Why ATS Selection is Critical to the Success of Your Recruiting Strategies

Watch our on-demand GDPR webinar. Dive into GDPR basics for the recruiter and what they need to know. Click here to watch on-demand

In today’s candidate-driven market, your HR technology is key to streamlining and speeding up your hiring process. If there are bottlenecks in your hiring process, they can be reduced or eliminated with your ATS. Speed is your best weapon when competing for top candidates and retaining top talent.

In this post, we’ll go beyond ATS systems selection (although it is related) and take a look at why your ATS is critical to your recruiting success.


Your ATS engages a dual audience – your hiring managers or recruiters and your candidates. It must attract and engage both parties, but for different reasons and purposes.

Your hiring managers expect to use your ATS as a recruiting management tool that will make their jobs easier. It should be intuitive, easy-to-use, and save time from job posting to onboarding.

The candidates applying for jobs via your ATS also expect the process to be intuitive and easy-to-use. A typical job seeker is filling out forms and fields on a daily basis; if your ATS is confusing it increases the chances of a good potential abandoning an application mid-process.

Circling back to collaboration, your ATS should make it easy for all parties involved in the hiring process, ensure consistency and compliance when it comes to interview questions and assessments. Even a hiring manager who uses your ATS occasionally should find it easy to navigate, which increases their willingness to use the software for collaboration.


While the subject of compliance is never a fun one. The ATS is essential in ensuring that recruiting and HR teams store candidate and applicant data including job interviews and other sensitive information securing, and within guidelines both inside and outside of the United States.

The subject of compliance and data privacy is an important one especially in light of the GDPR or Global Data Protection Requirement  for recruiting that goes into effect for the EU, it’s citizens, and residents starting May 25, 2018. Starting on May 25th, candidates have to opt into receiving communication from your organization, and they also have a say on how and if their personal information is stored within your databases which includes all technology that is part of your hiring process including the ATS.

The GDPR impacts recruiting in a way that is unprecedented. Organizations need to have plans in place to protect the candidate data as well as a data storage and removal process. This impacts all recruiting teams that hire globally. And most importantly, there is a shared compliance and liability component to the GDPR meaning that you, as a business are liable for how any third party vendors, partners, or HR technologies store, manage, or mismanage your candidate data.

You can read about how the GDPR impacts recruiting, data storage and compliance components by clicking here.

Attracting the Right Candidates

We’ve mentioned these figures in a previous post, but implementing the wrong HR technology can hurt your brand and profits alike, not just cost you top talent. In fact, 58% of candidates who don’t hear back from an employer are less likely to buy products from that employer. That number increases to 65% if they don’t hear back from the interview.  Your ATS should have response options built in (and customizable) so that this doesn’t happen.

When it comes to the job description, a good recruiter or hiring manager could likely write a heck of a job ad, but templates and checklists can help speed up the process and ensure that you include all key elements of the job you’re posting. Your job ad is what brings the right candidates into your hiring funnel, from awareness to consideration to application. If a developer doesn’t know you’re looking for someone with specific coding skills and applies, the rejection isn’t their fault – it’s yours. Your ATS should be your backup to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Removing Bottlenecks in the Hiring Process

We’ve already mentioned collaboration and its role in speeding up your hiring process, but we should also mention scheduling, assessments, and interviews. Companies need to be able to move quickly and easily once applications have been received. A modern ATS is more than just a filing system for compliance purposes. It’s a recruiting tool focused on eliminating bottlenecks and process roadblocks.

If your ATS makes it easy to search for candidates to share them with the hiring manager and your team, it turns a 30-minute (locate resume, write email, attach resume, make sure you include all team members, send email with instructions) process into a two-minute (search, copy link, send link) process.

And moving forward with selection, your ATS should ensure that all parties involved in hiring for a specific position are able to add notes, feedback, etc. to a candidate profile for internal use. If the recruiter conducting the first interview is able to mark the candidate “move to second interview” (or the next step in your hiring process), you’ll save a lot of headaches and wasted time for both interviewer and candidate.

Your ATS should be able to pull candidate profile information from other sources, such as LinkedIn and social media, to show more information about the job seeker beyond the application. Time saved? One Google search.

Finally, new employee onboarding, training and support are critical, as is the timeline to complete these tasks. Recruiting teams have days, not months, to make the transition – and make it easy for both new employee and hiring manager. If your company has Confluence (or other project management CMS), your ATS should have the associated links for each department and position so your new employee doesn’t require constant handholding for his or her first weeks on the job.

Again, in this candidate-driven market, speed is your best weapon when competing for talent.

Watch our on-demand GDPR webinar. Dive into GDPR basics for the recruiter and what they need to know. Click here to watch on-demand