Tips to use your ATS effectively for Optimizing Candidate Experience

When we come across the word “applicant tracking system” we generally might assume that all recruitment software mostly affects an organization’s hiring programs. But an applicant tracking system doesn’t just have an impact on the organization. It also has an impact on the people applying for your job. Selecting the right recruiting software and configuring it accurately, can have a significant effect on what 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 with a market infused with several applicant tracking software, a majority of the people may know what an ATS is. But to give a quick understanding regarding its significance for both the company and the candidates, here is an overview:

Importance for the company:

ATS manages the information regarding the candidates, their background data, and their suitability for the interview process and job position. Basically, it works as a CRM for the hiring process, while a customary CRM mainly follow the customer behavior.

Importance for the candidate:

An ATS indicates the procedure through which the candidates have to go to apply for a job position. Generally, it signifies the volume of the information to be submitted, screens to go through, and things to upload etc. During the complete 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 in the market with high efficiency. However, not all of them offer equal functionalities. Most of these recruiting solutions  perform the same functions. Therefore, their features can be just a little different from each other. One of the major factors that distinguish the high-quality applicant tracking systems is the field of optimizing candidate experience. Hence, if you want to give your candidates a positive experience. Then ensure that your ATS offers high-functionality regarding this matter.

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, consequently, they got 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 is existing 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, automatic practice to the one where they have to fill out screen after screen with the information they had previously provided by allowing a connection to their LinkedIn profiles.

In such circumstances a majority of the candidates will:

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

None of the two circumstances are the outcome of optimizing candidate experience. The first situation is in fact what the applicant tracking systems must assist to evade. The second one is slightly better as your candidates didn’t abandon the site. Although, they are quite aggravating due to the application process. What if something more interesting is introduced in the process? What you need the most is having such systems and processes in use that keeps the best candidates engaged. 

ATS Tips for optimizing  candidate experience

Here are a few expeditious approaches:

Make it user-friendly:

Your applicant tracking system should 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.

Give 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 rather they may disappoint the applicants. Instead develop an automated email trigger 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-written email template.

Don’t overdo your application process:

Apart from the job description, which preferably the applicants already read and explored a little, you don’t have to use excessive words like mission statements, other excessive details or images etc. Just develop 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.

Implement all these approaches if you give an “Easy Apply” option too:  

Easy Apply options in application process strike most of the candidates as they are not time-consuming. Many of the applicants can naturally discern and become “black holes” whence they may never get a response from the company against their applications. Don’t develop a black hole. Initiate an automated correspondence of “Easy Apply”.

Sum Up

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.

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