Is it possible to manage recruitment without an applicant tracking system? Some may feel that ATS systems promote a world where people are no longer part of the recruitment process and talent acquisition technology makes all the decisions instead. But that’s not true. There should be a fair balance between the use of technology and the use of people throughout the hiring process.
The applicant tracking software
It’s remarkable the amount of time spent in the entire recruitment process. From having a vacancy request signed off, advertising the job on various websites, handling applications (and responding to each), reviewing applications to shortlist, inviting candidates to interview, generating offers and contracts, and managing the process of onboarding the new hire.
This list is long, but it’s by no means exhaustive. These tasks are all primarily administrative, and probably do not require anyone with particular recruitment or specialist function skills to carry them out.
Re-skilling of recruiters
Online recruitment software does not mean a recruitment team is redundant. It frees up their time to develop new roles and skills and deliver the service that only a human could, resulting in a far greater positive impact on the business.
Exploring new avenues for talent sourcing – pro-active sourcing
Advertising jobs and contacting agencies for staff are both notoriously expensive routes to go down for hiring. With applicant tracking software, it opens up a world of pro-active sourcing, such as building up your own talent pools.
An ATS system will allow you to build a database of candidates (in a GDPR compliant way) who are good quality applicants that may match your needs in the future. The ATS will make staying in touch (via email, SMS or phone) with all those candidates simple and efficient. Keep them up to date of developments in the organisation (expansion plans? industry awards, etc). This way, you’re keeping potential employees warm, whilst also improving EVP, and keeping them excited and interested in you as a potential employer if the right position becomes available for them.
Add in Artificial Intelligence (in our ATS system we have ‘Smart Search and Match’) then the ability to proactively search for specific talent is part of a complete transformation of the role of the recruiter.
Quick and easy to understand reporting
The endless hours it can take to produce reports on data is a thing of the past with a good applicant tracking system.
Diversity & Inclusion information is real time and accurate. As is candidate source report i.e. where did they really see your advert or get to hear about the job. Scheduling reports to run each day/week/month is yet more time saving and ensures that the right information is getting to the right people each and every time. Most applicant tracking systems should have the facility to run an almost infinite number of reports on a really wide range of measures.
Speed of hire
‘The war/race for talent’ is still a much-used phrase. To stay ahead of the competition, a strong tactical advantage is critical and reducing time to hire for example from 6 weeks to just 3 weeks is evident in terms of benefit. Such time savings are realistically made possible only through the use of technology in the right way. Simply putting more people on the job won’t help matters - this is about automation and for that there is no substitute at the technology end of recruitment.
People buy people
You might be surprised but here at Jobtrain, we firmly believe you cannot (and should not) totally rely on technology in recruitment - there has to be a human involvement. Why? Because people buy people. When a candidate applies for a job and moves through the process, they want to engage with the people who work for the organisation, ask them questions, and gauge the culture of the business – technology can’t do this.
The entire interview schedule can’t be conducted just through technology. Of course, there is a place for Video Interviews (they are great, and especially now through the pandemic), but ultimately, there needs to be that personal engagement to build rapport.
Our applicant tracking system captures the shortlist criteria that you stipulate - and it collates responses from hiring managers too. Technology can shortlist to a degree (with killer and scored questions for example), but it takes people to exercise judgement and to sense check and qualify the best talent.
An ATS system handles the often-heavy administrative workload, such as contract creation, online signatures, right to work documents, health and safety policies, etc.
However, recruitment technology cannot be wholly responsible for a new employee to be ‘courted’ into the business. In our ATS system, we have Green Room Onboarding to help new hires stay engaged before they start, but that should complement the input from a real person.
The whole process of keeping people ‘warm’ through the notice period should be addressed through a fusion of real input from real people - supplemented by the occasional sharing of information through the ATS. But to rely wholly on one is to either overload the people side or to present a cold face of the organisation.