There isn’t an applicant tracking system out there that doesn’t purport to be the ‘best recruitment software’ in the business. And a quick Google search reveals a plethora of top ten lists of the best recruitment software available.
But what really makes one software stand out from any other? Once you’ve analyzed which HR recruitment software fit your needs, how can you cull your list down to the best recruitment software bar none? Beyond the bells, whistles, and add-ons, there’s one thing that sets the best software apart.
It’s All About Support
Almost every software company provides some form of technical support for its product. But what does that really mean? Tech support can cover anything from:
- A huge repository of support documentation and help pages
- An email form with a response turnaround of 48-72 hours
- Instant messaging with customer service reps – or with bots
- A downloadable product manual
- A FAQ page
- Discussion boards for users to hash out problems among themselves
Knowing what a vendor means when it says it “provides technical support” can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful implementation.
Here’s the Catch…
You don’t always know how good (or bad) the tech support is until you need to use it. For example, two companies might both describe their technical support teams as “passionate experts” who are “highly responsive.” Both conjure the image of dedicated representatives standing by to answer every query.
At the first company, you’ve got phone support…but only if you press the right buttons to be directed to the correct department. There, you can leave a message that may or may not reach anyone who can help.
The second company looks exactly the same as the first. But in this case, you’ve got a dedicated account manager you can call directly. He can pull up your account to answer specific questions and refer back to your history. There’s a massive database of support documents covering every imaginable question. And videos accompany most of these help pages, so you can see exactly what you should be doing to fix your problem.
Both companies call it “technical support” – but one is far more helpful than the other!
Questions to Ask
When you’re looking for the best recruitment software vendor, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here are some criteria to consider:
- If you have a question, are you able to speak with someone who is capable of answering? Many companies say they offer live phone support, but your call is sent to a call center. There, the representative will pass your query along to a technical expert to answer at some point. This isn’t really “live” support.
- Are there other ways to get help? Can you reach out through email? If so, when can you expect a response?
- Can you help yourself? Browse through the help pages the potential vendor offers. Do they seem to cover lots of different scenarios, or just the basics? It’s far faster to find the answer on your own than to wait for someone to call you back!
- Will you have one account manager whom you can work with consistently, or do you need to call general support for every issue?
- Will the support team answer specific questions about your account configuration, or just provide general guidance and links to online help articles?
- How quickly are you able to get an answer to a question? Companies often will provide a response time estimate, but the only way to really know is to try it. The best recruitment software offers free trials so you can see what you’re buying. Use this opportunity to test out customer support.
- What kind of additional help is available beyond product support? You may need assistance configuring your system, customizing features or reports, or training your staff. Is the vendor willing to provide that for an additional fee?
Go beyond the traditional questions about support hours and options so you can figure out exactly what you’re getting with technical support. It’s one of the most important ways to evaluate a vendor, and you can’t rely on a website to give you an accurate impression. Want to know more about what stellar customer service looks like? Contact our team at ApplicantStack! Our customers are all assigned account managers, who are available as needed. We know that customer service sets teams apart. See how we excel.
The field of psychology has drastic implications for talent acquisition and retention. Psychology is the study of why people do what they do – in essence, what makes people tick. There are certain motivations and fallacies common to much of the population. In many cases, it affects what we say and do.
A cognitive bias is a flaw in judgment. There are dozens of cognitive biases, many of which you are probably familiar with. Think about a coin toss that comes up heads ten times in a row. There’s still a 50% chance that the next flip will be tails – even though it seems unlikely. If you’ve already spent money on something, like an all-you-can-eat buffet, you might gorge yourself to ensure you ‘get your money’s worth.’ This is the sunk cost fallacy. You’ve spent the same amount regardless of how much you eat.
Hiring bias has much more important implications than the examples above. Gender and racial hiring bias are most frequently mentioned, but there are other types of cognitive biases you might be falling victim to. The first step to overcoming a bias is knowing that it might exist.
