An ATS, or ‘Applicant Tracking System’ in full, is a digital recruitment platform on which organizations create and send their vacancies, track the intake and manage the processing of applications. It is the central place from which everyone in the company can support the process. An ATS also offers advantages for the experience of candidates. It is an indispensable tool in the war for talent, and yet we see the system is not yet established in many places.

Most organizations are now working on an ATS, but we still notice that even in these challenging times, classic, non-digital and decentralized recruitment methods are still used. Unfortunately, this way, companies miss out on many great opportunities that not only make life easier for recruiters, but also look more professional to candidates. Which opportunities are these? You will discover them in these five reasons to start with an ATS today:

1 – An ATS makes the preparation and publication of vacancies more efficient

Nowadays there are numerous channels through which you can distribute a vacancy. From job boards to social media platforms: to recruit successfully, you want the company culture and tone to come across equally well everywhere. Without ATS that is not easy and there is always the risk that you use different descriptions. In addition to a number of standard functions, a good system also offers the necessary configuration options to integrate the logo, colors and even safeguard the correct way of working of your company. This way you have a template that you can continue to reuse. Once your vacancy has been correctly formatted for the various channels, you should also have the option of distributing it: publishing it on your website, on your intranet, forwarding it to job boards, partners and suppliers, … A decent ATS will support you in all of this!

2 — The influx of candidates is larger and, moreover, reusable

No matter where you post a job, all traffic should funnel back to your ATS. In this way, every candidate is stored in your own personal and non-shared dedicated database. Even if a vacancy does not lead to a recruitment, you will soon have a recruitment pool that you can reuse in the future. But you can also go a step further and use the data of your top candidates to search more specifically for certain skills or characteristics in a subsequent search. Applications such as AI technology and online assessments are much more cost-effective if you support them with an ATS.

3 — It’s good for your company’s image towards candidates

Send an email to apply? That is so 90’s, and yet this is still the way of working for many companies without ATS. Those who do have an ATS can place vacancies in an attractive layout on their website and improve the candidate’s experience from first contact, desktop- or mobile-based! For example, people automatically receive a confirmation of receipt and they can follow the status of the application via a portal. Or are they asked exactly those questions that are important for the specific vacancy when applying for a job. Recruiters also have access to templates with which they can send a professional email in seconds to let candidates know whether or not they have been selected. Such a strong experience can really make the difference for the ‘career owner’.

4 — The entire organization is involved in the recruitment process

We already mentioned that anyone can help draw up a vacancy, and we really mean everyone. Recruiters can determine, based on roles and rights, who can request or edit a vacancy, and how it is published. Furthermore, certain employees may have a lot of experience and their input can be useful to screen candidates for the right skills; involve them in interviews and screenings! Or would the organization like to use a third party or supplier to supply candidates? A solid ATS can support all these aspects of collaboration. Additionally, an ATS can also be useful for tracing and accountability on all of these processes. You can easily check who agreed to a recruitment or which remarks someone has made about an application. Which brings us seamlessly to the fifth and final reason in this list …

5 — An ATS provides fast and accurate reporting of ROI and employer marketing

In most companies, the importance of reporting is increasing. From the number of candidates for a vacancy to the education levels that apply and the (legally mandatory in Belgium) social balance: an ATS maps it all out. Suppose dozens of people have been interviewed but everyone eventually drops out, then such a report is a strong argument for HR to raise with the management that, for example, the wage conditions are an obstacle.

Vacancies are also increasingly a form of marketing. In e-commerce, marketers use a system that shows the number of (webshop sales) conversions, but also which potential customers viewed something and eventually dropped out. Especially if you distribute vacancies for a fee, you want to be able to do the same to quickly see how people enter or why they eventually click away. In short, just as a CRM system improves the relationship with customers, an ATS is necessary today to manage and connect talent to your company in a more efficient way.

Are you convinced that you need an ATS? Contact us for a demo and a solution!

Hendrik De Backer

Hendrik De Backer is CEO of HR-Technologies, a Ghent-based provider of the e-recruitment software EasyToRecruit, which, as a cloud solution, optimally supports companies from all sectors in recruitment & selection and employer branding.