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How a Best-of-Breed Applicant Tracking System Delivers a Better Recruiter Experience

Employee experience, customer experience, user experience – we live in an experience-driven world. In talent acquisition, we often think about how an applicant tracking system can create a better candidate experience, but less about the recruiter experience. 

The recruiters’ experience is intimately tied to technology. By the time a candidate is hired, a recruiter might have used sourcing tools, job boards, a CRM, matching technology, a recruitment marketing platform, an applicant tracking system, email, chat, video conferencing, e-signatures, background checking, and reference checking. 

Despite the efforts of companies to apply technology to solve recruiting problems, Aptitude Research found that only 48% of recruiters are satisfied with recruitment technology, compared to 78% of TA and HR leaders. This massive gap suggests that TA leaders look for the wrong things when choosing recruitment technology.

satisfaction with applicant tracking system experience

An Advanced ATS Attracts the Best Recruiters

In a quest to find out just how much of an impact technology has on the recruiter experience, I interviewed Brandi Richardson, the contract recruiter who brought me into SmartRecruiters. An experienced recruiter who has worked with multiple applicant tracking systems, Brandi has turned down job offers to recruit for companies that use an outdated ATS. 

“It would make my job ten times more difficult to use an applicant tracking system that is not technically advanced and has to integrate with too many other platforms to function,” Brandi said. “That kind of inefficiency doubles or triples the amount of time it takes to fill a role.” 

As a recruiter who wants to feel successful, Brandi sets herself up for that success by choosing to work with companies with the technology that makes her job easier. Aptitude Research findings suggest that Brandi is not alone: one in two recruiters would join another organization if it had better technology. And 60% of recruiters surveyed stated that the greatest frustration with technology is poor integration.

That’s exactly why Brandi accepted a contract role with SmartRecruiters over one with another company. Not only would she be recruiting people who were passionate about helping SmartRecruiters fulfill its mission to make hiring easy, but she would also be using our full-scale talent acquisition suite.  “I was excited about using an enterprise-grade ATS,” she said. “I figured if they created it, it would make my life much easier.” 

Keys to a Better Recruiting Experience

Every recruiter must adapt processes to the way their hiring teams function. Therefore, each one will likely find different ATS features more appealing than others. Here are just a few of the ways Brandi found that SmartRecruiters made her job easier:

  • Bulk actions. After reviewing a group of applications, a recruiter can send rejection emails all at once, and automatically delay them if desired.
  • Calendar integration and self-scheduling. Recruiters and hiring managers indicate their availability, and the candidate receives a link to self-schedule  interviews.
  • Streamlined UX. Instead of spending time jumping from window to window to view information and complete tasks, SmartRecruiters provides comprehensive views on one screen.
  • Candidate experience. When a candidate has a great experience — from applying to scheduling interviews and receiving an offer – the recruiter is more likely to have a great experience. Brandi said, “every candidate I met with had a really good experience with the SmartReccruiters system.”

Benefits of a Best-of-Breed Applicant Tracking System

Added features are great, but what does all that saved time allow recruiters to do? Here are a few of the benefits of providing recruiters with a great technology experience.

Improved Recruiter Productivity

Did SmartRecruiters fulfill Brandi’s expectation of making her life easier? It did. “I learned that using an enterprise applicant tracking system that’s fully integrated with all of the tools needed to process candidates and schedule interviews truly increased the number of requisitions I could handle at once,” she said. “The streamlined system improves communications with candidates, reduces time spent per role, and increases the chance of filling the job on time.”

  • SmartRecruiters customers reported a 42% increase in their ability to fill jobs on time.

More Time to Build Relationships

From my perspective as a former candidate, the SmartRecruiters ATS helped Brandi in the way that mattered most: freeing up her time to build a relationship with me. I was interviewing with several companies simultaneously, and no other recruiter engaged with me in the ways she did: prepping me for interviews, listening to my career goals, and selling me on the opportunity. 

When 50% of recruiters want more time to engage with candidates, it’s paramount for TA leaders to give them a system that allows them to do just that. 

  • SmartRecruiters is proven to boost recruiter productivity: a survey of nearly 6,000 customers found that recruiters spent 43% more time on relationship building.

Job Fit: Where the Recruiter Experience and the Candidate Experience Meet

Hiring great people matters – and timing is everything. In my case, three weeks passed between my initial application and receipt of an offer letter. That was record time in my professional career – and the offer letter arrived one day before I was likely to receive another offer. I might not be writing this article if Brandi and the team had been slogging back and forth while reviewing applications and coordinating schedules. Hiring teams empowered with the right tools can make decisions quickly.

  • SmartRecruiters customers reported that the proportion of new hires that are a strong fit with their job increased by 44%.

Don’t believe us? See for how our applicant tracking system can power a better recruiter experience and candidate experience all at once.

Lee Ann Prescott

Content marketing lead for SmartRecruiters