- A hassle-free candidate experience: A candidate's first
experience with your company is likely via your ATS. This candidate
experience often reflects your company culture. Can job seekers
apply to roles without the hassle of creating an account?
Trait #2: The ability to nurture candidates
A high-quality candidate experience includes everything from their
application to their acceptance of your job offer, and all the
interactions in between. Your ATS should help you guide and nurture
candidates at all stages of the recruitment process. With a modern
ATS, you should be able to:
Take, organize, and share notes: Your team should have the ability
to take notes on interviews, resumes, or conversations with job
applicants, and share those with the right members of the team, so
everyone can access the most up-to-date, accurate information during
each stage of the hiring process.
View activity logs: Reengaging
previous candidates is a great way to fill vacant roles, but you
need to tailor your outreach message and
timing to each candidate in order for it to be effective. For
example, you may not want to reach out to a candidate who has just
learned they didn't get another job at your company. Candidate
activity logs show what happened and when, so you can go into each
new interaction with the right context.
Organize candidates into lists or collections: This feature
will help you quickly find previous or current candidates with
specific skills, experience, or application history.
Email candidates individually or in bulk: Keep the
relationship going by emailing previous candidates about new
Trait #3: Uncomplicated candidate discovery
As mentioned above, the best
candidates for a role may come from your pool of previous
applicants, sometimes called lost candidates. And there's good
reason to prioritize people already in your database: They are six
times as likely to get hired as new applicants (Bock, Laszlo. Work
With a few clicks, the best applicant tracking systems let you
search for previous applicants with specific skills, experience,
knowledge, or certifications. They then match these qualifications
to open roles and make reaching out to corresponding candidates a
The ATS you choose should also simplify the candidate sourcing
process in general. A search should
act like a search: You shouldn't have to create a complex
string of tags or booleans to find your own data. With the right
ATS, candidate discovery is an uncomplicated process and won't
require your team to learn any custom code.
Trait #4: Efficient job posting tools
HR teams have better things to do than manually adding an open
position to a dozen job boards. The top applicant tracking systems
integrate with a number of job boards. With this feature, you can
quickly add job openings and all their important details to the
boards you choose, all at once, and all without leaving the ATS.
Some tracking systems will go even further, allowing you to create
sponsored listings. Others may prompt you for additional information
required by specific boards before posting so that you can be sure
your posts don’t get rejected by the job board.
Trait #5: Actionable reporting
Reports and analytical data give your team the information you need
to make improvements that allow you to hire smarter and faster. For
example, the top applicant tracking systems have source efficiency
reporting, which tells you which job boards are referring the
highest quality candidates — allowing you to save time and money by
only posting on the boards with the best chances of success.
Other reporting options include:
Time-to-hire report: This report will help you identify
inefficiencies in the hiring process and ultimately improve your time-to-hire.
Candidate conversion rates: How are candidates moving through your
pipeline? This report will show you the percentage of applications
that advanced from each hiring stage, so you can make sure your
hiring process is working for your team and your candidates.
Referral report: This report will show how many referrals you're
receiving from current or former employees. If your strongest
candidates are from referrals, you may want to
invest more in referral tools.
You may also want to look for an ATS that allows your reporting data
to be exported or easily shared. Exporting your reporting data to a
spreadsheet enables additional analysis and lets you easily create
charts and graphs as part of custom reports
for senior leadership and other teams.
Trait #6: Integration with your most-used hiring tools
Your ATS should make your staff more efficient, not less. While some
HR teams may initially choose an ATS that includes human resources
information system (HRIS) capabilities (such as offer letters,
payroll, or employee onboarding), the experience is often better
when your applicant tracking software integrates with services
you're using daily instead of those you may use only occasionally.
The top applicant tracking systems integrate easily with your
productivity suite — including your email, calendar, spreadsheets,
and file storage applications. That way, you don't have to work in
multiple applications to accomplish a single task.
For example, an email integration will allow you to compose and send
a message to a candidate from within the ATS rather than making you
switch to the email application. The ATS will also automatically
record that the email was sent in both applications.
Using an ATS that integrates with your existing productivity tools
won't just save you time; it may also make ATS onboarding easier on
your team. Familiar tools that don’t require a ton of context
switching will help your team understand how to use the system and
be more likely to keep using it.