Sarah’s Corner: 3 Reasons you Need an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Why having an ATS is a must for recruiting top talent
by Sarah Koller, People Operations Specialist @ GoCo

Hi, I’m Sarah! And I do HR for an HR software company. You’d think it’d be easy, but I’m new-ish to the HR world and every day is an adventure. This blog series is an attempt to peel back the layers of daily operations of a small HR department – of one – and the company it works to support.
Sarah Koller, People Operations Specialist ∙ GoCo

This is a bit of a love letter to the ATS GoCo currently uses, JazzHR, but hopefully, you can find some good information nuggets too.

Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, at the very least, can help you store resumes and process high volumes of candidates faster and more efficiently. Basically, adding an ATS can streamline your hiring process, so you spend less time on unqualified candidates and start hiring better and faster.

When you start to look at the fancier ATS’s out there, you get some that automatically post jobs, have built-in workflows, text candidates, schedule interviews, and more!

There are many great products out there for applicant tracking, you just have to do the research to find the perfect one for you. Here’s why.

1. Your Time is Too Valuable

As a department of one, I have to find ways to maximize my time and be more efficient. Believe me when I tell you that you can add more value to your company when your time isn’t spent on manually completing tasks that could be easily automated.

When you are looking to add an ATS, make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, figure out your budget and start researching.

Once implemented you’ll be glad you did. Just think of all the programs you could dream up and actually implement if you weren’t slogging through endless resumes and scheduling calendars appointments.

2. It Makes it Easier to Involve other Team Members in the Recruiting Process

Before I joined GoCo, our founders were taking significant time recruiting. And it wasn’t exactly the easy process it is today. Sidebar – there is a slight benefit to this which we’ll explore later.

Since our engineering team was hiring the most I’ll use his example. Our CTO, Jason, started his day recruiting. He looked at every site he posted positions on, filtered through applicants, reached out to those he wanted to speak with, and then scheduled interviews. In addition to those steps, he also browsed through LinkedIn to look for candidates.

As you can imagine this isn’t a good use of his time- or anyone’s for that matter.

Enter me, and the ATS, but whatever. I have been able to streamline the hiring process to the point that the managers now have a one-stop place to go and check job applicants.

With simple clicks, they move candidates through the hiring process, which we’ve set up to ping me every time I need to complete various tasks.

Depending on your ATS, you can also customize the software to your own needs and processes.

Pro tip: if you don’t have a great process or don’t know where to start, find a system that has great customer support and best practices built-in – then you don’t have to start from scratch.

3. Streamlines Hiring with Onboarding

You’ll need to do the research and find the product marriage that works for you and your current HR Management System. For me, JazzHR is GoCo’s perfect integration buddy – it’s quite the powerful ATS.

Our magic touchpoint is the offer letter. Prior to an ATS, all pre-hire communication took place with emails or phone calls. Then, once everything was negotiated, an offer letter was sent from GoCo and the onboarding process started.

Now that we have the ATS integration, we post positions, source and communicate with candidates on one platform, and all their information seamlessly integrates with GoCo once the person is hired.

JazzHR and GoCo shake hands at the offer letter. I have it set up to automatically export to GoCo when I promote the candidate to the offer stage. I created a short video so you guys can see what I’m talking about. It’s actually so easy I re-hired myself in this video and had to get a co-worker to delete it.

An added benefit if you’re a GoCo user – All your interview documentation will be automatically added to your employee’s GoCo file. For us internally, this is super handy because we are preparing for a security audit. Automatically syncing all this information not only achieves point number 1 and 2 but checks off one of the security checkboxes AND it’s so easy!

In conclusion, before adding an ATS (and me) to our hiring process it was laborious and not always effective. To be honest, I don’t know how long it took to hire people, but I’m not going to ask because then there is a chance I’ll lose. Totally kidding, I’ll circle back with some numbers once we’ve done this a few times. If you’re worried about the price or pitching the idea to decision-makers – reach out! I want to help and hear what your thoughts are regarding Applicant Tracking Systems out there.

As GoCo’s People Operations Manager, Sarah is on a mission to make GoCo the best place to work in Houston. She’s responsible for attracting, recruiting, and retaining the awesome humans behind GoCo, and developing programs and policies that protect and nurture the company’s core values and culture.

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