Designing a successful ATS implementation is as important as choosing good software. Are you switching from manual hiring processes to an applicant tracking system?
Congratulations! You’re going to love it. Make sure the transition is handled correctly.
5 Steps For a Successful ATS Implementation
Here are the steps for a smooth rollout:
- Get approval for a new system
- Choose your recruiting software
- Create an implementation plan
- Appoint an Implementation Manager (IM)
- The IM creates an implementation timeline
- Transition in stages
- Create redundancies until every process has transitioned
- Learn the system
- Train your hiring team
Let’s talk about each step.
1. Get Approval For an ATS
Find out exactly who must approve the purchase of an ATS. Your company might have a formal process—forms, signatures, budgeting, etc.
If you are having trouble persuading the decision maker, present a report. The report should detail how the system will improve recruiting metrics. Then show the second-stage benefits that will follow. Increased profitability. Higher quality employees. An improved company culture.
2. Choose Your Recruiting Software
Research features. Don’t settle for a sub-par system. Make sure it integrates with other software you are using.
The main focus of this article is ATS implementation. After we discuss the implementation process, we’ll describe important ATS tools.
3. Design an ATS Implementation Plan
A good plan is specific and realistic. Anticipate problems and include solutions.
Appoint an Implementation Manager
If your company is small, this might be you. If you have a hiring team, there might be a better person for the job. Your IM sets the tone for the rollout. They should be competent, organized, enthusiastic, and persuasive.
Set a Timeline
Your IM will create your plan. Transition processes in stages. Break it down to the steps and sub-steps.
Create a timeline. Depending on the size of your organization, two or three weeks per process should be sufficient. You can modify your timeline if necessary.
Build in an overlap period so you have backup until the ATS has fully taken over the workflow. For example, send manual emails until you are sure the auto-email triggers are set up correctly in the software. Test each workflow repeatedly. You may have to adjust ATS settings.
4. Learn How to Use the Software
When you’ve purchased your software, learn how to use it. Do this with your IM. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at how many hiring managers skip this step. Don’t assume you can figure things out while you teach your hiring team. For a smooth software implementation, know how to use the software inside and out. Your expertise will instill confidence in those who will use it.
5. Train Your Hiring Team
Augment your hands-on training with resources from your ATS vendor. While you are training, document the process. When you hire recruiters going forward, you’ll have documented training materials. Make it an onboarding workflow in your onboarding tool.
For the first few months, remind your hiring team to use the system. Old habits die hard. Sometimes people forego the quick and easy way for the old, familiar way. If you end up with an incomplete software implementation, you can’t use your ATS to its potential. Your hiring metrics won’t improve as projected.
Don’t Make It Optional
Don’t make using your ATS optional. Even if you encounter resistance. Pretty soon, everyone will be comfortable with the system. They will appreciate the convenience and ability to accomplish so much more in less time. (By the way, ApplicantStack clients report that their hiring teams embrace the system immediately, learn it quickly, and never look back.)
Make sure your IM is available to help during the transition and going forward. Show that you are dedicated to making the system a success.
Does Your ATS Have These Functions?
As mentioned previously, we’ve included a rundown of ATS must-haves. These functions are available in current generation ATSs.
Single sign-on posting to multiple job boards
It’s a hassle to remember login credentials for Indeed, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and the other job boards you post to. Single signon makes sure the posting process doesn’t slow you down.
Customizable pre-screening questionnaires
Many recruiters choose an ATS based on filtering powers alone. No hiring team has time to do a first-pass review of hundreds of applications. Automation lets your filter out the vast majority. Your time is best spent on the small pool of qualified applicants.
Standardized candidate scoring
Standardized scoring is more important than you might realize. If you treat candidates differently, bias will influence selection. You will miss great candidates. If you’re trying to add diversity, this will hamper your efforts.
Texting engages applicants. Plus, it eliminates scheduling confusion. And it speeds up the whole process. But texting needs to be documented and managed carefully. In-application texting saves a record of conversations.
