The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Applicant Tracking System for Your Business
Published on March 7th, 2023
Are you tired of sifting through countless resumes and applications for a job opening? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the hiring process and the overwhelming applicant pools? If you have to keep multiple Excel sheets open, enter the same data in multiple places, make incessant phone calls, check everyone’s calendar, and get knee-deep in operations, you will be left feeling burnt out, with slow progress and mediocre results.
What if we told you, you aren’t alone in this struggle? You can simplify your recruitment efforts with the help of an applicant tracking system (ATS), that allows you to eliminate any mundane or mediation work involved, and frees up time for you to have meaningful interactions.
As you know, an ATS is a software application designed to automate and streamline the recruitment process. It helps HR and hiring managers like you manage job postings, track candidate applications, and filter out unqualified candidates.
But with so many ATS options available, how do you choose the right one for your business? Don't worry - we've got you covered with this ultimate guide to choosing the best applicant tracking system. Keep reading to find what to look for when spotting the top-notch ATS for your business.
Advantages of Having an Applicant Tracking System
Learn how your upfront investment can immensely improve the quality of the people you build your organization with.
1. Streamlined Recruitment Process
One of the biggest advantages of top applicant tracking systems is that they can streamline the recruitment process by automating many time-consuming, mundane tasks such as getting the job requisition approved by multiple stakeholders, posting the jobs on free and paid job boards, screening scores of resume manually, and scheduling interviews. An ATS can do all this and more for you.
It can give you a single source of truth, a collaborative dashboard that brings in autonomy and transparency to the system, so you don’t have to burn the midnight oil. It also removes frequency or latency bias from the equation.
Naturally, a streamlined, organized interface will help candidates apply faster, stay connected and informed with your business, thus improving their confidence and trust in your recruitment efforts.
2. Better Quality Hires
94% of hiring professionals who use ATS systems report that the software has improved their hiring process.It has been proven that the applicant tracking system helps to improve the quality of hires by identifying the most qualified candidates for open positions. By automating the resume screening process, an ATS can quickly filter out unqualified candidates and focus on the most relevant ones.
This can save recruiters like you, time and ensure you target your efforts on the cream layer of candidates. You are at a massive advantage if the system is built with advanced technology with AI-powered screening, like at Hire Quotient.
3. Reduced Time-to-Hire
Top applicant tracking systems can also help to reduce time-to-hire, which is the amount of time it takes to fill a position from the time it is posted to the time an offer is accepted. By automating many of the recruitment processes, an ATS can reduce the amount of time it takes to initiate a job requisition, get approvals, coordinate amidst the hiring team, mediate between the hiring team and candidate, maintain data manually, schedule interviews, carry out backend recruitment operations manually and fill a position, thus resulting in a more efficient and effective recruitment process.
The system takes care of all the nitty-gritty, so you can focus on what’s most important – getting to know the candidate and assessing their suitability to the organization.
4. Cost Savings
You can make immense cost savings if you invest in the right applicant tracking system. By automating many of the tasks involved in recruitment, an ATS can help to reduce the amount of time and resources needed to fill open positions. By bringing in efficiency at all levels, it also weeds out the backlash of hiring complete misfits, and having to redo the entire exercise all over again.
5. Data-Driven Decision Making
Finally, an AI-powered applicant tracking system like Hire Quotient enables data-driven decision-making. Tracking recruitment metrics such as time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and applicant sources, it can provide valuable insights into the recruitment process. This can help you and your hiring team identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions
Essential Features You Need to Compare & Consider Before Making the Decision
There are a few fundamental features your applicant tracking system needs to have, before you can shortlist them. The system needs to be adept, and flexible, deploy the best technology and AI to simplify work for you, and get you results with accuracy you’ve never thought of.
1. Impeccable User Interface
The user interface (UI) is a crucial component of an ATS as it is the first and most needed feature. It should be easy to use and navigate. Amidst the fast-paced work scenario, you need to be able to quickly access the information you need without having to go through multiple screens or menus.
