Finding and hiring the perfect candidate is easy when you have the right recruitment tools. But with so many types of HR recruitment software on the market, how can you find the best HR software for your company? Follow these five steps.
Map Recruitment Process Flow
What are your recruitment process steps? What do you do first, and what follows from that? Plot out your recruiting tasks and create a flowchart of recruitment steps. Under each step, write down what you need to do. Which of these tasks could HR recruitment software help you complete more easily?
List the Best HR Recruitment Software Options
HR recruitment software abounds, so do a quick review of the top ten HR software products available. (Don’t forget to include ApplicantStack, of course.) If anything turns you off about the HR software, strike it from your list. You should end up with two or three recruitment tools that stand out based on your needs and recruitment process flow. Narrow down your list using:
- Customer reviews
- Independent product reviews from objective sources like G2 Crowd and Software Advice
- Product features lists
- Screenshots and examples
Don’t forget to take cost and ease-of-use into account. If the HR recruitment software is too hard to use, your hiring managers will bypass it and return to the old, inefficient, manual way of doing things.
Try Them Out
Once you’ve got your short list of HR recruitment software, see the product in action. Ask for a live product demo, view an online video demonstration, or get a free trial of the HR recruitment software. A free trial is the best way to determine whether or not this HR recruitment software fits your needs and is easy to use. If the company doesn’t offer a free trial, ask them for one. If they’re hesitant, cross them off your list.
Verify Good Customer Support
Even the best HR recruitment software has a learning curve, and you’re going to have some questions as you get up and running. Look at the company’s support policy. How can you get in touch with them? How long does it typically take for them to respond to support requests? Check the reviews to see what other customers have to say about their responsiveness.
Read the Terms
That fine print actually means something, so make sure you review it. Some HR software companies will charge you for adding new users or switching to a different application. Others have exit costs if you want to make a change down the road. You may want to consider software-as-a-service recruitment tools. SaaS companies are easy to start service with, and unlike contracts, they’re easy to get out of if they don’t meet your needs.
Once you’ve found the best HR recruitment software for your company , you’re ready to make your purchase. The recruitment tools you’ve chosen will help your business optimize and automate recruitment, so your hiring managers and HR team can spend more time vetting the best candidates.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a type of HR software that helps an organization manage a streamlined recruitment and new employee onboarding process. ATS systems come in many shapes, sizes, and price points.
Who uses Applicant Tracking Software?
If you receive applications, you need an applicant tracking system. ATS software clients include:
- Independent recruiters
- Staffing agencies
- Executive search firms
- Large enterprises
- Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB)
Typically, the applicant tracking software is managed by the human resources department or a hiring manager.
What Does an Applicant Tracking System Do?
ATS systems perform a wide variety of functions to make the recruiting and onboarding process easier for managers as well as new employees. Any applicant tracking software should perform the following five functions.
There are incredible people out there just waiting to fill your positions – but if they never see the job posting, they won’t apply. A 2015 Pew Research study found that “researching and applying for jobs online is nearly universal” for job applicants. When selecting an ATS software, look for one that gives you access to critical job posting boards like Monster and Indeed.
In 2015, almost 60% of younger job seekers used their smartphones to search for job openings, and half of that population used a smartphone to fill out a job application. Those numbers are only expected to increase. Any of the ATS systems you look into should be mobile-friendly, creating job listings that allow applicants to submit documents via mobile phone and to bookmark jobs for later.
As any amateur job seeker will tell you, networking is the best way to find a job. Your applicant tracking system needs to sync with the most popular social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You don’t have to worry about unqualified applicants when you use applicant tracking software because they’ll be weeded out. You just want to get your posting in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Inc. reports that for every job posting, companies receive an average of 250 applications. Larger companies will be flooded with applications for each job they offer, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. ATS software should allow you to quickly and painlessly sift through applicants, bringing the best-qualified people to your attention and automatically rejecting unqualified candidates.
Most ATS systems allow you to create pre-screening questionnaires. Applicants are required to answer certain questions, and ‘wrong’ responses will remove them from the candidate pool (while automatically sending a thoughtfully worded e-mail thanking them for the application). Some ATS systems go a step further, assigning value points to each question so you can sort candidates by score.
The best applicant tracking software integrates and automates resume parsing, resume storing, and reference checking. If it doesn’t have to be done by a human, why not automate it? The HR department or hiring manager shouldn’t have to sort through dozens of easily eliminated candidates. An applicant tracking system performs the menial tasks of analyzing dozens of candidates, so the hiring manager can focus on the few who really stand out from the crowd.
Communication is key in every aspect of life, and that includes the hiring process. The way you communicate with a potential new hire says a lot about your company’s values, and knowing where they stand in the application process is essential for applicants.