It doesn’t make sense to re-enter information once an applicant is hired. Reducing tedious processes is one of the main reasons you are getting an ATS. If your onboarding has been unstructured up to this point, now’s a good time to automate it. You’re already making a major transition by automating the hiring tasks. Don’t disrupt everything down the line by waiting to implement onboarding software.
Candidates love picking an interview slot from a calendar. Self-serve scheduling makes everything easier for the candidate and your hiring team. Eliminate a common bottleneck.
Structured interview templates
Structured interviewing is a best practice used by successful companies.
Stage change email triggers
Let automation do its thing. Your ATS should send emails to keep your applicant informed and engaged.
Share hiring team feedback
Review the collaboration tools. Will they work for your team?
E-signature simplifies new hire paperwork and benefits enrollment.
The Right Software + The Right Hiring Techniques
To experience all the benefits of an ATS, consult our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee. Combine best practices with good software. That’s the winning combination for successful hiring.
ApplicantStack Recruiting Software
ApplicantStack has the tools described here plus many more. You can try it for free for 15 days. Let us help you have a smooth ATS rollout.
By Liz Strikwerda
Improve your hiring outcomes by improving your job requisition process.
Let’s discuss how.
What’s a Job Requisition?
When a department manager needs to hire a new employee, they submit a job requisition.
A job requisition starts the hiring process. With the requisition, the department manager asks for approval for the new employee. If the requisition is denied, the process doesn’t go any further. The denied requisition is stored in the HR software.
The job requisition standardizes the process of filling a position. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have templates for creating job requisitions. Plus tools to manage the approval process.
A job requisition includes the following:
- Requisition reference number
- Job title
- Type of employment (full-time, temporary, contract, etc.)
- Name of hiring manager making the request
- Job description
- Department or team the employee will be a part of
- Salary, hourly wage, or pay grade, benefits
- Type of position: new hire or replacement
- Hiring budget approval
- Fill/start date
- Whether the job description is new or existing
Why Is It Important To Have a Formal Job Requisition Process?
Human Resources professionals understand the importance of standardization. Formalizing and documenting is vital for end-to-end processes and all the sub-steps.
The job requisition process is no different. And the fact that it comes first is not insignificant. Any multi-step operation needs to start on the right foot. Otherwise, it will need to be corrected down the line. At that point, you’ve wasted time and money.
Few things are as important as the quality of the employees on your team. Formalization ensures the process is done correctly. It sets expectations for everyone involved. And you can’t improve a process until you identify exactly what is going on.
Let’s talk about best practices for creating job requisitions.
How Do I Write a Job Requisition?
1. Follow The Approval Process
Job requisitions may need to be approved by Human Resources. In some companies, upper management needs to sign off on new positions. Follow your company policies before proceeding.
2. Justify The Need
Why do you need a new employee? Is it a new position? Is it because someone quit or was promoted? How is the position tied to KPIs? Make a timeline for the job responsibilities. Define exactly what is expected.
3. Write a Good Job Description
A job description is a detailed listing of required qualifications and experience, job duties, and other necessary information about the position. It also includes the salary range, benefits, and information about the company.
Will the requisition be filled by an outside recruiting agency? Remember that they don’t have your institutional knowledge. Include all the necessary details.
We cover how to create a job description thoroughly in our How To Hire Your Perfect Employee Series. Follow the steps to write a spot-on description for your requisition.
Job Requisition Glossary
If you are new to the hiring process, it’s helpful to understand the HR-speak as it relates to job requisitions.
Open Requisition: An active requisition that hasn’t been filled or closed.
Closed Requisition: A requisition that has been filled or closed for other reasons.
Core Competencies: The knowledge and skills that are essential to the job role.
Hard Skills: Skills, experience, or qualifications that are easily quantified. Examples; Certified Public Accountant, Python programming expertise, licensed EMT.
Soft Skills: Behavioral traits necessary to perform the job responsibilities. Examples; leadership, creative problem solving, conflict resolution.
