Tips To Use Your ATS Effectively For Optimizing Candidate Experience

When we come across the phrase ‘applicant tracking system‘, we might generally assume that all recruitment software affects only the hiring programs of organizations. However, an applicant tracking system impacts not just the organization. It also has an impact on the people applying to the jobs you post. Selecting the right recruiting software and configuring it accordingly can have a significant effect how the candidates feel when they apply to your open positions. Optimizing candidate experience can be the distinction between hiring the best candidates and the candidates that leave application process incomplete.

At present, the market is infused with several applicant tracking software and majority of people already possibly understand what an ATS is. Yet, if you want to get a quick sneak peak regarding its significance for both the company and the candidates, here is an overview for you:

Significance For The Company

An ATS manages the complete record of the candidates including their background data, suitability for the interview process and job position. Basically, it works as a CRM for the hiring process, whereas, a conventional CRM mainly follows the customer behavior.

Significance For The Candidate

An ATS indicates the procedure through which the candidates have to go to effectively apply for a job position. Generally, it signifies the volume of the information to be submitted, screenings to go through, and relevant documents to upload etc. During the entire application process, an applicant tracking system works as the key source of communication.

Optimizing Candidate Experience and ATS

There are several applicant tracking systems out there in the market exhibiting high efficiency. However, not all of them offer equal functionalities. Most of these recruiting solutions perform the same functions. Therefore, their features can differ only slightly from each other. One of the major factors that distinguishes the high-quality applicant tracking systems is the field of optimizing candidate experience. Consequently, in order to offer a positive experience to your candidates, you must ensure you have a highly functional ATS in place.

An example of optimizing candidate experience and ATS practice

Let’s assume that the initial stage of candidate experience is a website requesting a LinkedIn connector or a resume upload. A majority of the applicants presume “all right, now they have my LinkedIn or my resume, therefore, they must’ve acquired all the crucial information about me and the following screens might be about something different”.

On the other hand, the screen that comes next ask you to provide all the information that has been provided on your LinkedIn—and you find out that nothing is pre-populated in the application form. Instead of giving the candidates an opportunity to easily apply for the job, they have been directed from a comparatively simple, automated practice to the one where they have to fill out forms after forms with the information that they had already previously provided by allowing a connection to their LinkedIn profiles.

In such circumstances a majority of the candidates will act to either:

  • Discard the site
  • Or fill in all the screens but it will aggravate and will undervalue the company

The process of optimizing candidate experience desires none of these two outcomes. The first situation is, in fact, what the applicant tracking systems must assist to evade. The second one is only slightly better as the candidates don’t abandon the site completely. Although, they are bound to gain profound insights with such an experience. Now, imagine, what if something more interesting were to be introduced to this process? Therefore, provision of such ATS(s) that keeps the candidates engaged is the most important feature of any applicant tracking system.

ATS Tips for Optimizing  Candidate Experience

Here are a few expeditious approaches:

Make It User-Friendly

Your applicant tracking system should be highly functional and intuitive. It must have an easy and simple navigation, and it definitely should be mobile-friendly.

Limit The Number of Screens

Reduce the number of screens to engage candidates and to speed up the entire application process. It can particularly get tiresome and aggravating for the candidates who are using the mobile version of your ATS.

Offer An Immediate Follow Up

When candidates complete their application process, a majority of the organizations send them an email with a quick message “Thanks for applying” lacking any details regarding the further hiring process. Such emails are not helpful at all. Rather they may disappoint the applicants. Instead, develop an automated email prompt at the end of the application process thanking the candidates and giving details of next stages, with authentic timelines/timetables. Create an understandable and well-versed email template.

Don’t Overdo Your Application Process

When posting an ad for open positions, limit the written text to only job description. Avoid mentioning redundancies like mission statement, core values and other excessive detailed informatics. Aim to develop just a simple application process so the applicants can move through it easily and provide you with the information you require in the most feasible and responsive way.

Provision of an “Easy Apply” Option

The choice for an Easy Apply in application process strikes majority of the candidates since nobody likes to fill in forms after forms. Many of the applicants can naturally discern and become “black holes” whence they may never get a response from the company against their applications. Aim to avoid such black holes to the maximum extent possible. Initiate an automated reference of “Easy Apply” tab.


In a nutshell, using your applicant tracking system smartly can offer your candidates an improved and positive job application experience. To learn more about the strategies to use recruiting software for optimizing candidate experience, read our blog here. Moreover, RecruitBPM also offers a free demo that you can explore to learn in details about our application tracking system.

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