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

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

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

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

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.

Bottom Line

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.

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