ATS systems let you automatically update candidates with news about the job posting. Give stragglers a gentle nudge to complete an application, or let someone know that you’d love to conduct an interview. Past applicants will appreciate knowing if the job has been filled, and may opt to receive job updates from your company in the future.
Once you’ve narrowed down your applicant pool, applicant tracking software eliminates the back-and-forth of trying to schedule an interview by creating a calendar with open slots for preliminary phone or in-person interviews. Out-of-state jobs may require video interviews so you can analyze behavioral tendencies; some kinds of applicant training software offer this integration as part of the package. The hiring manager enters the times he or she is available, and the interviewee selects the option that works best. No more complicated weeks-long games of email tag to find a time that works for everyone!
Applicants want to know how they are doing throughout the process. One study shows that the key pain points are right after submitting the application, when 49% would like feedback; if not selected for an interview, when 39% would like feedback; and after the interview if they weren’t selected, when 43% would like feedback. Each of these is an opportunity for the HR department or hiring manager to show that the company truly cares about its potential employees. ATS software makes this easy to do.
Once you’ve found the best candidates, the applicant tracking system can streamlines the hiring process, particularly if you’re using collaborative hiring. Many jobs require input from multiple decision-makers. The ATS software consolidates reviews and reports from every stakeholder, so hiring managers can take in everyone’s opinions at a glance.
Candidates can be scored and rated separately, and a good applicant tracking software includes collaborative tools and reports so everyone is on the same page. Want a background screening? Your applicant tracking system should be able to provide that, too. After you’ve extended an offer to your prospective employee, many ATS systems offer additional abilities so you can onboard the new hire.
The application process may be over, but onboarding is just beginning. Your new hire has documents to fill out, resources to review, and forms to e-sign. ATS software should have an onboarding portal where you can consolidate documents. Your new hire can sign in, review and securely sign necessary paperwork, and use the portal as a resource to check back on onboarding documentation and company guidelines whenever he or she chooses.
Your applicant tracking system may even sync with payroll, so you can quickly get your new hire into the system and properly compensated. Tasks can be created, edited, and managed for both the new hire and the hiring manager. And all of your documentation is secure and accessible in cloud storage.
So, what is an applicant tracking system? It’s an all-in-one system to streamline the hiring process and ensure you reach, locate, and hire the best fit for your job. The right ATS software is your hiring manager’s best friend. Try ApplicantStack for free today. You’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
Whether you are trying to “sell” an applicant tracking system to your management team or CEO, or you are looking to find a better way of managing your candidates and resumes, here are the top 10 benefits of an Applicant Tracking System .
1. Publish your jobs across multiple 3rd party job boards as well as your public job board
With a few clicks, you can post a position to major job boards like Indeed, Google Jobs, LinkedIn Limited Postings, Glassdoor, JuJu, Monster, CareerBuilder, as well as social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). Have consistent, branded job postings across job boards and your own website.
2. Enable Candidates to Quickly and Easily Apply for Jobs
This might sound straightforward, but creating an easy and accessible application will allow candidates to quickly and easily apply to your organization. In today’s competitive market, having an ATS will enable you to appeal to the maximum number of qualified candidates.
3. Manage Candidates all in one place and manage the entire recruiting process via your custom workflow
Gone are the days of trying to manage multiple email folders and Excel spreadsheets. Using an ATS allows you to customize your workflow to match your current process.
4. Quickly Identify the Best Candidates and don’t waste time on those that are not a fit
Use pre-screener questions to quickly knock-out unqualified candidates and to prioritize the best ones using automatic scoring. Then systematically review interviewer feedback to focus on high-priority candidates so you can quickly make offers.
5. Automate Routine Tasks
Send notifications to candidates. Schedule interviews. Gather interview feedback. Rate candidates. An ATS can automate all of these functions and more, enabling recruiters to the highest value-added activities.
6. Enhance Reporting and Compliance
Keep management up-to-date on the candidate pipelines for each job and effectiveness of different job boards. Easily capture, track, and report voluntary EEO data, while remaining in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the EEO/OFCCP.
7. Streamline Employee Onboarding
Once a candidate has accepted an offer, automatically move them through the onboarding process. Use the system to ensure the completion of paperwork, scheduling of required initial meetings, set-up of IT services, and more!
8. Your New Employees Virtual Assistant
A hire portal with username and password allows for a secure portal for your new employees to see all relevant information and see all tasks assigned to him or her.
9. Eliminate all Employee Onboarding Paperwork
Easily assign all new hire paperwork such as state and federal tax forms, health plans, employee manuals, training videos, etc. Have the new employee complete and sign all items online.
10. Improve Communication & Reduce Friction
No more chasing down interviewers to schedule interviews or gather feedback. Don’t worry about notifying candidates. Easily provide status updates to management. Let the ATS do it!