ApplicantStack Manages Job Requisitions
Yes, we have a tool for that, too! The job requisition workflow automates the approval process. Assign tasks to the appropriate members of the hiring team. Complete and document each step in a centralized location. ApplicantStack brings transparency and accountability to your requisition process. When a requisition is approved, the open position seamlessly transitions to the next workflow in the hiring stage.
You can try out the ApplicantStack job requisition function (and all the integrated hiring workflows) free for 15 days.
By Liz Strikwerda
The thriving hospitality industry includes hotels, casinos, resorts, and restaurants. Recruitment has never been more important in this sector.
Here are some critical facts about the hospitality industry:
- Hospitality has an employee turnover rate of over 70%
- Brand loyalty has disappeared
- Technology has made it easier for small companies to compete
What implications does this have for hospitality recruitment?
- There is a huge opportunity to decrease overhead by retaining employees longer.
- To attract quality candidates, you must provide an exceptional employee experience. This means you need to focus on the employee experience as much as you focus on the guest experience. They are interdependent.
- Small companies who find and retain high performing employees can elevate the guest experience. This will improve online reviews, strengthen the company brand, and increase bookings.
Strategic hospitality recruitment has never been more important. But there are significant challenges.
The Challenges of Hospitality Hiring
- Ultra-competitive hiring market
- Significant employee shortage
- Employees need multiple hard and soft skills
- High level of transience and job-hopping
Recruitment and Onboarding Software for Hospitality Hiring
Online reviews and booking software have transformed the industry from the guest perspective. In a similar way, applicant tracking systems (ATS) have transformed hospitality recruitment from both the candidate’s and recruiter’s perspective.
Hospitality employers who don’t use recruitment software will struggle in several respects. Manual hospitality hiring processes can’t meet the needs of hospitality hiring in 2019.
- Manual hiring is slow (the best candidates are hired by your competitor before you can make an offer)
- Manual hiring can’t reach a wide candidate pool
- Manual hiring doesn’t create an exceptional applicant experience (which is essential for attracting top performers)
How Does Recruitment Software Improve Hospitality Hiring?
From job description to background checks, ATSs improve every aspect of the hospitality hiring process.
Reach More Potential Applicants
Hospitality hiring software allows recruiters to reach more applicants faster and cheaper. You can quickly advertise your jobs to thousands of job seekers on all of your favorite job boards. You won’t need to manage a separate account and password for each website.
Track Thousands of Applications
A large resort has to hire constantly to stay in business. There are multiple departments and dozens of job roles. Hiring software helps you collect and manage a large volume of applications efficiently. Search tools give you searching capability unheard of with a paper-based system.
Successful hospitality employers maintain a large pool of passive candidates. An ATS can work like a CRM for your candidate pool. Every company can benefit from targeting passive candidates.
Hospitality hiring software has tools for structured interviewing. With structured interviewing, you ask all applicants the same questions in the same order. Structured interviewing reduces confirmation bias (when the interviewer seeks to validate an initial bias or ‘gut feeling’).
Top performing hospitality employees need multiple soft skills. This type of interviewing is especially effective for evaluating the type of soft skills essential for hospitality work.
Structured interviewing allows you to maintain efficiency and consistency when doing high-volume interviewing. And it helps you comply with anti-discrimination laws. When your interviewers are instructed to use a uniform script for each position, they are less likely to ask an illegal interview question.
Hospitality Onboarding Software
A proven way to decrease hospitality turnover is to improve onboarding processes. Hiring and onboarding are interdependent. It doesn’t make sense to invest in hiring software without adding the onboarding tools. Is your onboarding process structured, lengthy, and employee-centered? If not, you risk losing your best employees.
What Makes a Great Hospitality Employee?
Veteran hospitality employers know that you ‘can’t teach personality.’ They place the most value on an employee’s demeanor, interpersonal skills, and being able to empathize with a guest. It’s easier to train someone on how to run the booking software than teach them how to deal positively with a rude customer.
When evaluating candidates, look for the following qualities:
- Creative problem solving
- ‘Hospitality’ personality—enthusiastic, positive, and attentive
- Self-starter and hard worker
- Ability to maintain composure in high-pressure situations
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work effectively with a team
See our Structured Interviewing: The Ultimate Guide to learn how to write interview questions to measure these behavioral skills.
