3 reasons why ATS tracking is essential

Last updated:
December 17, 2020
March 23, 2022
min read
Bev Campling
Table of contents

Does it feel as if your hiring process is more of a hit and miss affair than a streamlined process? Are you trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and where you’re going wrong? If that sounds familiar, ATS tracking could be the solution.

But what is an applicant tracking system or ATS actually?

In short, ATS is a software application that enables the electronic processing and management of all your recruitment needs. ATS encompasses every aspect of the recruitment process and brings it all into a single space, to be accessed in real-time online by multiple users.

Looking at ATS tracking from that perspective, the first benefit that springs to mind is time-saving. But it goes much deeper than that. Of course, time-saving is a massive plus for any business, but time-saving isn’t the only benefit. Other recruitment process vulnerabilities that can have negative consequences for your business are eliminated by ATS tracking. No business is too big or too small the benefit from an ATS.

Hiring staff is much more than having a job opening and finding a suitable candidate to fill the role. That’s what lies at the core of recruitment, but there are many moving parts to the whole that are often overlooked like proper process, compliance, legislation, and human error. ATS tracking exposes every aspect of the hiring process, allowing you better control.

Here are 3 reasons why your business needs reliable ATS tracking.

1. Compliance and legislation

Virtually every country has some type of legislation that impacts the recruitment process. Depending on where you’re located, your business is subjected to tax, privacy, and labor laws in varying degrees. Non-compliance almost always results in financial damage via penalties and fines. But lawsuits, lost time, and brand damage also take their toll. For a small business, these could spell devastation!

By implementing tracking through an ATS, you’re bound to consider compliance, so it’s brought into the spotlight. Once your ATS tracking is implemented, everyone who uses the system is roped into ensuring that your hiring process is transparent and compliant. That way the responsibility is spread throughout your organization, and there’s no pleading ignorance by individuals if there’s any transgression.

On May 25th, 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in the EU, and although there’s no one specific law relating to data protection is the USA, there are laws in place at national and state level that apply. Remember, these laws apply to any branches and all people you interact with, even if your head office or holding company is located outside of the country or state.

There are also labor laws relating to discrimination and unfair hiring practices that can result in human resources and payroll record inspections, audits, and fines. These laws don’t only apply to candidates and employees, but also to applicants who weren’t selected for an interview.

Imagine trying to trace every record that relates to any application, months after the job opening was posted and interactions took place!

An ATS retains all applicant and candidate information verbatim, as well as subsequent amendments, updates, and changes. All written communication with each applicant or candidate is permanently recorded, and verbal communication can be logged immediately via online notes. You can retrieve this information at any time, even if the job opening has been filled or archived. No more scribbling on a hard copy CV’s and some sticky notes that end up lost or in the shredder after a few weeks!

Need to find out how GDPR applies to your recruitment? Download our free GDPR handbook here.

2. Brand reputation

We live in a hyper-connected world and don’t for one minute assume that this connectedness doesn’t affect your business, no matter what type of business it is. Your brand is always out there when you’re hiring, whether you use tracking in your ATS or not.

According to marketing statistics, people share a lousy service experience with between one and nine other people on average. Global hiring statistics estimate that around 60% of job applicants don’t get any response to their applications. Just think how many people you could be letting down with poor response rates in your hiring process.

Every prospective candidate applies with hope and anticipation. Not hearing back from you is disappointing at best and a bitter pill to swallow at worst. Some applicants can become so disgruntled that they could report your business for unfair hiring practices or discrimination. Or take to review platforms like Glassdoor or social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to air their complaints. Who wants that?

You might be thinking that your company doesn’t sell directly to the public, so you’re okay. Not so! What about future job openings that you’ll have? Everyone’s looking for prime talent, but if word spreads that you don’t get back to people, your reputation and brand is bound to suffer. People won’t want to apply, and if you approach them directly, they’ll decline. It can take a business years to realize that their hiring process is damaging their brand, and they’ll only know it once they begin to feel the negative impact. By then it may be a little too late.

ATS tracking can help facilitate giving feedback to more applicants.  The system can be set up to send a message to applicants immediately once a CV is excluded from the shortlist. You can also make notes on the system detailing why the CV doesn’t meet the minimum criteria. This small step can safeguard you from accusations of poor transparency or unfair hiring practices. It’s also fairer to applicants who invested the time to apply.

3. Reporting

An ATS offers a whole range of reports that can be accessed by anyone on the hiring team in real-time. These reports are also stored indefinitely and can be retrieved historically if necessary.

The big plus of these reports in the immediate term is that they expose the entire hiring process within seconds and provide snapshots to help you along. The type of reports that you can expect to see include:

  • Job Average lifetime
  • Drop off-rate
  • Pipeline speed
  • Applicant conversion
  • Time to hire
  • Candidate origins
  • Team performance

You’re also assured that your data is safe and that strict data privacy standards are in place.

No one can deny that having accurate reports and statistics available optimizes the hiring process. If you don’t have ATS tracking though, the disparity of information, time constraints, and environmental pressures often lead to hiring managers making uninformed hiring decisions, Sometimes these decisions can have  serious consequences.

Accurate and up to date reports help hiring managers to identify applicant trends and weaknesses in the internal hiring process. For example, if you’re getting a high number of totally unsuitable applicants, you have to look at your job description and where you’re placing your job openings. An accurate job description, some well-worded screening questions and proper placement of openings will eliminate time wasting for yourself and potential applicants. With some pre-planning, prompting job openings becomes a breeze!

Accurate reports help with cost saving too because you’re able to identify the sources that yield the best quality applicants for your business. This means that you can streamline your job advertising spend. You can also manage time better because you can accurately see how long each step in the hiring process takes, and who in the team is following the proper channels and who isn’t.

Adopting ATS tracking

We can see from the points above that the hiring process is subject to a lot of external scrutiny. Poor hiring practices can have serious consequences. Fortunately, implementing ATS tracking can eliminate many of these issues completely. It also makes everyone who’s part of the hiring process aware of the importance of compliance and hiring best practices.

None of this is readily available without ATS tracking. Recruitee centralizes all of your talent acquisition data (CV’s, emails, profiles, communication, evaluations, etc.) to help you learn from trends, identify potential weaknesses, and optimize your hiring process.

Learn 5 ways that Recruitee can help your hiring.

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