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How to use an ATS to improve the candidate experience

March 17, 2021
iCIMS Staff
7 min read

In this candidate-driven market, job seekers aren’t afraid to turn down opportunities because of a less-than-ideal experience. Complicated applications or slow recruiter response times can leave a lasting impression that turns candidates away. More than ever, TA teams need to work smarter to stand out.  

Here are five ways to use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to improve the job search experience and keep candidates in your pipeline.  

Get more actionable tactics in our ebook, Edge Out the Competition with Superior Candidate Experiences.  

Connect with career sites

Searching for a new career can feel like a part-time job. Because of this time commitment, candidates want experiences that help them find relevant roles fast.   

In fact, 63% of companies are investing or planning to invest in AI solutions in 2022, up from 42% in 2020.   

63% of companies are investing or planning to invest in AI solutions. 

To stand out from the competition, TA teams can use their career site (powered by their ATS) to make personalized job recommendations based on candidate data. One way to do this is through intelligent job-to-job recommendations. After clicking on a job listing, candidates can see similar roles they may have overlooked, even if they are qualified. This helps keep job seekers engaged with your career site longer while delivering the curated experiences candidates crave.  

Use a recruiting chatbot for rapid responses

Today’s applicants are applying for jobs 24/7. While you can’t have a recruiter ready to respond at all times of the day and night, your ATS can respond when equipped with a recruiting chatbot. Shockingly, only 9% of companies surveyed use a chatbot on their career site. 

Only 9% of Fortune 500 companies surveyed use a chatbot on their career site.

This is a major miss for companies looking to collect information about job seekers in a subtle yet engaging way. Chatbots provide a convenient, low-pressure way for job seekers to learn more about jobs and start the application process.  

While you sleep, the chatbot connected to your ATS can communicate with candidates in multiple languages, allow qualified candidates to schedule a video interview at any time, and remove roadblocks that might otherwise cause job seekers to drop off.  

Additionally, using chatbots can actively populate data into your ATS, allowing recruiters to analyze activity and adjust their strategies based on performance. 

Provide a mobile-first experience

Most applicants don’t meet you at a recruiting fair these days. Nor do they apply for a job from a desktop computer. In fact, 60.7% of job applications in 2020 were completed on mobile devices.  

In 2020, 60.7% of job applications were completed on mobile devices.

To improve the candidate experience, test your entire application process from a mobile device to ensure there are no significant challenges. Ask yourself:  

  • Can job seekers easily apply from a third party source like LinkedIn or Indeed?  
  • Is the font size on your job description too small? How easy is it to read on a mobile device?  
  • How easy is it for job seekers to upload their resume from their phone? 
  • Can job seekers apply through text 

Keep candidates in the loop with ongoing communication  

Use purposeful communication methods that help candidates feel in-the-know without being spammed.  

In between interview stages, send videos from the hiring manager that explain what happens next. Or send a newsletter to your talent pools with exclusive event invitations, career tips, or employee quotes about your company culture. With marketing automation software, you can even personalize these touchpoints based on lead score or candidate activity. 

Even if you don’t hire the candidate for the current open position, proactive communication helps build valuable relationships that you can maintain in your candidate relationship management system (CRM). 

Consider the entire experience

Candidates expect a great experience from their very first touchpoint to their first day on the job, yet studies show 40% experience a lack of communication between acceptance and their first day.  

40% of candidates experience a lack of communication between acceptance and their first day.

Offer letter software, used with your ATS, helps you set the right tone from the start. Send candidates a branded, personalized welcome package that shows just how excited you are for them to join the company.   

Once the candidate accepts their offer, you can leverage an onboarding portal that makes it easy for them to complete required tasks and training from the device they prefer. Add in welcome videos from managers and coworkers to give candidates a sneak peek into their new work environment.   

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. 

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. 

Get more actionable tactics in our ebook, Edge Out the Competition with Superior Candidate Experiences.  

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