Excel and email are the two data processing cornerstones for a modern employee. Major part of a work day is spent with this duo. The situation is same with many recruiters.
Around 50 percent of companies receive applications and CV's into their email. Applications can be directed to inbox also from various types of application forms, which simply send the information to recruiter's email in plain text. CV's are then manually saved to laptop's folder jungle (C:\Jane Doe\HR\Recruitment\Jobs\Sales Manager\Applications\, sounds about right?).
Time to adopt a recruitment system
We get it, Excel and emails have been used in recruitment for quite a while now, and it's just so familiar for many of us. But in the modern world, we need to use modern recruitment software, and that includes a big variety of recruitment systems, or ATS's (Applicant Tracking System) that are available today! Centralized data, application comparability, candidate processing capabilities, reporting, and communication together with information sharing become tremendously more feasible through utilizing an ATS.
Familiar vs recommended
Familiar practices and old ways of working however reside deep in the human DNA. Even if an ATS would be in use, Excel worshippers export candidate data to a spreadsheet and continue processing the candidates in familiar table grid. While candidate information reside spreadsheets, which are saved in recruiter's hard drive, efficient team collaboration and communication become deteriorated.
Changing old ways of working has actually been one of the biggest challenges when planning ATS deployments. Even though old phrase "Processes should not need to change because of systems, but systems should change to support processes" often is true, should one inspect their processes critically every now and then. Today's ATS user flows are particularly designed to streamline and bring efficiency to recruitment.
What qualities to look for in an ATS?
One size does not fit all applies here as well, and ATS's do not always fulfil everything that is described in the HR process charts. Without going into more detail in tailoring recruitment systems, I claim that any modern ATS is a better option than Excel.
Enhancing candidate processing and comparison capabilities is undeniably one of the core benefits brought by ATS. Data centralization, where access is restricted and maintained by recruiting company brings safety to candidate information storing, managing and removing procedures. Reporting becomes more effortless, and automated at its best. And all this relates only to applicant processing. Creating and publishing job ads can be as easy as in the most intuitive blog platforms. Communication, both to candidates and between recruiters becomes more effective. Candidates, in their part, are more assured that their application is noted, at latest when they receive an automatic thank you email to their inbox. All the functionalities mentioned above should be basic features in every ATS.