In the last 5 years, there has been a major shift in how we communicate with one another. The rapid proliferation of smart phones and social networking sites (Facebook celebrated its 6th birthday in February by surpassing 400 million users) has created a new, more interactive world and a new more tech savvy and demanding user.
What does all of this have to do with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? Well, many of the usability trails currently being blazed by Facebook, Google, YouTube, and other technology giants are likely to find their way to your doorstep via changing user demands and expectations.
Google and some of the social networking sites will now let users share their profile data with other websites. Chances are your applicants will want to use a portable profile to login to your ATS before long, verses having to create a separate profile on every career site and ATS they apply through.
Suddenly, Back Talking Is Ok? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell your grandma.)
Blogs and social networking sites have popularized things like “Sharing”, “Talking Back”, and “Rating” or “Starring” articles, posts, and websites. Look for your recruiters to want the same type of options when reviewing and rating applicants in your ATS.
Example User Interaction Toolbar:
Widgets, Widgets, More Widgets!!
There’s already a growing expectation by users that if they use an application, the homepage better be configurable and designed to meet their individual informational needs and interests. Most of the major search engines, blogs, and some social networking sites allow users to do this and offer a wide array of widgets and drag & drop content. The layouts all tend to be very dynamic and fluid, again letting the user decide what information gets priority, what information does not.
Heard of YouTube?
It seems everywhere you look on the web today; you see videos – videos of breaking news, videos on blogs, educational product videos, and testimonials.
(On a pathetic side note, I actually went to YouTube and watched a video on how to tell if my daughter’s new kitten was a boy or a girl. Unfortunately, this was a poor quality video that resulted in “Chase” being renamed “Emma” after our first trip to the vet. 😉
Video is used on the web to entertain, educate, and inform. Imagine an ATS that would allow you to set up a video library and push videos to your Hiring Managers, your Applicants (think video job descriptions, or a “Day in the Life Video”), and your career site (think employee testimonials).
“Text Me!” is the new “Call Me!” (and the new “Email Me!”)
As anyone with a teenager or young adult child knows, texting is HUGE. I must admit, I’m sold on this method of communication too. Why? Because it’s so instantaneous and simple! I always have my phone with me, yet I’ve never been one who likes to talk for great lengths on the phone. With texting, you share a thought or bit of information, they share back, and that’s it! It’s very low-commitment. What better way to communicate with your applicants on the status of their application. What about notifying your Hiring Manager (you know, the one glued to his blackberry who is on the road a lot) that you have a new candidate for him to review? The bottom line is, people want to be given options on how best to communicate with them. Texting is another great option to have integrated into your ATS.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, gone are the days when people logged onto the web to get information. Now they log on to get interaction. If they can’t get to the web via a PC or laptop/notebook, they want that interaction delivered to them via a smart device, whenever and wherever they go. As user expectations evolve, so to must your ATS.