How Do Top-Rated Hospitality Employers Retain Employees?
To attract higher quality employees, you need to improve your employer brand. A good wage and popular benefits are essential. But the underlying employer values create the foundation for everything else.
Let’s discuss two hospitality employers who are consistently recognized for being great places to work.
Hilton has been high on the list of Fortune’s best companies to work for several years. Hilton CEO Christopher Nasetta is committed to the company’s 60,000 employees. He has redesigned employee work environments, offered a free GED program, and created advancement opportunities.
Both Fortune magazine and Glassdoor have recognized this boutique hotel chain as one of the best places to work. Kimpton offers amazing benefits to all its employees. These include PTO, full medical, 401(k) matching, back-up child and elder care, tuition reimbursement, and employee discounts at hotels.
One Kimpton employee explained it this way: “The difference here is that Kimpton truly creates a culture where every person feels like family. For me, this is not about some poster in the back of the house stating that ‘you belong,’ it is about how people make you feel.”
ApplicantStack for Hospitality Hiring
ApplicantStack has the most popular tools for effective hospitality hiring. These include the features discussed in this post and many more.
Our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series contains additional valuable guidance for hospitality hiring.
Recruiting professionals understand how critical it is to avoid hiring mistakes. Especially right after launching your business.
Assembling a capable team can mean the difference between success and failure. Your new hires create critical foundational processes. You need employees with the skills, experience, and ideas to execute your vision. Your startup team will mentor future employees. They shape your company culture—for good or ill.
Clearly, you’ve got to avoid mistakes beginning with the first hire. Unfortunately, new business owners are tripped up again and again by common hiring pitfalls.
If you are a new business owner, follow our expertise to avoid these mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Having A Structured Hiring Process
We get it. It may seem unnecessary to create a process at first. You only need to fill a couple of positions, right? You’re busy getting your company going. Who has time to outline a recruitment process?
You hope your business grows rapidly. If you are fortunate and that happens, you aren’t going to have any more time down the road.
A lack of process becomes the de facto norm. It contributes to a haphazard, disorganized company culture. Most importantly, it won’t be effective in finding the employees you need.
Model a process after established companies 50 times your size. That’s what you’re aiming for, right? Begin with the end in mind.
The Solution: ApplicantStack
ApplicantStack applicant tracking system (ATS) helps entrepreneurs avoid newbie hiring mistakes. It is designed for both recruiting professionals and new business owners. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used hiring software before. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never used any type of business software before. The tools and interface are straightforward and intuitive. And we provide excellent support.
How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee
Our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series shows you how to set up a hiring process. Then we walk you through each step. Our series explains the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of recruiting.
It’s critical to start out with the best business software. When it comes to applicant tracking systems, you can’t do better than ApplicantStack. It will help you incorporate recruiting best practices from your first hire. It will grow with your workforce—from one employee to hundreds.
ApplicantStack is affordable and fits any budget. Investing in the top ATS is the smartest thing you can do when launching your company.
Mistake #2 Hiring Bias
Our brains are wired to seek people like ourselves. Though we don’t realize it, our brains are saving time—they don’t have to process as much information.
When we meet a job candidate we identify with—background, ethnicity, age group, personality traits, values—we feel at ease. We subconsciously assume there are more commonalities as well.
Legal issues aside, if you don’t actively combat this phenomenon, you can make many bad hires.
Have you ever noticed that successful partnerships are often comprised of two extremely different people? For example, one might be a persuasive salesperson and face of the company. The other might be a behind-the-scenes tactical thinker.
You don’t need a team of people who are exactly like you. In fact, you need people who have strengths you don’t possess. Maybe organization isn’t your strong suit. If you are looking for an administrative assistant or office manager, organization skills are critical.
The Solution: ApplicantStack Hiring Guidance
Our knowledge base is full of valuable guidance. Review our blog posts on hiring bias. The first step in mitigating bias is to understand it. Then you can use tools in ApplicantStack for the specific purpose of preventing bias. These include structured interview scripts and hiding EEOC data in questionnaires.
