Maximize the Brain Power of your ATS

I was sitting at my computer today, waiting (yet again) for it to respond to my mouse clicks, when I thought, “this computer is supposed to be able to process a million times faster than my brain can.  So why am I sitting here waiting for it to respond?”  The answer, of course, is that my computer’s software has outreached its hardware.

However, the same question can easily be asked of your applicant tracking system.  Are you letting it work for you?  Too often, I see an ATS used as just an online version of the file cabinet.  Anything going in and out requires manual intervention.   To get your system to work for you, close the door, turn off the phone, take a few minutes away from the constant demands on your time, and configure it to match your hiring process.  Below are some simple steps you can take.

1.  Status Emails

Configure your applicant tracking system to auto-send emails when candidates reach a certain stage in the hiring process.  For example, once the applicant has completed the online application, let the system auto-send a “Thank You” email.  When the applicant is moved to the status “Eligible for Interview”, setup an automated email invitation to the interview.  If a requisition has been filled, configure your system to auto-send an email to all of the candidates who weren’t selected.

2.  Prescreening Questions

Automatically identify the top applicants by configuring prescreening questions.  Identify those questions that will absolutely knock the candidate out of the hiring process, such as a minimum level of education, and set those up to be automatic disqualifiers.  For other not-so-absolute criteria, setup scoring so that the best answer gets the highest score.  For example, five years of experience would get an score of 10, while no experience will get a score of 0.  Then, when you build your list of candidates, sort by that score and work with the top candidates.  Just be sure to apply your ranking criteria the same across a requisition.

3.  Hiring Manager Portal

Let your hiring managers add their requisitions and review only their candidates via a self-service hiring manager portal.  Access can be configured a variety of ways.  They will thank you for it and you will save a lot of time!

4.  Job Board Feeds

Your applicant tracking system should be able to automatically feed your job openings to job boards.  With just a few clicks, you can send your openings to the job board(s) of your choice, even to free job boards!

5.  Requisition Approval Workflow

With an automated requisition approval process, you can shave days off the normal approval time.  When a requisition is created, you can launch a routed approval workflow.  As each approver reviews and approves the requisition, the next approver is automatically notified.  If an approver doesn’t reply within a certain amount of time, the applicant tracking system will auto-email a reminder.  Once the approval workflow is completed, you have a log of all comments, with absolutely no manual intervention from you.

– Jennifer Brogee
Chief Information Officer

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