Making Data-Driven Decisions with an Applicant Tracking System

June 7, 2022
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State of Recruitment 2024

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For many companies and businesses, the hiring process has been a lot of guesswork, mainly for the HR department. When a position needed to be filled, the hiring manager or the HR partners would have to scour hundreds of applications in an attempt to find the right fit for the position. Reviewing applications alone is a time-consuming process, so there are recruiting tools now in place to do that job specifically for many companies. 

Even after sorting through the applicant pool, it was never a guarantee that the person selected would work out in the end. The process was strictly limited to resume screenings and interviews. You would pick an applicant who looked great on paper, interviewed well, and hope they did a great job. The manual hiring process can face many challenges, which is why many new hires end up with poor performance scores and high turnover rates.

With the advancement of technology and more applicants turning to online applications and utilizing social tools such as LinkedIn, there is a lot of available data on applicants. When a company adopts data-driven recruitment, it can eliminate many of the challenges hiring managers face during the hiring process. This approach allows recruiters and HR departments the ability to use data to review their hiring process and find areas of improvement.

Data-driven recruitment cuts down on hiring timelines, costs, and the number of interviews and leads your business into a more successful hiring pattern. In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about data-driven recruitment and learn about applicant tracking systems to improve your hiring process.

What is Data-Driven Recruitment?

Data-driven recruitment is a hiring strategy that utilizes data - which is collected and analyzed - to help find a qualified candidate. Traditional hiring methods relied heavily on intuition and gut feelings when selecting a person for a role. With data-driven recruitment, much of the guesswork is removed as HR departments and recruiters can analyze data to help make effective hiring decisions. 

Many organizations in the past would have a variety of data already on hand, such as the percentage of bad hires in a given time frame, lengths of the hiring process, hiring sources, referral data, the average cost of a new hire, and more. Studying these data points would bring out your company’s competitive advantage, especially where recruitment strategies are concerned. Done consistently and methodically, it would help sort out better candidates and improve hiring plans for a company. 

Benefits of Data-Driven Recruitment

Most companies have a wealth of data they can tap into to help improve hiring processes and increase overall efficiency by cutting out unnecessary steps. This alone cuts associated costs with interviewing and decreases the time needed to hire a better candidate. When your hiring team uses data-driven recruitment to improve recruitment processes and strategies, the benefits are numerous. Let’s take a look at a few of them below.

Minimizes Reliance on Gut Based Hiring 

With a recruitment process that relies on manually sorting resumes and holding seemingly endless interviews, many hiring decisions are based on connections with the candidates and how they present themselves. The problem with this method is that many people will put on their best faces simply to receive an offer.

Data-driven recruitment minimizes risky hiring decisions based primarily on the candidate's likeability factor and shifts the hiring decisions to be more in line with the company's needs. You can make a decision that helps ensure the right person will not only be qualified but also fit your company's culture.

Decrease the Time Needed for the Hiring Process

By strategizing your recruitment strategy using data, the time you need to find a candidate or fill a role becomes significantly shorter. Moving in this direction would help you build out an effective hiring plan that lays out essential key metrics. 

The metrics you have laid out should include the average time to find someone in the required field, laying out the best process for that role (i.e., job boards, agencies, etc.), and what the vetting process looks like. You can use this information to build a strategy that essentially creates a strong candidate pool through the most effective hiring processes.

Improve the Quality of the Hire 

When your company needs to fill a role, the obvious goal is to find the best person; one who can boost your company's performance in the short and long term. Traditional hiring methods made this a more complicated process because it was hard to gauge how well a person would perform once in the role. With data-driven recruitment, you have a better chance of making a more analytical and insightful choice.

Improve the Candidate Experience

The best candidates on the market likely find themselves with a lot of opportunities, and it’s highly probable that recruiters are reaching out to them already. If you have a robust, streamlined hiring process in place, a candidate is more likely to stick through it. If your hiring process is long and complicated, they may just move on to the next potential employer.

