10 Applicant Tracking System Features Your Firm Must Have

The right Applicant Tracking System can help your staffing or recruitment agency build better relationships, processes, and results.

Here are the top 10 features you need to accomplish these goals.

If you’re in the market for an applicant tracking system and/or recruitment software but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. With dozens of years in the recruitment industry, the Tracker team has put together a list of 10 features you should be looking for in an ATS for your recruitment firm in 2021.

These features are key to increasing productivity and creating a smoother workflow for your recruiters, candidates, clients, and leadership team.

1. Advanced Search Options

Finding candidates in your own applicant tracking system, whether for a specific job or general sourcing, needs to be fast, relevant and as comprehensive as possible.

A recruiter needs to be able to search by a wide variety of filters including statuses, types, resume skills, skill profiling, location (including radius and zip), availability, salary, contact history, plus any number of custom fields your firm might need.

Results should have the ability to be viewed, sorted, saved and shared with others, as well as displayed in a variety of formats from standard lists or as a geographical map showing the precise location of each candidate in relation to to job or client.

Additionally, be sure you can even filter on duplicate records and auto-merge to easily clean up your database (technical expertise not required).

Bonus points for an ATS that includes intelligent ranking that compares both resume history along with CRM history.

More on candidate search.

2. Sourcing

Sourcing is one of the top ranked needs for recruiters year after year.  While recruiters need to be able to search and source from your firm’s own internal database or applicant tracking system, they also need to be able to search the major job boards you use as well. Your ATS should integrate with sites like Monster.com, Indeed.com, and any industry specific job board you use, capturing candidate data and expanding the search field.

For extra credit, choose an applicant tracking system that goes even further with automated sourcing, aka watchdogs.  Watchdogs allow your consultants to configure a sophisticated search in their Job and with 2 clicks can tell Tracker to watch each job board ongoing for a few days in order to capture any new Candidate that may appear automatically from that point on.

Finally, you’ll want the ATS software to rank those candidates, making the review process easier on your recruiters.

More on job board integration and watchdogs.

3. Streamlined Job Posting

You’re probably posting open positions to as many places as possible — social media, career pages, job boards, Google for Jobs. All that posting is repetitive and takes time.

A good ATS will fully automate parsing of the job specification, creating a post-ready version that you can quickly distribute to your own career pages and all the major third-party platforms with the click of a button. It will also be able to post to your social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

And finally, it should push out SEO optimized postings to Google for Jobs. Google for Jobs often returns the first results when a candidate searches for a specific position, so getting the SEO right is key to matching your open position with top talent.

More on job posting.

4. Sales & CRM Integration

A sales CRM helps you build better client relationships, generate and qualify better leads, and manage your entire sales pipeline through to delivery.

An integrated ATS and CRM not only tracks all activities from all records such as calls, meetings, tasks, statuses, and associations; it also links every piece of information together so you can see which candidates have been associated with which jobs or clients, and in what way.

Everything should be linked together as well as easy to visualize and access.

More on sales and CRM integration.

5. Automation & Marketing

50% of sales happen after the 5th attempt to reach a prospect, but the average sales rep only makes two attempts to reach a prospect. That’s a problem!

Automation is about letting your software do the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing, recruitment processes, sales nurturing, onboarding activities, and more.

This increases the productivity of your marketing, sales and delivery teams by automating the repetitive tasks such as follow ups, informative communications about upcoming placements, or simple newsletters. And with our data driven decision logic, as soon as the information changes in Tracker, so can the route of your automation.

An effective applicant tracking system will have quick automations built in throughout the platform, enabling your team to always have the next step in place. Further, the use of communication and workflow sequences allows your teams to standardize typical communications paths and provide a consistent experience for candidates, clients, and other contacts.

More on automation and marketing.

6. Customizable Workflow

Every staffing agency has its own unique needs. So a one-size-fits-all approach to the recruitment process won’t work for your business.

