In part one we covered talent forecasting and the employer brand, along with the tools to support both. The final piece of the recruiting puzzle, is crafting a positive and lasting candidate experience. Any recruiter’s tool of choice in this endeavor is going to be a strong ATS.
The ATS is going to be your best bud throughout the entire recruiting process, especially managing the candidate experience. Why does the candidate experience matter? That’s a whole other article, but we’ll give you a taste:
“Both candidate and new-hire experience can influence an individual’s overall perceptions of an organization and its work environment, whether they will reapply for another job at the organization, if they will refer other employees, and their performance and engagement within their first months on the job. In general, positive experiences have been found to increase engagement and positive perceptions of the organization, while negative experiences may lead to the opposite, such as decreased engagement and many other adverse consequences.” - NorthCoast 99
In short, candidate experience matters, and it is nearly impossible to manage without the automation and organization that a strong ATS provides. Here are the features and functions of an ATS as they relate to managing the candidate experience.
Resume parsing can drastically reduce your time-to-fill. This means that candidates can hear from you faster about the status of their application. Businesses are currently taking 22.5 days to fill a job — 6 days longer than in 2009. The majority of candidates, who cite having a negative experience, don’t believe that the hiring process followed a reasonable timeline.
A rating system will also expedite the process, as applicants are pre-sorted according to their rating. The average corporate listing can pull in around 250 resumes. When a recruiter is automatically given an organized (virtual) pile of rated resumes, from best to worst fit, they can drastically reduce the time an applicant has to wait to hear back.
Automated, or canned email communication ensures that applicants are always in the loop. 58% of applicants do not receive regular updates on their application. A major frustration of most candidates is that they don’t hear from the organization after applying. Communication is made almost effortless with email automation. These can include emails like: “Thank you for applying”, “Please come in for an interview”, “We regret to inform you that you didn’t fit the position requirements”. You can cover every base with automated communication.
Their information is organized and stored for future use if the applicant wasn’t a good fit this time around. Recruiters can make quality candidates feel welcome to apply again in the future, with their data securely stored. With 52% of applicants feeling as though they were not treated like an individual, gestures that make applicants feel valued are vital. Furthermore, secure ATS storage makes it simple for recruiters to access files and contact a candidate for other positions that become available.
You can also automate the feedback process. Soliciting feedback from applicants is an ideal way to collect objective data that can be used to further improve your recruiting process. With only 11% of companies asking for candidate feedback, this is a huge competitive advantage.
Automation of the above administrative tasks allows recruiters to spend more time on the people matters of HR and recruiting. Recruiters are no longer bogged down with resumes and applications, endlessly searching their inboxes and profusely apologizing to quality candidates about their application getting lost in the shuffle. When recruiters can operate in a streamlined and organized process, they can then offer the same to their candidates.
Offering the best candidate experience possible starts with the tools and processes with which your recruiting team functions. Beyond automation and technology, it must also be part of your company culture and values to treat a candidate as you would a customer. After all, they probably are. The candidate experience that you offer will resonate loudly with current candidates, future candidates, employees, vendors and customer alike. Does your HR or recruiting team have the right tools to make a positive impact?
In an ideal world, the one ClearCompany lives in, each of these stages of the employee talent lifecycle doesn’t take place in a silo. Traditionally, each stage is separated by people, data and technology, but the employee lifecycle, at any stage, can’t be optimized that way. Each stage must lend itself to the next, in a flow, rather than in isolated segments. The transparency and complete integration that ClearCompany brings to the employee lifecycle does just that.
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Andre is the CEO and co-founder of ClearCompany. Prior to ClearCompany, Andre was Global Managing Director at Thomson Reuters, where he ran a 1Bn global business across 90 countries. Prior to Thomson Reuters, Andre was responsible for product development and operations at CCBN, a company he helped grow from a small start-up to number 36 on the INC 500.