The ATS And Remote Hiring: Adapting The System For Virtual Recruitment

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Remote working and recruitment are at an all-time high as we’re witnessing a shift in the working landscape. People are wanting to work remotely and companies are adapting to hiring and working with their employees online.

56% of hiring managers believe that the shift to remote work has gone better than expected. 

This has been possible with online tools such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that help both companies and candidates adapt to the remote hiring process smoothly.

Let’s take a look at how these hiring systems have shaped the remote hiring process and how candidates and companies can make the most of them.

The ATS and remote hiring: adapting the system for virtual recruitment

An ATS is a software solution that electronically performs various hiring and recruitment processes, the primary one being tracking every candidate through the hiring process for better management.

ATS and remote hiring

The following are some of the key features of the software solution:

  • Post job openings on various job portals.
  • Manage the applications received through various channels.
  • Filter applicant profiles for best matches.
  • Conduct tests of candidates and derive results from them.
  • Manage interviews of candidates.
  • Create and manage a talent pool by sourcing candidates through different channels. 

An ATS keeps everything in place for the companies to create a talent pool and match candidates to jobs more efficiently.

It aims to provide valuable experiences to the candidates that apply to a company by nurturing a positive relationship with them, regardless of whether they get hired or not.

Given below are some tips and strategies to help candidates and hiring managers adapt to the ATS and get the most out of their virtual hiring experience.

1. Adapt to the ATS resume format

Due to its ease of use and stellar performance, most major companies are using an ATS for hiring today. It’s simply the need of the hour for candidates to adapt to the ATS-generated hiring process to land their dream jobs. 

Your resume is the most important element of your candidature for a job. You need to make sure that it follows an ATS-compliant resume format to bypass an ATS, let alone make it to a hiring manager.

No matter how well-crafted or attractive your resume is, it will never impress a hiring manager when it can’t reach them. It’s important to follow a format that adheres to the screening of an ATS to make sure it’s read correctly by it and sent forward. 

Adapt to the ATS resume format

Whatever you wish to include to make your resume better or make it stand out, you need to include it within the confines of an ATS format. Don’t worry,  ATS-friendly resumes offer ample room to play around with styles to help you create a unique resume.

Here are some aspects you need to take care of to make sure your resume is ATS-compliant:

1. Pick a format

There are three different formats commonly used in ATS-friendly resumes:

  1. Reverse-chronological resume — It lists the most recent and relevant things first, making your timeline look more structured.
  2. Functional resume — This format puts the focus on different skills you possess and is usually used when the candidate doesn’t have a lot of experience to present.
  3. Combination resume — A combination format blends both skills and experience to present a wholesome picture of your career thus far.

The most suited format for an ATS would be the reverse-chronological resume. Since it lists the most recent and relevant things first and focuses on experience, it makes it easier for the software to pick relevant keywords.

2. Keep it succinct

You don’t want your resume to be too wordy. Choose a simple layout and only write as much as is needed to convey the information. Don’t use full sentences as they add to the word count. Instead, use broken-up sentences and highlight the useful information over filler words.

3. Use a PDF format

The PDf file type preserves the formatting to make the resume appear as intended. Any other file type such as DOCX, or RTF runs the risk of losing its original formatting when mediums change. It’s possible that the ATS will not pick the desired keywords as a result of this.

4. Don’t style it too much

While it’s tempting to style your resume to give it a unique touch, it carries the risk of interfering with the ATS’ reading of your document.

The ATS is going to convert every file into a text-only format, so over-styling your resume serves no purpose other than interfering with the ATS’ reading of it.

2. Utilize EOR services

Post pandemic, the shift to global remote teams have made it possible for companies to access a larger talent pool, reduce labor costs, and increase innovation.

It’s here where hiring an EOR services partner will be the perfect solution to gain significant advantages in this talent acquisition (TA) landscape. 

Here’re some of the critical businesses it can handle for the hiring company: 

  • Tax and payroll management
  • Compliance monitoring 
  • Strategic consultation 
  • HR administration 

3. Make the process completely remote

The challenge for companies in going remote with their hiring is transporting their in-person hiring processes to an online setting while keeping their essence intact. Many companies make the mistake of solving this issue by making separate channels for online and offline hiring.

make the process remote

This has quite a few drawbacks:

  • It increases your workload as you now need to maintain two separate hiring channels.
  • You need to set up different processes for both channels that can often interfere with each other. 
  • It can cause confusion for hiring managers as well as candidates.

The more efficient solution to this is to have only one hiring process that is entirely remote. This may take a bit of work but it will serve you well in the long run. You will have the same process for every candidate, job opening, and hiring, regardless of whether the candidates are physically present or not. 

Some key benefits of going completely remote with your hiring are

  • Streamlining the process for all kinds of recruitment.
  • Making the process accessible to both offline and online hiring.
  • Helping you scale your hiring to a global level.
  • Allowing you to hire the most suitable person regardless of their physical location.
  • Keep a comprehensive record of candidate details by having everything safely stored digitally. 

5. How a Japan-based company went global with its hiring by adapting an ATS

Autify is a Tokyo-based test automation company that has its entire workforce online. Its hiring procedure was based on manual spreadsheets and other offline hiring procedures.

While it worked when it was only operating in Japan, it became a cause of concern when it wanted to scale itself globally.

The company opted for an ATS. It tremendously helped them:

  • streamline hiring processes, 
  • screen candidates, and 
  • target different roles and locations with ease.

The shared, intuitive interface allowed different recruiters to work in tandem and plan their operations accordingly. 

4. Provide a valuable experience to your candidates

As a company looking to hire candidates, it’s important to value them and provide them with valuable experience with you.

Provide a valuable experience to your candidates

An ATS helps you do just that with its intuitive and targeted approach. 

It allows you to maintain relationships with each and every candidate that applies for a job with your company, during and after the process is over, regardless of whether they pass it or not.

  1. It lets the candidate know their status in the process at all times. They can look it up themselves and the ATS will send notifications well. It removes unnecessary communication, misunderstanding, and anxiety. 
  2. It gives the assurance to the candidate that they will be judged fairly and equally against their competitors and no biases are at play in the process.
  3. If they are selected for tests and interviews, the ATS takes care of the process, making sure they’re conducted timely and in a fair manner.
  4. If they pass the process and join the company, the ATS will help them with onboarding, making the transition seamless.
  5. If they’re not selected, the ATS will inform them about it and keep further communication with them in case they could be hired for a future job.

5. Build a talent pool

An effective practice to strengthen your hiring process is to build a large talent pool. 70% of the workforce is a passive talent who isn’t actively searching for a job. 

By building a strong talent pool, you can attract top talent with ease. 

An ATS helps you both create and manage a talent pool by nurturing positive relationships with your past and present candidates. This makes the candidates feel valued and more receptive to an offer from you in the future. 

Candidates, on the other hand, should not pass up the opportunity to be a part of a talent pool as it helps you attract well-suited jobs in the future. It keeps an option open for a better position without putting in much effort.

Use the workings of an ATS to your aid and boost recruitment

An ATS is a boon for modern hiring. As useful as it is, many companies and candidates are sometimes not able to make the most of it. 

To make yourself equipped to use an ATS, take some time to learn about its features. Candidates should look to structure their resume in a way that is easily read by an ATS. 

Companies, on the other hand, should seek to streamline hiring with the use of an ATS as well as provide valuable experiences to the candidates.

Let us know in the comments what you think are the best ways to make the most of an ATS for efficient hiring.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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