Types of Cognitive Hiring Bias
The Halo Effect
We all know that first impressions matter. Part of this is because of the halo effect. Once we have a favorable opinion of someone, it takes a lot to change our minds. Another element of the halo effect is the idea that because a person excels in one area, he or she will also excel in others. We might assume that because someone is an excellent public speaker and is especially talented in his field, he will also make a good group leader. In reality, these skills don’t necessarily influence each other.
A recruiter might read through dozens of resumes. One candidate looks particularly good “on paper.” When that person comes in for an interview, the recruiter may be more likely to overlook obvious flaws; say, the person doesn’t make eye contact or is inarticulate or incompetent. If you expect someone to be something – whether that’s good or bad – he or she is likely to fulfill those expectations.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that validates your current opinion. For example, people who tune into Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck are typically more conservative. These pundits espouse beliefs that are congruent with the conservative mindset. As a hiring bias, confirmation bias can be seen in the tendency to focus only on the aspects of a person that coincide with the recruiter’s pre-established thoughts on the candidate.
Anchoring is a hiring bias in which the recruiter or hiring manager fixates on one piece of information, giving it more weight than it deserves. Say, for example, you have a candidate who went to Harvard, or who is president of the local Mensa Society. Even if the candidate isn’t the best for the job, it may be tempting to overlook his or her flaws because “She’s in Mensa!” or “He went to Harvard!”
Social Comparison Bias
This is a tough one for managers who are hiring employees to join their team. The social comparison bias is the tendency to dislike or feel competitive with others who may have the same kinds of skills. For example, if you’re widely seen as the company’s expert in a certain software program, you’ll feel reluctant to hire someone whose skills meet or exceed your own. Research has shown that this is a relatively common phenomenon, so it’s a hiring bias you’ll want to consciously avoid.
Ingroup bias is the tendency to favor people who are similar to oneself, or who are part of the same “group.” It’s an interesting hiring bias because in some cases, like sexism or racism, it’s blatantly seen as wrong. But there are less obvious examples of ingroup bias. Some hiring managers, for example, might look more favorably on fellow alumni. You may feel a sense of camaraderie and kinship with a candidate who participated in the same fraternity or sorority that you joined in school. There are several types of ingroups, but any kind of favoritism based on this is a hiring bias that could negatively impact your hiring decisions.
Shared Information Bias
While this type of bias may not directly affect your candidates, it can certainly draw out the hiring process. Shared information bias is the tendency for members of a group to discuss information that everybody is already aware of, rather than focusing on hidden information that is only available to some. For example, if one interviewer notices an irritating quality in a candidate, he or she should share this with the group – even if it doesn’t seem relevant. Don’t focus on just making a decision. The process is important, too.
Overcome Hiring Bias
Do you know how to recruit in a way that will avoid this? Awareness of these kinds of hiring biases is critical. Many publications have recently suggested that automated intelligence is the solution for removing (or at least significantly decreasing) hiring bias. An applicant tracking system can show or hide certain aspects of a candidate’s profile that you don’t want to consider. You can decrease the shared information bias, since everyone keeps notes in a central location. Hiring bias doesn’t have to be an insurmountable problem. Learn about more tips for avoiding hiring bias here.
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!
According to current research, the global applicant tracking software (ATS) market size is projected to grow from $1.21 billion this year to $1.81 billion by 2023. That’s a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3%.
And why not? The economy is running full-speed ahead. Unemployment has finally rebounded from the Great Recession and is the lowest in half a century. Besides a robust GDP, the upshot of low unemployment is the premium it places on finding qualified candidates for job vacancies.
So, it’s no wonder that demand for ATS surges. After all, if a company can grease the gears of its recruitment efforts, finding and acquiring the most qualified talent becomes faster and easier. And a good Applicant Tracking System does just that, streamlining sourcing, social engagement and the entire hiring workflow through a solitary integrated platform.
