5 Ways to Use Your ATS to Improve Your Hiring Strategy in 2022

  By Jennifer Roeslmeier  |    Tuesday January 25, 2022

Category: Expert Advice, Productivity



With 2022 in full swing, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about your hiring strategy in the new year.  Whether it’s combating the Great Resignation, finding the best candidates in a time when candidates have the upper hand, incentivizing your job offers, or finding a way for candidates to trust you as an employer. Going into 2022 with a hiring strategy is essential to stay a leader in the industry, especially during a time when the employment climate changes every day.  

What about your ATS though? Has it been a part of your hiring strategy?  Your ATS is a vital tool for your everyday operations. Your team most likely uses it every day, every hour, and probably close to every minute of the workday. So how can you optimize the use of your ATS to support your hiring strategies in 2022?  By incorporating your ATS into your hiring strategy you have the opportunity to source better candidates, find the best candidates for the job, and streamline your hiring processes.

 

Let’s take a look at some of 2022’s hiring trends and ways you can use your ATS to improve your hiring process this year!

Keep Your ATS Updated

Your ATS is probably your most valuable tool when it comes to searching and finding candidates. It also might be a very underutilized tool at your staffing company. When searching for candidates, you don’t always need to rely on job boards to find new candidates.  Over the years, you’ve probably already brought in hundreds of qualified candidates into your ATS, so why not first use the expansive database of candidates you have in front of you?

The Future of Work 2022 Global Report published by Monster found that resume search tools in your ATS are the second most effective search tool for finding candidates. The usefulness of your ATS though is only as good as the information. If candidates’ information isn’t kept as up-to-date as possible, then your ATS may be less effective when utilizing it to find candidates.  ATS’s have proven to be an effective tool when searching for candidates, so it’s important to have a strategy in place to keep your ATS up to date.

 

A simple way to keep your ATS updated is by scheduling biannual or yearly campaigns to confirm candidates’ information is still accurate. This can easily be done in your ATS by sending out a mass text message or email with the candidate’s information you would like to confirm. 

Sending out the mass message is the easy part, but receiving the responses back could be more challenging. Try to make it as simple as possible to receive a message back from the candidate.  

If you have the ability to send a mass text message that populates the candidate’s information, a text may give you a quicker and higher response rate. To make it as simple as possible, you can have candidates reply “1” to confirm the information is accurate. If it is not, you can have them respond directly to the message with their updated information. 

*QUICK TIP* In the message, you might consider re-introducing yourself in case it’s been a while since you last touched base. Also, include a line of why you are looking to confirm the information.  Below is an example introduction.

 

“Hi [INSERT CANDIDATE NAME], 

[INSERT RECRUITER NAME] here with [INSERT STAFFING COMPANY NAME]! Could you confirm your information below is still accurate? We want to keep our records up to date so we can reach out if any job opportunities come up that would be a perfect fit for you!”

 

Keeping your ATS up to date is the first step for optimizing the use of your ATS to find candidates. 

 

Use Your ATS to Source Candidates

Monster’s The Future of Work 2022 Global Report notes that one of the top 3 pain points before the interview is sourcing quality candidates. Your ATS may be filled with hundreds or even thousands of candidates, but most likely you have some that are more qualified than others. This is where good notes, rankings, and favorites lists in your ATS can become an important asset. 

A valuable best practice to put in place is ranking candidates and adding “hot candidates” to a favorites list in your ATS. Explore your ATS and see if there is a way you can rank candidates by industry.  If there is a way, after your recruiters’ initial communication with a candidate, they should assign a numerical ranking to the candidate based on the industry. It can be a simple 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 rating scale. That way, when you are searching for a candidate to fill a clerical position, for example, you can use the search in your ATS to search for candidates that have a high clerical ranking. 

For candidates that are ranked high, you can go an additional step and add them to a Favorites List in your ATS. That way recruiters can easily access a Favorites Clerical List, a Favorites Light Industrial List, or a Favorites Accounting List, and reference that list first when sourcing quality candidates. 

A last best practice to think about when sourcing candidates in your ATS, is putting in detailed notes. This is a best practice that should be encouraged to your team. If there are specific notes that you would want a recruiter to take when communicating with a candidate for the first time, consider adding this to your internal ATS manual. To ensure everyone is following the same ranking and favorites list procedures, details on ranking and adding candidates to a favorites list should also be outlined in writing in an employer ATS user manual. 

Use Your ATS to Send Referral Emails

Did you know that 24% of candidates are skeptical of promises companies make about job expectations, benefits, perks, and culture?  The Recruiting Automation Playbook published by Sense notes that 8 out of 10 candidates trust the workplace recommendations of friends and family.  CareerPlug also notes that a referral makes a candidate 85 times more likely to be hired.

What does this all mean for you? In 2022, a component of your hiring strategy should include referrals from current employees and maybe even from former employees. As the stats show, candidates are trusting employer promises less these days.  A company referral from a friend or family member though increases that trust in the company immediately. From your perspective, the quality of the hire may also be better since it is referred to you by someone you trust. 

