7 features to look for in an applicant tracking system

Data has become a hot commodity in the 21st century. Even our daily decisions which may seem inconsequential and almost habitual are actually data-driven results. Companies invest big bucks in data mining and research as a way to make carefully calculated decisions.

With technology innovating how companies function by leaps and bounds every day, it becomes only natural that the recruitment process gets a slice of this cake as well. Finding the right candidate for the right job is a tough decision left in the hands of the human resource department. With so many people applying in for positions, it becomes all too easy for the right candidate to slip by. Maintaining a pool of candidates is not a job for the faint of heart. Careful metrics and considerations with skillset evaluation have to be carried out to make sure that no time is wasted.

Features to Look for in an Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system proves to be a savior for most of the recruitment needs. The system, simply put, is a software application that acts as a central location for all the candidate data that is generated either through the company’s ATS (applicant tracking system) front-end or collected from job boards such as LinkedIn, Monster.com and other such portals.

When thinking about investing in an ATS here is a list of top 7 must-have features:

1. Engage and Manage

With the job market now more tech-savvy than ever, the traditional methods of finding a job have taken a backseat. Candidates now check postings on their phones and other advanced gadgets rather than go job hunting on foot.

While choosing an ATS system, it is important that the system comes with an AI that is engaging and manages the candidates well. What that means is having an ATS that introduces the company to the candidate and automatically opens a line of communication. It is also important that the ATS manages the candidates based on their skill levels.

Candidates these days consider primary initiation at the time of job application an important aspect that shows the company’s attitude towards its candidates. A good ATS system ensures it picks the right candidate from the database that matches well requirements of the open position.

2. Automated Emails made personal

It can be frustrating as a candidate when you apply for an open position with a reputed company and get no form of communication in return. It leaves you high and dry and in a state of constant anxiousness and confusion as to whether the company has even seen your application or not.

Automated emails are a way to start positive communication with the candidates which in turn helps in promoting a positive outlook about the company itself. A good ATS system should make sure that timely and proper email communication is being sent to the candidates every step of the way.

From interview initiation to scheduling, the emails should be tailored to have a personal touch which a prospective candidate can appreciate.

3. Intelligent Workflow System

Since ATS is a software system it follows a certain type of workflow. It is important for companies to get a proper demonstration of each and every aspect of the built-in workflow. This serves a dual purpose. First, the company does not have to spend months trying to figure out or adapt their working style to the workflow.

Second, the company can know about the pitfalls of the workflow if any, and ask the company to customize certain aspects of it so that it suits the needs of the company better. The workflow function of an ATS is crucial to the company as much as it is to the system itself. It can either prove to a great help or the biggest hindrance.

4. Scheduling and feedback

The interview is a crucial part of the recruitment process. It helps in deciding whether the candidate is a good fit for the company. ATS systems should be smart enough to pick out the time preferences, match them with the availability of the managers and schedule a proper time accordingly. Mismatched interview schedules create a problem for all. It can prove to be a waste of time for the company as well as the candidate. Hence, it is important for the ATS system to carefully scrutinize the information provided by the candidate and schedule an interview accordingly. The communication for the same interview must be clear and crisp. After the interview, the ATS should take automated measures to gain feedback about the process so that the company can use the data and fix problems with their recruitment process if any. Feedback from the candidate is a positive aspect as it portrays a good image of the company. It also helps in gaining data about the good and bad aspects of the recruitment process.

5. Dashboard

The ATS system should have an activity dashboard that helps managers to keep a track of what recruiting activities are being carried throughout the organization. This can help in maintaining a smooth job flow. A dashboard also keeps track of the progress of a candidate along the recruitment process so that correct communication is maintained.

A good ATS has an interactive dashboard that aids managers in maintaining a smoother functioning across the human resource channels. The dashboard is also a way to weed out the potential misfit candidates for the position easily. It also helps in making any quick changes in the recruitment process.

6. Analyzing the Data

With the overall number of applicants increasing constantly, managing and maintaining a database with all their information can get quite tough. Imagine 200 applicants applying for just one position. The data generated from such statistics can be monumental. Thus, companies need to invest an ATS system that not only filters the candidates on the basis of the job requirement but also manages to match the right candidate with the right job profile. This can be a huge benefit in terms of time saved as well the sheer energy spent on looking for the right person for the open position.

7. Data Presentation

How data is presented lends credibility to how a manager perceives it. If the data is presented in a haphazard manner, making sense of it can take days wasting much of the time of the manager. In order for the managers to function efficiently, it is important for the data to be presented in a clear and concise manner free of jargon.

An ATS system can be an aid since it collects, assimilates and presents candidate data in the desired format. The ATS can highlight the key points that the manager considers crucial about a candidate and mention any other important information that may affect their decision.

Published by Apoorv Bhatnagar

Apoorv Bhatnagar is a Digital marketer at Freshworks Inc. He generally writes about software that improve your marketing, sales or hiring process.

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