These days, talented employees are getting harder to find. The current economic growth means there are more job openings and more competition for strong applicants.
In fact, 73% of employers are having difficulty finding skilled candidates.
And when companies see top talent, they often act fast. The best candidates are usually off the market within 10 days.
That means recruiters face more pressure than ever with 67% saying their job is more difficult than it was five years ago.
So what can your company do to attract top talent in this heated labor market?
Many businesses are now taking advantage of applicant tracking systems (ATS) to cut through the pile of resumes, improve their company brand and hire the best candidates before their competitors.
What is an applicant tracking system?
An applicant tracking system streamlines recruitment by analyzing resumes, identifying top candidates and organizing interviews. A centralized database stores resumes and allows filtering by skills or job requirements. Companies can create a branded career portal and post job openings on external job boards.
Here are the top six ways that ATS software can help companies attract top talent.
1. Promote your company culture using a branded career website
Because top candidates know their worth, they’re often selective about where they work. They aren’t looking for just any company, but one with a culture that’ll help them reach their long-term potential.
One of the first places applicants look when researching a company is its website. With an ATS solution, you can create a branded career portal to showcase why your company is the ideal work environment.
In addition to company info, the career website helps candidates find job openings, manage a profile, answer pre-screening questions and submit their resume. ATS software can even let you embed Glassdoor reviews and social media feeds without any HTML coding.
Marketing company culture, however, doesn’t stop with the website. Candidates don’t want to read a dry, monotonous job ad. They want to understand not only the position and its responsibilities, but also what kind of people they’ll be working with.
Companies are responding in creative ways. They’re using ATS technology to develop engaging hiring videos and glowing employee testimonials. Adding real human faces and voices can go a long way in demonstrating that your organization cares about the people that work for it.
Once you’ve put together a branded website and creative job ads, analytics can show how many people visit each page, which websites they’re coming from and how long they’re spending on each section. This data helps you adjust your career website to increase future engagement.
2. Reach more high-quality candidates through job boards and social media
Online job boards, such as Indeed and Monster, are some of the most popular sources to hire applicants. Especially for small and medium-sized businesses whose names might not be top-of-mind for candidates, posting to multiple job boards is vital.
But the process of posting to each board individually can be time-consuming, leading to costly errors and delays. Hiring managers can use ATS software to post jobs directly to multiple boards simultaneously, as well as social media websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
An ATS solution can also analyze which candidate sources lead to successful recruitments. Not only will it save you time and energy in the long run, but it’ll also save you money, as you’ll avoid job boards aren’t effective.
In addition, 84% of organizations are now using social media for recruitment and to increase brand visibility. Recruiters can engage with professional on LinkedIn, hold live Q&A sessions on Facebook and comment on trending Twitter hashtags. Some hiring managers are even getting involved in online professional and technical communities to find potential candidates.
3. Engage current employees to find new ones
Top candidates will often ask to speak with current staff members during the interview process, because they trust fellow employees to be more honest than senior managers. Staff members with the same job function can also give applicants a better idea of day-to-day responsibilities and work culture.
That’s why it’s important to involve current employees in sourcing new candidates. Staff members can serve as powerful brand ambassadors during recruitment, speaking to not only what makes your company different, but also attractive to potential candidates.
Be sure, however, to only select employees with good experiences and high performance. Otherwise, you may draw less-than-stellar candidates.
Applicant tracking systems also provide email templates to send to employees – either in specific departments or company-wide – to let them know about new job openings. They can then forward direct job links to prospective applicants in their network or use buttons to share the positions through their social media account.
As recruitment moves beyond job boards, businesses would be wise to take advantage of both employee referrals and social media recruiting.
4. Separate top resumes from the pile
You might assume that getting more resumes is always a good thing. But when most employers receive between 75 and 250 applications per job opening, identifying the cream of the crop becomes a harder task.
In fact, 80% of employers say the most common barrier to identifying top talent is filtering through unqualified candidates. You may not have the resources to thoroughly read every single resume. And by the time you find a great one, the candidate may already be off the market.
Many businesses are now using applicant tracking software to automatically collect and analyze resumes, so that companies can identify top talent quickly.
An ATS solution automatically imports resumes from online job boards, emails and social media. It then converts the resumes into a standard format, which can be searched and filtered by specific keywords or skills.
Some applicant tracking systems even suggest the best candidates based on qualifications or how closely their experiences match your job description.
5. Optimize recruitment workflows to hire candidates faster
Although you may think you’re running a smooth hiring process, most applicants would disagree. 69% of candidates want employers to respond faster and 60% have quit an application process because it took too long.
That means if your recruitment workflows aren’t organized and efficient, your company may be missing out on top performers.
In addition, candidates are now treating the job search like an online shopping experience. They use company review websites like Glassdoor to research not only work culture, but a company’s recruitment process.
If previous applicants receive poor or slow communication or get lost in the hiring process, they’ll write a bad review. After reading these reviews, strong candidates may decide to skip your company entirely.
ATS software can speed up the hiring cycle by centralizing important candidate information and communication into a single profile. Hiring managers can access this info quickly and even view candidate profiles side by side to compare qualifications, skills and interviewer feedback.
If your hiring team includes employees in different departments and locations, it can be easy to drop the ball and lag on recruiting. An ATS solution provides a range of collaboration tools, such as team scoring, visualization tools, and notification triggers, to help coordinate recruiting for disparate teams.
The software can help diagnose bottlenecks in the recruitment process and trigger alerts when team members are taking too long to schedule an interview or provide feedback. As candidates advance through recruitment stages, the software can automatically send follow-up emails, screening surveys and scheduling requests.
Businesses are in competition for the best candidates, so it’s important to take every measure to stand out from the pack. Here are the ways an ATS solution can help you attract top talent:
- Promote your company culture using a branded career website
- Reach more high-quality candidates through job boards and social media
- Engage current employees to find new ones
- Separate top resumes from the pile, and
- Optimize recruitment workflows to hire candidates faster.
If you’re in the market for a solution, check out these reviews of the best applicant tracking systems.