7 Signs You Need an ATS for Hiring in the New Normal

One thing the coronavirus pandemic has made clear is that remote working is here to stay. According to a study conducted in 2020 by Growmotely, a platform that helps companies engage with remote staff, 74 percent of professionals and 76 percent of entrepreneurs believe this to be true.

In the same survey, 61 percent of employees said they prefer being fully remote. This shift could make the hiring process more difficult for human resources (HR) managers, but it doesn’t have to. A benefit of this new paradigm is incredibly expanded access to top talent. To take advantage of this opportunity, companies will need to manage potentially much more information than before. That’s why HR tech, such as a robust applicant tracking system (ATS), is one of the keys to success.

What is an ATS? Similar to customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, an ATS provides a local or cloud-based infrastructure for managing contacts and information related to them. Whereas a CRM solution may comprise all aspects of business operations (e.g., sales, communication, marketing, commerce, customer service), an ATS is focused on one area: hiring.

Here are seven signs that it might be time to look into this transformational HR tech for your business.

1. You are tracking candidate information using spreadsheets, but are finding this to be inefficient and of limited benefit.

The ubiquitous presence of Microsoft Office in the workplace makes it an easy entry point for those needing to manage job applicants. It’s simple to create a spreadsheet and use it to track basic information. But this does little to bring together the disparate elements of the recruiting process, nor does it allow hiring managers to easily surface the insights that lead to the right hire.

2. You know that you received an applicant’s résumé and exchanged emails with them, but when asked for the details, you can’t find them.

Email applications offer conversation threading as a feature that developers say makes life easier. Only it doesn’t. In theory, by creating a threaded view of a conversation that keeps related messages together, the app makes it simple to find details later. In reality, email threading does little to ease the burden of searching and, in many cases, makes it even more difficult to find that comment or file attachment which you know is there. When it comes to managing the hiring process, this can kill your chances of success. An ATS gathers all the details in one place and makes it instantly accessible through a dashboard.

3. Your hiring team has trouble coordinating information and isn’t on the same page.

Using spreadsheets and email to manage the hiring process not only makes things difficult for you, it also makes it hard to collaborate with others. To do so requires a lot of repetitive and time-consuming work to locate and distribute information. An ATS can bring everyone together—from hiring managers to interviewers—involving all stakeholders throughout the process to make talent acquisition a collaborative endeavor.

4. Your candidate data is stashed away in buckets when what you need is a pipeline of potential hires.

One way of comparing the use of Excel with a dedicated ATS in the hiring process is to think of buckets and pipelines. Tracking candidate details using spreadsheets usually means storing many assets, such as résumés and applications, in your email app. Often these items take the form of attachments scattered across mailboxes—stashed away in buckets—making them difficult to find and always at risk of accidental deletion. An ATS, in contrast, is like a pipeline that facilitates a constant flow of up-to-date data about job candidates.

5. You know that you have 20 candidates being interviewed but are unsure where they all stand and who seems like a good fit. You need clarity.

As you gather information through interviews, an ATS allows you to funnel it into a pipeline that is accessible to the whole team. Dipping into the stream and using tools such as status tracking, an intuitive metrics dashboard, and quick actions provides the pipeline clarity needed to make the right hire. And by pulling multiple streams together, you can easily compare candidates in a side-by-side view. No need to juggle spreadsheets or dig through email.

6. You want to diversify your team but are not identifying enough candidates.

Remote hiring and an ATS can also boost a company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts. By expanding the pool of candidates to regions that may have been too distant before the shift to remote working—and efficiently managing those relationships through the use of an ATS—human resource departments can assemble teams that meet D&I targets as well as deliver improved innovation and productivity thanks to more diverse experiences and points of view.

7. You’ve been asked to provide an estimate for the time and cost required to fill a position, but are unsure what to say.

While recording basic details of candidates in a spreadsheet can get you through the hiring process on a one-off basis, it is difficult to compare and contrast hires to gain historical insight. Using an ATS to centralize information allows you to easily analyse data to surface trends and averages. Having a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) is a must for those looking to make their hiring process more efficient and cost effective. You may be asked about KPIs such as the average number of qualified candidates per job posting, time to hire, cost per hire, or the effectiveness of social listening. Does being asked for this information send your head spinning as you think about how many hours you’ll spend gathering it? With an ATS, you’ll be done in a flash.

Experience the Power Firsthand

An ATS may sound like a big investment, requiring lots of time and money to implement. While many systems are indeed complex and overengineered, this isn’t always the case. The streamlined and easy to use ZooKeep ATS will have you up and running with minimal effort and cost.

And for those small and medium-sized enterprises doing business in Japan, this HR tech is part of the digital transformation that is sweeping the corporate world as the country works to not only stay competitive but gain advantage in today’s market.

Still unsure if you need an ATS? If you’ve experienced any of these seven signs, it’s time to take a hands-on look at how such a system can transform your workflow. ZooKeep was designed from day one to simplify the execution of your talent acquisition operations. Book a free demo today to see what a difference an ATS can make. Visit: www.zookeep.com.

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