What are the 4 features your ATS needs post-COVID?

August 12th, 2020

COVID has fundamentally changed the recruitment process and how we interact with our candidates, clients, and our colleagues. So, to ensure we are successful in today’s new environment and the post-COVID world, we need to re-assess whether our ATS is set up to support this new way of working. 

With social distancing measures still in place, many office-based workers will remain working from home for a while yet. We’ve seen massive global companies, like Google and Facebook, extend their work from home policy till July 2021, and here at home, Optus has gone a step further, saying it will encourage its call centre staff to work from home permanently. 

On top of the social distancing measures, we are also faced with high unemployment. This has had a massive impact on the recruitment industry, with an influx of candidates competing for fewer roles. As a recruiter, this means you have to stay on top of your database of candidates, as well as maintain your relationship with clients, to ensure you are getting the opportunity to place candidates in upcoming roles. 

With all these changes, recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to lean on their ATS to support them in this new world of working. Here are four features you need from your ATS now and post-COVID:

#1 Automation and Customisation 

With the unemployment rate currently at 7.2% and set to worsen, as a recruiter or hiring manager, you need to manage a high number of candidates applying for new roles.

In order to do this, you need to automate as much of your recruitment process as possible, so you are not spending all your time on administration. You can save significant time each day by looking at how you automate the hiring process, from posting job adverts to screening CVs, interviewing candidates, completing reference checks, and even sending letters of offer. 

Whether you want to automate the end-to-end process or choose specific tasks, it’s a process that you can design around your needs. Today, it is more important than ever to have an ATS that can be customised to your workflow/recruitment process. If your ATS can’t do this, you should start shopping around for one that can.

#2 Candidate Self-service

Again, to help manage a high number of candidates, your ATS should be able to provide a way for candidates to update their information that feeds directly into your database. By getting candidates to directly update their availability, CV, contact details, skills, experience, photos and references directly into your ATS, the candidate knows you have their current information and you are able to identify the best candidates for a role instantly. 

Self-service benefits shouldn’t stop at updating your database. These portals allow candidates to simply log in from your website and access guides, training materials and tips for the job application process, all hosted within your ATS. You can include anything from tips and techniques for mastering interviews to resume writing services. The best thing is that it helps support your candidates in their search for a new role without using too much of your time. 

#3 Integration with key tools

Most of you will be familiar with or use tools to help with the recruitment process, whether it is to pre-screen candidates, conduct video interviews, collect references, or onboard successful candidates. Today, in order to make the most of your technology investments, it’s critical to look at them as part of a whole process – not as piecemeal solutions. You may work with a variety of brands and products, but they should all integrate as an end-to-end process, and most importantly, work seamlessly with your ATS. 

Your ATS should be able to act as your single source of truth, a system where you can track candidates, sync communications, manage video conferencing, and complete reference checks, to name just a few.  This is even more important in today’s environment, when your ability to collaborate and communicate is limited by physical distance. 

#4 Collaboration and Communication

The recruitment industry has always been a ‘people’ industry, focused on building connections with clients and candidates that ensure the right people are placed in the right jobs. 

In today’s climate, where we often can’t connect face-to-face, this can be a challenge for our industry, but if you have the right ATS in place, we can adapt and thrive.  There are thousands of technologies and tools out there to help you communicate remotely and, whichever one you choose, it’s critical that it is embedded in your daily operations.  

Think about the way your team communicated in the office, from the scheduled meeting to a quick chat at the desk and how they used these channels to get jobs done.  You can’t completely replicate these with technology, but you can provide avenues to encourage your team to continue to interact regularly.  For example, for the quick desk or hallway chat, instant messaging software, like Salesforce’s Chatter, is a great way to quickly connect for those quick questions, sharing documents and group chats. 

Salesforce Chatter isn’t just a useful way to chat with colleagues, you can connect with clients or partners who are Salesforce users too.  It also extends to hosting and conducting training and development. 

Whatever tools you use, it’s best to choose a single platform for each communication type to avoid overload of communication channels and, where possible, select a tool that integrates with or is part of your ATS platform.

With all the changes in the way we work, it is important that we don’t just wait for things to return to the way they were before COVID. We need to adapt to our new way of working and make sure that we have set our technology up to help us succeed in this post COVID world.

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