The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the heart and soul of an organization’s recruitment function. Yet, an ATS is not a tool that can work alone. Many talent acquisition teams struggle to connect their recruitment activities to other functions of their organizations, in part due to the lack of a comprehensive system that is inclusive of a well-defined and followed process. If your goal is to implement a new ATS system or revamp your current one, you need to understand how this change will impact your entire organization and its stakeholders.
Overwhelm is the first sign of trouble.
Are recruitment efforts being duplicated or are candidate files being misplaced? Candidates could be dropping out of the process, simply because they are tired of waiting for a call back, or because recruiters are so busy dealing with process inefficiencies that they don’t have time to notice competitors swooping in with better offers. There are many reasons why the recruitment process fails, but the first step towards correcting inefficiencies is in determining why you’re struggling. Challenges in getting qualified people through the door, and subsequently hired, are symptoms of a poor or nonexistent process that is not properly supported by a customized ATS.
Find what you’re missing.
Once you can identify the most pressing problems, such as a surplus of under-qualified applicants or the application abandonment rate of qualified candidates, you will be able to pinpoint where your current process and system are falling short. Don’t neglect to involve people beyond your Talent Acquisition team. A new ATS implementation protocol will affect everyone from IT departments to hiring managers to executive leaders, and for a successful change, you need support from everyone involved.
Create a checklist of must-haves.
What would make your job easier and give you more time to build relationships with potential candidates without losing track of everything else you have to do? Does your team struggle with managing critical data, or do critical moments escape your team because there is no easy way to track candidates through the recruitment process? You can customize your ATS to bridge the gaps within your current system or find an ATS solution that effectively meets the needs of your organization. There is no shortage of options, given today’s recruiting technology landscape.
Highlight the benefits of a new ATS implementation.
One of the most difficult aspects of identifying a problem and applying the appropriate fix is obtaining buy-in from management and stakeholders. You need all the appropriate data on hand, including the detrimental effects of a slow hiring process and the disconnect that often occurs between the talent acquisition and HR operations teams as a result of a poor system and process. An ATS can relieve an overburdened workforce of mundane tasks, allowing your recruiting professionals time to do their jobs well and pull in the right candidates for your organization’s hiring needs. Without a best-in-class ATS, the recruiting process can be impossible to manage. It’s not worth losing excellent candidates to a poor hiring process. The investment in the right ATS is worth every dime in your recruiting budget, but it’s important to remember that automating a chaotic process will only result in automated chaos. There’s an obvious answer to the pressing challenges many recruitment professionals are experiencing, but only when the problem is identified can the right solution be implemented.
While your ATS partner is an expert on how their platform operates, they are not responsible for connecting all of the elements that together create your recruiting ecosystem. Beacon Lane works with many ATS providers, and we are one of the few companies to achieve certification with Greenhouse and iCIMS.
Beacon Lane Consulting is sought after as the independent advisor for ATS implementations. Clients hire us to think 3 steps ahead, see things from all angles, and ultimately, ensure that their highly visible ATS investment is a success. We are industry and system agnostic because we understand the fundamental requirements for a successful implementation regardless of the business you are in and the platform that you choose. If you are implementing a new ATS, or want to enhance the one you already have, we invite you to speak with us first. Get in touch.
Great article, Elaine. And I appreciate the easy to understand visual. Keep up the awesome work, Elaine and Beacon Lane!