When the applicant tracking system (ATS) landed on the recruitment scene in the 90s, it heralded a turning point in how we manage recruitment. And while it’s been improved over time, it’s hardly perfect. But, something new is emerging in the way businesses approach their recruitment tech-stack that could change that.
Here’s the thing. There’s no one-size-fits-all, and relying on your ATS for high-volume recruitment could have a negative impact on the candidate experience. So, many organisations are adding high-volume software to their tech mix, and to be honest, it’s easy to see why.
Your ATS will work fine when you have the luxury of time, and that’s often the case when hiring for corporate office roles. The turnover rate is usually lower, you’re recruiting for fewer positions and pulling from a smaller pool of candidates. That means you have the time to follow traditional recruitment processes – CVs, pre-screenings, multiple interviews.
But for store-level roles, where the turnover is higher and the pool of candidates is bigger, it's about getting people down the recruitment funnel – and into best-fit jobs – as fast as possible.
While your ATS is heaps better than spreadsheets, it's too rigid – it forces you to recruit based on skill, with no reference to values or fit. You’ll almost certainly be missing some of the best candidates because their CVs don’t tick all five of the ‘mandatory’ skills.
Adding dedicated high-volume software alongside your ATS will ensure a good candidate experience and that your applicants have the right mix of values-based and technical skills.
An ATS saves you time (and therefore money), but there are even more savings to be had. Most ATS solutions ask you to pay per user or position. If you’re recruiting for thousands of roles a year, well, you do the math. Some might also cap the number of candidates per role or jobs advertised per month.
While adding more tech to the mix might seem counterintuitive – it’ll cost more in the short term – you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. If your business needs high-volume recruitment, you need technology to match to get those savings.
Because your candidates (and their parents) are also your customers, they need to come away feeling good, even if they didn’t get the job. That means high-volume recruitment needs a far better candidate experience than traditional recruitment. Candidates applying for head-office positions will put up with a clunky user experience and lots of forms – there’s a six-figure pay at the end, after all. Candidates applying for store-level roles won’t have the same patience, and to be fair, they shouldn’t need it.
An ATS just doesn’t have the functionality to deliver the kind of candidate experience you need – in fact, 40% of HR professionals say the most common issue plaguing their ATS is a lack of features. For example, a lot of high-volume assessment software lets you set hiring benchmarks, customise the online assessment experience and automate recruitment communications. It removes the grunt work from high-volume recruitment teams, streamlining the process while also ensuring the right candidates get into the best-fit roles.
The biggest issue with adding another bit of tech to your stack is data – if you’re running separate systems, how will you pull stats on things like diversity or time to hire? The good news is that most pre-assessment and high-volume recruitment tech integrates with the major ATS. They all see themselves as pieces of a perfect whole. That means you’ll still get a companywide view to slot into board reporting. And as a bonus, the reporting you get out of these new HR tech companies is likely to be prettier and easier to read.
So, in short? Three cheers for the ATS. It has absolutely revolutionised recruitment, and we salute it for that. But it was designed for traditional recruitment – a highish-level role, with fewer candidates and more time to process everything. Getting thousands of bodies into customer-facing roles is another kettle of fish, and it’s unfair to ask your ATS to cope with that as well. The easy solution is to grab a bit of tech to run alongside your ATS – choose the right one and it’ll integrate nicely to deliver you the data, remove the pain of high-volume recruitment and save you massive amounts of time and money.
We're not one to toot our horn, buy Weirdly makes a pretty great companion to most ATS systems. If you'd like to see it in action, request a demo.