Using ATS Software to Improve the Candidate Experience By Shaun Bradley

Software Advice, a company that reviews human resources software, recently surveyed job seekers and recruiters to help employers understand what constitutes a good hiring experience, and how applicant tracking systems (ATSs) can help with the process. The survey results revealed some causes of a bad candidate experience, and how to fix those issues. Some of the key statistics include: 1) Unclear application instructions are the primary cause of a bad candidate experience, cited by 93 percent of job seekers. 2) Extremely long application forms are the second most common cause of a negative candidate experience, cited by 90 percent of job seekers. 3) More than one-third of job seekers (34 percent) say that more communication during the hiring process would improve their candidate experience. 4) The primary thing job seekers say would improve their candidate experience is a clear timeline of the hiring process (cited by 74 percent). 5 ) Over one-quarter of recruiters (26 percent) say that using an ATS is a key factor in helping them provide candidates with a clear timeline of the hiring process. According to CareerBuilder research, approximately one-third of job applicants that had a bad candidate experience with a potential employer say they are less likely to purchase products from that company. Another 78 percent say they would share their bad experience with friends and family. In other words, a bad candidate experience can be bad for business. That said, it is increasingly important to better understand the candidate experience as a whole, how to eliminate bad experiences and how ATS software can help create the experience that job seekers and candidates are looking for. Ultimately, the experience begins with the job posting. So, it makes sense that unclear instructions are the primary cause of a bad candidate experience. And according to the job seekers surveyed by Software Advice, job postings should include two key elements: clear instructions, and an application of reasonable length. Along with unclear instructions and extremely long applications, other causes of a negative candidate experiences include: minimal job description, no link to application, no confirmation email, long hiring process, no notice when position is filled, no salary information, unable to contact a recruiter, no info about interview process and no benefits information. In order to right these wrongs, recruiters and employers can turn to software. According to Software Advice’s survey, better communication, notification if passed over and a clear timeline of the hiring process would be helpful and would create a better candidate experience. Overall, the candidate experience is an integral part of the recruiting process that can impact how effectively a company is able to recruit quality candidates—and even impact the company’s bottom line. Candidates are seeking better communication and more feedback from employers, along with shorter applications. These primary factors, which can make or break a good candidate experience, can be addressed with the use of ATS and human resources software. By automating the process with ATS solutions, businesses can save time and effort for recruiters and streamline the applicant workflow to ensure that no candidate has a negative experience.

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