Talent Acquisition

Test Your ATS: Is It Helping or Hindering Recruitment?

This post is sponsored by Lever, a new breed of applicant tracking system that emphasizes speed, collaboration and building candidate relationships.

Great news! You’ve been given the green light on all those grand hiring plans. Before you start hunting hot talent, you need to give your software a real health check. A user-friendly yet sophisticated applicant tracking system is where your success can start. Take a good look at that ATS of yours, is it helping or hindering your recruitment efforts?

Your ATS should promote internal collaboration, save you loads of time and give candidates a frustration-free experience. With technology moving at lightning fast speed, it pays to keep up with the times. If your ATS isn’t capable of these 7 things, it’s time to shop around:

1. Syncing & centralisation

All recruitment data should be stored in one place, with all recruitment activity driven out of the one system. Forget cross-checking multiple calendars, directories and databases, your ATS should be updated in real time by multiple users and promotes information sharing among decision makers. The best systems complement centralisation with instant messaging, to allow for quick and easy commentary and communication. As we know, time kills deals!

2. Sourcing & referrals

The best recruitment occurs when everyone within the company is committed to talent attraction. Your ATS should allow all staff members to access open vacancies, and follow simple steps to pass on job leads to their wider network. Good people tend to know good people, so you should be making the most of your 2nd-degree connections! The best ATS‘ will also make sourcing candidates easier, using a browser extension to import contacts from social site and CV databases, without the manual labour!

3. Interviews & feedback

Your ATS should take care of scheduling interviews for you, matching candidate preferences with available time slots. Exit arduous admin, and enter clever automation. Your ATS should also facilitate the taking of feedback, making it easier for hiring managers and interviewers to record and measure skills and performance. Creating custom scorecards allows benchmarking and comparison between candidates, helping you translate those sloppy scribbles on the side of a CV into useful comments.

4. Tracking & following up

Just because a candidate isn’t the right fit for your current vacancy doesn’t mean they won’t be exactly the person you’re looking for in a couple of months’ time. It’s important to keep tabs on passive candidates and unsuccessful applicants who have the potential to become employees down the track. Don’t undo all your hard recruitment work by letting them slip through the cracks. Your ATS should make it easy for you to set reminders for yourself so you don’t have to scribble follow-up notes in your diary. Lever’s ‘snooze’ capability allows you to postpone action on a candidate to a later date, so you don’t forget about them.

5. Saving & searching

When a new vacancy opens up, you shouldn’t have to start your search from scratch. An ATS that builds detailed candidate profiles becomes an invaluable database of future prospects – a goldmine of warm leads, acting more like a CRM. Your software should allow you to perform advanced, specific searches that yield high-quality results, to save you sorting through hundreds of resumes.

6. User-friendly navigation

There is nothing more frustrating than filling out a confusing application form full of blank fields and generic drop-down options that aren’t applicable to you. Needless to say, your candidates don’t want to be clicking through 70 pages of blandness, only to have the system crash on page 68. Your ATS should offer a streamlined application process, that is easy to use. Likewise, if you want existing staff members to adopt a collaborative approach to recruitment, you need a system that is straight forward, self-explanatory and efficient.

7. Top-notch reporting

Brilliant recruitment takes time and effort. Companies that understand the value of having good people take talent attraction and retention seriously, and constantly work at their strategy. Your ATS should have a sound reporting function that allows measurement of all recruitment activity.


How did your ATS perform? Anything less than 7 out of 7 isn’t worth your time or money. Invest in something that makes recruitment exciting and manageable!

About the author: Leela Srinivasan is Lever‘s Chief Marketing Officer. Check out their website to learn how your recruitment processes could be transformed. 

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