An applicant tracking system (ATS) is an amazing tool for growing companies. It’s the hub for all things hiring. You can use the system to post jobs, collect applicants and manage the interview process – all in one place.
For as beneficial as an ATS is, it can’t select the best candidate to hire. That’s up to you, the hiring manager and other team members who can offer valuable insight. Asking different people to interview candidates gives you a variety of opinions you can use to make the best hiring decision. And an ATS makes it easy to invite key people into your hiring process and keep them involved throughout.
In this business guides, you’ll learn how an applicant tracking system can help your company make collaboratively hiring decisions.
Use an ATS to involve the right people at the right hiring stages
The recruiting team or hiring manager leads the hiring efforts in most companies. That often means posting the role on different job boards and separating the qualified applications for all the others. It also entails involving others as the process progresses to the interview stage.
Companies that aren’t lucky enough to have an applicant tracking solution use email and calendar invites to bring people into the hiring process. That can be less than ideal, since many people’s inboxes are bombarded with messages throughout the workday. While things fall through the cracks with email, a manager being late or unprepared for an interview makes for a bad candidate experience. A valuable candidate can easily conclude the company isn’t interested in them and move onto the next opportunity.
Let’s look at how an applicant tracking solution can help you involve the right people at the right times. Say you’re company is hiring a new Web Designer and asking candidates to participate in the following interview steps:
- An initial phone screening with the Lead Designer
- An in-person interview with the the Lead Designer and their five team members
- A second in-person interview with the Marketing Lead, Business Development Lead and CEO
Three separate interviews involving nine different people ensures your company gets to know a candidate before you hire them. But it can be a logistical nightmare if the hiring manager has to schedule these meetings and send reminders via email.
With an applicant tracking solution, you only have to assign responsibilities to each person one time. The system will automatically send them a calendar invite and various reminders as the interview approaches. There is no need for you to continuously tap people on the shoulder and ask if they’re ready for the interview.
Share candidate profiles with selective hiring managers
Before your team interviews a candidate, they need to get familiar with the person’s background. They’ll likely only have 30 minutes or so with them and should use the time to learn what the person can bring to your company.
When someone applies for an open role, your applicant tracking system will create a “candidate profile” for them. They can upload their resume, cover letter and other documents, like a portfolio or work samples, and the system will convert and store the details in a standardized candidate profile.
The profile will include the person’s contact details, the work history included on their resume and answers to any questions included on your online application. Any other documents they provide will be attached to their profile for easy viewing in your ATS.
You can then give each member of your hiring team access to these profiles. Instead of emailing resumes, covers letters and everything else to everyone, you just share the candidate profile with the right people. They’ll get a complete picture of the candidate, ensuring they’re prepared when they walk into the interview room.
Collect feedback from your team members in your ATS
At this point in the hiring journey, your team has gotten to know candidates through their profiles and in-person interviews. Each person will naturally have an opinion they want to share with you and the other team members.
Instead of blasting an email off to everyone post-interview, hiring team members can leave notes in the candidate profile. These notes will be visible to everyone who has access to the profile, which can be a great way to start a dialogue about a candidate.
Let’s revisit our Web Designer example from earlier. One of designers who interviewed a candidate might leave a note in their profile that says, “I enjoyed meeting him but felt like he a was little too inexperienced for what we need.” Then the Marketing Lead might respond, “I agree but he seemed very willing to learn more. Can we train him?”
Others can chime in and you’ll receive notifications when new notes are added in your applicant tracking solution. Instead of these conversations taking place around the office or in an email thread, the entire dialogue will be stored alongside all the candidate’s details in their profile. Come decision time, you’ll have all the candidates application details and your hiring team thoughts to help you chose.
Get consistent feedback all in one place
Adding notes to candidate profiles in your applicant tracking system is a great feature. But you can take post-interview feedback one step further and ask each team member to complete an assessment questionnaire. They’ll receive it through email and can fill it out in their inbox or in the candidate profile.
You can customize the assessment to include questions related to the role and your culture. Going back to the Web Designer example, you can ask questions like, “Do you think the candidate has the ability to create webpages that meet our design standards?” and “Is the candidate someone you want to hang out with on the weekend?”
These types of questions set people up to think about what’s important and articulate how they feel about the candidate – instead of giving vague feedback that lacks explanation.
Hire the best candidate with an applicant tracking system
Managing the entire hiring process in your applicant tracking system ensures nothing goes unaccounted for. You’ll be able to round up everyone for interviews and provide them the information about the candidate they need to know.
Streamlining the hiring process allows you and your team to focus on selecting the best person to join your company.
Check out our features page to learn more about the benefits of an ATS.