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Finetune Application Tracking Systems, for a better online job search experience

Deploying the right tools and features in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)  -- something  increasingly used in contemporary   HR departments --  can broaden the candidate pool, generate more qualified hires, increase retention and create cost/time savings. We bring you this feature sourced from a leading provider of talent acquisition and electronic data solutions, First Advantage,  a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company.

Online job searching is the first step for the majority of candidates seeking hourly positions. Typically, a candidate for an hourly position will apply at multiple locations simultaneously with “time-to-hire” being first and foremost in their decision-making process. This creates a high-cost, high-turnover concern for employers.
Because of prevailing “I need a job” versus an “I would like a better position” motivation, the company able to get an hourly candidate through the application and hiring process faster and with a more favorable overall candidate experience will get the hire.
Additionally, employers must embrace the fact that the hourly talent pool is not only global in scope due to online application gathering, but is also comprised of a younger demographic that has grown up with technology and relies on the latest devices as primary communication tools. Moreover, a large majority of the hourly candidate pool is often a large portion of the customer base for many hourly employers. Organizations that ignore this commonality run the risk of not only losing good candidates, but of losing good customers as well.

The Problem:

An inefficient Applicant Tracking System (ATS) deters candidates, saps resourcesThe candidate experience, from the first click on a career site to the first day as an employee, must be systematic, intuitive and instill a candidate’s confidence in the company to be successful. If not, the candidate will simply cross the street to seek employment

 Arduous Application ProcessEven the most qualified candidates won’t complete a laborious online application. Questions perceived as irrelevant for a specific position, slow information gathering and confusing directions can all drive away candidates.

 Unprofessional site designThe wrong first impression is the fastest way to eliminate qualified candidates from pursuing a position. Along with a grueling or confusing application process, an unprofessional design is a good way to lose qualified candidates before they even begin.

 Limited functionality and quantification of DataMany applicant tracking systems are designed with limited ability to fully gather application and uploaded resume data, to use that data throughout the hiring cycle and to quantify the wealth of data to streamline multiple processes.

THE Solution:

Enhancing the candidate experience through better ATS form and functionParticularly for hourly employees, selecting an ATS designed specifically to capture, relay and process the candidate information most relevant to each unique position can cut costs, increase overall employee morale and ultimately solidify relationships and drive increased business with the customer base.

 Application as corporate branding, Data Mining resource:The look and feel of a careers site creates an instant opinion of a company in the candidate’s mind. It’s essential that human resource leaders embrace the importance of design in the job search and application process and work closely with marketing departments and ATS and design vendors to ensure that every element of the candidate experience reinforces corporate branding while maintaining ease of candidate use.A visually professional careers page will not only create an overall positive perception of the employer, but should also relay confidence of the site’s security measures. Your ATS should employ the strongest SSL encryption technology available for both gathering and storing data. By posting this online security information on the application site, candidates are more willing to share their personal information.

Better communication, best candidatesEmployers must embrace the younger demographic that constitutes a significant portion of the hourly workforce. They have grown up with technology, demand immediate communication gratification and rely on the latest devices as primary communication tools.

Scheduling and scoring: Creating efficiency from gathered dataCandidates spend a good deal of time providing information to potential employers and an ATS that can take that information and use it to immediately provide an answer to the question of “what now?” will help employers retain the best candidates.

 The Final First Impression: Automated onboardingA positive candidate experience doesn’t end with the application, interview or even a decision to hire. With 22 percent of employees leaving their jobs within the first 45 days of employment, it’s essential to maintain a positive candidate/new hire experience for as long as possible keep recruiting costs down and increase or maintain productivity.   December 1 2012