“Siri … I’d like to find the perfect candidates for my open positions.” In today’s high-tech world, it’s tempting to think an applicant tracking system (ATS) can replace the recruiting function as easily as Siri answers queries for iPhone users. The reality, however, is that ATSs work best when they are used to enhance the recruiting role. Let’s take a closer look at how and why your recruiting responsibilities can become more effective when they are supported by an applicant tracking system.

Research has found that half of organizations see “filling key positions” as a high priority and urgent talent challenge. The process of sourcing, interviewing and hiring candidates has many stages that can be time consuming and administrative in nature. Open positions need to be posted online to job boards, resumes need to be gathered and evaluated, interviews must be scheduled and references have to be checked. All of these tasks can easily clog up your day, which turns recruiting into a reactive activity. Implementing an applicant tracking system frees time for recruiters by automating the administrative aspects of finding promising candidates. So then why does an organization need a recruiter? This can be summed up in two words: strategy and relationships.

Consider the following ways your hiring and recruiting effectiveness can be enhanced by an ATS:

Time to Develop a Recruiting Strategy

The most competitive organizations have a clear employer brand and strategy for recruiting. Companies without a recruiting strategy often are simply “posting and praying.” When organizations have an ATS, you have time to develop a strategy that clearly positions your company in a way that will appeal to the best candidates. Experts suggest that a recruiting strategy should identify the message the organization wants to convey to applicants, the characteristics of target candidates and sources that are expected to be the most effective. It’s a good idea to prioritize job openings, so effort is spent on positions that will have the greatest business impact when filled.

Opportunity to Develop Relationships with Candidates

Personal relationships are the key to filling positions. Human interactions are essential to doing business, and that includes recruiting. An organization can have the best ATS on the market, but attracting candidates and filling positions comes down to personal interactions between applicants, recruiters and interviewers. When recruiters aren’t bogged down with the administrative aspects of the application process, they can focus on high-quality interactions with candidates. It’s important to give applicants a positive impression about the hiring organization, demonstrate the corporate values and sell the position to top candidates.

Time to Implement Interview Best Practices

The best recruiters engage current employees in more effective interviewing practices. If an organization has an ATS, recruiters often have time to train employees on interviewing practices, such as behavioral based interviews, that help identify candidates who are best suited to the position and the organizational culture. Peer interviews provide applicants with insight into the workplace, and HR practitioners have found employees also feel more valued when they are asked to participate in the interview process.

Deciphering Hiring Metrics

One of the valuable features of applicant tracking systems is the analytics they provide. However, these metrics need to be interpreted in the context of the overall recruiting strategy, and only humans can do that. By examining analytics and organizational needs, you can identify opportunities to reduce time to fill, sourcing approaches that are working better than others and the most cost-efficient recruiting methods. This information can inform refinements to the recruiting strategy to meet organizational goals.

When your recruiting and hiring efforts are supported by an ATS, you can add significantly more value to your organization. Automating the administrative aspects of hiring enables you to focus on strategy, build relationships with candidates and find new hires who will be the best fit for your business needs.

Download our free resource guide to learn how applicant tracking software can make your hiring and recruiting process more efficient.