Last month, I shared five ideas for speeding up your hiring process that you can try for your organization right away—no special technology required. While those foundational principles are important, you can only optimize so much without the right applicant tracking system. It’s time to take the next step.
Wait—What is an Applicant Tracking System?
At its most basic, an applicant tracking system, or ATS, is software designed to make the process of finding and hiring excellent candidates faster and easier.
Applicant tracking systems can help you improve your hiring process by managing things like job postings, application screening, candidate communication, and more. They make it easy to keep track of candidate data so no one falls through the cracks. And many modules also allow you to examine the steps of your hiring process to understand where bottlenecks occur, where communication breaks down, or where candidates drop out.
Perhaps you’re browsing for an ATS for your organization, or maybe you’ve already found one and want to get the most out of it. Either way, this article is for you, because we’re going beyond the basics and looking at five ways you can use an applicant tracking system to build the best hiring process for your business.
#1 Post Your Job on Social Media Sites
When it comes to strategies for how to hire good employees, we’re seeing a significant shift to social media. A study from the Aberdeen Group shows that millennials are driving this recruitment trend: 73 percent of candidates in the 18-34 age group found their last position through social media.
Not only does this mean you need to create an engaging employer brand on social media—it also means you must build your job postings with social media and mobile access in mind. According to Mary Delaney, president of CareerBuilder’s Recruitment Software Solutions group, “If there isn’t a mobile-friendly apply option for candidates, our data show the drop-off rate is 70 percent.”
In today’s cutthroat recruiting market, you can’t afford to miss out on 70 percent of potential candidates. That’s where an ATS can be a lifesaver. The right applicant tracking system improves your hiring process by providing mobile-friendly job postings and one-click sharing to all the top social media platforms, ensuring you don’t miss out on mobile candidates ever again.
#2 Automatically Share on Job Boards
Speaking of sharing, applicant tracking systems also simplify the process of posting your job ads to the most relevant job boards. Instead of copying and pasting ten times over, you can send your job postings to free job boards with a single click.
And as I mentioned earlier, a great ATS will ensure these job postings are mobile-friendly. You can meet candidates at their level—on the job boards where they’re searching and on their mobile devices where they’re communicating and applying. All from a single system.
#3 Record Interview Notes
When we discuss how to hire good employees and create the best hiring process possible, we often focus on speed. The best talent is usually the first to be hired, and moving slowly—whether during posting, application reviews, or interviews and offers—means you’ll miss the cream of the crop.
But while that’s true, it’s equally important that your hiring process be careful, thoughtful, and fair. An ATS can help you reach these goals as well.
With an applicant tracking system that includes internal communication as well as external, everyone involved in the hiring process can learn about new candidates and prepare for their upcoming interviews. This helps collaborators settle on standardized questions to evaluate candidates more equally, as well as more specific topics to explore individual applications.
At the end of each interview, collaborators can often use the ATS to record their interview notes so hiring managers may compare notes on each candidate. Not only does this make collaboration and feedback much easier, it also helps ensure fair hiring practices are being followed within your organization. Because an ATS provides you with a record of the entire process, it can be a useful tool for proving your organization’s fair hiring decisions should the need ever arise.
#4 Track How Long Your Hiring Phases Take
According to one estimate, the best candidates are typically off the market within 10 days, yet it takes the average organization 27 working days to make a new hire. That means if you’re looking to make a top-tier hire, you can’t be average or you’ll be 17 days too late.
It’s time to sync up. BambooHR’s ATS module includes an Applicant Funnel report to give you insight on how candidates navigate the application process and how much time each phase usually takes. This gives you the power to break down bottlenecks and optimize those steps where you’re losing candidates due to time or confusion.
#5 Automate Offer Letters
Finally, an ATS helps get your ideal candidates across the finish line at the end of the process. One study found that 49 percent of candidates who declined a job offer did so because they’d already accepted an offer somewhere else. After investing days, weeks, or maybe even months into finding the right person for the job, you can’t afford to lose them because of a slow offer letter.
Automating your offer letters also frees up time for HR and recruiters to focus on the candidate experience. Imagine how jarring it might be for a candidate to communicate consistently with their recruiter, right up through the final interview, only to get sudden radio silence. On your end, you might not notice this gap in your hiring process because you’re busy prepping the offer letter. But trust me—the candidate will notice. And if an offer is slow in coming, your dream candidate may begin to doubt whether they want to join your organization, even if they don’t have a competing offer. As far as onboarding goes, seeding doubt is the worst possible start to the process.
Automated offer letters through your ATS make the entire hiring process seamless, from first application through accepted offer.
Improving your hiring process and creating an incredible candidate experience may seem like daunting tasks when you’re trying to manage both on your own. But when you team up with the right applicant tracking system, these goals move within your grasp. In-depth reports help you understand what to improve, while a streamlined funnel attracts and retains high-quality candidates. With help from BambooHR, hiring the best talent is easier than ever before.