Types of Unconscious Bias in Hiring
6 Tips for Avoiding Hiring Bias
Mistake #3: Weak Job Descriptions
It’s common to focus on the skills and experience you’re looking for in a job candidate. This is important. But you can’t ignore the other part of the description: outlining exactly what the position entails. This is just as critical.
New employers don’t always understand job roles. Or they gloss over the negatives in the hopes of attracting more applicants. This is counterproductive. If the candidate doesn’t understand the nature of the position, they are more likely to quit when they realize the job wasn’t what they expected. You might think your awesome team will make up for any initial misconceptions. Don’t count on it.
Some entrepreneurs need to fill positions that haven’t yet been defined. Or they need someone to pitch in wherever they are needed. Be upfront about this. You want to target candidates who value this type of unpredictable, highly varied work. Some people are excited about shaping a new position. Look for applicants who have helped build companies from the ground up.
The Solution: How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Job Descriptions
You aren’t the first new business owner to write a job description. Best practices are well-established and universally accepted. They have proven their worth. Our post on how to create a job description contains a step-by-step guide.
Take as much time as you need to write detailed, exhaustive job descriptions. It may take several paragraphs and many drafts to get it right. If you need to modify it, that’s easy. Your job description template is stored in ApplicantStack. You won’t have to start from scratch.
ApplicantStack Will Help You Recruit An Outstanding Team
Our recruiting expertise and smartly-designed hiring software is your formula for success. On behalf of the recruiting professionals at ApplicantStack, we wish you success with your new company.
There are plenty of sophisticated hiring and onboarding platforms. If you are shopping for an applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s helpful to identify which ATS tools are important to your company.
Here are 6 ATS tools to consider.
1. Pre-Screening Questionnaires
Improving time-to-hire is only possible if you automate repetitive hiring tasks. Pre-screening questionnaires perform first-level filtering with knockout questions. Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates before anyone on your hiring team spends time reviewing an application.
Pre-screening questionnaires filter out hundreds of applicants. You are left with a manageable pool of qualified candidates. Then your hiring team can concentrate on the candidates that matter.
2. Scheduling ATS Tools
A hiring process that is humming along can slow to a crawl when it’s time to schedule interviews. ATSs that integrate with widely-used calendars such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Office 365 eliminate this slowdown. Applicants are already using these tools, so scheduling with them comes naturally.
This is how it works: your interviewing team indicates their availability before applicants choose a time slot. You email a calendar link to the applicant. The applicant opens the calendar and chooses a pre-approved time.
3. Bias Minimization ATS Tools
Recruiting and hiring an inclusive team helps your business succeed. Inherent bias (both conscious and unconscious) shrinks your applicant pool. This, in turn, can screen out the most qualified candidates.
Your ATS can help you prevent or minimize several types of bias. The first way an ATS minimizes bias is by allowing you to create a structured hiring process.
The pre-screening questionnaires discussed previously filter based on qualifications, not snap judgments or ‘gut feelings.’ Keep in mind that you have to write the questions carefully as well.
Additional bias minimization tools include structured interviews and blind resume review.
4. Advance Auto-Emails + Texting
Most ATS’ have email templates. Actions such as hiring stage changes that trigger auto-emails increase efficiency. Many recruiters are using texting as well. Do you want to incorporate recruitment texting as an additional communications channel? It is most effective when done from the recruiting platform. The software keeps a history of conversations that would otherwise exist on personal mobile phones. Multiple people on your hiring team can text from the same number, preventing confusion on the part of the applicant.
5. Video Interviewing
Video interviewing brings a host of advantages. You can interview out-of-area applicants easily. Decision makers located away from the main office (or traveling) can participate in the interview from wherever they are working. Members of your hiring team can review recordings of the interview as many times as needed. And there are significant costs savings as well.
6. Document E-Sign
HR is a document-intensive department. When applicants and new hires can sign forms online, you can process them much faster. Electronic copies are automatically stored and can be accessed with a quick search. Did you know that 5% of paper documents get lost?
