Why an Applicant Tracking System is More Important Than You Think

Why an Applicant Tracking System is More Important Than You Think

Are you skeptical of applicant tracking systems? Misconceptions persist due to outdated stereotypes.

Today’s post is for business owners and HR professionals who have resisted using an ATS. Perhaps you had a bad experience with a first generation system. Maybe you’ve heard stories of ATSs that made hiring harder, not easier.

In this post, we are going to explain the advantages of applicant tracking systems.

First, let’s look at some key statistics. Then we will discuss how they relate to our objective: explaining why an ATS is a necessity.

5 Recruiting Statistics You Need To Know

  1. 75% of hiring professionals use an applicant tracking system.
  2. Of those, 94% believe that it has improved their processes. (Only 5% report a negative impact on their company.) (Capterra).
  3. 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. For all companies, that number drops to about 40%. (Harris survey for Glassdoor)
  4. 47% of companies have HR software that is over seven years old. (Bersin by Deloitte)
  5. 80% of surveyed HR employees found that using HR technologies improved employee attitude toward the company. (G2) 

Let’s discuss why these numbers matter to your organization.

Your competition is using an ATS…

Clearly the majority of companies use some type of hiring software. Most use an ATS combined with other HR applications. These hiring teams are more efficient and more effective than those who use manual processes.

..but it might be from the dark ages

A Deloitte study found that almost half of companies use HR software that is over seven years old! Companies with legacy systems that haven’t been updated are missing out. 2020 applicant tracking capability is light years ahead of 2013 premise-based technology. Cloud-based providers (like ApplicantStack) perform regular software updates. We also continually add new features requested by our customers.

The latest tools include texting, custom questionnaires, resume parsing, video interviews, and single signon job board posting.

Use a state-of-the-industry ATS to gain the competitive advantage.

Integrations expand ATS capabilities

Today’s ATSs also integrate with hundreds of other types of software and services. This allows you to find the perfect combination for your hiring needs.

Let’s talk about ApplicantStack integrations.

When new clients look into our software, the first thing they ask about is job boards. We integrate with the top job boards like Indeed, Monster, Google for Jobs, and Careerbuilder.

Social media sites are just as important to today’s job seeker and we have you covered there as well. Post to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn from our platform.

Interviews are an important applicant touchpoint with your company. Many companies are having success with video interviews (we integrate with Spark Hire, a video interview service.)

For self-service interview scheduling, take your choice of Google Calendar or Office 365.

Trouble uploading a resume increases the risk of a candidate abandoning their application. Candidates can use Dropbox and Google Drive to upload to our system.

Assessments are becoming increasingly important in talent sourcing. Recruiters use assessments to measure a broader set of skills. These soft skills are difficult to convey in a resume.

Assessments allow companies to cast a wider net. They can look beyond the basic job requirements. If you are having trouble filling skilled positions, consider using assessments designed by experts in your industry. You can screen non-traditional candidates using the same technology used by mega-corporations.

Few hiring teams do in-house background checks. ApplicantStack partners with five background screening providers (for an additional fee). Background check services have access to multiple databases. It saves time and money to use your ATS integration for background screening.

8 Disadvantages of not using an ATS

Companies that don’t use an ATS will struggle to find quality candidates. Especially in highly competitive industries and job markets.

Not using an ATS has a negative impact on the following:

  1. Longer time to hire
  2. Lower quality of hire
  3. Higher cost per hire
  4. Poor applicant experience
  5. Negative employer brand
  6. Decreased onboarding effectiveness
  7. Longer new hire time to productivity
  8. Higher employer turnover

If you are using an old ATS that isn’t working for you, try ApplicantStack free for 15 days. Discover what current generation hiring technology can do for your organization.

By Liz Strikwerda

Why You Need to Give Candidate Interview Feedback

Why You Need to Give Candidate Interview Feedback

At some point, every employee goes through the hiring process. From entry-level workers to executives, most candidates submit applications and, if they make it to this step, should receive candidate interview feedback.

Providing candidate interview feedback can seem painful, regardless of whether or not you are hiring the person. As the interviewer, you’re criticizing someone’s performance. What if the candidate becomes defensive? It’s tempting to only offer candidate interview feedback if you’re asked for it. Don’t take the easy route here. Candidate interview feedback can benefit you as well as the prospective new hire.

How Candidate Interview Feedback Helps You

Practice Makes Perfect

The ability to deliver constructive criticism is an essential leadership skill. Even if you’ve read the best HR books out there, there’s no substitute for practice. Delivering feedback to an interview candidate is the perfect way to hone your technique, particularly if you aren’t going to hire the person anyway.

Determine What You Want

Giving feedback to your interview candidates allows you to critically analyze exactly what you’re looking for in this new hire. This is especially important for higher-level candidates, who will have a significant impact on your company. As you assess what you did or did not like about a candidate, you can change your hiring strategy accordingly. Learn more about what you don’t want, and you’ll be better able to articulate what you are looking for.

Establish a Relationship

Offering candidate interview feedback sets the stage for a future relationship with an applicant. You want this person to feel eager to re-apply in the future, or for a different position. Maybe this person has someone in his or her network who is thinking about applying. Candidates should leave feeling good about your company – even if they aren’t offered a job. The best way to do that is by taking a vested interest in their careers.

When 51% of job applicants share their interview experiences on social media, you want to make sure that experience is a positive one. More than half (61%) of applicants search for company reviews, and what they see affects whether or not they apply.

How can you make sure you’re providing a good experience as fodder for those positive reviews? Offer candidate interview feedback. One study found that 66% of applicants who didn’t hear back from a company felt negatively towards that company. Over half were unlikely to apply for another job there as a result. Giving candidate interview feedback can seriously impact your company brand – and the people who choose to apply to future job listings.

It’s never easy to tell candidates that they didn’t get the job. But offering candidate interview feedback makes it less painful, since they aren’t left wondering what they did wrong. It’s a win-win for you and your applicants.

Which HR Recruitment Software Should I Choose?

Which HR Recruitment Software Should I Choose?

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
  • Testimonials
  • 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.

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

How did I get here and what was my journey to ApplicantStack?

6 min read

Journey to ApplicantStack

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…

Human Resources Valuable Time

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.

 

 

ApplicantStack achieves Multiple Awards in G2 Crowd’s Recent Reports

ApplicantStack achieves Multiple Awards in G2 Crowd’s Recent Reports

2 min readApplicantStack recognized in Applicant Tracking System (ATS) based on user reviews

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.