At one time when you needed to hire someone for your business, you had someone do the job. They would advertise, get bombarded by CVs or phone calls then have to spend ages sorting through it all to find the right people to interview. But now there is a high tech way to get most of the work done without needing to take over someone’s life – the applicant tracking system.
What are applicant tracking systems?
An applicant tracking system, often referred to as ATS, is a piece of software that can handle most of the recruitment process for a business. It can either be installed on the business’ servers or can operate across the internet, known as SaaS or software as a service. This means it operates via the cloud and doesn’t have to be run in the business premises, taking up capacity and meaning there is something else to maintain.
There are different types of software, depending on the needs of the business. The three main categories are enterprise, staffing agencies and small-medium businesses. Each has a slightly different focus and is designed for an area of business.
Is ATS right for your business?
The biggest thing to consider when looking to use ATS is do you have someone within the business who can either use it or learn to use it? There’s no point investing in it if your recruitment person won’t use it and it simply sits there, tracking nothing. Many of the systems are relatively easy to use but there is still a certain level of computer literacy required.
The other thing to consider is what features does the system offer and what do you need? Most ATS can work across multiple job sites, allowing you to collect applicants from around the internet. But they don’t do everything in the process. For example, they can’t do checks to ensure the candidate is eligible to work in the UK or other background checks. For that you will still need a suitably qualified and experienced background checking company like uCheck. You may also need to find out more about DBS (CRB) checks to comply with regulations affecting your business and ATS isn’t able to do this.
What it does
What ATS does do is to help you find the right candidate by getting rid of all the ones who don’t fit your requirements. You can establish a social media search to find people across LinkedIn and other websites as well as integrate it with an employee referral program for those suggestions that staff make about suitable candidates.
ATS can also manage the search and your recruitment funnel. This is ideal if the first candidate doesn’t work out or another vacancy opens up. It can resume the search or be amended to take new criteria and be at work again in no time.
Businesses who use ATS have found a higher success rate than by using traditional methods alone. Many of the unsuitable candidates who sometimes sneak through are eliminated and the quality of those who remain are generally higher.