A large number of mid-size organizations, including the majority of large companies, rely on an applicant tracking system (ATS) to process job applications, track candidate sources and manage workflow. Essentially, an ATS is a large database of candidate information that can help streamline the hiring process—from screening applicants and scheduling interviews to verifying references and completing new hire paperwork.
The advantages of an ATS for an organization's recruiting strategy is clear. It helps streamline recruiting processes and creates pathways for internal communication. But, the reality is there are many boxes the average ATS fails to check. This includes limited opportunity to brand your organization (most times, you’ll only be able to include a small logo), little to no attention to search engine optimization, and no opportunity for candidates to show interest unless your company has a current open position. These shortcomings can be a detriment to your recruiting message and potentially your reach. If you’re only relying on an ATS for employment marketing, you may be missing the opportunity to strategically target, engage and capture your ideal candidates.
If you think it’s time to supplement your current ATS, there is a solution: You can cover it with a more robust career site. Not only does it give you and your organization more control over your employment marketing and branding, it can also provide a better experience for your prospective candidates -- both advantageous for recruiting and hiring the candidates to help move your business forward.
We put together a list of 9 Reasons to Cover Your ATS to demonstrate how the pair can be a driving force in your recruiting strategy.
Having a career site gives your company the opportunity to paint a picture of your organization and what it’s like to work there. With only an ATS, candidates are left to decide on whether they’re qualified based on a basic list of jobs and job descriptions. If you cover your ATS with a career site, you can offer robust employment information like a company overview, benefits list and in-depth role pages as well as photos and videos to demonstrate your company culture. This kind of information allows candidates to better decipher whether or not they’re the ideal match for your job and company.
Applicant tracking systems do a great job providing candidate and workflow management data, but they tend to be weaker when it comes to marketing and web analytics (the sources from which your candidates come). To supplement your ATS, look to career site providers that can supply in depth candidate analytics and tracking to help you make more informed spending decisions and increase your ROI.
Because job seekers rely on search engines for finding new opportunities, it’s critical that your postings and career information are optimized for better search engine visibility. ATS generated URLs contain an erratic pattern of characters that have little to no reference to the job or page itself. Plus, the actual job content within an ATS can be completely invisible to search engines because it is contained within an iframe. Since search engines cannot see content within an iframe, your job posting or career information may never be seen by Google users. With a career site, your URLs, page titles and tags can be customized with key words and phrases to help increase your search engine ranking and results visibility.
Some ATS systems offer the opportunity to customize your jobs page to match your corporate site. But with a career site, you can customize everything from the layout, page titles, and job listings—creating an environment that entirely represents your employment brand.
Once you cover your ATS with a career site, you can use a content management system to control your employment content. That way you can add, change or edit any of your online content at anytime without the help of tech or marketing teams. Having a content management system makes it easy to control your recruiting message without having any coding knowledge.
It’s no secret applicant tracking systems have a reputation for long processes. Avoid losing candidates by providing a better front-end experience. With an ATS, finding the job you’re interested in via complex search forms can be as complicated as applying for it. Create a page using your career site to list all open positions; that way job seekers can quickly scan for the position their seeking.
Career sites make it easy to consolidate all you recruiting avenues into one central hub. Connect your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube profiles into the navigation of of your career site. That way candidates can stay connected via your social streams with new opportunities and company updates.
The number of job seekers searching for opportunities from their phone is continually growing, which is why it’s so vital that your career information can display on a tiny screen. A career site can be easily optimized for mobile and tablet viewability. If job seekers aren’t able to navigate your open positions while on-the-go, you’re missing out on an expansive audience of prospective candidate.
One of the biggest drawbacks of an ATS is the fact that a candidate has no way to show interest in your organization unless there is an open position. With a career site, you can offer candidates the opportunity to join your talent community without actually applying for a position. By collecting engaged, interested applicants now, your organization can proactively prepare for future job openings.
The benefits of pairing your ATS with a custom career site is more than just the aesthetics. Not only can you expand your candidate reach by strengthening your employment brand, you can also improve your applicant results by providing job seekers with a better front-end experience. In turn, you’ll be able to attract more qualified candidates that your business needs to grow.