The hiring process has greatly evolved over the past 100+ years. In the past, the most common way for a company to find a new employee was to put a “Help Wanted” sign in their store window or perhaps an ad in the local newspaper. Interested candidates physically went to that business’ brick and mortar building and filled out a paper application by hand. If person in charge of hiring (personnel perhaps?) wanted to interview a certain applicant, he or she called that person’s LANDLINE telephone to get in touch with him/her. At some point, that paper application was put into a manila folder, which was crammed into a probably over-flowing file cabinet.
My how times have changed.
Today’s hiring process is much different. The advent of technology such as applicant tracking systems, the proliferation of social media networks and the wide-spread usage of mobile devices has transformed the way companies find talent, along with how job seekers connect with prospective employers. Since the first ATS was introduced in the 1990’s, these recruiting software systems have improved by leaps and bounds and at warp speed. What were once considered “electronic filing cabinets used to simply store and index resumes,” these recruiting systems now boast advancements such as social media integration, CRM capabilities and mobile integration.
Benefits of Applicant Tracking Systems
Recruiting can be a long and arduous process. Yet, some organizations are still content to manage their hiring process through spreadsheets, emails and other manual processes. These companies rationalize “We’ve managed just fine this way for “X” number of years. Why invest in new technology?” For one, more and more candidates now expect an automated, seamless application process. If your application process is tedious, archaic or unnecessarily lengthy, chances are you are missing out on quality candidates. A few other things to consider:
- Simple application process: When competing for scarce talent, it’s beneficial to have a simple candidate application process. Most systems allow candidates to upload resumes or LinkedIn profiles reducing the time required to apply. Profiles can be re-used making it easier for candidates to apply for other jobs. ATS social media tools allow job hunters to forward postings to their network broadening the reach of the search.
- Searchable database: Applications reside in a searchable database eliminating the need for electronic or paper folders to store candidate information. Although ATSs cannot fully screen resumes, the level of automation narrows the candidate pool with standard screening questions, reducing the time needed to short list applications.
- Automated processes: Most systems provide the capability to automate the approval to hire and onboarding processes saving the HR and hiring manager time required to complete these activities. Candidate tracking assists with record keeping and supports effective communication between HR and hiring managers
- Meeting expectations: As the use of ATSs increases, candidates expect a seamless application process. Relying on out-dated email or paper based applications will put the organization at a disadvantage and potentially reduce the applicant pool.
Technology & Innovation Improve Recruiting
Applicant tracking systems have streamlined nearly every aspect of the application and hiring process. From prescreening to interview scheduling to onboarding, ATS’s put the focus back on the applicants, where it belongs. More so than that, they have created a sort of conduit between employers and job seekers. These two parties are now able to connect and communicate like never before. Recruiters can proactively approach candidates about available positions. Candidates can research a prospective employer and get a clearer picture of what working for that company is truly like.
ATS Innovation: The Next Frontier – Are You Prepared?
Advances in technology have made recruiting a more efficient process and will continue to do so. As innovation to recruiting software and HR technology continues at a rapid pace, companies need to stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry and adjust accordingly. Today’s job market is nimble, dynamic and ever-changing. Companies that recognize that HR technology adds value to their organization are the ones that will stay one step ahead of the competition.