The Talent Scout Episode 43: Why an ATS is important for recruitment in 2021
3 minutes | Posted 20 January, 2021

What is an ATS

An ATS or Applicant Tracking System has always been important for Recruitment. An ATS’s primary function is to store applications in a centralized space and allow for a more streamlined process of comparison between said applications.

As a tool, an ATS allows hiring managers and recruiters to speed up their overall recruitment process which increases the chances of hiring top talent and helps mitigate frustrations felt by candidates within a recruitment process. An ATS also makes it possible for more touchpoints to exist between the organization with the vacancy and the person who has applied for the role. These touchpoints help support the applicant and ensure they feel like a person and ironically not like a number in a machine. 

Why it is important

As we look to recruitment in 2021 we know that higher unemployment is going to increase the number of resumes we receive for our open roles. This means we’re going to need all of the help we can get to review these resumes which is why an Applicant Tracking System is going to be hugely important for recruitment this year.

As I’ve said before, an ATS or Applicant Tracking System works by creating a centralized place to store received resumes. This is hands down a better system than using email or excel to organize resumes as both of which very quickly become messy resulting in good candidates falling through the cracks.

Some job boards do create a mini ATS experience and store candidates online for you to review, while this is an ok approach, these mini ATS’s lack a lot of the features of a dedicated ATS and also limits you to only advertising your opportunity on their job board. A centralized and dedicated tool for gathering resumes such as an ATS ensures that you won’t miss the best talent that is applying and will allow you the freedom of posting your opportunity wherever you need to. As the volume of applicants increases, which is expected for this year, you’ll be able to use your ATS’s automation features to help you review the applicants for your role and keep on top of your open opportunities. 

The importance of screening questions

The first incredibly useful tool that most Applicant Tracking Systems are capable of is Screening Questions that can be used for the quick comparison of resumes.

Rather than accept a copy and paste resume, these screening questions will allow you to ask exactly what it is that you want to know of your candidates. In some instances, they may even be enough to replace an initial screening phone call. Some applicant tracking systems can even link these screening questions to auto rating, meaning that as soon as a candidate applies for a role you can have them instantly rated based on the answers they’ve given to your screening questions.

This can allow you very quickly to move on strong applicants and bring them forward for interview.

Auto-responses to candidates

A second useful tool of Applicant Tracking Systems is their automatic responses.

These automatic responses, especially in a time of heavy candidate volume, can help you protect your employer brand. We know from surveys that candidates who have a bad recruitment experience, and never hearing anything after submitting an application is a bad experience, these individuals tend not to apply for a role with that organization again and in the worst scenarios, they tell their friends and families to actively avoid that organization’s products and opportunities as well.

Using automatic replies we can help mitigate this issue. Hire a copywriter to write some engaging messages for each stage in your recruitment process as well as if an application is rejected. Most ATS tools allow their users to deploy these messages with a click of a button to the relevant candidates. This small gesture could have huge positive ramifications for your overall Employer Brand. 

If you’ve been on the fence about an ATS well this is the year to get off of that fence. Here at Scout Talent, we have an entry-level price point of $150 CAD per month for our Scout Applicant Tracking System. This will give you access to our Applicant Tracking System in order to post up to 3 jobs at a time and these jobs will automatically integrate with your careers page and your indeed page.

If, perhaps, you’re interested in an ATS but just not quite ready to come off of that fence of yours, you can always request a demo with our Applicant Tracking System specialist. 

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