To properly use your applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s important to align your recruiting, candidate sourcing, and hiring practices with your company goals.

Many ATS solutions are under-utilized, partly due to a lack of user adoption.  The main culprit being that the system was not configured to fit the organization’s unique business model.

If any member of your talent acquisition team does not know how to properly use your ATS, it can cost your company a good hire, increase your average cost-per-hire, and time-to-fill jobs. These problems can be partially solved through user training and improving user adoption.

But with so many corporate solutions and staffing business software to choose from, it’s also important to have a clear idea of what technology your recruiters really need to successfully source, attract and engage top job seekers.

Who should use an applicant tracking system?

Whether you call it an applicant tracking system or not, if you’re an employer, you need a way to track and manage recruiting workflow and report on hiring activity.  AndApplicant Tracking System Statistic by G2 every organization has its own way of managing the recruitment process.

If you think you don’t need an ATS, think again. Even small companies need a system to Source, Hire and Retain top talent.

Here are a few Smart Tips to improve your process with an ATS.

Let’s start by understanding the purpose of an applicant tracking system. When the tools in your applicant tracking system are aligned with your desired recruiting process, the technology and automation will multiply your recruiter’s capability, boost efficiency, and fill jobs faster.

1) Review your current process.

Begin with an outline of your current process and ATS best practices.

  • What do you want to happen? Where are the “holes” or gaps you need to fill? Which tasks are tedious and time-consuming that could be streamlined through automation?
  • What is happening? What data do you need to ensure an efficient, cost-effective, and compliant hiring process? What problems do you need to solve?
  • How can you align these two? How will your recruiting strategy support the business goals?

2) Review your current system’s functions.

Next, include your recruiters and hiring managers in the review process. Ask them to tell you what works, what’s not working, and what would help make their job easier.

  • Does it help with Candidate Sourcing?
  • Does the system properly manage candidate records and candidate profiles?
  • Does the system keep you on track?
  • Can you extend job offers through the system?
  • Can you build customizable reports?

3) Understand which portions of your recruiting workload could be automated.

Many repetitive and time-consuming tasks can be automated to speed up and optimize your talent acquisition team’s workflow, such as:

  • Status tracking
  • Job descriptions
  • Candidate pooling
  • Updating tasks automatically
  • Follow-Ups and reminders
  • Scheduling

4) Review how you collaborate within the system.

Communication tools and collaboration must be at the heart of any applicant tracking system. Think of it as a “people relationship management” platform for keeping everyone informed and engaged through every step of the hiring process.

  • How do you communicate with qualified candidates?
  • How do you communicate with hiring managers?
  • How do you communicate with recruitment team members?

5) Use automation and workflows to engage with your talent pool.

Using ATS best practices, task automation can give recruiters more time to focus on the human aspects of hiring, such as candidate engagement.

  • Candidate Engagement is easy if you take the time to design your process
  • Use your data to influence your engagement with potential candidates.

6) Look for ways to amplify system capabilities through integration.

Your applicant tracking system serves as a platform for recruiting and a key component in a complete ecosystem of corporate solutions for tracking hiring activity. The ideal ATS will integrate with other vendor partners, such as job boards as well as internal and external systems that are used in throughout the process, including:

  • E-Signature and paperless Document Management
  • Background check and drug screening
  • Onboarding and Human Resources Systems
  • Payroll and Accounting

7) Review your KPIs

Adopting new technology is beneficial, but only if you’re able to measure the results.

  • What do you consider a success?
  • What factors play a role in helping you reach your hiring goals?

Choose the best ATS system on the market. Choose SmartSearch

A well-configured applicant tracking system will streamline tasks, support candidate engagement, and deliver the reports needed to drive process improvement and make better hiring decisions.

Do you need help incorporating any of these ATS best practices into your own recruiting processes? 

To get the most out of your ATS, having your own designated system administrator and Subject Matter Expert is ideal. Or call your ATS provider and about system optimization services and tips to streamline the recruitment process.