An efficient UI feels natural and simplifies the hiring process itself. It needs to help you easily track candidates, schedule interviews, and send automated emails to candidates. The ability to automate these tasks can save you a significant amount of time and help you focus on more important tasks, such as sourcing and interviewing candidates.
Needless to say, it also impacts the candidate's experience. A well-designed UI can make it easy for candidates to apply for jobs and track their application status.
80% of candidates described their online job search and online job applications as stressful. If your ATS makes things easier for them in terms of needing a maximum of 4-5 screens to interact with, and a minimum of information to enter manually, the candidates are sure to get a good impression of you.
2. Integration Capabilities
If your ATS is well integrated with other HR systems, you can access data from those systems directly from the ATS, with minimum effort. You don’t need to switch between multiple systems and manually enter data, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. For example, an ATS that is integrated with a payroll system can automatically update employee information and salaries, streamlining the onboarding process.
This seamless flow of data reduces the risk of errors and improves the accuracy of candidate data. Armed with fool-proof data and with an AI partner to ensure data sanctity, you can now make better-informed hiring decisions and avoid mistakes that can harm your employer brand.
3. Top-Notch Resume Parsing
Every recruitment process involves reviewing a large number of resumes. Manually entering the data from each resume into an ATS can be time-consuming and excruciating. Resume parsing automates this process by extracting data from a resume and automatically populating the relevant fields in an ATS. This saves recruiters and hiring managers a significant amount of time and allows them to focus on more important tasks, such as interviewing candidates.
Once the data has been parsed, recruiters and hiring managers can search for specific keywords or phrases in a resume, quickly identify the most relevant candidates, and move them through the recruitment process more efficiently.
This is an important feature, which when improperly executed can bring in a bad reputation for the company. Experienced recruiters cite a few bad experiences their candidates have had with other companies, and in a few instances, the candidate’s last name was considered to be their last employer. In some others, the candidate’s name and contact details were totally messed up and the recruiter addressed the candidate by a different name.
All these examples indicate the importance of a system to read various types of resumes, and parse appropriate data into the respective fields. This can make a huge difference in the hiring process. What’s even better? The best applicant tracking system parses resumes, ranks candidates based on their credentials and gets you the creamy layer, all in a matter of seconds.
4. Customizable Workflows
Every company has unique hiring needs and recruitment processes. Customizable workflows allow companies to fit their hiring process in the ATS, without having to compromise. This means that you can create workflows that match your specific recruitment needs, such as levels of screening, types of interviews, candidate touchpoints, stages of feedback, and managing job offers. This ensures that all relevant parties are involved in the recruitment process and that the process is transparent.
Customizable workflows can be designed to include personalized communication with candidates at every stage of the recruitment process. This can help candidates feel more engaged and informed throughout the recruitment process.
Since every role or department requires its own unique stages of screening, namely, an assessment, or a take-home assignment, or a one-way interview, or a job simulation, you need a top-functioning applicant tracking system that can incorporate any workflow and aid faster collaboration and seamless hiring.
5. Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics enable you to track and analyze recruitment metrics, such as the time-to-hire, candidate sourcing channels, and offer acceptance rates. This data can help you identify areas for improvement and optimize their recruitment processes to improve hiring metrics. For example, if your data shows that a particular sourcing channel is not producing high-quality candidates, you can adjust your recruitment strategy accordingly.
You can also track your diversity and inclusion efforts using ATS data. This includes tracking the diversity of their candidate pool, measuring the success of diversity initiatives, and identifying areas for improvement. This data can help you create a more diverse and inclusive workplace and improve your employer brand.
This advanced reporting can come in handy in budgeting and resource allocation decisions related to recruitment.
6. Mobile Compatibility
Mobile compatibility allows you to access the ATS from anywhere at any time. This means that regardless of whether you’re at an on-campus recruitment drive, at a client’s site, or at home, you can review resumes, schedule interviews, and communicate with candidates on the go. This improves recruitment efficiency by reducing the time it takes to complete recruitment tasks.
