The Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Use These Four Features
More and more, employers and HR leaders are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to optimize recruitment. For small- and mid-sized employers, these platforms help level the playing field, meaning you can better compete for top talent against big businesses. When searching for a new ATS, keep in mind that the best platforms use the following four features.
What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
An Applicant Tracking System—or ATS for short—is a hiring software tool that manages recruitment online.
Life without an ATS is often a mess. HR and hiring managers tend to waste countless hours tracking job candidates, forwarding emails back and forth, and sifting through resume after resume in search of the right candidate. When hundreds of people apply for an open role, this manual approach just doesn’t cut it.
How Do Applicant Tracking Systems Work, and Why is an ATS Used in Recruiting?
When hiring managers and HR use an ATS, they can streamline and centralize all hiring processes from a single digital hub. As a result, applicant tracking systems make recruiting more efficient and effective—and give smaller employers an opportunity to find the best talent. In so doing, both management and human resources can spend less time on the administrative side of recruiting and more time finding the right people for the right roles.
With this in mind, the best applicant tracking systems offer all or some of the following features:
- Job Post Creation: Users no longer need to post natively to each individual job board site.
- Job Post Sharing: From the same system, users can share the newly created post on various channels.
- Central Candidate Repository: All candidate information is found in one place, regardless of where they applied (via a post on Indeed, the company website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
- Collaborative Candidate Review: When someone applies for a job, an ATS allows all relevant decision-makers to easily collaborate when reviewing candidates.
- Applicant Communication: Similarly, hiring managers can communicate directly with job applicants using the same system—keeping everything in-house.
- Job Offering Tools: Once a company has decided to offer a role to a candidate, they can extend an offer using the ATS.
- Onboarding: With built-in functionality, onboarding can begin as soon as a candidate accepts the new job—even before their first day.
The Top Four Features Found in the Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Not all ATS platforms are created equal. While it’s generally best practice for employers and HR to select the right system for their team, the following four functions are commonly found in the best applicant tracking software:
- No Login Required: Look for a system that doesn’t require applicants to create a login to submit an application. This can deter quality applicants from applying to open positions—and slow down your time-to-hire.
- Integrations with Job Search Tools: Integrating with job search websites such as Indeed empowers small and mid-sized employers to reach even more qualified candidates. For example, BerniePortal partnered with Indeed to enhance and optimize our recruiting so that when a hiring manager creates a job in the ATS, the posting is automatically available on Indeed via a direct integration.
- Internal Messaging: Hiring managers should be able to communicate directly with job candidates within the ATS. This cuts down on inbox overflow and centralizes all relevant interactions, making the hiring manager’s job even easier.
- ATS as Part of an HRIS: An all-in-one HRIS means new hires and administrators don’t have to use multiple sites with multiple logins to manage hiring, onboarding, benefits enrollment, etc. Plus, one simple system also means a one-stop-shop for support.
How HR Can Use an ATS to Make its Role More Valuable
Applicant tracking systems make recruiting easier. From start to finish, hiring managers can use streamlined and integrated functions that locate better candidates, cut down time-to-hire, and even seamlessly begin the onboarding process once an applicant is hired.
Likewise, ATS platforms give human resources pros the time to step away from the nitty-gritty recruiting process and dedicate more energy to ensure that hiring is as fine-tuned as possible. This shift in responsibility makes HR’s role within the company even more valuable by minimizing its necessity in the day-to-day minutiae of hiring new team members.
To learn more about how applicant tracking software makes hiring easier and HR’s role more valuable, watch the following episode of HR Party of One: