How to use an ATS to improve the candidate experience

Whether it’s friends, family, or colleagues, you’ve probably heard one – or more – of these comments when someone is applying for a job:

  • Are you kidding me…they want me to fill out four pages of web forms?
  • I clicked “submit application” and since then it’s been crickets.
  • The recruiter said they’d call me in a day. It’s been seven.
  • After five interviews all they sent me was a generic rejection letter!

A lot of people have less-than-ideal job search experiences. Those negative impressions have an impact. According to the Talent Board, candidate resentment in North America is up by 40% since 2016.

With an applicant tracking system (ATS) you can offer a better experience – and avoid candidate resentment. The right ATS helps you:

  • Offer a way to apply for a job – without a lot of hassle.
  • Provide an online tool for candidates to track their application status.
  • Sincerely communicate throughout the hiring process.

Backed by the power of a robust applicant tracking software, the candidate experience you deliver may even set you apart from your competitors.

How an ATS creates a positive first impression for candidates

At hiring fairs, a recruiter’s job is to provide a positive first impression of your organization. They meet with candidates. Answer questions. Engage in lively conversations about what your organization is all about.

Your ATS serves the same purpose – only it’s responsible for delivering a positive virtual impression. Your applicant tracking system makes it easy for recruiters to greet applicants, answer their questions, and engage with them in a way that demonstrates you prioritize their experience. Innovative applicant tracking software offers you ways to support candidates, as well as recruiters, and the organization.

Combine your ATS with a chatbot for rapid responses

Today’s applicants are applying for jobs 24/7. You can’t have a recruiter ready to respond at every hour, but your ATS can respond when equipped with a recruiting chatbot. Whether the chatbot answers applicant questions about pay rates or company culture, it’s an important way to support candidates.

Chatbots provide a convenient, low-pressure way for job seekers to get information, learn more about jobs, and start the application process. While you sleep, the chatbot connected to your ATS can answer pressing candidate questions and remove roadblocks that otherwise cause job seekers to drop-off. Additionally, using a chatbot in this way creates time and space for recruiters to focus on creating human connections that also improve the candidate experience.

Applicant tracking software can provide a mobile-first experience

Most applicants don’t meet you at a recruiting fair. Nor do they apply for a job from a desktop computer. In fact, 58 % of applicants search for jobs on their phone and 35% of job seekers say they’d prefer to apply from their phone, according to research from Glassdoor.

Relying on a legacy applicant tracking system that’s designed for desktop use creates unnecessary hurdles for your candidates. If you want to improve the candidate experience, your ATS must be built to make connections with mobile users.

Your ATS facilitates ongoing communication

According to the 2020 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, positive candidate experiences increased by 52% when HR teams explained the post-interview steps and followed up with candidates according to the promised timeline.

Your applicant tracking software offers an easy way to ensure timely communication happens. You can program automatic updates based on your unique process. Dashboards and notifications exist to keep communication top of mind for both recruiters and hiring managers.

Even if a candidate isn’t hired for the current open position, this type of proactive communication helps build valuable relationships that you can continue to maintain in your candidate relationship management system (CRM).

Create the candidate experience you need

When you use your applicant tracking software to deliver a high level of candidate care, you’re demonstrating how you’ll treat people who eventually become employees. If you want to create a collaborative, diverse, and passionate workforce, you need to start doing so from the moment they connect with you – and with your ATS.

You can easily grow your applicant pool, and stand out from the competition, by offering a great candidate experience. Your applicant tracking system is one way to ensure a positive connection – from the very first impression.

Learn more about how an ATS can transform your business. Download the Business Case for a Focused and Inclusive ATS.

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