The Applicant Tracking System: The Unsung Hero of Recruitment

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is often an afterthought to most people outside of recruitment … and maybe to some talent acquisition professionals as well. But truly it is the unsung hero of the recruitment world. Often viewed as a glorified spreadsheet, a truly modern ATS does much more than track applicants — it automates, evaluates, and personalizes the hiring process in a way that resonates not just through the hiring process, but through the entire employee experience.

What separates a truly great ATS from just an applicate database is largely in automation and integration. Automation allows hiring to be done at a scale that just can’t be done manually, especially in today’s environment of hiring done outside of traditional locations.

HireRoad, a Brandon Hall Group Preferred Provider, understands the importance of automated hiring processes that configure to organizations’ business needs and preferred recruitment workflow. The company goes well beyond that, however, and sees “being hired” to include everything from job posting to employee success. 

This strategic approach is critical for attracting applicants of all different worker types, demographics, and geographies. Add to that the need to manage those applicants if you can successfully bring them in, and the power of automation truly makes itself known. Automation can:

  • Allow for instant candidate communication, regardless of volume 
  • Automate self-scheduled interviews and video screening for a more adaptive approach to remote recruitment
  • Complete new hire paperwork digitally 
  • Automate new hire training to improve time-to-full-productivity 

Also, having the right systems in place to support the candidate experience (and by continuation, the employee experience) is important for recruitment, but being able to tell if differentiated recruiting is having a positive effect requires more than just one system. Currently, just over half of organizations can connect their LMS, HRIS, and onboarding to their ATS, but at most only two-thirds of all organizations have any systems integration at all, according to Brandon Hall Group research. 

With more workplaces becoming hybrid or fully remote, it becomes imperative that we create candidate experiences that reflect our unique cultures and organizational brand. The ATS may hide in the shadows, but successful organizations will see that now is the ATS’ time in the spotlight.

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