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Applicant Tracking Systems: Key Information Unpacked


 Approximately 90% of enterprise-grade staffing agencies are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) of varying capabilities. So, what is an applicant tracking system and what makes a leading ATS worth the investment?

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a technology platform that digitizes the recruitment process from beginning to end.  Modern ATS software has evolved significantly, outperforming legacy recruitment tools such as excel spreadsheets and in-house solutions.

Modern ATS capabilities have evolved from early iterations that were designed to obtain and organize candidate data to systems that allow recruiters and candidates to interact on meaningful levels. The latest ATS solutions can now handle the entire recruitment process with the help of seamless integrations, allowing teams to use a single, centralized system for their recruitment needs. While Applicant Tracking Systems do vary in terms of feature sets, typically the systems include creation and posting of job advertisements, AI-enabled screening and matching of candidates, interview scheduling and advanced analytics, and the ability to integrate with a variety of useful tools such as assessments or background checking solutions.

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Image source: https://www.goodfirms.co/blog/the-top-9-free-and-open-source-applicant-tracking-software

When approaching the ATS market, there are many aspects to consider. Do you require cloud based software? Does your applicant tracking software need to work in with your current tech stack? Read on to find out whether your recruitment and hiring process will benefit from an applicant tracking system and how to choose the right one.

Who uses an Applicant Tracking System?

The global ATS market is predicted to grow by 7.3% by 2026 with staffing agencies and internal recruitment teams currently among the top users. Now, with better integrations with other productivity tools, modern Applicant Tracking Systems are increasingly being used by staffing agencies, to embed standardized and automated processes that reduce administrative burdens, allowing them to focus their resources on candidate experience and placing the right people in roles.

Why should staffing agencies use an Applicant Tracking System?

5 core reasons why staffing agencies will benefit from implementing a modern Applicant Tracking System include:

  1. Drives efficiencies – Modern ATS platforms integrate seamlessly with job boards to enable programmatic advertising across multiple platforms. When candidates submit their information, the data flows into the centralized ATS to reduce the time spent on manual sorting and filing of data. Sending bulk messages through SMS and email, viewing a simple activity report on candidate’s profiles, and having a simple way to process talent through the hiring pipeline are just a few of the additional benefits ATS provide to drive greater efficiencies for recruitment teams.
  2. Improves quality hiring and retention – The ATS application and resume screening function, enables well-fitted candidates to be identified and categorized within the system. This in turn, ensures the best candidates are put forward, increasing your candidate conversion and fill rates. Additionally, some modern ATS software, including LiveHire’s ATS, employ AI to identify and match candidates from staffing agency Talent Clouds to the new job specifications based on specialties, experience and geolocation.
  3. Performance metrics – ATS functionality includes monitoring of recruitment metrics through enhanced analytics dashboards. This ultimately pinpoints areas where resources are best spent and identifies areas where there is little or no ROI. Some useful metrics staffing agencies can track in order to demonstrate success and identify potential weak points include:
      • Average fill rate: How successful is a staffing agency at fulfilling their client’s job vacancy needs.
      • Response time: The rate at which a staffing agency responds to a client’s requests.
      • Submittal to hire ratio: The ratio of candidates submitted to final hire made.
      • Time to fill: A key staffing metric, tracking the number of days a job role is vacant from the point the job requisition is approved  to the day an offer is accepted by the candidate.
      • Average time to fill ratio: Your ATS positively impacts average time to fill ratio with all the micro efficiencies in the system. By reducing clicks, reducing going off platform, and overall reduction in ATS administration you can improve this ratio.
      • Fall-offs: Fall-offs tend to happen when a candidate loses interest, or is excited by an alternative opportunity. Keep their interest with constant human connection by using your ATS communication channels and CRM capabilities.
      • Candidate response rates: Measuring the response of candidates is key to understanding if your recruitment outreach is effective.
      • Diversity metrics: Understanding key diversity metrics will help grow your business to hire a diverse workforce without any bias.

    Performance metric insights provide relevant and essential feedback that not only enables agencies to continuously improve their recruitment processes, but also demonstrate success to  current and prospective clients.

  4. Strengthens candidate experience – In a tight labor market, candidates are looking for an authentic, tailored and consumer-grade experience. When this experience is lacking, candidates will not waste any time in taking their expertise elsewhere. There is an expectation of superior communication, feedback and fast turnaround.  Thus, by delivering a cutting edge, fast, efficient recruitment process which engages the candidate throughout the hiring journey, a modern Applicant Tracking System can give agencies the competitive edge needed when filling roles on a contingency basis.
  5. Boosts agency brand – It follows that by delivering a seamless candidate experience throughout the recruitment life cycle, company brand is enhanced, leading to referrals and returning candidates.

An effective Applicant Tracking System has the ability to enhance traditional recruitment processes, significantly accelerating productivity, efficiency and driving further revenue for staffing agencies.

What are the key features and benefits of Applicant Tracking software?

