The Talent Scout Episode 32: Using an ATS to recruit during high unemployment
3 minutes | Posted 06 November, 2020

This post is written by our Senior Recruitment Marketing Specialist, Shane Keane. It is based on our webinar on the same topic and you can find that here
Recently my colleagues and I here at Scout Talent completed a webinar for our clients on how to get the most out of your Applicant Tracking System and really bolster your recruitment efforts during times of high unemployment. If you missed it, don’t worry, as usual, today’s podcast is going to be a high-level summary of everything we covered in the webinar. 

Why use an ATS

When it comes to using an ATS to improve your recruitment results during times of high unemployment it probably helps to have one that’s meeting your organisation’s recruitment needs and goals. Or just have an ATS in general if you’re still using Excel and Email to carry out recruitment for your organisation.
If you’re thinking of moving into the world of Applicant Tracking Systems or just thinking about upgrading your existing one, you’ll quickly discover there are a lot of options to choose from. As an organisation that sells an Applicant Tracking System of our own, we are very aware of the volume of competition out there. As such, we’d recommend you err on the side of caution when reviewing Applicant Tracking Systems that promise to be an end to end solution and ask yourself these questions as you review the market’s offerings:

  1. How will the ATS solve the major problems you are having in your recruitment process? For example, if candidate experience is an issue that you are facing can this new ATS help overcome this.
  2. Is the ATS flexible and scalable? If you’re only hiring for part of the year you likely want something that can scale up and down with your recruitment objectives.
  3. Will the ATS help you achieve your recruitment goals? Is the ATS going to make an active difference to your organisation?

When you have your ATS

Once you’re happy with your ATS it’s important to visualise it as an extension of your recruitment process and not a tool that is separate from it. This means your ATS should be a pivotal part of your candidate attraction strategy.
The best way to ensure this is by integrating your applicant tracking system with popular job boards and by availing of screening questions. Job board integration means that when you create your job description within your applicant tracking system it will automatically be posted on the job boards your system is integrated with.
Similarly, any candidates that apply for the role will have their applications stored within the applicant tracking system itself. This will save you huge amounts of time and take much of the admin out of advertising your available role. A similar time saver is screening questions.
Most ATS’s have the functionality to ask candidates screening questions and by posing 5 to 10 relevant screening questions instead of just asking for a resume or cover letter you can very quickly find out the information you want to know about a candidate ahead of bringing them in for an interview. I’m a passionate proponent of screening questions over cover letters but it’s not just me who loves them, multiple surveys suggest candidates prefer screening questions to cover letters because it allows them to know exactly what an employer is looking for rather than having to guess with their cover letter and resume. 

Shortlisting with your ATS

Your applicant tracking system should similarly lend itself to your shortlisting process. Storing candidate information in multiple places is one of the quickest ways to lose track of your candidates between interviews but an applicant tracking system will allow you to keep all of your candidate information centralised allowing you to find relevant pieces of information quickly. Our internal ATS Scout even allows you to invite candidates for an interview at pre-selected times that they can book into themselves, that’s a huge amount of admin quickly automated and a huge amount of time saved as well.

Onboarding with your ATS

The final part of the process is of course Onboarding. When considering your new ATS keep onboarding in mind. It would be awful to spend so much time, energy, and resources making a hire only to lose them because of a lacklustre onboarding process. Make sure you avail of an ATS with onboarding functionality so that you can bring your contracts and signatures online saving you time that you can focus on the learning and development elements of onboarding. 
Recruitment was always moving in an online direction, this year has truly escalated that process. If you want to be successful recruiting candidates in 2020 and beyond you need tools that are going to enable you to find the right people.
An applicant tracking system that fits your organisation’s needs is the best way to streamline your recruitment process and keep up with your talent competitors. 
If you’d like to see how Scout Talent’s ATS can help you to achieve recruitment success, reach out to us via email at or on 1300 366 573.