Instead, look for a program with a customizable workflow, so you can include all the steps your team will take to manage candidates, jobs, clients as well as other records and processes. You can add your own hiring stages, from the initial candidate search through the interview process, and all the way to making the offer and onboarding. With a customizable workflow, you can add multiple interviews, testing, reference checks, and more.

Your team should be able to tell at a glance whether a candidate is due to be interviewed or has been removed from the pool of applicants. An intuitive, visual dashboard will help your staff to stay on top of each applicant or job’s status, providing a streamlined process for both your team as well as clients and candidates.

More on recruitment workflows and sales workflows.

7. Ease of Use

An applicant tracking system is only helpful when it’s being used. And if it’s too complicated or inconvenient, recruiters and sales teams won’t use it.

Look for easy onboarding and a simple, intuitive user interface. You’ll want to work with a team that will help you to migrate your current data, so you can hit the ground running. Ask questions about the type of training and education they’ll provide to your employees.

Plus, look for a system with on-demand demos, manuals, and tutorials. These educational resources will help you and your team solve small issues quickly.

View our Ease of Use comparison report.

8. Mobile Capability

These days, many of us are working from home while juggling home responsibilities and wonky schedules. Having an ATS with a fully functional mobile platform allows your recruiters access candidates, contacts, jobs, and placements at any time. Not to mention, it gives the leadership team access to the entire software when they are out of pocket.

Mobile technology has completely revolutionized the world, and it has had its influence on the recruiting scene as well. With everything fitting into the palm of your hand and just a touch away, both job seekers and recruiters find it a lot more convenient to carry out their search on a mobile device. Mobile recruiting refers to recruitment strategy which uses mobile technology to attract candidates.

More on mobile recruiting software.

9. Integration

Be sure to choose an applicant tracking system and recruitment software that integrates with the tools you and your teams use daily. From tracking email correspondences and text messages to contractor time keeping to telephony integration.  Your ATS/CRM should be the core of your business and home for all data and communication.

Some examples include:

  • Outlook
  • Gmail
  • Text Messaging
  • LinkedIn
  • Telephony
  • VMS
  • Timesheets
  • Accounting Systems
  • eSignatures and Forms
  • Candidate Portal
  • And more

More Tracker integrations and features.

10. Analytics

Once your applicant tracking system is up and running, what kind of data is it returning?

Your ATS/CRM should let you create sharable reports, dashboards and scorecards, so you can track performance, placements, and anything else you need to monitor. These reports will provide useful information that your team can use to grow.

For example, you should be able to monitor which sources bring you the most placements, so you can focus on that platform more in the future. You’ll also want the option to generate forecasts that can reveal future opportunities. And you should be able to track recruiter performance. See who is excelling and who needs some more guidance.

Analytics can also be useful on the candidate side of your staffing agency. Survey new hires and generate reports that plot the data. Did they feel supported and nurtured through the application process? Are there any steps that could be made simpler for candidates?

If your ATS doesn’t let you customize your reports, you can’t guarantee that it will provide the data your business needs to grow and be successful.

More on analytics and reports.

The Best Applicant Tracking System

In our humble opinion, the best applicant tracking system out there with all of these features (and more), is our own Tracker.  We built this system from the ground up over a decade ago and continue to add functionality and value to this day. We include our features at incredibly affordable price points so you can have access to the functions and integrations you need to see major growth in your staffing or recruiting agency, without breaking your budget.

Tracker is a leading recruitment and applicant tracking software designed for staffing and recruiting agencies of all sizes. Our industry-leading support, onboarding and technology will improve both your recruitment speed and quality. With over 20 years of experience, our Applicant Tracking System is built with you, the staffing professional, in mind.

Get an Applicant Tracking System Consult

Schedule a customized consultation and see how Tracker’s integrated ATS, CRM and Recruitment Automation Software offers the right features to help your team create better relationships, processes, and more.

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