Mobile compatibility enables you to reach a wider audience of candidates. It provides a seamless and convenient application process for candidates, increasing the likelihood that they will apply for the position.
Offering mobile compatibility demonstrates that a company is keeping up with technology trends and is committed to providing a modern and convenient recruitment experience.
7. Security and Data Privacy
An applicant tracking system is a repository of sensitive candidate and employee data, including personal information, education history, work experience, and salary information. Therefore, it is imperative that it is secure and compliant with data privacy regulations.
Security and data privacy measures protect this data from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure. Companies are responsible for safeguarding this data and preventing data breaches and cyber-attacks. Failure to protect sensitive data can result in reputational damage, financial loss, and legal liability.
Your ATS may be vulnerable to cyber threats, such as hacking, malware, phishing, and ransomware. A security breach can compromise sensitive data, disrupt recruitment operations, and damage the company's reputation. However, a secure ATS can protect your data against these threats by implementing security protocols, such as encryption, access controls, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.
It can also build trust with candidates by demonstrating a commitment to protecting their privacy and ensuring the confidentiality of their data. This can enhance the employer brand and attract top talent.
Pro Tips to Check, So You Make The Right Decision
Have you shortlisted a few applicant tracking systems, but are looking for the feather on the cap, to decide on the one for you? Here are three pro tips that can take you closer to the best ATS for you.
1. Customer Support
Any downtime in your ATS can undermine your recruitment efforts. Customer support can minimize downtime by providing timely assistance with any technical issues or concerns. A responsive customer support team can ensure that any issues are resolved quickly, minimizing the impact on recruitment operations.
When you're transitioning from a manual system to ATS, or from one software to another, transferring your data can be a challenge. That's why implementing an ATS can be a complex process, involving data migration, user training, and configuration. A competent, amiable customer support team can ensure a smooth implementation process by providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.
They can identify the root cause of the issue and provide a solution, ensuring that the ATS is functioning correctly.
Having an A-team to have your back in case anything goes haywire, is truly advantageous. Check for ratings and reviews of customer service and enquire their availability, in the initial discovery calls.
2. Rating & Reviews
Ratings and reviews provide feedback on the user experience of an ATS. Users can provide feedback on the ease of use, intuitiveness, and overall user experience of the ATS. This feedback can help you evaluate the suitability of an ATS for their recruitment operations.
It can also help companies evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of an ATS. Reach out to your circles and enquire if anyone has used the applicant tracking systems you've shortlisted. Go online and check out multiple reviews from businesses of your size. You'll thank yourself later.
3. Free Trial, Plans & Pricing
Most top applicant tracking systems offer a free plan and allow you to gradually scale up. They offer a taste of their best features in the free plan and in the first few affordable options.
You need a system like that to initially test if it suits your organization and budget, and if you're seeing results, you can purchase more licenses or modules.
Why is Hire Quotient the Best ATS in the Market?
Hire Quotient is your go-to, for all your recruitment automation needs. It's more than just an ATS. It can single-handedly take care of your entire recruitment process, right from creating job descriptions, to scouting for global talent using its vast network, building an evergreen candidate funnel, running cold and warm outreach campaigns, consolidating all sources of applications into one dashboard, parsing your candidates accurately and giving you a report card of the best of best.
The AI-powered, laser-sharp screening technique ensures you pick only your unicorn. It also has an ocean of assessments, customized to different levels, roles, and calibers, so you can administer them right away.
At every stage of your recruitment process, you get advanced reports detailing every aspect and critical metric of your hiring, for you to make informed decisions later.
The adaptability of Hire Quotient's ATS offers you leeway to create any complex workflow, for any industry on the system.
We have a round-the-clock, fully equipped customer support team that can answer your questions, regardless of which timezone you are in. Our flexible pricing and plans are crafted to pose equal accessibility to start-ups and big corporations alike.
If you're looking for a one-stop solution to all your recruitment automation needs, you're in the right place. Head to HireQuotient to get started in your explorative journey.
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