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How can an applicant tracking system improve candidate experience?

Tags: Candidate Experience

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) report that vacancies are currently at their highest number since records began in 2001, and that the job market is growing while the UK workforce is shrinking. This means that candidates are driving the market and a quality candidate experience – how they perceive a company’s recruitment process – is more important than ever.

Candidates are choosing you, just as you are choosing them, which is why a poor candidate experience could see your company miss out on the very top talent. In fact, various research reports show that companies can find themselves with serious problems if they don’t offer a quality candidate experience, from rejected job offers to damaging word of mouth.

One way to improve your company’s candidate experience is to use an applicant tracking system (ATS). Typically an all-in-one, cloud-based software solution, helps you streamline and manage your recruitment process from start to finish. That brings huge benefits for your HR team, but also allows you to create a candidate experience that hits the mark.

We’ve put together a list to share just a few of the ways an ATS can help your company’s candidate experience stand out from the competition.

1. Make it mobile responsive

Data from our own ATS shows that 77% of job searches are done on mobile and a report from Indeed suggests that almost half of jobseekers search and apply for jobs on their mobile phone. This means it’s absolutely vital that you offer a candidate experience designed for smaller screens.  

Attention is such a valuable commodity in the modern world. If a candidate can’t easily find your roles or manage their application from their phone, they’ll soon get frustrated. Force them to use a desktop computer and their attention will disappear completely – along with any chance you have of hiring them.

The good news is that a quality ATS will have mobile responsiveness baked right in. Rather than miss out on candidates put off by a shoddy mobile experience, an ATS will enable them to go from job search to hired without ever leaving the device in their pocket.

2. Make communication clear and consistent

One of the foundations of a great candidate experience is clear and consistent communication. A recent report from Career Arc found that 80% of applicants are unlikely to consider a job at the same company if they experience poor communications first-time around. However, for your recruitment team, that can be a complex and time-consuming task, especially when they are dealing with a large volume of candidates across multiple departments.

This is where an ATS can make a huge difference. First, it’s important to know that candidates expect feedback at every stage of the recruitment journey. When they submit their application, they want to know it’s been received. When they sign a contract, they need confirmation that everything is in order.

A high-quality ATS will have automation features that make the communication process a breeze. You can deliver personalised emails that automatically go out to candidates at key points in their experience, and even add important attachments, such as contract and policy documents. For the candidate, it means they never have to wait for a response, always know what stage they are at, as well as what’s required of them next.

3. Make a good first impression

The candidate experience starts at the initial point of contact – typically when they find and look at a job listing. As with most things, making a good first impression is absolutely vital. The best talent doesn’t have time to waste on poorly-written job ads or broken links.   

In some cases, a beautifully-designed careers site comes as part of the package and can be tailored to your company branding. From there, an ATS will provide a clear journey for starting an application, including the ability to register using social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.

In many ways, first impressions are all about designing a good user experience. An ATS is there to help you get off on the right foot by making it as clear and easy as possible for candidates to get started with your company. Your job postings, careers site and application process are your first chance to show off your culture and way of working.

4. Make feedback a priority

Does the process of applying for positions at your company match up with how you see your brand? Are there any specific problems with the candidate journey that come up time and again? There is one sure-fire way to find out whether your candidate experience is up to scratch: ask the candidates.

While an ATS comes with built-in analytics and reporting features that provide key insights into your recruitment process, it also allows you to ask for feedback directly from candidates. You don’t have to contact every person in your system or spend hours on the phone.

Automated communications sent at key moments in the candidate experience can help you collect first-hand insights and information. This could be in the form of questionnaires identifying skills and experience, or surveys and other feedback tools to make interacting with candidates a simple process for your team. For candidates, it shows you are willing to listen, take feedback on board and always look to improve.

Try Tribepad ATS

Tribepad ATS is an award-winning, mobile-first applicant tracking system used by some of the biggest organisations in the world. Learn more about its features and how it works or contact one of our team for an informal chat by emailing or phoning us on 0114 3122 110.


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