February 3, 2021

How to Get More From Your ATS

Complaints about applicant tracking systems have been around almost as long as … applicant tracking systems. But, in fairness, these systems were created for a purpose. They were made to do what their name implies: store resumes, and comply with government rules. And to that end, they do the job.

But for many companies, they want more. They want to unlock valuable information in these systems. They know there’s a pot of data gold sitting in their investments, waiting to be unlocked. They know they can turn these systems into not just compliance tools, but valuable sources of potential leads similar to a marketing or sales database.

For many companies, the answer has been to add talent intelligence to their applicant tracking system.

AirAsia is a great example. It added a Talent Intelligence Platform to its Workday system. In the first month after moving to the platform, the number of applications processed increased 114 percent. The percentage of visitors to AirAsia’s recruiting website who actually apply for a position rose 35 percent. By automating the pre-processing of so many resumes, it saved an extraordinary amount of time—about 60 percent—for its recruiting teams. It lowered costs by allowing AirAsia to reduce usage of job boards and recruiting agencies.

Another major source of time savings is the interview-scheduling feature. It cut the coordination time required of AirAsia recruiters 48 percent.

When you add a Talent Intelligence Platform to an applicant tracking system, the benefits include:

  • Talent Rediscovery. The Talent Intelligence Platform automatically updates and combines duplicate records for most ATS talent profiles. This helps you resurface past applicants and “silver medalists” who may not have been a fit before, but are now. With just an ATS, many recruiters barely even try searching their systems, as without the AI to keep people’s profiles updated, the searches prove fruitless.
  • Powerful matching. By adding AI to searches of your applicants, you’ll see who the strongest matches are for any job, regardless of whether these matches are past applicants, ex-employees, passive/sourced employees, or referrals. This saves time and improves quality of hire.
  • Hiring for potential and capabilities. The Eightfold AI platform understands the capabilities, including current skills and learnable skills, of every individual from a capability matrix of more than 1.4 million skills. It makes skills and learnability a critical component of each talent decision. Without this, with just an ATS, companies often default to “who has done the exact job we’re hiring for.”
  • A personalized career site. Potential applicants immediately find the right job to apply to, and the reasons why a job is a fit for their qualifications. This improves engagement, and measurably lowers drop-off rates. (This video explains more.) As mentioned above, this has been a game-changer for companies like AirAsia. Companies can also add a chatbot to improve the candidate experience and handle employee queries more efficiently.
  • Advanced CRM. Rarely does an applicant tracking system come equipped with the kind of technology you find in sales and marketing. (Heck, many of the CRM systems made for the talent industry are lacking as well.) A Talent Intelligence Platform helps you nurture candidates in your pipeline based on their interests, and deliver them content of interest to them. Veterans, for example, can receive blog posts or company information about your company’s work with veterans and the military.
  • Diversity. Companies like Postmates have seen huge improvements in the diversity of their job applicants after combining AI with an ATS. Also, Talent Intelligence Platforms offer the ready-to-use, real-time reporting for diversity that many ATS’s lack. Anonymizing is a very popular feature, as well, since it ensures bias does not influence decision making.
  • Event recruiting. Virtual and in-person events are just so much more effective with the AI-ATS combination; it allows you to set up your event team up for success, from the very beginning through the event, and even in the debrief. You use your system to invite people who are in your network, and then spend your event time on the people who are strong matches for your jobs.
  • Interview scheduling. Many recruiters, when asked to break down how they spend their days, will tell you they wished they were doing a lot more … recruiting. Instead, they are bogged down coordinating schedules. Adding a state-of-the-art interview-scheduling system to an applicant tracking system frees recruiters up to do what’s most valuable.

Combining an ATS with the talent intelligence we’ve talked about above simply puts companies at a competitive advantage.