3 ATS essentials for regulated employers
To recruit more efficiently we must reduce recruiting costs and improve hiring results at the same time. To spend less and achieve more is difficult without some level of automation and an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) could be the perfect solution. However, a bewildering set of features can lead any regulated employer such as a Care Provider, School or College to easily overlook some of the options that matter the most. Here, we cover 3 ATS essentials that regulated employers are advised to consider before purchasing an Applicant Tracking System.
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An Applicant Tracking System can be an great recruitment aid. It does lots of heavy lifting for you, but not every ATS is made to meet employer requirements. Most are built with recruitment companies in mind and very few are made for regulated employers.
A recruiter’s ATS helps to attract and deliver applicants to their customers for their consideration. However, employers distribute the correct details to the right staff members for shortlisting and manage the rest of the recruitment process through to start date.
- Regulated employers disassemble then share only certain information with line managers. HR officers may try to implement fair and consistent shortlisting by removing disability, criminal conviction, ethnicity, age, name and other personal information, for instance.
- Some employers like Care providers and Schools use application forms. Using a comprehensive application form can help employers avoid CV submissions altogether and stick to the details they need.
- Some employers have gone further; they score applicants to protect against accidental prejudice or favouritism.
Comparing an ATS for recruitment companies with an ATS for employers reveals quite a few differences. So, let’s get into the 3 ATS essentials for regulated employers. They should help you to avoid purchasing the wrong type of Applicant Tracking System.
ATS Essentials 1: Application Forms
Application forms help regulated employers to request and receive all of the information they need to support a job application. That information can include:
- Personal details
- Working history with any gap explanations
- Education history, including professional qualifications
- Personal statement
- Disability information to prepare any necessary adjustments
- Declaration of any personal relationship with a staff member
- Criminal conviction information
- Referee contact details
- Any questions that are specific to the advertised vacancy
- Declarations and Consents for GDPR purposes
Receiving consistent information from all applicants makes recruitment fairer and safer. It is well known that CVs can highlight good points and omit the not so good. Regulators like Ofsted advise that application forms help to avoid selective omissions by the applicant.
ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an ATS that gives you electronic application forms to suit your recruitment model. Truly flexible systems will give you the option of using electronic application forms because they can be completed online using a PC, Apple Mac, tablet or smartphone, all without additional technology. Some Applicant Tracking Systems will also allow you to deliver Microsoft Word documents to applicants so that they can complete and return them online. A few support both approaches in combination.
ATS Essentials 2: Information Sharing
During candidate shortlisting, some personal details should remain unavailable to people who are taking hiring decisions. Some of that information may be sensitive or could lead to unconscious bias during the selection process. Such information may include:
- Contact information, should HR feel that it is open to abuse
- Criminal convictions
ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an employer ATS that gives you control over the information that remains visible to hiring managers during shortlisting.
ATS Essential 3: Shortlisting Approach
The NSPCC advises that shortlisting should be carried out by at least 2 people. Following this guidance helps employers to confidently comply with fair recruitment practices. More and more employers are trying to remove unconscious bias from their recruitment process. It seems that two people are less likely to demonstrate equal bias when shortlisting. Further, safeguarding is always a concern for employers like Schools and Care Providers. All applicants must be properly scrutinised and two sets of eyes are better than one. Check out the safer recruitment guidance from the NSPCC to find out more.
ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an employer ATS that supports shortlisting with one or more managers. It’s a good idea to consider the following:
- Flexible shortlist criteria: So that the scheme or criteria can change from job to to job.
- Scoring scheme: to show which candidates are more suitable.
- Audit: So that completion and scores can be reviewed centrally to defend the final selection.
ATS Essentials: Summary
There are differences in the way recruitment companies and employers manage recruitment. Recruiters find jobseekers to present to employers. Employers must manage a robust selection process and that process must consider:
- fair recruitment practices and selection
- safer recruitment
Applicant Tracking Systems are purpose built for recruiters or for employers. Very few Applicant Tracking Systems are made for regulated employers.
Try to think about the way you recruit and consider which type of ATS you should be looking for. Check out our ATS Buyer’s Guide if you are considering purchasing an Applicant Tracking System