How did I get here and what was my journey to ApplicantStack?
6 min read
When I began my job at my last position at a help desk company, one item I was tasked with was researching a better way to recruit new employees.
I was surprised that a technology company’s recruitment process comprised manually posting jobs on sites such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, local job boards, and some colleges.
The instructions to apply consisted of an email address that “organized” the resumes into Outlook folders based on the job they were applying to. Then we spent time weeding through, in some cases, hundreds of resumes to find candidates that were worth pursuing.
The candidates that weren’t a fit were never sent a “Thank you for applying email” because frankly, that was just too much work. This resulted in more emails, calls, and the occasional pop-in-the-office to find out their status.
“Worthwhile” resumes would then need to be printed and another sheet would be stapled to the resume that included fields to be filled out. “Date Resume Received”, Date Email Sent, Phone Screen Date & Time, etc..
The candidate would then be contacted along with a list of dates & times for a phone screen.
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And that’s when the real chaos began…
Endless emails back and forth trying to set up dates and times. Once a time slot was taken, I would need to turn down appointments letting them know that the week’s slots were taken with a new list for the following week.
The phone screens consisted of a series of questions and answers that would need to be manually typed.
Most of the time I needed to disclaim that I can’t type as fast as they would talk so there would be some silence during the call as I caught up.
If the candidate did not pass the phone screen, they were emailed letting them know we appreciated their time, but we were pursuing another candidate.
The candidates that passed the phone screen round were emailed with technical test session id’s and/or personality assessments. If they passed, they were sent another email with yet again a list of dates and times for their first in-person team interview.
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The coordination required for gathering available times across multiple candidates was painful, to say the least.
Prior to the candidate’s in-person interview, their resume, the phone screen interview sheet, the results of their technical and personality assessments, and a sheet of paper with all the interview dates and times were all bundled into a paper file and labeled with the candidate’s name.
The candidate would arrive in the office and be brought to an available conference room where they needed to complete a hand-written application for employment, which would be added to the folder.
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Don’t Let Qualified Candidates Slip Through the Cracks
Fast forward the second round of in-person interviews, the offer was finally presented to the candidate. Sometimes the amount of time that passed from when the candidate applied to when an offer was extended could be upwards of two months.
By that time most candidates lost interest or took another job at another company.
Who could blame them!
Yes, we tried to be more organized and create excel spreadsheets to track some of this information. We also ran reports letting our CEO know how many candidates were received and all the stages of the interview process they completed.
But this was extremely time consuming and redundant.
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Hence my question: “why use an applicant tracking system?”
It was clear that the answer was I needed help and so began my quest for an applicant tracking system (ATS).
I evaluated several products based on pricing and ease of use.
One product offered a potentially cost-effective onetime setup fee, but we would need to map out our entire process up front.
If that process ever changed, we would need to re-setup the entire product and pay the setup fee again!
Since we were a relatively small company with high turnover and a need to constantly evolve our recruiting process, that option just wasn’t going to work for us in the long run.
After hearing about ApplicantStack from several other companies, I decided to take a chance and test it out.
After all, they were offering a free trial, and if I didn’t feel it met my organization’s needs, I could take my data back and continue with my ATS evaluation.
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I decided to test it out with our most hard to fill, immediate need job on a Friday.
It was very easy to create a new job and ApplicantStack offered multiple resources to me for assistance if needed.
I was also able to create custom workflows to match our current process. I posted the job on Friday and it was instantly available on my public job board and within several hours the job was posted to CareerBuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job boards.
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By Monday morning, I received over 50 new applicants who all received an automatic email letting them know that if they were a match for the position they would be contacted.
This immediately cut down on those emails and calls about whether we received their resume.
Going through the resumes was also quicker, but at that time I didn’t have any screener questions set up.
Once I added basic screener questions with scoring the initial review process became much more efficient.
I could easily knock out candidates who didn’t meet the basic criteria for the job.
At that time the candidate scheduling feature now offered by ApplicantStack wasn’t available, and I can only imagine how much more time it would have saved by allowing the candidates to select available phone interview times on my calendar!
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Data Driven Recruiting
What was also extremely helpful was that I no longer needed to create reports in Excel.
I was able to use the pre-built standard reports found in ApplicantStack to show me information such as sources of applicants so I could easily see where my candidates were coming from.
This helped me focus my recruiting budget on the best sources.
The analytics for my CEO was also a time saver since it provided all the information he was looking for.
We were also able to determine our bottlenecks in the recruiting process and adjustments needed at no additional cost.
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By this point, it was clear that ApplicantStack was the right choice for our company and we decided to start by paying for it month-to-month.
Eventually, we were so pleased with the results and ease of use that we switched to an annual plan.
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You might be asking yourself, “So Jennifer, how did you wind up working for ApplicantStack?”
