Back to Blog 5 Ways to Use Your ATS To Improve Your Candidate Experience by Bob McHugh on February 8th, 2019 When it comes to the candidate experience, the “Why?” is the simple part. You probably know why it’s more important than ever to engage and satisfy candidates. The tricky part is the “How?” How do you turn candidate experience ambitions into reality? Your applicant tracking system (ATS) is a great place to start. Here are fives ways you can use your ATS to directly impact the candidate experience. 1) Text your candidates If you want to make your candidates’ lives easier, reach out to them through the mediums they use most frequently. For just about everyone, that means using SMS. If you have an urgent message for your candidates, a text is a great way to guarantee that they’ll receive it. While email has a 20 percent open rate, text messages have an incredible 98 percent open rate. That’s higher than the percentage of people who like chocolate, beer, or ice cream! The best applicant tracking systems will offer SMS integration so that you can send and receive text messages quickly through your ATS. As an added bonus, your ATS will automatically track your text activity as part of your communication history with the candidate. 2) Personalize your emails Starting your email, “Dear candidate” is a surefire way to show your candidates you don’t care. But if there’s any enemy of great candidate communication, it’s time. You may want to write great personal letters to every candidate, but to do so for each candidate at an appropriate frequency would take a thousand lifetimes. The solution? Use an ATS system with a mass mailing tool. The mass mailing function allows you to reach many candidates with one message, and it uses the data from your applicant tracking system so you can personalize each message with minimal extra effort. 3) Reach out at the right time So much of the candidate-recruiter relationship depends on time. When should you reach out to a candidate? How long is too long to follow up? How frequently should you check in with a successfully placed candidate? An applicant tracking system with predictive intelligence takes out the guess work so your recruiters can reach out to candidates at the appropriate time. 4) Streamline the onboarding process The candidate experience doesn’t end with the placement. If the onboarding experience for the candidate is miserable, she’ll remember. A lot can go wrong with the onboarding process: communication can die down, paperwork can slow down the process, and in worst case scenarios, candidates will fall off in the time between the offer and the start date. Use an ATS with onboarding integration to get rid of the paperwork that can make starting a new job needlessly difficult. 5) Fix molehills before they become mountains You don’t need to be a mind reader if your ATS software can be one for you. If you leverage an applicant tracking system with predictive intelligence, it will alert you to candidates that need special attention. You’ll receive notifications when specific words are used in emails, so you can prioritize your outreach and ensure that you are addressing candidate issues as they arise. Want to take a deeper dive into the world of applicant tracking systems? Check out the ATS Buyer’s Guide for everything you need to know to make a worthwhile investment in your staffing firm’s future.