Talent Acquisition

8 Ways to Keep Candidates Engaged Using an ATS

The applicant tracking system (ATS) has been trending for years, and its relevance isn’t showing any signs of fading. 

Instead, more companies now consider investing in this technology to streamline their recruitment processes. However, some might still be reluctant to let go of tried and tested formulas and tools.

Because of that, it’s necessary to raise awareness of the benefits the ATS brings to recruiters. Otherwise, they could struggle with a long time-to-hire and low candidate engagement. 

After all, this system is among the pillars of successful recruitment. That explains why the ATS market is set to grow exponentially this decade. 

A majority of HR professionals believe that investing in new recruiting technology is their primary strategy to enhance hiring performance over the next five years. This aligns with their plans to make data-driven recruitment their principal competitive advantage, reinforce diversity, and improve candidate experience.  

But what makes the ATS so powerful? It all comes down to its core principles – providing a centralized dashboard to make job applicant selection and hiring maximally streamlined.

Moreover, ATS helps eliminate various manual activities, enhance recruitment metrics, and attract passive job seekers. Approximately 70-80 percent of recruitment unfolds at the pre-application level, and this system speeds up that stage.

As a result, recruiters can avoid dragging out the process due to the lack of necessary tools and support. That ensures job applicants are happy with the process and receive the selection news promptly. 

But these aren’t the only reasons to use the ATS. Here’s everything you should know about it.

How Did ATS Evolve from Documentation and Compliance to a Comprehensive System?

Most Talent Acquisition specialists and HR leaders know the ATS definition, but not everyone knows how it started. Yet, it’s always beneficial to understand the origin story as that helps imagine how something could evolve in the future.

Recruitment was a much more challenging task in the past. Recruiters had to store job applications and related material in filing cabinets or as a pile of paper sitting on their desks. 

However, the change came in the mid-90s, when the first ATS appeared. But it wasn’t the platform we know today.

Instead, it had elementary functions and possibilities. Hence, HR professionals scanned and screened paper resumes with the ATS.

Moreover, they collected and organized all the documents manually, evaluating each CV separately. That must have been a tiring and lengthy undertaking. 

Things started changing in 1994, when the Monster Board appeared, shaking things up. The market transformed and grew gradually, resulting in numerous job boards and more accessibility.

Print media took the hit as newspaper advertisements were the first place where job seekers would look for jobs before the internet became mainstream. As a result, the first ATS vendors entered the scene in the late 90s. 

But recruiters were hesitant and not ready to risk introducing the virtual element to recruitment. Because of that, vendors often had to go from one company to another, pitching their software features to HR professionals. 

That didn’t go smoothly, and they would get buy-in from a dozen recruiters only.Large enterprises were among the first ones to experiment with the ATS. 

Once the 00s came, things changed again. Most households started having a dial-up internet, social media networks became the new big thing, and online job advertising increased.

Thanks to that, many recruiters turned to e-recruitment systems, enabling vendors to sell their platforms more often. It’s no surprise that the oldest functional ATS programs are close to two decades old.

Through the years, more companies started understanding the importance and potential of the ATS.

It enabled them to add candidate screening to their hiring processes and ask job applicants to answer relevant questions. Besides, recruiters no longer had to store resumes in various databases and files.

Instead, they could keep everything in one place. ATS continued changing and adapting to the current moment and business needs. 

Although it started as a company-centric software, vendors recognized the growing importance of candidate experience and developed more comprehensive platforms.

As a result, we now have a more well-rounded ATS that can address multiple recruitment requirements. It’s more candidate-centric and includes features that help recruiters keep job applicants in the loop and nurture their satisfaction.

A chunky candidate experience is now a matter of the past to a large extent. Job seekers no longer need to undergo a lengthy and bureaucratic process to apply for jobs.

An ATS ensures a more intuitive procedure and better candidate experience. But it also continues transforming and staying ahead of the time.

That indicates that the ATS solutions that we know today might look completely different in ten years. Although not tangible, that’s also one of the best ATS features – continuous evolution and agility.

What Makes ATS the Best Recruitment Support?

As a system that changed many times in the past decades, ATS is an all-encompassing solution that keeps up with time, trends, and tech innovation. That itself makes it the most loyal support recruiters can have.

However, if we delve deeper into the ATS, its features and details reveal how it helps HR teams perform their jobs better. Recruiters should know that information, as it helps them develop a better candidate engagement strategy.