My passion for helping companies find the best solutions to make their jobs easier and more efficient set me on a path that eventually brought me to ApplicantStack where my background in recruiting, human resources, and technology have allowed me to provide direct input into making ApplicantStack the award-winning product it is today.
We listen to our customers’ feedback and continue to evolve in the ever-changing human resources world.
The way I see it, every day we are improving the lives of thousands of recruiters and human resource professionals by helping them to be more efficient and to hire the best candidates.
New employee paperwork is important, but you should never let that be both the first – and last – stop of your company’s onboarding process. Studies have shown that a structured onboarding process improves employee retention rates and decreases costs.
Consider this: Hiring a new employee can cost almost $4,000, plus salary & benefits. If you hire a new employee and they decide to leave your company within the first couple months, you’ve lost that initial investment and you have to start all over again. That’s why focusing on improving employee retention through better onboarding is significant from both a growth and financial standpoint. You want to make sure you’re retaining your employees for the sake of your company, and your budget.
So what can you do? No matter what kind of onboarding process you’re currently using, we’ve listed out 3 ways to quickly improve your process and reduce employee churn:
If you’re still using a manual process to collect paperwork, it’s time to let that go. A manual onboarding process will not only eat up your time and resources, it can essentially cost you money. If you haven’t already, consider investing in affordable Onboarding Software that will allow you to gather all the information you need quickly and securely, so you can focus on other steps of the onboarding process. When you utilize Onboarding Software, you’ll have a centralized place to create forms and checklists, manage tasks and send emails – making the administrative process faster, and more efficient. You can even try a free 15-day trial to test for yourself. Onboarding software should be easy-to-use and affordable, so the benefits of using it will greatly outweigh the investment.
Roll Out The Red Carpet.
Make new employees not only feel welcome but get them excited about working for the company. Prepare a welcome packet complete with lunch and parking options. Provide an overview of what to expect their first day, and a list of perks they can enjoy (onsite gym, free coffee, etc.). Give them a personal tour of the office and formally introduce them to their new co-workers. You can even pre-arrange for staff to take new employees out to lunch to make them feel more welcome. If you’re the hiring manager, communicate how excited you are to have them and how you look forward to working together. A few kind words and simple gestures can go a long way and get your employees already feeling valued and eager to jump in.
Your onboarding process doesn’t start and end after your new employees the first day of work. The most successful onboarding processes include long-term activities that encourage communication between both hiring manager and employee. For example, some organizations have a review after 90 days or request feedback on a monthly basis. By keeping the lines of communication open, you’re showing your employees you care about their experience and see if they’re getting the tools and direction they need to be productive and successful in the organization. It’s also encouraged to provide additional training when applicable, communicate performance and provide feedback. Make time for 1-on-1 sessions for a more personalized experience.
What are some ways you’ve improved your onboarding process?
2 min read
At ApplicantStack our best indication of success is the happiness of our customers. Today, we are excited to announce that we have been featured in multiple G2 Crowd reports including:
We achieved these rankings by receiving higher scores from verified users compared to similar products in each category.
“Securing a spot on G2 Crowd’s reports is a noteworthy accomplishment,” said Marty Duffy, vice president of research, G2 Crowd. “Rankings on these reports are a result of high product scores and happy customers; so ApplicantStack should be proud.”
“We are honored and very excited to be recognized by our customers for both – Applicant Tracking and Employee Onboarding Systems.” Said Nathan Shackles, founder, and CEO of ApplicantStack. “We continue to strive to deliver the best product and support to our customers.”
Reviews from Our Customers
We’re happy for the recognition but even happier to hear what our customers had to say:
“Applicant Stack is so helpful.”
“It is a great system to track applicants for all our open positions. We are a large program and often have multiple opening at a time.”
“ApplicantStack is the best way for tracking applicants, jobs, potential client statuses, etc.”
“You have the flexibility to adjust ApplicantStack to work the way you need as well as their customer support to assist with any problems which are few and far between.”
“ApplicantStack is super intuitive and easy to use.”
“They’ve made some great upgrades lately that have really enhanced the user interface and look of the product!”
“Cost affordable. Easy to use.”
“Job boards partnered with AS. Quick & helpful support from the Customer Service team.”
G2 Crowd is the world’s leading business software and services review platform, leveraging it’s 388,000+ user reviews to help its more than one million buyers each month make smarter purchasing decisions. Products included in the [Report] have received both a minimum of 10 reviews and 5 responses from real users for each of the [Report]-related questions featured in our review form by January 10, 2018.
This is a significant recognition because this rating came entirely from our customers. This recognition by our customers is incredible, and something we’re extremely proud of and thankful for.
To the customers that have reviewed us on G2 Crowd, thank you! We appreciate your feedback and will continue striving to exceed your expectations.