Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – 9 reasons you need one

Applicant tracking system - 9 reasons why you need one

The hiring process at most small and medium sized companies is manual. A job description is created as a PDF file and then distributed through various mediums like – email, chat apps, etc to friends and acquaintances within our networks. In some cases we post them on some job boards as well. Then the applications start flowing in – through the same mediums as the job description was distributed – via email and chat apps. We need to then collect all these applications and take them through the recruitment process – ALL MANUALLY!

Well, the good news is that we don’t need to do applicant management manually – thanks to a plethora of great applicant tracking systems (ATS) available as both paid and free software. But saving us from manual work is not the only benefit that these application tracking system provide. There are a multitude of other benefits that your company would see when you implement an ATS. We have explained these reasons below.

Why should you use an Applicant Tracking System

1. It saves you time

Hiring a new employee is a time taking task. It has a lot of sub-tasks like distributing the JD, collecting all the applications, co-ordinating between the different members of the hiring team to evaluate the applicants, scheduling conversations between interviewers and applicants, constantly updating the applicants on the status of their application in the evaluation process, etc. A good ATS automates most of these sub-tasks saving you time.

When candidates fill in their applications, those applications land straight into your ATS bypassing your mailbox. From there the ATS sifts through the applications to check their relevancy. It sends out an email to the candidate whenever an interview is to be scheduled. The candidate can then themselves block some time in the interviewers calendar saving HR the time required for co-ordination. ATS also sends out regular updates to the candidates every time their application moves from one stage to the next. All these automations end up helping the hiring team save a lot of time.

2. Application Tracking System saves you money

As we discussed above, an ATS helps automate a lot of tasks which would have normally been performed by your hiring team. Now hiring one new employee could take anywhere from 1 to 100+ hours of your hiring team and assuming a good ATS saves even 25% of that effort, you can do the math to see how much money you save. And compare that with the cost of ATS, the ROI becomes very clear. And to top it off, you can find some of the best ATS free to use. Check out a good free ATS here.

ATS also saves you money by helping you identify which sources of applicants send you the best candidates. This will help you optimise the spends on paid job boards and staffing agencies.

3. It prevents applicants falling through the cracks

Without a system to manage the recruitment workflow, applications have to be shared manually between the members of the hiring team. In most cases these applications are shared over email. In case a member of the team reads an application but forgets to act on it, then that application would be forgotten by everyone forever. This could lead to a loss of maybe a good candidate and would also leave such candidates ghosted wondering what happened to their application.

ATS eliminates the possibility of such a scenario as all applications arrive at one single place and then move through a defined work-flow. No application can ever fall through the crack as even if someone misses, it will stay there reminding you to act on it.

4. Applicant tracking system gives the applicants a great experience of the selection process

Going through the selection process involves a lot of anxiety for the applicants. After every round of evaluation the candidates wait with bated breath to know if they cleared the round and were shortlisted for the next round. Informing the applicants manually takes days and weeks before all of them are informed. Besides, if the applicant doesn’t pick up when they are called, the chances are them getting called again are low. Lack of response from employers is the number one reason for bad candidate experience. According to a survey, 75% of applicants never hear back from their employers. No wonder you see so many negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

On the other hand, the ATS or recruitment CRMs as they are sometimes called, will send out auto email updates every time the candidate’s position changes in the recruitment workflow. This ensures candidates, both selected and rejected, are always updated on the status of their application leading to a good experience for them.

The modern recruitment systems also create a dynamic career portal for all the job openings of your company. You can link to this career portal from your own website to ensure candidates visiting your website are taken to an application experience designed specifically keeping them in mind.

A positive candidate experience ensures that they are more likely to apply again in future even if they were not selected for some reason. They are also likely to talk about their experience with their friends thereby spreading positive brand image of the company.

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5. Application management systems builds a talent pool for future hiring

An application management system saves the profiles of all applicants across all jobs, right from the beginning. These profiles will always be available to choose from whenever there is a new vacancy. This talent pool will help you cut down your time-to-hire and save you the money you’ll otherwise spend on advertising the job to attract candidates. Creating a talent pool is one of the biggest advantages of using an application tracking system.

6. Applicant tracking system gives you insights on the recruitment function

Most Applicant Tracking Systems have strong in-built analytics suite. They track each and every step of the hiring process. They track each job post, each applicant and each evaluation step. This leads to a lot of data getting collected which is available to analyze in order to understand which parts of your process are working fine and which ones need to improve. You can identify bottlenecks and fix them. Using the data in the right way can help you make the recruitment process faster and more efficient.

The analytics section of the applicant tracking system will help you with the following insights:

  1. Candidates from which sources get hired the most?
  2. Which candidate source are expensive?
  3. Which interviewers are slow and which ones are fast?
  4. Cost per hire
  5. Time to hire
  6. Diversity in hiring
  7. Openings per department
  8. Hires per department
  9. Which openings attract the most talent and which ones don’t?

These and many more insights can be drawn from all the data collected in the applicant tracking system.

7. It saves your inbox from clutter

Without an application tracking system, all the applications would land in your inbox. And if the job opening is for a junior level role, the number of applicants can turn out to be really high. All these applications landing in your inbox ends up cluttering your inbox which may lead to you missing on some important work mails.

However, an application tracking system will route all the applicants away from your inbox into its own workflow. This would save your inbox from all the clutter thereby helping you avoid any misses.

8. Applicant tracking system keeps the staffing agencies in the loop

I know, nobody likes to keep getting calls from the staffing agencies enquiring about the status of the candidates they supplied. It’s irritating and cumbersome, I hate it. However, I don’t blame them for calling. They obviously need to know the status of their candidates. Well, an applicant tracking system takes care of this chore also for you. It gives your staffing partners an interface where they can track the position of each candidate they’ve referred as the candidates move through the selection workflow.

The ATS avoids duplication of applications and also ensures that source of each candidate is clearly marked along with the date and time they were submitted. This helps avoid conflicts with sourcing partners with respect to billing.

9. Because most modern day recruiters are also using application tracking systems

75% of large companies and 60% of medium sized businesses use an applicant tracking system according to Capterra. Even a small business with just 8 workers can save $10,000 in wasted time and effort using an ATS. HR experts estimate an average hiring process to cost upwards of $3500 a part of which can definitely be saved by using an ATS.

I hope the reasons listed above convince you to opt for an application tracking system. I will soon write about what a good application tracking system should have and how to go about selecting one. However, if you can’t wait for the article to come out, try out this free applicant tracking system which I highly recommend.

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