will want to actually bring in your strongest applicants for interviews.
What ATS systems can do, however, is help plan and schedule interviews.
This is a great way for companies to stay organized during the hiring process.
Take the ATS system SmartSearch, for instance. With this system, clients like SuperbTech, Inc. can email potential candidates directly through the software, rather than from a personal email. This helps keeps the recruitment process consistent, even when multiple employees oversee it.
Then, when interviews are scheduled, you can block out that time in a calendar on the system.
All of these features will help your recruitment team to maintain consistent communications.
These features are especially helpful for companies where more than one person works on the hiring process. Everyone who has access to the ATS system will have access to these conversations and schedules. This makes it easier for everyone to be on the same page.
This way, you can avoid embarrassing situations.
For example, you won’t have multiple recruiters contacting an applicant with conflicting information. Additionally, you can avoid accidentally double-booking yourself with interviews.
Once the interview has been completed, you can use the ATS system to record notes. This way, all the information is in one place and will be easy to find when you need to review it.
Optimize your recruitment strategy
We’ve already discussed how recruitment can be an expensive process. A big part of that expense is simply making potential applicants aware that a job opening is available.
For instance, posting a single job ad on Monster.com can cost around $400. And that’s just to post a single ad on one site!
If you’re hiring for ten positions, and want to advertise those positions on multiple sites, those expenses start adding up quickly.
ATS systems like PCRecruiter specialize in helping your company work smarter when it comes to working with potential candidates. BuzzRecruiter’s client, Lexington Staffing, uses this ATS system to send interview confirmations and other communication, view and route email resumes, and compare applicants based on questionnaire scores.
The key is to focus on how to get more high-quality applications, rather than simply increasing your application quantity.
To a certain extent, it’s nice to work with a large applicant pool. By the law of averages, the more applications you have to review, the more likely that someone in that pool will be a good fit.
At the same time, however, a large applicant pool takes longer to sift through. Not to mention, it eventually becomes unprofitable for pay for advertising that brings in many more job applicants than you need.
With an ATS system, your company can get a better idea of where your strongest candidates find your job ads. This can help you make better decisions about how you spend your advertising dollars.
Additionally, you can get information about ways to improve your recruitment efforts.
For instance, if you have a recruitment website, you can see how many applicants are using it to find you. If applicants aren’t using the recruitment website, then you can look at ways to improve it.
Or, let’s say you’re paying to post ads on a third-party site, and you learn that none of your strong applicants are coming from there.
Dropping this ad space could help save your company money on the advertisement. You will also save time on reviewing the superfluous applications.
Systems like Compas allow recruiters to download detailed data regarding their recruitment efforts. Expresshire, an online talent agency, uses this data to track its progress. Their Talent Management ATS CRM platform is easy to customize and cooperates seamlessly with your workflow. In addition, you get the ability to perform mass actions, configure columns, view job statistics, and view documents via slide-out windows.
Likewise, Bullhorn tracks all of the interactions job seekers have with various recruitment tools. This helps firms like JSK Recruiting learn where they find their best talent. Bullhorn’s Applicant Tracking System features include: Email Integration, LinkedIn Integration, Dashboard reporting, Mobile Recruiting which allows you to connect with candidates anytime, anywhere as well as Passive Activity Tracking where you never miss a conversion.
Integrate with social media
Another way technology has changed recruitment is through social media.
For a while, employers have been checking the social media accounts of potential applicants. Social media activity can give employers information about an applicant’s character.
In fact, some experts have begun to question whether social media is making resumes obsolete.
While we might not be at that point yet, ATS systems have begun adapting to this shift.
Systems like BrightMove are able to integrate information from social media into applicant profiles. Cyrten, a firm that connects technology professionals with top companies, uses this to find talent. Brightmove’s system is fast, easy to transition between client accounts, customizable workflows, templates and dashboards as well as job aging summaries across clients.
Furthermore, integrating LinkedIn with a system like RecruitBPM can be a powerful recruiting tool.
For one, you can analyze the LinkedIn pages of folks who have already applied. ATS systems can also search LinkedIn to identify prospective applicant
An ATS system can search through LinkedIn for profiles with skills your company is looking for. Once you find these profiles, you can then reach out to these professionals directly through a private message.
Inviting people to apply can be much more effective than having an open job advertisement. It narrows down your applicant pool to candidates you have hand selected. This is especially true for upper management positions.
Not to mention, integrating social media with your ATS system gives you more information about each applicant.
How an Applicant Tracking System Can Save your Company Money
We started off this article by looking at how expensive the recruitment process can be. While we’ve discussed in detail how ATS systems make hiring easier, we’ve not explicitly addressed how they save your money.
The ability to cut costs is one of the best features of using an ATS system. Let’s look at a few ways that ATS systems make the hiring process cheaper.
Do more, faster
Simply put, ATS systems can complete certain tasks much faster than humans can.
Take reading resumes for example. To mine through a stack of 250 resumes, looking for ones with certain key qualifications might take a hiring manager several hours.
This means that your hiring team can focus their time and effort on more complex tasks.
Additionally, ATS systems can help your company fill vacancies faster. This also saves money by making sure that work is being done by qualified employees. When vacancies take a long time to fill, important tasks can be left unattended, leaving to more costs down the road.
Hire better people
That said, ATS systems don’t just help cut costs in the hiring process. They can actually help reduce the overall costs of employee turnover.
Companies with high turnover can lose thousands of dollars a year. Additionally, turnover can create a negative feedback loop.
The company gets a reputation for having a bad work environment where people don’t stay long. This discourages qualified people from applying. For those who do get hired, they may come into the job without intentions of staying.
So how can an ATS system help with this?
ATS systems help you find candidates who are the best fit for your company. In addition to analyzing the data of folks who apply, they can also analyze people who leave the company and people who stay.
This data can be useful when evaluating multiple applicants who look great on paper.
For instance, a certain candidate might look well-qualified. But their qualifications could also make them more prone to leave. ATS systems can evaluate this kind of risk.
By hiring people who are a better fit for your company, you can limit the number of expensive job searches you will need to conduct.
How BuzzRecruiter can Enhance your ATS Strategy
Here at BuzzRecruiter, we pride ourselves on building unique websites for businesses that are accessible across multiple platforms. We’ve built recruitment websites for clients that seamlessly integrate their preferred ATS vendor.
Why choose BuzzRecruiter
This is a great option for businesses that are new to using ATS systems to simplify their hiring because it provides more flexibility.
Let’s say our folks at BuzzRecruiter build your company a recruitment website with a certain ATS system. If, after a few months, you decide that ATS system doesn’t work for you anymore, that’s okay! BuzzRecruiter can easily integrate a new system, without scrapping the whole website.
What we can do for you
BuzzRecruiter has created awesome recruitment sites for our clients. We do this by pairing effective web design with software options that are perfect for you.
For instance, our client jarvi Group requires laborers with a variety of skills and availabilities. Due to their unique nature of their industry, we paired them with TempWorks. For this client, an ATS system that specializes in finding temporary employees is ideal.
Or, let’s say you’re having difficulty with advertising your job openings to the right audience. The recruiting tools at Loxo help employers in fields like retail and our client Lifestyle Retail Recruiters disseminate information about job opportunities.
If you would like to learn more about how to integrate ATS systems into your company’s website, contact us. Our team will work to put together a solution that works perfectly for your company.