Decreases the Average Cost Per Hire

Streamlining the hiring process can lead to a much more affordable hiring process by cutting out any unnecessary steps and quickly shortlisting the best qualified candidates from the pool of applicants. Bad hiring decisions can also lead to loss of productivity that wastes a lot of the company's resources and time that you could have given to a more qualified candidate.

Removes Bias from the Hiring Process 

Bias is a problem that can occur in many aspects of the workplace. During the hiring process, unconscious bias can creep in, and your hiring team may make some hiring decisions on attributes that have little to do with the job responsibilities of the role. When you remove some of the uncertainty and the manual processes of selecting a person for the role, your hiring process becomes a more fair and equitable practice.

Improves Forecasts into Job Vacancy and Hiring

Strategic use of data allows you to quickly identify patterns and trends that can help you predict future situations. When you understand the ins and outs of your business and recruitment strategy, you can expect the kind of vacancies that would come up in the future and hire more accurately. This information is invaluable when preparing and communicating budgets.

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How to Implement Data into Your Recruitment System

A critical prerequisite to successfully integrating data into your recruitment processes is making sure you are collecting the right data to help you create an efficient hiring strategy. The first step is to analyze the current strategy in place from end to end. What does the hiring process look like for the candidates and the hiring team? Are there any issues or challenges that either party faces within the current process? What are the current tools and platforms in use, and what kind of data exists?

When you take a look at your processes as they stand, you will gain more clarity on the changes that need to be put in place so that you are able to derive important data sets. There are many data points to collect, and you want to be sure that you are focusing your strategies on the key metrics that reflect your goals for improving the hiring process.

You need to know what key performance indicators and metrics are relevant to your hiring process. Some of the more common metrics you might choose to track are:

Hiring Source – This will be a list of platforms and job boards of successfully hired candidates who applied for the roles they were hired into.

Time to Hire – This metric measures the average length of time it takes to hire a new employee from the first recruitment step to the acceptance of the position.

Quality of Hire – This data includes multiple sets that analyze recruitment data such as assessment scores, current performance data of the candidate, attrition, and more.

New Employee Retention – New employee retention is an indicator of the turnover that occurs for new hires over a specific period.  

New Hire Time to Productivity – This tracks the amount of time it takes for a new hire to reach productivity goals.

There may already be some metrics for which your hiring team may be well aware of issues in the process. One of the most critical parts of implementing data is to ensure you choose the right metrics to inform your next action steps.

How Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Can Help with Data-Driven Recruitment

One of the most effective software to help companies find and hire the best candidates is an Applicant Tracking System or ATS. An Applicant Tracking System is software that helps recruiters and HR departments automate the hiring process.

The ATS was originally designed to help store job applications to comply with federal rules and regulations that require keeping an application for at least one year after the document has been completed. Today, ATS software helps HR teams, hiring managers, and recruiters increase their capabilities by combining data taken from resumes and combining it into a centralized database.

Benefits of using an Applicant Tracking Software

Successful ATS systems can be cost-effective to improve the hiring team operations. Many of the benefits of utilizing an ATS software include:

Increased Analytics – ATS provides tools that help to measure many aspects of the recruiting and hiring strategies. This insight can help you identify what is working and what is not, allowing you to adjust your hiring process to be more effective. Real-time data allows you to forecast staffing needs, build a strong recruitment pipeline, and keep your company workforce at its optimum capacity.

Improves Collaboration – The hiring process involves multiple team members and candidates. With ATS software, HR teams and recruiters can effectively communicate with all teams and candidates involved, leave helpful notes, share resumes securely and easily, and engage key decision-makers in the process. With this system, candidates no longer slip through the cracks, and the candidate experience is greatly improved.

Marketing and Recruitment Strategies – A solid recruiting strategy is critical in the job market. With an ATS, you can easily attract applicants through advertising, CRM campaigns, social media campaigns, referrals, all on one platform.

