Back in the heady, confusing days of Q1 2021, the recruitment world was at war. Since then, the industry has come a long way…but have recruitment attitudes toward applicant tracking systems changed in the interim?

In February 2021, the pandemic was very much an active factor in the day-to-day working lives of millions of people – and every recruiter and HR specialist was struggling with the disruption caused by rapid remote working mobilisation and the fallout from the first wave of the Great Resignation

In that very same February, Rectec published one of our first blogs – 5 things to consider when searching for the right Applicant Tracking System – that was not only a foray into sharing thought leadership about the recruitment tech space, but an opportunity to explore some of the most in-demand ATS and recruitment CRM features on the market, and how best to implement that recruitment tech into a stack. 

However, times change, trends come and go, and some of the approaches to recruitment that worked in the immediate post-pandemic moment have changed.

So, do the points we raised still stand muster in Q3 2022? Are recruiters still recruiting like they did when the industry was upside down?

And, if recruitment practice has changed so much from those cold and confusing days of February 2021, how has the industry moved on?

Business requirements.

  • In 2021, we found that “the biggest mistake many organisations make when it comes to finding the perfect Applicant Tracking System is not considering their individual business needs. It’s easy to get blindsided by visually appealing software with streamlined interfaces and nifty new features, but ultimately functionality is more important”.

We have to say little has changed in ATS user expectations – after all, relevant and rapidly deployable recruitment tech is still of paramount importance, as is understanding how and where tech will make maximum impact on hiring processes and talent delivery.

However, the sheer amount of applicant tracking systems now on the market is changing the game. With approx. 450 ATS software companies all competing for the same customers, we’re now finding UX and platform design is becoming more and more important as a differentiator between competitors.

User Experience.

  • In 2021, we found that “getting the candidate experience wrong can have a direct impact on your company’s turnover, revenue and profit”.

Bad customer/candidate experiences are, if anything, more important than ever. 

The candidate hangover from the great resignation – the fact that workers are more willing to quit a job and seek new opportunities if their expectations and needs are not met – is still enormously impactful on hiring. 

However, the Candidate Experience – or CX – has come to the fore as a driving feature of recruitment methodology, and a significant point of interest in ATS and recruitment CRM platform creation and usage.

Integration Capability.

  • In 2021, we said: “Another key consideration when searching for a new ATS is how well do the providers integrate with other technologies you’re currently using or plan to use in your business”.

While seamless integration is something every good ATS provider should provide, we want to hone in on the latter part of the above statement – how integration planning should take stock of future business needs. 

Sustainable integration of tech into recruitment operations can be summed up in how long-term the solution is. 

How long will it provide the right sort of candidate organisation, reach and communication? 

Will it continue to meet your business needs in 6 months, or 6 years? 

We’ve found as companies who have exited the worst of the pandemic, and who are now facing a disrupted and inflation-heavy few months in the lead-up to Xmas and beyond, are looking at long-term planning and strategic mapping far more than in the early months of 2021. 

You’re not just buying software.

  • In 2021, we said that “you should not just be looking to find your perfect ATS, you should be looking to find your perfect ATS partner – a vendor with sufficient resources and experience to support a successful implementation, who serves as a technology partner to your organisation on an ongoing basis”.

Partnerships between recruiting companies or agencies and ATS providers are the bedrock of effective ATS deployment.

The reason Rectec Compare is as effective as it is, is because we allow each user of our platform to build realistic relationships with vendors, based on objectivity and hyper-relevance.

An applicant tracking system should never be seen as just a solution or just a platform – it’s a highly effective means to an end that only works if every stakeholder understands the required recruitment outcomes, and does so from a place of trust and professional friendship.

Timeline and cost.

  • Finally, in 2021 we noted that “Time costs money and quick implementations cost time in putting things right (that you may have missed). Be prepared to review your budget once the right ATS partner has been identified”.

Demanding immediate ROI from an ATS and recruitment CRM should never be unrealistic or rushed. 

As we noted in 2021, speed of deployment does not guarantee effective service, and we have to keep reminding our readers that ATS providers are on your side! They want to see you succeed, and they want their product to maximise your candidate handling return. 

So please, continue communicating with your ATS provider, even if you’ve used them for years and everything is running smoothly. 

Continue to keep them abreast of business challenges and let them teach you how to utilise their platform. After all, they’re the masters of their product and will know how to help you reach your particular business goals now and in future.

The bottom line. 

Nothing, and everything, has changed over the last 18 months. What cannot be ignored is how effective ATS and recruitment CRM identification requires more than a loose budget and an open mind – it still only works if you have a high-quality relationship with your provider and if you know your business goals inside and out. 

A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best Applicant Tracking System or best Recruitment CRM to suit your needs, accompanied by our unique complementary technology marketplace, to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business.

You can click here to register for Rectec Compare – and best of all, it’s completely free of charge.