January 22, 2015 Varum Padmanabhan

Define your company’s “Best-Practice” Recruiting Strategy: Start with an ATS

For small but growing companies, trying to find top talent to take your company to the next level can turn into quite a lofty task without the proper technology in place. Small companies often have a small recruiting budget since HR is typically not viewed as a profit-center. This often leads to constrained resources for your HR staff (or whoever is in charge of recruiting), a maze of manual processes, and a pool of disengaged candidates. The reality is, growing companies should focus heavily on recruiting the right people to carry forward the mission and goals of the organization. So how can you get your ducks in a row?

1) Start with an Applicant Tracking System

Implementing new technology like an ATS can often provoke a lot of internal process questions. Choose a partner who can help you define your process, and shed some light on what other companies in your space are doing. Support should be a top priority when selecting an Applicant Tracking vendor.

2) Define your process

What does your internal recruiting process look like now? What do you want your process to look like? Defining this step-by-step work-flow is a critical first step that can lay the foundation for future success in your recruiting department. When you start categorizing and measuring the steps a candidate passes through from the time they apply to a job to the time they meet a final stage, you start to realizing where efficiencies can be gained. For example, categorizing your “future interest candidates” as such, you can start to build a bench for jobs that are tougher to fill.

3) Take advantage of built-in automation

Many Applicant Tracking Systems have built-in automation technology that can ease the administration of manual processes like the job requisition and offer approval process. By automating these processes, you are not only gaining visibility into that process and identifying any kinks in the chain, you are also building a full audit trail in the system. Being able to track and manage the job approval process as well as the offer approval process eliminates lost email communication and improves metrics like time-to-fill.

4) Build templates

When setting up a new ATS, it definitely takes some TLC on the front-end that will pay dividends in time and resources in the long-run. Build your jobs as templates so you don’t have to recreate the wheel everytime that job has an opening. With your jobs, you should also be able to build in prescreening questions. These screening questions are designed quickly to help recruiters find the best matches for their job, and can often work in tandem with your workflow steps so that a candidate can get knocked out or in to those steps based off their response to the question. Finally, build your email templates.  Communicating with your candidates is always appreciated and ensures that your employer brand maintains a strong image.

5) Figure out what metrics matter to your company

Now that your ATS is live, metrics will start to come to life that can help you refine your process further. You will start to see simple metrics like applicant flow, job status/activity and number of hires. Then, you can dig a little deeper and see reports that reveal metrics like attrition, job board performance and time-to-fill, all which have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. Once you have a pulse on your recruiting metrics, you can start to make smarter, more informed decisions.

Recruiting and building a great company must go hand-in-hand. For small to mid-sized companies, implementing an Applicant Tracking System may seem like a daunting task, but that is why selecting a vendor who can help you along the way is the only way to maximize the ROI from your investment. There are many providers out there with comparable functionality, so make sure you find out what to expect after the sale from a customer success standpoint. A partner is only successful when their clients are.