By Greg Belkin, Senior Director, Product Marketing
“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.”
– Howard Schulz, Chairman & CEO of Starbucks
Most hiring managers would readily agree with Howard Schultz that, when a company searches for talent, no single source of information is ever going to provide a full, complete, and comprehensive applicant review.
Effective candidate hiring comes from a healthy mix of many different sources, such as formal interviews, back and forth communication, internal and external discussions, resumes, reference checks and team observations. Sometimes even a stellar resume can mask critical deficiencies in applicants only discoverable through verbal communication, as key clues of professional fitness often come from presentation.
Unfortunately, for HR managers, getting the applicant tracking process right is an absolute must, and by no means an easy task. HR managers are under constant pressure to ensure that they are using all of the right sources of information to find the right candidate for the right job at the right time and place. If they do it properly, critical tasks get completed on time, and the organization can be highly successful. If they don’t, the company cannot produce to expectation, business slows, and valuable talent goes elsewhere.
Adding to this challenge is the amount of power job applicants hold over the hiring process. Just as buyers have shopping choices, potential employees have the power to decide which employer they join, how long they choose to stay with them, how aggressive they are in helping the organization achieve their goals, among others.
For this very reason, modern HR managers utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to ensure that the hiring process equips them to not only find the right people, but also treats them well, from the moment an applicant expresses interest in a job, up until and beyond their first day at the job.
What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a critical part of the hiring process that makes life easier for HR managers and relevant stakeholders. It is a software program (or part of a series of software solutions) that can manage the entire hiring and recruitment processes from top to bottom.
An efficient ATS system, for example, ideally receives, stores, and processes almost all applicant information. It also contains smart tools to further identify, filter and finally choose quality candidates. An ATS helps sort through resumes, and categorizes them based on desired keywords and criteria for selection. This optimizes the selection process, allowing HR and hiring managers to tap into the candidates who are a better fit for the role. Advanced applicant tracking systems can also scan job portals, social media channels, career websites, to source ideal candidates using keywords based on education, experience, skills, etc.
After the collection and sourcing of a healthy stack of resumes, ATS and their supporting solutions also assist in aligning initial screening calls, scheduling interviews, coordinating among the different stakeholders and interviewees for moving the application along quickly.
Most organizations have multiple systems to manage applicant tracking. If integrated well, these systems can optimize the hiring process and speed up candidate selection, management, and consequently minimize the time-to-fill the desired position.
Why does ATS integration matter?
It is very critical to implement ATS integration with the data in HR systems for an efficient hiring process. Applicants have high expectations when they apply for jobs. They want the hiring process to be quick, smooth and transparent. HR managers have similar expectations. They need the hiring process to be as efficient as possible so they can process as many candidates as time will allow. Unfortunately, however, if an organization is using multiple systems to track applicant activity, it can slow down both of these parties and lead to multiple delays and loss of talent availability.
Integrating applicant tracking data together and with other critical HR systems prevents delays from occurring, strengthens the hiring process and increases productivity and morale in the long run. ATS integration ensures that applicants move through the process faster, so that all parties can come to a decision in a reasonable time frame. It also helps to ensure that the right person for the job is selected based on multiple sources of data discovered during the hiring process.
Take, for example, ATS integration with onboarding. Though often debated in the industry, we at Jitterbit view an automated onboarding process as a key part of the recruitment process. Once the candidate is hired, they must be trained, developed, provided with key tools to help them succeed, and connected with other vital resources that will help them be successful.
This process yields critical recruitment data, such as candidate-specific opportunities for growth, and potential to fill other missing skills within the organization without the requirement for making additional staffing changes. For these reasons, integrating onboarding with recruiting data should be an organizational imperative.
Many ATS systems can be integrated with employee training services to keep track of how far the employee has progressed and what’s the remaining progress to be made and in which areas. Connecting recruitment and onboarding systems together also has the benefit of pre-populating new employee HR management systems that would otherwise require attention.
5 Benefits of ATS Integration
There are many benefits to ATS integration with data from various ATS providers, and with other critical HR systems. These include:
- Accelerated Candidate Discovery. Applicant Tracking Systems and their supporting systems can be integrated with multiple job posting portals at the same time. Unfortunately, the amount and type of data shared is different from portal to portal. Integrating data together, accelerates the delivery of searchable, navigable applications. This decreases the time necessary for hiring managers to properly navigate and consider candidate data.
- Superior Candidate Engagement. Once a solid candidate begins the application process, time and engagement are of the essence. HR managers must keep these individuals invested in the process to ensure they remain viable hires at the end of the process. Through ATS integration, they can make sure that internal feedback among key stakeholders, often recorded in different systems, is properly integrated and managed. This helps organizations make hiring decisions faster, and helps avoid “candidate bidding”, which can cost organizations extra time and money.
- Increased Hiring Credibility among Candidates. A company with a consistent hiring and recruitment process, which can make informed decisions based on multiple sources of data, increases its credibility in the eyes of candidates. Candidates feel confident that the organization they are considering joining is making good decisions, and are likely to feel that the good decision-making extends throughout the entire organization.
- Accelerated Onboarding. Once the candidate accepts the job offer, the process of onboarding begins. Information collected during the application process, such as location, service provisioning requirements, skill sets and other critical information must be made available to new hiring managers and other relevant onboarding stakeholders. Effective data integration between these critical systems and processes ensures for a fast and productive process.
- Higher Productivity once Hired. A happy and inspired employee who feels wanted by an organization is likely to carry that high morale into the organization long after they join. High morale also almost always translates into high productivity, which is a major benefit for organizations in any increasingly competitive marketplace.
Jitterbit’s Approach to Effective Application Tracking System Integration
We strongly believe in a consumer-oriented applicant management experience. We believe that integrating different sources of employee data strengthens both the employee and the employer relationship by streamlining how the candidate and their pre-employment experience is managed. We call this the Employee 360 approach, the heart of which revolves around four basic pillars:
- Application Connectors. Application connectors are capabilities that provide pre-built and reusable connectivity to a specific endpoint, such as Workday or other common HCM systems. Connectors share data and reduce the complexity of interacting directly with an endpoint’s API or data exchange protocols.
- Integration Recipes. Recipes are single pre-built integration projects that move data in one direction between like objects across two applications or systems. For example, this could be an integration between employee expense report software and payroll management system.
- Process Templates. These are groups of pre-built integration use cases that accelerate the execution of a specific process using a number of objects across multiple applications or systems. This could, for example, be between a compensation management system, and a performance management system with the end-goal of consistency.
- Delivery Services. These are fixed-scope, pre-packaged professional services set up without customizations. They also have the ability to extend the process templates with customization to additional objects and endpoints. This enables experts in HCM integration to recommend best practices and help scale HCM use cases.
With a powerful and easy-to-use cloud API integration platform, Jitterbit enables HR managers and other stakeholders to connect to any on-premises or in-cloud application allowing them to drive ROI, increase customer satisfaction and optimize service delivery and management, giving them an edge in an extremely competitive market.
For a closer and tailored look into how Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Integration Strategy can work for you, contact us today.