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Phoenix from
the Ashes:
How Innovation Will Help
the ATS Rise Again
When Recruiter.com predicted the imminent death of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in its
2013 Recruiting Technology T...
Meeting Basic Needs:
The Origins of the ATS
In the mid-1990s, the launch of online employment boards like Monster and HotJ...
Ask any recruiter today, and you’ll learn that these core functions are still very much necessary—although not all ATS sol...
The Call for Innovation and Leadership
In an effort to beef up less-than-ideal ATS solutions, some vendors have folded the...
as recruitment, not HR specialists, and rightly so. It’s time for the next stage in our evolution.”6
So if lumping the ATS...
Ease of use
It might go without saying, but any investment in technology is worthless if no
one can use it. In the recruit...
Talent pool creation
As part of a comprehensive, recruiting-focused platform, a modern ATS must look beyond the job applic...
To say that the ATS is on its deathbed is, by some measure, true. Traditional Applicant Tracking
longer address recruiting...
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Modern ATS: How Innovation Will Help the ATS Rise Again

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The modern ATS has evolved and turned into a comprehensive resource. Download the Phoenix from the Ashes eBook to learn what this new full-featured recruiting platform should look like. Learn more at http://recruiting.jobvite.com/

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Transcript of "Modern ATS: How Innovation Will Help the ATS Rise Again"

