Most recruiters understand the value of a well-implemented, user-friendly and efficient Applicant Tracking System. 

But how do humble tech platforms, most importantly an Applicant Tracking System, really help in the modern War for Talent? 

An ATS provides a scalable, customisable “eye in the sky” view of your entire applicant base, and offers a granular look at individual applicant progress, providing both recruiter, employer and employee with ample data to adjust and perfect a job or applicant search. 

The end result, if well-manicured and maintained, is a hiring process of immense personality and leadership, built on efficient use of data and applicant visibility via a one-tech solution. 

Now, this all goes to plan in a stable recruiting environment.  

But we live in an era beset by a constant battle for talent, fighting for EVP visibility and hiring sustainability in a fast-changing world.  

We live in an era of aggressive, no-holds-barred recruitment competition, and we’d make a healthy wager any HR leader reading this has seen the frequency of talent gazumping explode over the last couple of years. It truly is a War for Talent. 

So how does an ATS help you stand above the competition when talent is in high demand and short supply, and the hiring landscape is more competitive than ever? 

The definition of “The War for Talent”. 

The beauty of living and working in a pluralist, innovative, ideas-centric culture is that there are multiple ways to build a career and myriad ways to connect with and develop talent both internally and externally.  

But these systems and networks are fragile.  

Since the pandemic, we’ve played witness to the effects of one of the biggest market shocks to this system in a generation, and the results, for some, have been catastrophic – the near collapse of talent pools across the world, mass walk-outs in others, and a considerable lack of skills and training in emerging niche sectors have all caused what can only be described as the perfect candidate storm.  

So where are we now?  

Ask any HR leader to define our current recruitment present and they’d say the market is “candidate-led”. 

  • “A candidate-led market is, in short, when the number of vacancies is outweighing the number of people searching for employment and as a result, the market is highly competitive, with companies battling to attract and recruit the best candidates out there”. 

Candidates in most sectors understand their skills are in high demand, and as such “control” how and where they apply themselves.  

This has set a new precedent in a new War for Talent, and this new normal has come to define modern hiring.  

In areas of high talent demand – such as Tech, Education, Healthcare and Logistics – shortages of talent, the rise of remote work and upward pressure on wages have upended years of recruiting norms, and ushered in a hyper-competitive era of recruitment and retention. 

How an Applicant Tracking System can help in the War for Talent? 

So how does the humble ATS help in this war?  

Are the tools contained within applicant management systems the arsenal to defeat the immortal enemy of hiring managers everywhere? 

We believe there are 5 key features of an ATS that can improve hiring outcomes and help in the War for Talent: 

  • Hiring Costs Reduced – ATSs are hiring efficiencies made real. As they centralise applicant details, provide accurate, real-time reports and provide the basis for establishing hiring metrics, not to mention the fact they systematically improve communication and applicant transparency, they massively impact the overall costs of hiring. They also reduce the need for relying on external companies or agencies to do the legwork of sourcing, vetting and hiring staff by providing talent management structure.
  • Time To Hire Improved – ATS platforms simplify the recruitment process. They make staff more efficient, they improve applicant management, they improve talent pool management and they improve consultant behaviours and organisation. The end result is faster hiring through automated services, centralised data gathering and cloud-based accessibility.
  • Quality of Hire Improved – the value of an ATS lies in the work it does behind the scenes – CV parsing; data gathering; shortlisting; automated communications. The sum result of a consultant utilising these tools is, simply, better quality hiring outcomes. By effectively screening and shortlisting the best applicants from an applicant pool, a consultant can spend more time establishing rapport and relationships with the best in class, without worrying about whether any candidates have fallen through the gaps. 
  • CX improvements – in a candidate-led market, the candidate experience is often a significant career choice differentiator. Tech should not and, at this stage, cannot take the lead on establishing good CX, but it can most certainly help bolster it. An ATS can subtly (and sometimes overtly) improve the things that make CX great – open communication, application transparency and the digital foundation for real, consultant-driven emotional connection between worker and employer.
  • EB Improvements – all of the above points impact the overall impact of an employer brand – the DNA of a company, the brand power and placement within a market and the overall attractiveness of a place to work. ATS’ do incredible work – they streamline applications, make communication easier and quicker, and improve shortlisting and reporting of applications. The cumulative result of these small improvements is a seamless candidate application process and a brand that screams “We hire well”.

The ATS bottom line.  

In our view, your Applicant Tracking System is your biggest weapon in the War for Talent, allowing you to engage, protect and nurture talent more efficiently, and more importantly, better than your competitors.  

At the end of the day an ATS will never supersede the very human nature of talent acquisition – what it should do, however, is provide a platform that elevates expectations and performance. 

A good ATS is the landscape on which you do the hiring fighting, to mangle the metaphor even further – it sets the context and creates an indomitable culture of hiring that’s impossible to ignore, due to its efficiency, speed, personality and ease of use. 

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best recruitment and talent acquisition technologies to suit your needs.  

From Applicant Tracking System and Recruitment CRM comparison, to vendor snapshots, and technology showcases in our unique technology marketplace, we provide fee-free tools to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business!