For 2019, ATS solutions will be even more “fortified” with artificial intelligence (AI) advances. Notwithstanding AI-induced automation that will minimize friction in the hiring workflow (anyone for machine-generated reminders based on deadlines and company objectives and workflow-assessing analytics?), choosing the best ATS for your company requires more than just picking the most “automated” solution.
Here are nine tips to help guide you to the best possible ATS for your company.
When investigating an ATS solution, you want to determine:
- The value an ATS system will deliver to your company. Before considering any solution, you must decide just what your company’s recruitment and acquisition needs are and will be. Once determined, you look for those ATS features that should bring to fruition those objectives. Then, determine if those features fit your budget.
- How easy is the application to use for all parties? Explore the intuitiveness of the application. Can you and your team – and the recruit – easily navigate the screens? Sometimes, an abundance of features and layers of screens can do more harm than good in terms of working with the software. The simpler the operation, the sooner the team accepts it and the faster its onboarding – another paramount concern.
Also consider what kind of candidate experience does an ATS offer? You will lose valuable prospects if the job application process is clunky, frustrating and, ultimately, dismissed.
- Level of sophistication. Does the ATS integrate with your other apps and salient third-party software? How does the vendor handle upgrades? Is the ATS scalable, so it can grow with your company?
Does the ATS allow you to post to multiple job sites (issue No. 1 for SMBs!). Can users manage resumes, collaborate with recruiters and integrate with job boards? These handy features contribute to a speedier hiring workflow.
Perhaps even more critical, does the ATS support employee referrals? Because referrals remain the best method to find candidates, you want an ATS that demonstrates a clear means to attract and reward referrals from your team.
Is data migration from legacy systems – and to future systems – available? With input from many sources and different candidates, make sure any considered ATS can integrate with various databases and specific file types. Can the ATS bulk import data?
- If workflow management is diffuse or – better – centralized. It’s recommended that the easier it is for the team to access the right information at the right time by the right people, the better prepared they will be for an interview – and the smoother the interview will go.
- If a vendor offers a no-hassle, no-cost trial of the ATS. You want to kick the tires, try it on for size. If for any reason you’re not feeling comfortable or confident with a particular ATS, you can avoid long-term commitment and back away after a free trial.
- How extensive reporting needs to be. Are reports templated? Can you customize ad-hoc reports to identify the source of a hire, the number of candidates in queue, and respective qualifications? Will report creation by arduous or straight-forward?
- The extent of the ATS search ability. You want a fast, accurate search with results organized in a logical and intuitive way.
- The breadth and scope of customer support. When an issue arises, is customer support available? Do you have to pay for it? To what extent can CS help? Because CS is critical to the success of any software company, this question must be answered.
- If the ATS is mobile. In 2019, a distributed workforce will be even more routine. For global companies of any size, any member of a hiring team should be able to review candidates, schedule interviews, leave feedback and check the workflow from anywhere, at any time and on any device.
A good applicant tracking system not only makes it easier for all stakeholders to store, organize, and access critical information at any time, but also offers insights into those candidate qualities that your company is seeking. It should let users manage multiple recruitment initiatives from a single platform at the same time.
Pick the wrong ATS and you could have a recruitment and acquisition debacle on your hands that leads to lost talent, unhappy management, discouraged team members and wasted time and money.
Pick the right ATS and you’ll find an improved quality to new hires, as well as a reduction in cost-per-hire. Your team remains motivated. Your hires get happy. And you get better, faster and more cost-effective recruitment that’s repeatable.
What’s something that 95% of Fortune 500 companies use, but only 26% of employers have discovered? Fortune 500 CEOs are taking advantage of the many applicant tracking system benefits for their company. These benefits apply to a small or medium-sized business, too! Here are just a few ways an applicant tracking system benefits companies.
