#AskAnRPOExpert: Mynt Consultants Talk Benefits and Best Practices of Applicant Tracking Systems

by Brent G Trotter


According to global recruitment process outsourcing experts, Mynt Consultants, “the principal function of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is to provide a central location and database for a company's recruitment efforts”. With that in mind, it’s important for a company's ATS to be easy to use, interpret and get support. The system they elect to go with should be aligned with the company’s business strategy and hiring process.

In this edition of our #AskAnRPOExpert series, we talk to Maru Gonzalez, Global Managing Director at Mynt Consultants, a global recruitment process outsourcing consultancy specializing in ATS implementation and training, change management and continuous process improvement. We discuss the features company’s should look for in their ATS, the value of having an RPO bring their system and how to get more out of the candidates already in your database.

RPOA: What are some of the characteristics of a good or bad ATS?

Mynt Consultants: A good ATS will have a variety of features. First, it will be easy to use -- one-click action and such. Second, it might include global capabilities like multiple language support for example. Third, with an ATS you typically have access to a dedicated implementation consultant with ongoing support.

On the flip side, a bad ATS can have multiple issues. A poor ATS can have a poor user experience, (e.g., too many pop-up windows which might get confusing when you’re juggling multiple activities.) Messy reporting can be another problem with a bad ATS. If the ATS does not have the ability to report accurately it becomes difficult to manage the data, which is one of the most important components of having an ATS. Lacking customized training- your ATS should be easy to understand; if the ATS vendor doesn’t offer customized training to meet specific needs, the client might be missing on the full benefits of the system.

What are some of the benefits of having an RPO provider bring an ATS along with them?

The RPO provider has ownership of the process and will work closely with the implementation manager to launch both the ATS and begin the RPO process at the same time. This will make for quicker turnaround times and smoother communication. The client gets to avoid multiple contracting processes when getting started.

What are some of the advantages of having the RPO client select an ATS instead of using one from the RPO partner?

When an RPO client selects their own ATS, they have a larger range of options. Instead of being limited by the ATS their RPO partner brings. In addition, there might be cheaper and more suitable ATS out there that fills the client’s needs.

Sometimes, clients might have an ATS in place but they aren’t using it effectively. What are some of the primary challenges you see clients having with their ATS?

There are plenty. One of the more common issues is that the client does not understand the tool. Being familiar with the system your team is using is really important. That’s what training is for. But sometimes, the client does not request training for the different user groups, either. That makes it hard for everyone to be on the same page. Other times, the client simply isn’t using the tool.

Another common issue is the failure to align the ATS system with the recruiting process. Sometimes, we see cases where the client simply does not have a firm handle on the process and is skipping steps; therefore, the data they gather is useless. However, the data collected are essential in process evaluation and continuous improvement, therefore they’re missing big value of using the ATS system.

Do you think that an RPO provider should be involved in a client’s career site development?

Yes. The RPO should be involved as a consultant to align the content of the positions to be posted so that they are all posted in the same way. Additionally, they can help keep the site aligned with the company’s branding and employment value proposition guidelines.

Final thoughts.

The right applicant tracking system (ATS) coupled with the right recruiting process, create a winning recipe for successful talent acquisition. In our discussion, Gonzalez shared some insights on ATS from a recruitment process outsourcing perspective. For information on the nine characteristics of a good ATS system, read this great article from Gonzales: “RPO Implementation - Technology is Recruitment’s Best Friend.

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About Mynt Consultants: Maru Gonzalez and Cynthia Cohen are co-founders of Mynt Consultants, a global RPO consulting agency offering RPO/Recruitment Project Management Services, particularly in Process Design and Engineering, ATS Implementation and Training, as well as Change Management and Continuous Process Improvement.  Learn more about Mynt Consultants

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