Technology Should Enhance the Candidate Experience

A great ATS should enrich the candidate experience — here’s how.

Has your company’s online Career Center become the much-dreaded “black hole” that seems to suck candidates away into oblivion? That’s clearly the last thing you want for anybody, especially for someone interested in learning about opportunities at your company.

If you’re utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you could well be using a sub-par one or, not taking advantage of the many valuable, candidate-friendly options and opportunities that the best ones offer.

Your recruiting software should be an essential tool for creating talent pools, engagement, and making sure that candidates get the same three R’s that every customer wants:  respect, responsiveness and resolution. Even if they don’t get the job they’re after, they deserve to be treated well and have a positive experience — all of which reflects well on you and your organization and leaves a favorable, lasting impression.

So, what exactly should you expect out of an ATS when it comes to helping create a good candidate experience?

First and Foremost, It’s About Choices

The more the merrier, as they say. Flexibility, configurability, options…. not every product is created equal, just as your company is one of a kind. So, look for a system that helps you comprehensively customize the candidate experience to your unique requirements.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

 An individual’s impression of your company can fall flat quickly if your job-hunting portal doesn’t deliver and live up to your good image. An effective ATS integrates your career center easily and seamlessly as an extension of your corporate site, and allows you to provide an exceptional level of branding along with features that optimize the candidate experience.

User-friendly Features

Be sure you’re giving candidates the tools they need to search for jobs, submit a resume or online employment application, and create a profile that allows them to apply for multiple jobs or create a personal ‘search agent” to receive an email alert when a new position is posted that meets their desired criteria. If they provide their resume, do not make them manually enter data that is already contained there. You’ll also want to make it quick and easy for them to complete any screening questions you need to collect details on specific qualifications, including the ability to stop, save and complete the process later. Make sure your recruitment software gives you appropriate options for all-important personalized acknowledgements and enable them to track their recruitment and screening progress online — that’s the way to eliminate that unfortunate “black hole” feeling.

Stay Social… and Mobile

Look for social media tools for employees and candidates to share not only jobs but their experiences with your organization and your career site as well. And, perhaps most vital in the age of smartphones, ensure your ATS can help you get maximum mobile optimization for your career center. Today’s on-the-move candidates want to stay in touch wherever they are, browsing jobs on hand-held devices. And the best tracking systems now allow them the convenience of using existing online social profiles – such as LinkedIn, Monster, or Indeed – to apply to jobs with greater ease from a smartphone.

So, show your personality. Share your forward-thinking with the best candidate-friendly tools. Meet them on their own turf with real mobility. With a great career center experience, today’s most sought-after talent will feel engaged, respected…and hopefully interested in joining your terrific company.


About the author

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., maker of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. Under Doug’s leadership and unique perspective on the development and user adoption of software and technology, APS pioneered the resume scanning based system as a new approach to digital candidate management. In the ensuing years, APS continues to reign as one of the industry’s most innovative software developers in the field of HR technology. APS currently services customers on five continents, serving both corporate human resources, as well as the staffing industry. Doug attended Augustana College and the University of Minnesota. He’s the father of two sons and is an avid automobile enthusiast. Doug lives in North San Diego County, California.