The purpose of ATS platforms is to streamline the hiring processes. It makes work more efficient and enables recruiters to increase productivity.

This software provides an easy-to-access, centralized dashboard, ensuring they can find everything in one place. As a result, recruiters don’t have to spend time shifting between various apps and files.

Recruiters can use their ATS platforms to view candidate profiles, resumes, and relevant information. Thus, they can link them with social media networks and job boards, making job posting easier. 

That allows recruiters to target their approach and reach candidates faster. But they can also track job applicants’ progress through the pipeline and assess how team members communicate with them. 

As a result, they can provide a better candidate experience and keep everyone on the same page. Moreover, recruiters receive AI-driven insights, letting them know whether their efforts are efficient or the process requires tweaks. 

Reports and analytics also highlight the best matches for specific vacancies. Thanks to that, recruiters can ensure they’re hiring the right person and improve future recruitment activities. 

Therefore, the ATS enables them to create and post jobs using the platform, receive job applications in one place, filter top candidates, and hire the most compatible individual. These options help streamline recruiters’ activities and fill job openings faster than they would with the manual route. 

In a nutshell, here are the most helpful ATS features:

  • Candidate Screening – ATS helps recruiters source job applicants and gauge their suitability for a specific job opening. After recruiters add a candidate’s information to the platform and create their profile, AI will run resume parsing. Intelligent algorithms will analyze relevant keywords and compare a candidate’s skills and experience with the job requirements. Once the screening completes, recruiters will receive a list of the most suitable job applicants, making their decision-making easier.
  • Job Offer Management – Identifying the right person for an available vacancy is a demanding task that takes substantial time. Because of that, it’s beneficial to speed up the process once recruiters and hiring managers decide on the most suitable candidate. Most ATS platforms streamline this stage and make it easy to extend a job proposal. 

For instance, most candidates accept the first offer they receive. That’s why it’s essential to avoid dragging this process and seal the deal as soon as possible. ATS typically allows recruiters to use templates for sending job offers, making this process less demanding.

  • Candidate Management – Recruiters should strive for a smooth and fast job application process. Otherwise, candidates could lose interest and find a company that makes it easier to send a resume. ATS makes this step smoother and creates a profile for each job applicant right after. That way, recruiters will know everyone’s progress and find it easy to manage candidates. 
  • Process Optimization – ATS systems generate data for every recruitment stage and translate it into valuable metrics. For instance, they can point to best performing candidate sourcing channels, process length, or recruitment costs. Thanks to that, recruiters can determine bottlenecks and improve the overall workflow. 
  • Collaboration – The goal of ATS platforms is also to improve team collaboration and communication with clients and stakeholders. Recruiters get access to chat tools and email integration, ensuring they can share data and information with their team and job applicants. 

Ultimately, ATS is a well-rounded solution that covers all recruitment touchpoints. It doesn’t focus on one area only (e.g., resume parsers, team apps).

ATS is an all-encompassing platform that enables recruiters to manage various activities simultaneously. Hence, they can work faster, focus on finding top candidates, and develop tight-knit connections. 

How Does ATS Impact the Hiring Process?

Mitigates Paperwork-Related Stress

ATS ensures recruiters can avoid handling a pile of paperwork. Instead, all the documents will be in one place as the platform offers safe and accessible storage. 

Thanks to that, recruiters don’t need to worry about losing critical information or contact. Thus, they won’t have to spend hours looking for something. 

Recruiters can look for keywords and sort their data chronologically, ensuring everything is up-to-date and at their disposal. That eliminates stress from the process, allowing them to be more relaxed and productive. 

Saves Time and Resources

Besides reducing recruiters’ workload and storing data in one place, ATS platforms also help companies save money. For instance, HR professionals become more productive and can complete their tasks faster.

That reduces administrative assignments and costs. The overall work quality increases, impacting business success and recruitment efficiency. 

Makes Job Posting Easier

ATS enables recruiters to link the platform with social media and other compatible apps. As a result, they can reach more job seekers and post job openings within seconds.

Moreover, recruiters can use templates, ensuring they share available vacancies right after the job requisition gets approval. 

Enhances Recruitment Compliance

Top-notch ATS systems are up-to-date and align with employment laws, ensuring compliance and protecting employers from potential breaches. Thus, cloud-based software means that vendors are responsible for updates and regulations. 

