Choosing an Applicant Tracking System: A Guide for HR Managers and Business Owners

Summary: An applicant tracking system is a smart investment for your HR team. Here’s a closer look at how applicant systems help you streamline your recruiting process, hire better talent, and reduce turnover through quality controls.

HR managers and business owners are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of human resources departments. Your HR team’s work is essential – from managing payroll to recruiting your company’s next generation of talent. Yet many of the processes that they oversee are administratively intensive. The right technology tools can increase their ability to focus on high-impact projects, reduce hiring costs, decrease turnover, and improve your overall workforce quality. Here’s a closer look at applicant tracking systems, the features to look for, and how to choose the right software for you

Efficient, paperless recruiting process: The right applicant tracking system will help you implement an efficient, paperless recruiting process. Whether you’re recruiting for hard to find candidates or posting essential jobs that need to be filled quickly, an applicant tracking system lets you manage the hiring process from start to finish. The system will guide you through scoping out a job’s requirements, setting up a careers site to process applications, screening candidates, and managing the interview process. With the ability to oversee promotion, reporting, and candidate communications from a single interface, your HR team gets more done in less time.

Improved candidate experience: Hiring and retaining the best people starts with a smooth interview process. In-demand executives, developers, and sales talent often have multiple offers when they’re on the job market. The professionalism, speed, and overall candidate experience that’s driving your hiring process speaks volumes to potential employees. An applicant tracking system allows candidates to apply easily for jobs, monitor their application status, and receive timely communications. Your team is able to quickly vet candidates, arrange interviews, and manage both internal and external communications with ease. As a result, quality candidates have a positive experience and you’re more likely to make a successful hire.  New employees start their jobs in a positive frame of mind, based on a smooth and professional introduction to the company’s performance and practices.

Integrated processing: Today’s hiring process has multiple steps, from posting and promoting openings to processing candidates through the onboarding process. Once you’ve made a successful hire, new employees need to submit substantial amounts of paperwork in the form of employment agreements, tax information, and benefits applications. An applicant tracking system will ensure that you are able to track where people are in the process at all times. The system can also be configured to manage elements of employment screening such as background checks, verifying employment and educational histories, checking references, and even processing drug testing. Ensuring that each new hire has met your company’s standards reduces turnover, ensures a higher level of performance, and mitigates the financial and legal risks of making a bad hire.

An applicant tracking system is a smart investment in today’s hiring environment. From reducing the workload of overtaxed HR teams to providing high-value candidates with the best experience possible, automating your recruiting process has numerous benefits for your business. Are you an HR manager or business owner who wants to improve your firm’s recruitment strategies? Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive applicant tracking system and suite of integrated services.

 

Applicant Tracking: How To Manage Your Biggest Hiring Challenge

Applicant tracking is one of the most demanding components of the HR process. While scoping out positions, publicizing your vacancies, and attracting qualified candidates is time intensive, once you’ve developed a list of people to interview the real work begins. Most companies have multi-step interview processes that require coordinating each phase of the interviews and keeping both hiring managers and candidates informed about feedback and progress. For today’s already overworked HR departments, the added administrative burden can be challenging to manage. Here’s a closer look at tools and strategies that can simplify your candidate management efforts.

Manage your external branding with good communications

According to a recent Forbes article, 70% of companies fail to even acknowledge job applications with an email or a letter. Disgruntled potential hires can do significant damage to your company’s brand, whether they perceive a lapse in communication or a shoddily run process. Applicant tracking systems help your company avoid these mishaps. Steps such as acknowledgment letters and rejection emails can be both automated and personalized. Your HR staff can quickly audit the status of all individuals who applied for a position, to make sure that all communications are timely and complete.

Plan for your staffing needs
Applicant tracking also plays an important role in internal business operations. Systems can help both your HR department’s internal reputation and your ability to participate in the planning process. Managers with critical positions unfilled often need updates on hiring process progress to help schedule deliverables and client meetings. Time to hire and other factors are needed by finance for budget planning and financial projections. An applicant tracking system will give you the information needed to respond to requests for reports and ad hoc information in a timely, efficient way.

Overcome unreasonable workloads and inaccurate information
Many small to medium-sized companies track candidates through a mix of shared online file drives, spreadsheets, and paper documents. This approach has several drawbacks. One of the most obvious is time. Getting updates from various interviewers and HR managers, inputting the status, and sharing updated documents take a lot of effort. Often, information will be out of date when it’s needed the most, particularly if you’re managing multiple openings. Handling permissions for who has access to what information and who can modify it is also difficult, if not impossible, to do with Word documents and spreadsheets. Conversely, a dedicated candidate management system automatically updates and ensures that information is both secure and accessible as required.

Improve the candidate experience
Improving the candidate experience has several benefits for your company. Particularly in difficult to staff fields, such as executive leadership or technical talent, a positive candidate experience will help you stand out from other companies competing for their attention. A positive candidate experience also starts new hires out on the right foot, with a solid perception of their new employer. Automated recruiting systems help make it easy to keep candidates happy with regular communications, more efficient and fast moving interview processes, and preventing requests for information that has already been submitted which can make you look disorganized.

