Five quick benefits of applicant tracking systems
Establishing a strong ATS is a great way to smooth your selection process and attract top talent
Many accountancy firms will have switched their HR functions online very quickly this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The scale of change will depend on the firm, with large businesses for example shifting whole learning and development systems into the digital realm, or smaller firms perhaps trying online-only selection processes for the first time.
But now the dust of rapid transformation has settled, some experts are finding that embracing technology can have benefits – be that increased efficiency or even getting more insight into candidates.
A strong applicant tracking system (ATS) is “one of the most important” tools to have in place, according to Fay Palaska, group head of recruitment at global investor services group IQ-EQ. This is especially true “if you are an organisation that is recruiting at scale across the globe,” she adds.
Firstly, it helps to support collaboration across the firm. “We work with multiple stakeholders across the business to drive optimal hiring decisions… It was absolutely key to invest in an ATS that was easy to use for a number of different stakeholders like our recruiters, interviewers, hiring managers and senior management as well.”
A solid technology stack can also lighten the load on hiring managers. As part of her work rolling out technology, Anna Gibbs, regional recruitment manager for Blick Rothenberg and part of Azets UK, hopes to help smooth the process, for example, by enabling hiring managers to provide feedback in their own time and preferred means, without needing an internal meeting.
The ATS is also proving to be “the ultimate source of truth for recruitment”, says Palaska. “It is our go-to place to dig up data, understand what is happening, how we are recruiting and the end-to-end process within the organisation,” she adds. The ability to easily access data and dashboards also helps Palaska prove that recruitment teams are not transactional and process-driven, but rather add value to the business.
This is helped by the fact that the ATS automates low-value transactional tasks so the recruitment team can focus on higher-value work. This allows them to spend time on duties such as “partnering with the business, pipelining, acting as career coaches within and outside the organisation, and managing large internal and external talent pools”, according to Palaska.
But while automation is helpful, it is important to maintain a personal approach when dealing with candidates, advises Gibbs. “We are implementing a new ATS, which will allow us to keep a very consistent tone of voice and professional approach when dealing with candidates, but still retaining a really personal element,” she says.
“It is about making sure that the team is still here as human beings to talk to other human beings and help them through the process,” she adds.
But it is not just that technology can help with the process of recruitment – it also has the potential to help firms find great talent.
There is the potential to build video into the application or interviewing process, says Gibbs. A short introduction to themselves is a great opportunity for candidates to show their personality, who they are and what they are passionate about. This is something the firm looks particularly closely at when hiring trainees.
“It really helps us hire people who have that hunger,” she says.
If you would like more help on how to conduct video interviews, check out our guide here
We also have more information about recruiting during Covid-19 here