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A 2 Minute Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems

Written by Lucy Heskins | December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
Recruitment-magnifyIf you’re serious about reviewing your recruitment process, you need to consider both attracting candidates to your vacancies and managing them whilst they are in your database.
After all, not every candidate who applies will be suitable for your vacancies, so you’ll need a way to manage these applicants and communicate with them. Plus, by building a talent pool and an efficient communication process, you will have a ready-made pool of candidates you can turn to first – before even considering an agency.
And this is where an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help tenfold.
There’s a plethora of information available on how an ATS can add value to an organisation. If you’re new to recruitment software, here, we share with you a quick overview of what an ATS, why its useful and what you may wish to consider. [For more information on ATSs and careers sites, and how they can fit into your recruitment advertising strategy, make sure to download our eBook, The In-House Direct Sourcing Guide].

What is one?

An applicant tracking system is a form of recruitment software used to manage and nurture talent within the candidate application process. It is involved in the attraction, management and recruitment of candidates at all stages.

Why consider investing in one?

If you find yourself agreeing with the below, chances are you need to start looking at what an ATS can do for you:
‘I’m spending too much time flicking between spreadsheets, when I should be talking to quality candidates’. Hr-software-analysing---BS
‘My tracking and reporting is like a minefield!’
‘My team is spending too much time manually posting adverts to job boards’
‘I’ve got a talent pool of sorts… it’s just stuck in Excel’.

What are the main advantages of an ATS?

Ditching your spreadsheets in favour of recruitment software can help you to:
– Centralise your internal recruitment process
– Build a constantly accessible talent pool of potential candidates
– Produce transparent reporting and enable MI analysis to measure key KPIs
– Identify bottlenecks in your processes (who or what is holding things up?)

Why are they important?

Too many recruitment teams are wasting precious hours on admin, thanks to the use of dated processes to manage their hiring processes. An ATS offers a number of features, all of which will help your teams become more efficient and productive.

Direct SourcingWhat will it allow me to do?

Of course, it depends on what kind of ATS you go for – driven by your objectives and budget – but generally speaking, you should be able to do all of the following as a minimum:
– create and post jobs
– map your workflows (including vacancy requisition and candidate progress)
– manage your agencies
– send candidate communications
– carry out reporting – both custom and bespoke

One last thing… remember your ATS of choice needs to be future-proofed.

You’re in a great position at the moment; the market is becoming increasingly competitive, with new offerings arising all the time. This means you’re able to demand a lot more from a supplier.
With many ATSs available, ranging from off-the-shelf to enterprise-level outfits, you can afford to ask a lot of questions to a supplier to ensure you are considering the one that is right for you and your organisation. [If you are looking to build a business case to introduce your company to an ATS, download our free guide – How to Build a Business Case for Recruitment Software].
Perhaps the greatest question you can ask at the moment is how future-proof the system is. Does it have the capability to grow with your organisation?
Investing in an ATS is a big project, one that may involve you signing up to a multiple year contract, so you need to know if you are able to tweak and make changes as your business grows.

Interested in learning more?

Webrecruit works with in-house recruiters, HR professionals and SMEs considering bringing recruitment in-house. We partner with both enterprise-level businesses as well as SME organisations ready to transition their use of technology, offering applicant tracking systems and careers sites, underpinned by our resourcing and advertising solutions.
For more information, call us on 01392 829400 or grab your copy of our new eBook – The In-house Direct Sourcing Guide – a framework for hiring managers looking to review and transform their recruitment advertising and candidate management processes.

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