Are you a company that’s looking for a better solution for managing your hiring processes and applicant tracking? Contact myStaffingPro today to learn more about this full-featured SaaS applicant tracking system, which provides HR professionals with the tools they need to recruit, qualify, track, and hire the best applicants. You’ll reduce the workload on your HR staff, improve the candidate experience, and be better positioned to provide information to hiring managers and other internal stakeholders as required.

The Odds at HR Technology

The Odds at HR Technology

We are back in Las Vegas on October 7-10 for the HR Technology Conference and exposition. Once again, the conference is packed with excellent sessions. I’m going to be running in and out of the Paychex Blogger Lounge, but I’ll also be stopping by for:

What are you going to attend?

Making a Job Posting Sticky

The nuts and bolts of a job description consist of:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Position Requirements
  • Location
  • Hours
  • About Us

What do you write between the title and about us? I’ve seen everything from the blah to the trendy, and some that have let me with a myriad of questions. How do you say what you need to say, yet stand out and encourage the right candidates to apply?

Stand out from the crowd, and make your job posting sticky by following these tips:

  • Bullets: Please use bullets! Candidates are sorting through countless job postings and are trying to be as efficient and effective as possible. Cut the nonsense and give them exactly what they are looking for. I would much rather read:
    • B.S. in Business Administration required

    Then, “the ideal candidate possesses a four year degree in the field of business administration from an accredited university.”

  • Speak my language: Record yourself describing the job to someone outside of the company. Think about the words that you are using and what it is known as in the marketplace. Avoid internal lingo that could confuse potential candidates. In addition, write the description at the appropriate Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level.
  • Spell it out. Otherwise, you may fall victim to this beauty:

    ISO a CUA to work at CU in IT. (In search of a certified usability analyst to work at Columbia University in the information technology department).

  • Be Specific: Tell candidates what you are looking for and what is needed so that they can make an educated decision as to whether or not to apply. If a B.S. is a requirement, then say so! If it’s preferred, then use a prescreening question to rank candidates instead of immediately disqualifying them.
  • Give it a personality: Clear and concise doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Utilize a tone that reflects your company culture and hopefully entices appropriate candidates to apply.  Better yet, embed a video from your President or Manager about the company and the role.

Creating captivating job descriptions can be a challenge.  Thankfully, templates and use of an applicant tracking system can make it easier.  For information on how myStaffingPro can help, please visit http://mystaffingpro.com.

5 Questions to Obtain Employee Testimonials

What’s your biggest selling point to potential hires? Uncertain? Just ask your current employees. Here are five questions to learn more about the offer approval process, gauge your ability to meet that commitment, and ultimately receive testimonials.

5 Questions to New Hires

  1. What persuaded you to accept an offer at our company?
  2. What are three benefits of working here?
  3. Is there anything that surprised you?
  4. Do you have any suggestions for improvement?
  5. Would you refer a friend to work here? If so, why?

 

Once you’ve completed the interview:

  1. Compile the responses for further analysis and review.
  2. Identify trends
  3. Pinpoint key responses for use on your career site.
  4. Reconvene with the employee to receive their authorization for use.
  5. Work with marketing and/or your applicant tracking system to update the career site
  6. THANK the employee for their time and effort, and provide a link to the published content

 

Looking for inspiration? Refer to our client, Midmark Corporation, a two-time candidate experience award recipient.

Does your Recruiting Process Resemble a Kid’s Game?

Sometimes recruiting can feel like an endless game of Marco Polo, where you are blindly posting job openings and hoping that someone will respond. Being in the dark about your recruiting effectiveness can leave you disoriented and disillusioned. Thankfully, there are tools to help.

With myStaffingPro applicant tracking system, you can track your recruiting initiatives and pinpoint the best sources. Instead of relying on candidates to select the correct source, we appended the apply link from job boards with tracking tags. In turn, the candidate’s sourcing information is automatically populated with the correct value. The result is accurate information about the reach of the job board posting and its results. Using the sourcing reports, you can then identify which job boards are referring qualified candidates and how many are hired. With myStaffingPro, you can analyze your recruiting spend against the source information of your hired applicants to maximize your expenditure.

Interested in learning more? Visit http://myStaffingPro.com to request a demo.

Is Your Recruiting In A Hopeless Place?

Sometimes pop songs can remind you of a moment. A moment in time, an experience, a milestone, a job. The Rihanna hit “We Found Love” brought me back to my recruiting days at the temporary staffing desk. A typical week would involve interviewing and hiring thirty plus candidates, placing twenty of them, following up on the hundred placed else ware, and terminating a handful. Through the experience, I learned how to handle employees spitting on managers, sleeping in closets, failing drug tests, and stealing. Then, there was the paperwork! I would go through a ream of paper a week. From paper employment applications, WOTC forms, Forms I-9, W-4s, as well as testing and payroll; it never ended. Not to mention the countless hours I spent manually entering applicants into an HRIS (even though it wasn’t tied to payroll).