Streamlines Communication

Collaboration with the team and clients is essential for a successful selection process. Without it, things often go slowly, candidates wait for updates longer than they should, and the time-to-hire prolongs. 

However, ATS platforms provide communication tools that enable recruiters to share the latest information and job applicants’ profiles, keeping everyone on the same page.

Increases Recruiters’ Morale

The ability to streamline the selection process often causes substantial stress on recruiters. Instead of worrying about whether they forgot something and if they can do everything in time, they can rely on the ATS for support.

Thanks to that, they become more relaxed and able to focus on what matters the most – candidate experience. That also ensures job applicants will receive the necessary attention from recruiters, increasing their satisfaction with the process. 

8 Ways ATS Improves Candidate Engagement

1. Enhances First Impression

Recruiters speed up the selection process with the ATS and ensure everything goes smoothly. That enables them to have everything ready when reaching out to candidates and foster seamless communication.

ATS support also makes recruiters more confident and helps them give accurate information to job applicants throughout the process. Moreover, they have access to analytics that guide them through recruitment and candidates’ needs.

As a result, recruiters can provide a better experience to their job applicants and understand what approach works best for each of them.

2. Helps Write More Helpful and Informative Job Posts

ATS offers reports and analytics that give information about your job ads performance, candidates, and teams. These valuable insights highlight what works well in the recruitment process and help recruiters understand job seekers better.

They’ll find it easier to choose the most accurate language and response for their job ads. Recruiters can become better at targeting available vacancies and offering info to job seekers. 

3. Ensures Stakeholders Agree on Key Points

Stakeholders should all agree about the crucial recruitment points for the hiring process to go smoothly. Otherwise, candidates will likely feel a lack of cohesive approach and doubt there might be something off with the company.

Every step should unfold seamlessly, with recruiters, hiring managers, and clients having the same goals and needs. ATS includes collaborative tools that enable everyone to share their insights, data, and ideas.

Thus, recruiters can foster regular communication with stakeholders and ensure they understand and can follow their requirements. As a result, they roll out every activity fast and provide a better candidate experience.

4. Simplifies Processes

ATS features and functions streamline the selection process for both recruiters and candidates. The number of manual tasks decreases, allowing the former to dedicate themselves to cultivating candidate engagement and addressing their needs.

However, things also become easier for job seekers because they can apply for job openings faster and receive a prompt response from recruiters. Thus, candidates don’t have to wait for weeks to receive job offers and join the onboarding process.

Instead, ATS accelerates the screening and interview stage, ensuring the selection process doesn’t drag out for months. That increases job applicants’ interest in working with a company and encourages them to stay in the pipeline.

5. Provides a Mobile-Friendly Experience

Most job seekers loathe the long and tiring selection process and prefer to work with employers who provide a mobile-friendly experience. After all, Millennials and Gen-Z look for jobs on their mobile devices and prefer tech-savvy companies. 

ATS enables job seekers to apply for available vacancies via the platform, and it also makes work easier for recruiters because it creates candidate profiles right after.

6. Helps Keep Candidates Updated

ATS platform sends notifications and reminders to recruiters, ensuring they don’t forget crucial meetings, tasks, and dates. Thanks to that, they’ll keep candidates updated about the selection process and nurture their engagement.

7. Facilitates Regular Communication

Besides helping recruiters send updates to candidates concerning the job application status, ATS platforms also enable ongoing communication with their team members and stakeholders. Thanks to that, all relevant parties are aware of the selection process progress, can make well-informed decisions, and contribute to candidate satisfaction. 

8. Leads to a Better Candidate Experience

Speed, efficiency, and accuracy are among the top benefits ATS platforms provide. These are essential for keeping candidates and clients happy and matching the most compatible individual with a job opening.

That creates a better candidate experience and makes job applicants more likely to stay with a company. After all, a positive first impression comes a long way and helps build stable foundations.

An Applicant Tracking System is a well-rounded platform that has transformed various times in the past decades. As a result, it provides numerous advantages and cultivates candidate and client satisfaction.

This software streamlines processes and makes recruiters more relaxed. Thanks to that, they can focus on providing the best experience and increasing candidate engagement.

Manatal’s ATS includes all the features and functions necessary for successful recruitment and quality-of-hire. But don’t trust us on our word.

Instead, try it yourself. Start your 14-day Free Trial now and discover how Manatal’s ATS can take your recruitment to the next level.

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