The hiring process is critical to the overall reputation of the company, and most of all to your employment brand. Companies with better reputations attract better people, are seen to offer more value, and can even charge a premium for their products and services. One great way to improve your brand reputation? Improve your hiring process.

A good process is the result of strategic planning and efficiency, which can be achieved with the help of ATS systems. If you’ve recently purchased or are thinking about investing in applicant tracking software, there are three things you can do right off the bat to improve your hiring process.

Customize screening questions by department.

ATS systems should allow you to tailor your online screening questions. Save time using department-based screening questions. One size does not fit all in the hiring world. The qualifications you need for a finance expert aren’t going to be the same as those for a customer service representative. Take a few minutes to talk with the hiring managers in each department. What kinds of people are they looking for? What are the core competencies critical to the overall success of a person taking on a position in that department? Knowing the right questions to ask can save you time by winnowing down the number of unqualified candidates who apply. Why waste everyone’s time? Customize the screening questions according to discussions with your hiring managers and you’re more likely to hit the mark sooner.

Get the team on board.

Effective collaboration with stakeholders is essential to streamlining your hiring process. ATS systems can be powerful tools, but only if your people are taking advantage. You’ve got to make it easy for everyone to understand and implement your applicant tracking system. Encourage team members to use the ATS systems’ most basic features. Over time, they’ll become more adept and can leverage advanced tools. Hint: try out the software before you buy it. If it isn’t intuitively obvious, your team is not going to want to use it.

The interview process is essential when deciding on a candidate’s eligibility. Your candidate will come into contact with several members of your organization, both formally and informally. ATS systems give you a centralized location to enter feedback, notes, and reviews. It’s the easiest way to consolidate everyone’s thoughts as you work together to reach a decision.

Use the email response function.

This is an important habit to get into. Communication is critical to your applicants; always respond in a timely and professional manner. Candidates are typically applying for several jobs at once. You need to remain in frequent contact, especially with your most desirable candidates. ATS systems allow you to schedule and send emails automatically based on triggers. Build customized templates ahead of time so you don’t come across as impersonal. The email response function is common courtesy for your applicants, and it’s easy to implement.

There are many ATS systems out there. Do your research before you buy. After you’ve made a purchase, set up prescreening questionnaires and email response functions. Get your team excited and on board. They (and you) might be surprised by the many ways an applicant tracking software can augment your current hiring process. If you’ve never used an applicant tracking system, check out this two-minute demonstration of ApplicantStack. Ready to try it out? Click here for your free trial!