Goldilocks & The Three Bears: How a great ATS helps you no matter how hot your applicant flow is

Hiring can often resemble the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Much like the way the porridge in the story fluctuates between too hot, too cold, and just right, sometimes you get too many applicants, sometimes you don’t get enough applicants, and sometimes you get just the right amount of applicants. But is there a way for your organization to increase your odds of successfully hiring no matter which bowl of porridge you’ve got? Yes. Implement a modern Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

“This bowl is too hot!”

Sometimes you get a lot of applicants for your open jobs. When that happens, you may want to look at certain areas of your hiring process, such as:

  • Is your setup organized so you know immediately which applicants have applied to each job and at which stage in the process each applicant is sitting?
  • Do you have an easy way to communicate with your hiring team to keep the process moving without internal resistance and bottlenecks?
  • Do you have a direct way to view which applicant sources are working and which aren’t (and to adjust accordingly)?
  • Can you process candidates quickly and move them from application to interview to background check to offer quickly, or is the process like walking through mud?
  • Do you have an easy way to communicate with applicants at each stage of the process so that they are engaged and informed throughout?

“This bowl is too cold!”

Unless you are a world-famous company paying above market rates and with benefits beyond compare, you will experience periods during which you will wonder where all of the applicants have gone. 

You still need to hire, but the applicant flow just isn’t there. During these periods, a different set of challenges and variables present themselves, such as:

  • Is the application process intuitive and painless for applicants? You want to ensure that once you’ve got an applicant’s attention, they are going to submit an application. Don’t force them to set up an account to apply. Don’t force them to download a file to apply. Don’t force them to send an email to a generic inbox. Don’t give applicants any off-ramps. Make it simple. 
  • Is your employer brand well represented throughout the process? Quite simply, does the application process represent your company well and provide a great first impression? Is your application mobile optimized, or are applicants pinching and zooming? Does the application process look like it’s a computer program from the mid 1990s, or is it well designed?
  • How complicated and long is your application process? Today’s applicants do not want to spend 30 minutes applying to a job. And let’s be honest, do you really need 16 sections of questions and references to decide if you want to set up a phone screen? Leverage an iterative application process.
  • Do you have any alerts or monitoring set up around unopened applicant files? In other words, once an applicant does apply, are you ensuring that not a single applicant falls through the cracks? 
  • Are you communicating with and updating applicants throughout the process? Good applicants aren’t going to sit around and wait for you to update them. Once you’ve got a quality applicant, you need a streamlined way to communicate with them.

There will always be fluctuations in the number of people applying for your jobs. Sometimes there are world events causing the change. Sometimes you will see differences on a job by job basis in your company. Sometimes, you might not know exactly why things aren’t lining up perfectly. But with KeldairHR’s Applicant Tracking System, you won’t need to worry if the bowl is too hot, too cold, or just right. Our ATS can help ensure your company is attracting, identifying and engaging with the best applicants out there no matter what.