There are environmental benefits to electronic documents as well. You decrease your company’s carbon footprint by using less paper.
Last but not least is the cost savings. When you account for paper, copying, and administrative expenses, it costs up to $25,000 to fill a filing cabinet. (Source: LinkedIn)
Free Trials Let You Test ATS Tools
When you are shopping for ATSs, take advantage of free trials. They allow you to test drive the software before you buy. We offer a free trial of ApplicantStack so you can experiment with the most popular ATS tools. Our software helps you source, qualify, and hire quality candidates while saving time and money.
If you are the hiring manager for an agency, you understand the importance of security recruiting. In the security industry, you can’t put a client on hold because you are short-handed. Staying fully staffed is critical. Just as importantly, your agents need the right hard and soft skills.
But the security industry—like most others—is struggling in this era of low unemployment. Security agencies compete for what seems like an ever-shrinking talent pool.
Top 3 Recruiting Tactics For Security
Financial success depends on recruiting and retaining good employees.
Here are proven tips for hiring qualified employees for your security agency.
- Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automate hiring processes
- Create accurate, comprehensive job descriptions
- Use screening questionnaires to eliminate unqualified candidates
ApplicantStack Applicant Tracking Software
Profitable security agencies use the right technology for all aspects of business management. To win the hiring game in security, you need current generation software. It gives you speed, flexibility, and keeps hiring costs as low as possible. ApplicantStack is an ATS that helps security owners find exceptional employees. The HR professionals at ApplicantStack are keenly aware of the recruiting hurdles for security businesses.
ATS vs. Spreadsheets
It’s a common misconception that spreadsheets are just as effective. When it comes to recruiting, ATSs are leagues ahead. For hiring processes, spreadsheets are scarcely better that paper-based methods.
Attracting Millennials and Gen Z
The first generation that grew up using apps has become the largest employee demographic. ApplicantStack is especially effective for attracting millennials.
Let’s dive deeper into our top tips.
1. Use an ATS to Automate Hiring
An ATS helps you hire quickly and strategically by:
- Writing and managing job descriptions
- Posting jobs to job boards, social media sites, careers pages
- Creating and administering applications and questionnaires
- Applying scoring criteria and filtering applicants
- Sharing feedback with hiring team members
- Tracking process workflows with task assignments and reminders
- Creating and managing structured interviewing scripts
- Scheduling in person and video interviews
- Candidate communications—emails, texts, phone calls
Your ATS compiles an applicant database without copious data entry on your part. It parses contact info from resumes and applications and stores digital copies of resumes. Plus, it maintains a history of interactions (applications, emails, questionnaires, interviews, reference checks, etc.). Collaboration has never been easier.
Some ATS’ integrate with background check services, video interviewing platforms, onboarding software, and other types of business services/software.
2. Write Accurate, Comprehensive Job Descriptions
It’s expensive to hire an employee. You take a financial hit when a new hire quits after two weeks. The most common reason for quitting is because they didn’t understand what the job entailed.
A comprehensive job description is highly detailed. It includes the required certification(s) and experience. It describes exactly what the employee will do in typical shift. It includes the necessary soft skills that will help an employee succeed.
There is no ‘typical’ job in security. Because job roles and work environments vary widely, highly-detailed descriptions are key. Some employees expect hours of solitude. Others want to actively interact with others at the location. Go into more detail than you think is necessary. This will save you time and frustration.
3. Use Screening Questionnaires to Eliminate Unqualified Candidates
An ATS can filter out unqualified security candidates before you set eyes on a resume. This saves so much time, first-time ATS users are blown away.
You create a custom questionnaire for each job description. When the applicant clicks on your job posting (on a job board, social media site, or your careers page), they are presented with the questionnaire. It includes knockout questions that eliminate candidates without the necessary experience. Regardless of your job requirements, you can do a first-pass screening automatically in your ATS.
ApplicantStack For Security Recruiting
Using these methods, you can efficiently advertise jobs, organize applicants, and isolate a pool of top candidates. Then you can concentrate your time on the most qualified applicants.