Automation has changed the face of hiring.

Why is it easy to automate hiring with the right software?

Job applicants apply online. They enter their information. This starts an end-to-end online process. An applicant tracking system (ATS) leverages the magic of digital automation. It lets computers do what they do best.

Does this create an impersonal machine-driven applicant experience?

Now to the question posed in the title. Short answer: no.

Let’s discuss why.

An ATS creates more time for personal attention. You can still call an applicant or meet them in person for an interview. The system doesn’t eliminate personal face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) communication.

Do you process a large volume of applications? You don’t have time to call every applicant personally.

If your ATS has texting, you can text right from the software. Keep a record of your text threads. Team members can text as if they are one user. This is personal, yet professional.

An ATS Reduces Abandoned Applications

Why do applicants abandon their applications? Poor communication. Many hiring teams can’t keep applicants apprised of their status. Regardless of their best intentions. They’re just too busy.

ATSs have auto-emails. You can send as many updates as you want. Let candidates know immediately when you’ve received their application. Keep them updated every few days.

When you’ve narrowed it down to a short list, you can call them personally.

How does an ATS know when to send an email?

To answer this question, first we need to talk about stages. You move applicants through the process with stages you’ve created. For example, you might have the following stages: Application Received, Awaiting Interview, Extend Job Offer.

Choose which actions are triggered by stage changes. For example, when you move an applicant to the Interview stage, it can trigger an email. The email invites the candidate to schedule an interview. (If your ATS is integrated with Google Calendar or Office 365, you can include the calendar link in the email.)

Give your applicants more attention, not less

You don’t need to send generic, impersonal emails. Create email templates. Use creative language that reflects the personality of your company. Tailor the email to the job description. Change your templates as often as you like.

Merge codes insert the applicant’s name and other information. The applicant gets a personal email addressed to them. They don’t know that it was sent automatically.

An ATS helps you communicate continually. In other words, you give your applicants more attention, not less.

What are some other ways an ATS frees up your time for more personal attention?

Make your system work for you

Let’s talk about organization. Every hiring team has their own system. The beauty of an ATS is being able to customize. Match your workflows.

This ApplicantStack user explains his process in a G2 review:

I enjoy the layout where applicants are marked in stages. A common issue with organizing applicants is the way you can sort them in your process. ApplicantStack allows you to keep candidates in different stages and advance them in your process based on where they fall. This is especially important when you have 2nd and 3rd tier candidates that you like, but are not as qualified as other top tier candidates. The stages allow you to label them in your system and then come back to them as you sort through other candidates you have reviewed and removed from your process. (G2)

They also appreciate the email delay feature:

I also LOVE the option where you can fair a candidate and schedule the email communication to go out on a future date. This allows me to create the task, but be tactful in communicating with those candidates without failing them immediately after their interview. In addition, when you have multiple raters the feedback option is collaborative and extremely useful.

This Senior Home Care recruiter mentions a couple more custom settings:

I love the amount of customization ApplicantStack allows (eg: adjusting the work flow, adding new documents to Onboarding, changing email triggers, etc.). The ability to make adjustments that better suit your company’s needs has been a huge benefit for our agency. (G2)

ATS data security

Everyone in HR worries about data breaches. Most cloud-based ATS vendors provide a high level of security. That said, before choosing an ATS, verify their security protocols.

This HR generalist explains how this improves hiring and onboarding:

I like the ability to easily get sensitive information in a secure way. There are a lot of scammers out there and I want my new hires to feel confident that they can trust that their information is secure and protected. I also like that they can fill out and sign documents easily from their phones. I hire a lot of people remotely and getting paperwork done is always a pain. I also use this for acknowledgements of policies. (G2)

An ATS makes your job easier

We’ve discussed bells and whistles. Now, let’s take a holistic view. The tools don’t mean anything unless the entire system fundamentally improves your operations.

This customer lists several ways an ATS has transformed their job (G2):

It made my job easier in many ways. The best part I would say is that a) It has been integrated with job boards and this made it easier to source resumes b) It can trigger emails to candidates automatically c) I am able to set the workflow and follow that easily d) Everything that is needed for recruitment in one system e) Automatically updating candidate details while just uploading resumes or emails f) Allocating tasks to other users g) Generating customized reports.

Would you like to test drive a simple and affordable ATS? We offer a free 15 day trial of ApplicantStack. Create some email templates. Design a hiring workflow. Post to several job boards without signing into each one.

Discover how an ATS frees up your time to give your applicants personal attention.

By Liz Strikwerda