  1. 1. Phoenix from the Ashes: How Innovation Will Help the ATS Rise Again
  2. 2. When Recruiter.com predicted the imminent death of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in its 2013 Recruiting Technology Trends report, many companies wondered if this could indeed be true.1 On one hand, it makes sense. Old technologies—like aging Shakespearean monarchs—are often killed off by their younger, more cunning replacements. But on the other hand, the ATS addresses many basic and essential recruiting needs. There is no newfangled replacement waiting in the wings that wouldn’t also need to continue to meet these basic needs. So can the ATS really be on its deathbed? Or it is simply in need of a massive, modern makeover? This ebook takes a closer look at how the changing environment of online recruiting has industry experts, users, and candidates all demanding a more robust and innovative ATS. The result is a clear call to action for today’s technology vendors: Evolve the ATS into a modern and comprehensive recruiting platform—or face certain extinction. And, in case you’re curious what this comprehensive platform looks like, we’ve included a checklist to help you select one that’s built to survive. 2
  3. 3. Meeting Basic Needs: The Origins of the ATS In the mid-1990s, the launch of online employment boards like Monster and HotJobs revolutionized the way people looked for work. Internet-based job searches quickly became the new normal, and employers soon realized they would need help weeding through the onslaught of digital resumes and applications. Manual data entry was tedious top talent. Shortly thereafter, the Applicant Tracking System was born—and as it continued to First and foremost, the ATS became the chief means of importing resumes and other applicant information, making it possible to Because it could provide a more cohesive yet targeted view of applicant data through keyword searches and knock-out questions, which in turn could reduce a large quantity of applicants to a more manageable pile. As technology grew more advanced, some ATS software began to provide a mechanism for tracking hiring data and compiling it into reports, so recruiting teams could see which sourcing channels offered the greatest returns. And, of course, the ATS trumped the Rolodex and the spreadsheet and became the go-to system for storing resumes for future reference. 3
  4. 4. Ask any recruiter today, and you’ll learn that these core functions are still very much necessary—although not all ATS solutions are equipped to accommodate every need. engineering, and mathematics) are dominating the global marketplace. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics believes that the STEM workforce in the U.S will total more than 8.65 million workers by 2018.2 In addition, research shows that Generation Y workers, who increasingly make up the bulk of today’s jobseekers, are more prone to selecting employers based on emotional and esoteric advantages. As a result, they have little hesitation about changing jobs frequently.3 And let’s not forget that technology is constantly on the move. Advances in SaaS platforms, mobile technology, and social media have thrown a new set or recruiting challenges into the mix. All of these changes don’t negate the need for applicant tracking, but they do shift the parameters. Bottom line: The applicants we track are different now. Jobs are different now. And those are huge, high-impact realities. The dilemma is clear. The ATS remains a necessary tool—but in its traditional form, it does little to advance us toward recruiting’s new horizons. 4
  5. 5. The Call for Innovation and Leadership In an effort to beef up less-than-ideal ATS solutions, some vendors have folded their offerings into larger, more enterprise-focused HR solution suites, often as the result of acquisitions or mergers. These suites can be strong at an enterprise-level across many cure-all for the ailing ATS. Why? First, recruiting functionality can be overshadowed by these broad HR elements—and that’s not good. A recent study by The Boston Consulting Group found that recruiting has the greatest business impact of any HR function HR function.4 It’s vital, therefore, that the ATS, as recruiting’s backbone application, always Second, many experts and users alike are beginning to question why we continue to place recruiting under the HR umbrella at all. Isn’t it more of a marketing function when you think about it? “You expect potential hires to sell themselves to the company, but the company also has to sell itself to the employee,” writes Forbes contributor Joel Trammell. “Over and over again, I have seen companies forget the second part of this equation and assume that the candidate will take the job if it is offered. While mediocre employees probably will, the best performers will be weighing several options and need to be convinced of the opportunity.”5 This is especially opportunities. Now more than ever, recruiters must do as marketers do when they work to attract and engage with customers—and that means having the right tools on hand. ERE contributing author and veteran recruiter Tina Iantorno agrees in a recent opinion post. “HR has an important place in a corporation and some of their governance can apply to hiring,” she comments. But “acquiring talent is a skill of its own, not a duty for an HR role….We are labeled 5
  6. 6. as recruitment, not HR specialists, and rightly so. It’s time for the next stage in our evolution.”6 So if lumping the ATS into an HR software bundle isn’t the answer, what about a more It could help—but it still assumes you’re dealing with a broad spectrum of needs. Talent Management systems in many respects cover the bases of recruiting, but they also extend the idea to include things like performance management, learning management, and even compensation. The risk here is the same as with bundled HR suites: Recruiting— environment—is getting buried. And as a result, innovation has all but disappeared. The challenge now, according to many analysts and experts, is for ATS vendors to address today’s recruiting concerns without getting hidden under other technology—and without forgetting that you are seriously competing for prime talent. That means fervently looking to add value to the ATS, not by smothering it with lower-impact HR or Talent Management features, but by developing it into a more comprehensive, recruiting-focused platform. “Our research clearly shows that the traditional ATS marketplace is going through a revolution,” writes expert Josh Bersin. That’s because the traditional ATS doesn’t stand a chance at helping a recruiting organization distinguish itself as world-class. “The market has shifted,” Bersin says, “and today the ‘value-add’ parts of recruiting are in the areas of employment branding, campaign management, candidate relationship management, assessment, referral marketing, and interview automation.”7 Market Guide for E-Recruitment Solutions, where analysts Thomas Otter, James Holincheck and Jeff Freyermuth outline some of candidates, communicating with candidates and prospects across multiple channels, engaging hiring managers, and gathering analytics.8 Given these issues, it makes sense that the old-school ATS, often limited to resume importing and storage, is in trouble. “Don’t expect the applicant tracking market to go away,” Josh Bersin advises, “but vendors have to continue to innovate….”9 6 You expect potential hires to sell themselves to the company, but the company also has to sell itself to the employee... Joel Trammell Forbes contributor
  7. 7. Ease of use It might go without saying, but any investment in technology is worthless if no one can use it. In the recruiting world, this means that an ATS must be intuitive, accessible, and easy to work with not only for recruiters, but for anyone who comes into contact with the system, whether they are candidates or hiring managers. As recruiting becomes more competitive and candidates become more tech-savvy, the modern ATS must be designed to work the way people think it should, so you can save time, money, and effort. Don’t be wowed by complexities that will require hours of training. And remember that your ATS should deploy Candidate experience In addition to being easy to use, today’s modern ATS must be built to provide a seamless, positive experience for jobseekers. You are marketing to candidates, so look for a solution that makes the application process fast and straightforward, with minimal clicks. For example, show candidates that you are the type of organization that values their time by offering easy resume uploads that don’t require any retyping or reformatting. (Added perk: You’ll strengthen your employment brand at the same time.) A modern ATS must be innovative enough to allow integrated social network connectivity, so applicants can use existing keeps candidates updated on their status in real time. The ATS Transformation: What You Should Know While there is no “perfect” ATS, as companies will vary and needs differ, there that will differentiate a strong solution from its traditional, outdated counterparts. These features will depend on a vendor’s ability to transform an “ATS-only” approach into one where the ATS not only steps up its applicant tracking innovation, but also functions as part of a complete platform centered entirely on Here’s a short but essential checklist to keep in mind when evaluating potential solutions. Note that everything here is focused on adds cost or complexity. Built-in social job sharing 7 You should also look for the ability to distribute your job openings via social and jobseekers. This functionality should be core to the system, so you can see and track responses. Keep an eye out for advanced features that help you further save time, such as automated social broadcasting or publishing to many networks and job boards simultaneously.
  8. 8. Talent pool creation As part of a comprehensive, recruiting-focused platform, a modern ATS must look beyond the job application process to include sourcing as Candidate database search and Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) A talent pool is just the beginning, however. A comprehensive recruiting platform now includes a searchable prospect database, along with Candidate Relationship Management tools that enable you to organize your pipeline, engage with prospects, and build your employment brand. Ideally, your innovative CRM features include multichannel campaigns that let you create and send communications with prospects, while tracking your success. Analytics and reporting substantially. Look for the ability to obatin real-time sourcing, hiring, referral, and social data so you can track your successes and continuously Employee referrals modern, comprehensive ATS and recruiting platform absolutely includes or integrates with tools that facilitate employee referrals. Look for ways to tap into employees’ social connections, so they can easily (or even automatically) share job openings or help reinforce your employment brand. And, in API integrations Perhaps this one isn’t completely vital technology. Unlike bundled suite solutions that typically force you to convert entirely to their software, a platform built on open APIs gives you the 8
  9. 9. To say that the ATS is on its deathbed is, by some measure, true. Traditional Applicant Tracking longer address recruiting’s most fundamental requirements. But the ATS can be healed—and, in fact, revolutionized. By shifting perspective away from “ATS-only” ATS functionality along with the innovative social, sourcing, and referral features you need to effectively target the talent you seek. 1 http://www.recruiter.com/recruiting-technology-and-recruiting-software-trends.pdf 2 http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/06/18/the-10-cities-with-the-most-stem-job-openings-right-now/ 3 http://www.fastcompany.com/1802731/four-year-career 4 5 http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeltrammell/2013/04/17/ceos-must-own-recruiting-10-rules-for-building-a-top-notch-function/ 6 http://www.ere.net/2013/09/05/actually-recruiting-is-not-hr-anymore/ 7 http://www.bersin.com/blog/post.aspx?id=26b02ad0-6c13-4862-be3f-db79acfce67d 8 Market Guide for E-Recruitment Solutions, February 9, 2012, Thomas Otter, James Holincheck and Jeff Freyermuth. 9 http://www.bersin.com/blog/post.aspx?id=08373d08-3857-49dc-9c51-5e4227e7d5f5 9
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