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Simply put, transforming your hiring process from a complicated, draconian slog to an efficient, more human series of events requires choosing the right applicant tracking system. Hiring software automates many facets of the hiring process including the online application process for job candidates. However, some employers still worry that they are going to push too far in terms of making the hiring process too robotic. After all, hiring people requires a human touch. It is not a process that can be (or should be) wholly automated. People hire people. At the end of the day, it’s about creating a balance. Smart employers are automating the touch points that should be automated and are personalizing the stages that require a human’s touch.

Every employer should be taking measures to make it easier for job applicants to actually complete the online application process. Start with your careers page. Avoid the overly harsh warnings to applicants (and recruiters for that matter), such as “You will be disqualified if you fail to fill out all of the information.” No one wants to be talked down to or treated like they are not worthy of working for you. Keep your careers page clean, simple and easy to navigate.

Make sure you are using an applicant tracking system that automatically parses contact information and other systematic fields throughout the process. This makes applying to jobs easier for applicants and gives them the impression that you are trying to provide the best tools from the beginning of the process. Make it easy for people to upload resumes from cloud storage and from mobile devices. And, finally, forget about making people create a user name and password to apply to jobs. Listen, the applicants that you want to hire are almost never going to come back and update their profile another time.

Not everyone who applies will be a great fit for a particular job position. In fact, employers pass on more candidates than they pursue. However, every job applicant should be acknowledged whether they are a fit or not. And, often times, they might be a better candidate for another position, or for the original position they applied for in the future. Never cut an applicant short and treat them disrespectfully. Ignoring them completely is a wasted opportunity. Whether or not they ever are chosen to work for your organization, you want to create a relationship with the individuals who apply. After all, these would-be applicants are potential customers and capable of spreading good or bad impressions and messages about your employer brand.

Make sure your auto-responder messages sound like they are coming from a human. How do you do this? Avoid passive statements. Instead be more direct in your messages. As for thank you messages, include these at each point of the process including for rejections. Preferably you want to use stage specific emails that customize communications for each applicant at each unique step of the hiring process (this is a very important feature to shop for when looking to upgrade your applicant tracking system – are the automated communications stage-specific?). Finally, use a personal signature with applicants who have reached the interview stage, i.e. phone or onsite interviews.

Listen, recruiting requires empathy. If you have interviewed lately, you know it’s stressful. Employers that provide plenty of helpful information, even logistical information, are reducing stress for applicants. For example, rather than sending a scheduling confirmation with only the date and time, go a step further. Job applicants will appreciate any advice they can get at this point in the game. Help them out by providing special instructions or directions so they aren’t fretting over the logistics of the interview. This will ensure your applicants are bringing their A-game rather than struggling to find the location of the interview.

Job candidates want to believe there is a human at the other end of your recruiting process. Be enthusiastic, friendly and warm at every possible juncture of the hiring process, whether you are setting up auto-messages or scheduling interviews. Remember the personality that you exude will directly effect the personality of the applicants that you want to attract and hire. Automate that what should be automated and otherwise…be human.

Ready to create a personable hiring process and still save time and maximize resources? Contact a Newton applicant tracking system expert today and learn more about integrated careers pages, applicant-friendly online applications, smart auto-responders, stage specific automated communications and more.


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