What are the benefits of an applicant tracking system?

by Mark Gray

While large companies will often look to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to assist with the recruiting process, they should rather be considering the benefits of using a dedicated application tracking system (ATS).

It’s understandable that recruiters will look to their ERP systems as these have the functionality to support recruitment. However, ERP systems are cumbersome for several reasons:
–     The focus of ERP software is on processing applications and assumes the candidates are approaching the organisation. However, recruiters are required to look for talent.

 –    Recruiters will also only hire a small percentage of the candidates they look at and given the intensive data capturing into an ERP system, man hours are needed to input all the potential candidates’ information for very little reward.

Many recruiters go ‘old school’ because they’re frustrated with ERP systems

However, this manual solution is almost as intensive as an ERP solution and is difficult to manage when they’re looking at large numbers of candidates.
Recruiters fall back on:

  • Posting to job boards and sifting through the plethora of responses, and
  • Entering potential candidates into spreadsheets which they then try and to whittle down to candidates the company would consider hiring.

Given that shortlisted candidates can make up as little as 1% of submitted CVs, it’s an arduous process at best.
What are the benefits of an ATS?

1.    An ATS, like our Neptune platform, allows recruiters to be proactive and easily create jobs on the platform that can then be published out on social media networks along with targeted job boards.

2.    The system also allows recruiters to screen candidates, move them through the workflow process and keep all the documentation in one place.

3.    It provides detailed reports on where the candidates are coming in from, which recruiters have high placement success rates and takes into account compliance requirements and legislation.

4.    An ATS can also provide companies with their own recruitment site which they can then use to manage candidates who approach the company directly.

Job boards have had a strong presence in South Africa but are high-volume sites with large numbers of inactive members. However, an ATS enables companies to push relevant jobs out onto platforms that have large numbers of passive candidates, e.g. LinkedIn. Candidates on these networks are not necessarily looking for a job but may well respond to a job post if it is relevant to them and displayed in their feed.
International ATS solutions are problematic
Local solutions are up to 90% cheaper to implement than international ATS solutions. There are also people on the ground, who understand the dynamics of the local market and are available to assist. This avoids the challenges associated with a box-dropping scenario. 

This article first appeared on HR Pulse.

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