Although feature sets vary across the different ATS software on the market, solutions have evolved beyond simply storing and filling applicant data in a database to support the whole recruitment cycle. Today’s ATS platform feature sets typically include:  Screen Shot 2021-07-07 at 10.13.05 pm.png

  • Highly configurable system settings, such as application questions, message templates and a variety of other customizable features
  • Sorting and organizing candidate applications as well as a pipelining talent for common roles via talent pools
  • Devising job advertisements templates for key roles and create custom scoring to prioritize key skills and capabilities
  • Posting job advertisements to multiple job sites via programmatic advertising
  • Surfacing the best candidates early in the process via initial screening and matching functionality
  • Scheduling interviews via email or text message
  • Moving high volumes of candidates through the recruitment process
  • Communicating seamlessly with employers to reduce duplication, adapt according to feedback and maintain end to end visibility
  • Developing a streamlined and scalable recruitment cycle that delivers on candidate experience
  • Reporting that enables tracking and modification of hiring goals

How to identify the right Applicant Tracking System for your organization

Each solution on the market today has an array of feature sets, focus areas and target markets. Thus they will differ in terms of business alignment. However, a modern ATS that can be tailored to a specific organization’s processes, strategic goals and culture is vital for accelerating efficiencies and ultimately, driving ROI.

Here at LiveHire, we’ve invested in developing a pioneering ATS solution for staffing agencies which can be configured to your needs.

How to measure success with your applicant tracking system

KPIs are most effective when tailored to a specific organization’s strategic goals. However, the following list includes the key indicators, in broad terms, for determining the success of any Applicant Tracking software:

  • How is it helping improve your efficiency? ATS solutions should enable companies to leverage a wide variety of candidate source channels, as well as programmatic advertising options. Platforms, like LiveHire, will further assist this process by automating administrative tasks and enabling teams to be more productive. Applicant Tracking systems needs to reduce your time on admin tasks to let you focus your time on the high value work.
  • What are your most effective source channels?  Monitoring the number (and quality) of applicants responding through each sourcing channel is a good way to refine your approach to rapidly sourcing and engaging candidates.
  • Are you gaining access to the right candidates? While ATS software is designed to enable organizations to scale their recruitment processes and access high volumes of candidates, there is no value in this if the right candidates aren’t being attracted. An effective way to assess this is to look at your ATS candidate conversion rate. If your ATS doesn’t provide multi-channel sourcing then you may be missing out on key talent.
  • Is it time efficient? A key indicator of efficiency here is ‘time to fill’ (the number of days it takes to fill a client’s role from the point at which the job requisition is raised to the candidate accepting source of hire). Looking for a system that promotes their time to fill will provide you with the best options for the system you select. For example,  LiveHire’s ATS has a proven 67% faster time-to-fill than the industry average.
  • Is it delivering a standout candidate experience? A successful ATS will enable automated, tailored and seamless touch points with candidates throughout the candidate journey. This, in turn, will lead to greater referrals and elevation of your staffing agency brand.  LiveHire’s ATS solution achieves a 17 minute median candidate response time to text messages from the platform.
  • Does the ATS have reporting functionality? – The best ATS solutions include robust analytics dashboards. This is critical for gaining the insights needed to modify and streamline any recruitment cycle. ATS reports should provide key information on how to manage your recruitment strategy.

Why use LiveHire’s Applicant Tracking System?

Here at LiveHire, we have developed a world class, configurable ATS to streamline recruitment for staffing agencies and deliver superior candidate experience. LiveHire’s standout, consumer grade  ATS feature sets are designed to address 5 key recruitment areas:

1. Enabling configurable recruitment workflows

LiveHire’s ATS maps out your recruitment process for scalability across your organization, enabling you to achieve a complete, structured approach to recruitment. LiveHire’s technology can grow your gross margin by driving recruiter productivity, enabling client base expansion and wider market reach.

2. Supporting high volume hiring

LiveHire’s ATS streamlines and automates key steps in the recruitment process, allowing agencies to put forward thousands of top talent candidates, without compromising on delivering a superior candidate experience. As a result LiveHire clients have 96% satisfaction from candidates. By leveraging sourcing and engagement capabilities LiveHire’s technology delivers direct sourcing at scale.

3. Reducing time-to-hire via applicant screening and management

By developing live talent pools of candidates before a hiring need arises, LiveHire’s technology enables staffing agencies to tap into already engaged top talent, by efficiently filtering and segmenting the Talent Cloud for targeted searching. Thus, the sourcing process is fast-tracked. Then, by configuring screening questions to automatically rule out unsuitable candidates without bias, LiveHire’s ATS significantly reduces time-to-hire. This process also enables staffing agencies to tap into a more diverse workforce and build authentic relationships with the most suitable candidates.

4. Embeds Artificial intelligence candidate matching to each role

Candidate profiles comprise deep data on future job preferences, experience and training. LiveHire’s ATS includes AI powered talent matching for applications and candidates within your existing Talent Cloud which may also be suitable for the role. LiveHire’s AI technology finds the right skills and expertise for every role, providing a shortlist of well-fitted candidates.

5. Seamless integrations with best-of-breed technologies

LiveHire’s technology seamlessly integrates with a wide range of staffing technologies to deliver a seamless technology stack. These integrations enable your team to use a single system for recruiting while taking advantage of other best in market productivity tools.


Want to learn more about how an Applicant Tracking System can benefit your business? Get in touch with LiveHire!


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