It Saves Time
An applicant tracking system can automate many of the manual tasks that a recruiter or HR team member is currently performing. ApplicantStack allows candidates to search resumes for keywords, automatically screening out unqualified candidates. Recruiters can create, manage, and schedule email form letters to remain in contact with applicants. Action items can be assigned to specific team members, so you can find and fix holdups.
It Saves Money
When you’re saving time, you’re saving money. A small company can save up to $10,000 using an applicant tracking system. In the United States, the average cost to hire a single employee ranges from $3,000 to $4,000. An ATS can save you serious money by streamlining your hiring process.
Applicants Love It
Applying for a job is dreary enough, and it doesn’t take much for an applicant to abandon a frustrating form. You need a mobile-friendly interface, quick communication, and smooth scheduling. Among the many applicant tracking system benefits is the ability to create a positive experience for your candidates.
Companies Love It
The reason so many Fortune 500 companies use an ATS is because it works so well! In addition to making your hiring process more efficient, an applicant tracking system offers the benefit of data collection and analysis. HR departments can figure out which candidate sources are working well. Cost-per-hire is easily calculated, and bottlenecks can be identified and fixed
Want to learn more about the many applicant tracking system benefits you could be taking advantage of? Check out our infographic below!
Indeed Assessments Integration Helps Employers Connect with the Best Candidates Faster
A data-driven hiring approach will help your organization win the battle for top talent against your competitors. That’s why ApplicantStack is partnering with Indeed Assessments, a candidate screening platform in which candidates have taken over 2.4 million candidate assessments.*
So what does the integration mean for you?
Trying to get to the best applicants as quickly as possible can be tough—but not with Indeed Assessments. From the Indeed Assessments platform, you have the opportunity to create an assessment package tailored to the exact job for which you are hiring. When you navigate back to ApplicantStack, you’ll be able to select that assessment package and either send to individual candidates or push out the assessment automatically when a candidate hits a predefined stage in your pipeline. As the candidates take the assessments, you will see their scores populate in ApplicantStack and can return to Indeed Assessments at indeed.com/assessments for additional details, if needed. In these simple steps, you’ll be able to view the most qualified people for your jobs so you have more successful interview processes.
Talk to the best candidates faster
There’s almost nothing more disappointing in the recruiting process than reaching out to a seemingly perfect candidate and finding out you missed your window—they’re far along with another company. Indeed Assessments lets you see your candidates in action quickly so you can figure out who makes a great match for the role right away and move them along in the process.
Objective screening, data-driven evaluation
Even with the proper precautions, hiring bias can still occur. Luckily, it’s nearly effortless with the ApplicantStack and Indeed Assessments partnership. Utilizing these two platforms, you can bring a data-driven approach to your screening process. These tools will help remove bias and ensure your candidate evaluations are consistent across the board.
Custom and prebuilt screening tools
Sometimes you know exactly what you need in your candidate screening evaluation, and other times you could use a bit of guidance on the requirements. That’s why ApplicantStack’s partnership with Indeed Assessments unlocks access to a library of over 50 expertly designed, prebuilt assessments, or you can customize your own to bring the right talent forward.
ApplicantStack’s integration with Indeed Assessments makes it possible for you to move your candidates along the hiring process with confidence. Whether you’re hiring for hourly or salaried positions, you’ll be able to identify and connect with the best talent faster thanks to this partnership.
A Statement from Indeed
“Indeed is very careful with making acquisitions, and was an early investor in Interviewed.com, as well as implemented its product on our site well before we made the acquisition. We acquired Interviewed.com and started Indeed Assessments because we believe it’s a game changer for candidates and employers. Whether or not we charge in 2019, we want as many employers and candidates using it as possible, and it will be priced to make that happen. Anyone who signs up in 2018 will have Assessments free in 2019.”
*Source: Data refers to Interviewed platform, which was acquired by Indeed, Inc. and is now referred to as Indeed Assessments.