How to pick a candidate-centric ATS

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In today’s job market, applicant tracking systems (ATS) are essential for streamlining recruitment processes. But as we celebrate these efficiency gains we must not overlook their impact on the candidate experience. From initial application to final selection, every interaction shapes a candidate’s perception of your company.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips to ensure your ATS not only streamlines operations but also enhances every step of the candidate journey.

Why care about the ATS experience?

ATS platforms are transformative; they streamline administrative tasks like resume screening and application tracking, freeing talent acquisition professionals to focus on sourcing, assessing and interviewing candidates. Meanwhile, candidates seek a user-friendly interface that simplifies application submissions and provides clear updates on their progress. Sounds basic, yet continuous complaints about poor followup and responsiveness suggest there is room for improvement.

Most important features to look for?

Transparent communication tools

Immediately after application submission, the ATS sends out automated acknowledgments, ensuring candidates feel noticed right from the start. Such proactive communication keeps candidates informed and engaged, fostering goodwill even if they’re not selected for the position. Quick check – have you activated these features within your ATS?

Fairness and compliance tools

Standardizing the screening process through predefined criteria minimizes the risk of bias in the selection process. Additionally, the ATS integrates compliance features to adhere to relevant regulations, such as GDPR and EEOC guidelines. By addressing compliance and culture concurrently, an ATS offers candidates insight into the organization’s ethos.

Overcoming common ATS hurdles

Even with automation in place, an ATS still requires consideration to avoid pitfalls.

Lack of personalization: Overreliance on automation can lead to impersonal communication, making candidates feel like just another number. Remember the candidate experience is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent, so ensure that personal touches and meaningful interactions are maintained throughout the recruitment process.

Complexity and technical glitches: Candidates can get frustrated when the application process is too complicated or systems errors pop up.That kind of hassle can lead to a negative perception of the company.

Keyword filtering: Leaning too heavy on keyword filtering algorithms may result in qualified candidates being overlooked due to mismatched terminology or formatting issues. Let’s make sure we’re catching all the good ones.

Think first: Candidate-centric strategies

It’s time to think strategically. How can your organization be more thoughtful about the candidate experience while maintaining the necessary processes for consistency and compliance? To avoid the list above, organizations can adopt best practices like:

Streamline application processes: Keep forms concise and easy to navigate, minimizing unnecessary fields and providing clear instructions.

Prioritize communication: Maintain open lines of communication with candidates throughout the recruitment process, providing timely updates and personalized responses whenever possible.

Balance automation with personalization: While automation boosts efficiency, strive to personalize interactions with candidates to make them feel valued and respected.

Regularly review and update your ATS: Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your ATS in delivering a positive candidate experience and make adjustments as necessary to address any pain points.

It’s no secret that applicant tracking technology plays a pivotal role in shaping the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process, yet many organizations are not quite leveraging its capabilities. By effectively using an ATS, companies not only streamline hiring processes but also boost their reputation as an employer of choice – or at the very least, demonstrate consistency in their value propositions.

Elevate your recruitment process with a candidate-centric ATS from Greenhouse. Discover features that enhance transparency, fairness, and personalization throughout the candidate journey—hire better, all together.

Discover more here
John Baldino

John Baldino

is President of Humareso, a global HR consulting firm. With 30+ years of experience, he speaks on leadership and diversity and co-hosts “But First Coffee” on LinkedIn Live. John has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. He holds an MS in Human Resources Development from Villanova and a BA in English from St. Joseph’s. Connect with John on LinkedIn for his latest insights.

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