Thankfully, in the last ten years technological advancements have reduced the administrative burden and reams of paper. Applications can now be accepted online via an applicant tracking system that is also integrated with a payroll and HRIS system. With the right software, recruiters can now find love in a once hopeless place.

 

Looking for an applicant tracking system?  myStaffingPro provides an online requisition approval, application, and workflow processes.  For more information, please visit http://myStaffingPro.com.

5 Reasons Employee Assessment Should be Part of the Hiring Process

Fortune 100 companies and small businesses alike are leveraging the benefits of employee assessment companies to help them hire the right employees. The financial impact of a bad hire can have dire consequences for your business. According to the US Department of Labor, replacing a bad hire can cost 30% of the first year’s potential earnings. The Recruiting Times has estimated that it can cost as much as $7,000 to replace a salaried individual contributor and as much as $40,000 to replace a senior executive. With these figures in mind, it’s easy to see why integrating employee assessment tools with your recruiting software is a critical step in your recruiting process. Here’s a closer look at five specific benefits that these tools can add to your hiring process.

Help eliminate hires based on false information

As a recruiter, you’re relying in large part on a prospective employee’s resume to give you insights into their experience, education, and expertise. Each of these areas is important to determining both their ability to do the job you’re hiring for, as well as their long-term viability as an employee. The statistics on job seekers fabricating information about their experience are staggering.

The Society for Human Research Management has estimated that as many as 53% of applications contain false information. Pre-screening adds another layer of protection, in addition to interviews and reference checks, to help you weed out non-qualified candidates.

Reduce the potential financial impact of a bad hire

As discussed above, a bad hire can cost your company thousands of dollars to replace. There are also additional impacts that are harder to quantify, from damaged employee morale due to perceived turnover to managing workflow and customer relationships. Another potential risk is a company potentially facing a negligent hire suit. A negligent hiring claim arises when a poor hiring decision leads to harm to a customer, co-worker, or other individual.

As a result, the company can face a lawsuit and then it is incumbent upon the employer to prove all steps were taken to properly vet and screen the employee. An article in Fortune Magazine suggests that employers have lost as many as 79% of negligent hiring suits, and judgments average in the range of $1 million per lawsuit. Proper pre-screening helps prevent these issues from arising, and provides a solid precedent that the company follows rigorous hiring procedures in the instance that a suit did arise.

Improve hire quality and cultural fit

The standard employee assessment can focus on a wide range of issues, from determining specific experiences to understanding more about a candidate’s psychological profile and work style. Each of these areas is important to finding the right candidate. By determining what information you need prior to selecting candidates for interviews, an integrated employee assessment program can help you identify highly qualified candidate pools.

Employee assessments are also exceptionally useful for gathering data about qualities and traits that are harder to uncover through resume review and early conversions. These factors can include work style compatibility, general approach to problem solving, and overall cultural fit with your organization. Employee assessment tools offer an objective measure of these issues to help inform your hiring decisions and clarify areas that should be probed more deeply during one-on-one interviews and during the reference check process. Since these areas can be as vital as experience and education to a new hire’s long-term success at a company, their importance shouldn’t be overlooked.

Employee assessments help companies mitigate risk, while recruiting more effective. By integrating your employee assessments with your online recruiting software, it’s easy to manage your workload, provide a good experience for candidates, and get fast and accurate results.

Buying Guide for Applicant Tracking Newbies

According to Software Advice, a majority of buyers were evaluating HR software for the first time. Furthermore, the most requested HR application was applicant tracking.

Before you schedule that first applicant tracking demo, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who will use the system?
  2. What is your hiring process? What key processes do you want to automate and track?
  3. How do you want to access the information? (mobile phone, tablet, computer)
  4. Where will the information be stored? (online/hosted or installed)
  5. How much do you want to pay? (One time fees, ongoing fees, customizations and configurations)

For additional information on how to select an applicant tracking system, please download our complimentary toolkit at http://toolkit.mystaffingpro.com/

Feature Based Applicant Tracking Buying

One of our sales representatives is from the Detroit area and he regularly compares the applicant tracking buying process to that of a car. He contends that before you go into the dealership, you need to be prepared and have an idea of what you are looking for. Sports car, mini van, or SUV. Ferrari or Ford. Leather or cloth. The options go on and on.

Case in point, according to Software Advice, 44 percent of all potential HR software buyers cited missing functionality as a reason for replacing their current system.

Top Reasons for Replacing Current Software

SA Graph - Top Reasons for Replacing Current Software

In the sales process, it is easy to miss out on the fact that there is only one set of cup holders or that heated seats are in another package. Before you sign the dotted line, prioritize the features you are looking for in an applicant tracking system and rank them against vendors.

Feature Score Comments
Social Media Tools
Mobile Capabilities
Candidate Experience
Requisition Management
Hiring Manager Workflow

 

What are you looking for in an applicant tracking system? Unsure? Download our complimentary toolkit at http://toolkit.mystaffingpro.com