Compliance – Compliance can become complex, but with an ATS in place, you can manage the data and information that is standard and the requirements laid out by each state or country.    

Gather Crucial Hiring Data and Info in One Place – Applicants can apply through a variety of platforms, and with ATS, you can collect, store, and organize all the data collected from your potential candidates all in one place.

Browse through our collection of ready-to-use job description templates to ease your hiring.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Work

ATS platforms automate and streamline the hiring process. ATS, in general, can scan, sort, and rank all candidates, help build, manage, and maintain career pages, and post to a variety of job boards. It helps save companies valuable time, increase the productivity of the hiring teams, and helps to improve the candidate's overall hiring experience.

Candidate Selection Process

Once you decide to hire or fill a role, an ATS system can help discover the most qualified candidates. The hiring team can easily post and distribute job openings over various sources to attract the people who have the skills and background you may be looking for in a candidate. You can post to specific websites, job boards, and email marketing to allow your opening to fall into the right hands.

Most ATSs will include a small questionnaire to help field out and eliminate anyone who may not fit the role. Our ATS allows recruiters to customize application forms. This means that Manatal users will be able to create a set of questions for each job listed on their career page. Interested candidates would have to answer these questions as part of the application proces.  Once completed, the ATS will move them to the next step in the hiring process.

Our ATS is designed to mimic how a recruiter would scan a resume to look for key information eliminating a tedious task for the recruiting team. This is called parsing, in which the system extracts key information - including education, skills, language - and adds them to the candidate’s profile. Manatal’s AI recommendation feature then scores candidates based on their fit for the role.

Resume Storage and Optimization for Quick Reviews

ATS is a great storage system for resumes, and while scanning bad resumes may be a wasteful resource, ATS systems do this in a way that pulls critical information from all resumes and lays it out for you to review and easily digest. With this system, you can choose your best candidates through a rating system and allows you to leave notes for others who may be involved in the hiring process.

The ATS scans for information are completely customizable to help you sort through the most important skills, your company's values, essential keywords, and what traits best fit the role. This process allows for quicker vetting with a pool based on the job description and identifies the top candidates for the job.

Tracking and Selection for Interviews

After all of the candidates have been sorted down to the most qualified applicants, you can track them through the entire hiring process. You can see at which stage each candidate is in, whether it's the first interview or if they've been extended an offer.

Collect and Analyze Data with ATS Recruitment Software

The data used in ATS software is invaluable in collecting and analyzing the data you need to help optimize your hiring process. With the way an ATS automates the candidate sourcing and hiring process, you can eliminate time-consuming manual tasks and store the most important data in one easy-to-use format.

This data not only helps with current hiring processes, but it can help with hiring processes down the road. With Manatal, you can prioritize the metrics that align with your company's goals and eliminate data that can be counterintuitive to your hiring process. A complete analytics and reporting suite allows you to analyze your current operations, get rid of any bottlenecks and even assess the channels that bring you the best results. 

Enabling data-driven recruitment allows you to identify gaps in the hiring process and prioritize improvements to maximize your hiring efforts to hire the best possible candidates for you.

Data is one of the most important assets for every company wanting to leverage its competitive advantage. There are plenty of important factors to consider when choosing to integrate data-driven recruitment with ATS software. Setting up the entire hiring infrastructure can be a challenge no matter your chosen tools. As long as you review your current recruitment processes and adjust to align with the goals of your company, you can improve your recruitment process and hire the best and brightest of the workforce.

Manatal allows recruitment agencies and corporate HR departments to manage all their recruitment operations in one platform. 

If you are interested in learning more about how Manatal can support your company in transitioning to a data-driven hiring strategy, explore our recruitment software through a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).

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Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
Ahmed Firdaus
Director - MRI Network, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. Whenever I ask something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful recruitment. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
Edmund Yeo
Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.
Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
Ahmed Firdaus
Director - MRINetwork, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. whenever I asked something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful requirement. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
Kevin Martin
Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.

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