The first thing to think about is adding a referral program into your hiring strategy. If an employee refers someone for a role and they are hired, what do they receive?  Next, you will want to put together a referral campaign. This can be a simple email campaign to current or past employees in your ATS that you have had a good experience working with. Referral campaigns can be as broad or as specific as you would like. Here are some ideas of what you can include in the email:

  • Compliments to the employee for their work and how you would like to hire more stellar employees like them
  • Information about the referral incentive if they refer someone that gets hired
  • Information about a specific job you are looking to hire for
  • A list of jobs you are hiring for or a link to open jobs on your website 

Setting up a referral program and using the capabilities in your ATS to support your program, will ultimately bring in more candidates that trust working with you and also may lead to more qualified candidates. 

 

Eliminate Manual Tasks for Recruiters

Your recruiters are an essential part of your team so it’s important to also think about their needs as you compose your 2022 hiring strategy.  You want to keep your recruiters happy and employed at your staffing company and one way to do this is by helping eliminate manual tasks. The number one reason for employees quitting their job in 2021 was due to burnout, which can often be caused by manual, redundant everyday responsibilities. 

It’s also important to note that the competition is fierce for recruiters as companies brace themselves for a wave of hiring in the new year. According to LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting Report, the demand for recruiting professionals has increased by 63% since 2016.  With the increase in demand for recruiters and the “candidate-driven market” we are currently living in; thinking about ways to use your ATS to 

eliminate laborious tasks can not only keep your recruiters happy but help streamline processes and increase productivity.  

One way to eliminate manual tasks is by reviewing your ATS’s network of partners. Many ATS’s offer partner integrations in their software that allows staffing companies to streamline processes and store third-party information right within the ATS to eliminate the need to toggle between multiple solutions. This could include an integration with a background check screening company, a pre-employment assessment testing company, or even a pay card company.  

Integrations allow information to flow back and forth between systems without needing to manually transfer information. For example, a recruiter can initiate a background check within your ATS through a background screening company’s integration, and then when the background check is complete, that information would automatically flow right back into the ATS and store the results in the candidate’s record. This allows the recruiter to focus on other critical tasks, instead of spending time entering information back and forth. It also allows you to store information all in one place, your ATS.  If you are currently using partners that don’t integrate in your ATS, consider re-evaluating and taking a look at your ATS’s network of partners. 

 

The automation of tasks is also becoming more prominent in the recruiting world. Your ATS may offer an AI partner integration that allows the team to automate tasks. This could include the automation of text messages or emails, where a communication automatically goes out after a task is triggered. For example, an email or text message can automatically be sent the night before a candidate starts a job, wishing them a good first day. Another communication can be sent later that week, asking how the first week went, etc. The automation of communication not only eliminates time spent manually composing messages, but it helps increase engagement with candidates because you have more bandwidth to stay in touch regularly.

 

Chatbots are also becoming a way for recruiters to pre-screen candidates. Once a candidate applies for a position, an email or text message can be sent out with pre-fixed questions that allow the Chatbot to gather preliminary information and pre-screen the candidate. Recruiters save time by eliminating the screening of candidates and can focus their efforts on the qualified candidates that come through. What’s also important to note, if your ATS offers an AI integration to help automate tasks, similar to the ones discussed above, all of the communication should be stored in your candidate or contact records within your ATS. Recruiters won’t need to toggle between solutions to view communication. 

These are just a few ways to help eliminate manual tasks for recruiters and ultimately keep them happy and help increase the whole team’s productivity. As you put together your 2022 hiring strategy, think about ways that will work well for your company to help eliminate those tedious, manual tasks. 

 

Make it Easy to Accept Jobs on Mobile

60.7% of job applications are now being completed on a mobile device, according to an Appcast study. If most job seekers are spending time applying for jobs on a mobile device why not give them an easy and quick way to accept a job on a mobile device?  In recent years, more job seekers are searching and applying for jobs on mobile because of the convenience of it. Staffing companies can give job seekers that same experience when it comes time to accept. If candidates are able to quickly accept a job on a mobile device, they have the opportunity to accept that job quicker and possibly even before another job offer comes in via a phone call or email. 

Now is a good time to work with your ATS provider to see what mobile opportunities they offer for a quick job acceptance. This could be as simple as an offer coming in as a text message, and a candidate simply has to click on a link to accept. Your ATS might also offer a mobile app, where candidates can accept the job offer right from the app. See what mobile features are available to you and begin implementing them to help bring that convenience to candidates while shortening the time to hire.  

 

Review, Strategize, Hire!

We reviewed some of 2022’s top hiring trends and challenges to think about as you build your 2022 hiring strategy.  We also reviewed ways to use your ATS to support these hiring strategies. As you go about the year, continue to monitor hiring trends and ways you can use your ATS to its fullest capabilities to support the current climate. We live in a time when the employment industry is constantly changing, but by adapting to these changes and using the resources available to you, you will be able to come out on top.

 

 


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