The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Applicant tracking systems can help employers with their campus recruiting needs. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 30, 2017 by

How to use your applicant tracking system for college recruiting success


It’s no secret the advancement of technology has changed the recruiting game. The use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) – software applications that enable the electronic handling of a company’s recruitment needs – are responsible for the technological recruiting revolution. As outlined by ICIMS, a provider of cloud-based hiring solutions, ATS recruitment “allow organizations to collect and store candidate and job related data and track and monitor the process of candidates through all stages of the hiring process.”

ATS recruitment is designed to enhance the overall recruiting experience for both recruiters and candidates. But forward-thinking employers recruiting recent college grads focus on the job seeker’s needs – the candidate experience – first.

“It’s important to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply,” said Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, which uses BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite. “If your application is a time intensive process, people will drop out during the process or might not even try at all.”

There is some rationale for using the ATS to collect as much info as reasonably possible, including screening and ranking questions, but none of that matters if the candidate doesn’t hit “submit” adds Mayer.

“Interaction with the ATS could be the applicant’s first step in the candidate experience and can set the tone for a great, or poor candidate experience,” says Mayer.

What’s unique about applicant tracking systems is how they allow recruiters and hiring managers to customize their ATS for specific jobs, roles and even events. For example, a recruiter or hiring manager working a college recruiting fair or campus job fair could fully customize their ATS with functionality solely for that specific campus career fair, or hiring event.

SmartRecruiters is one example that allows recruitment marketing and collaborative hiring in the cloud. Bjorn Eriksson, Chief Marketing Officer of SmartRecruiters, offers some unique examples of how employers can customize an ATS for an event such as a college recruiting fair or campus job fair:

  • Prepare: Know which positions you are actively trying to fill. Be sure the representatives working the booth are familiar with the open positions and hard-to-fill niche career opportunities so they can speak to them when engaging with students. With some ATS’s, like SmartRecruiters, you can publish event specific job ads tailored for college job fairs.
  • Qualify: Prepare questions or a brief interview to pre-qualify applicants. Prepare questions to ask those who express an interest in your company to pre-qualify them. “It’s also a great opportunity to focus on providing meaningful information to students,” says Eriksson. “Don’t just recruit them, but ask their opinions, offer relevant advice and see if they are really a good match.” Make sure to capture students’ contact information so that you can continue the dialogue.
  • Connect: Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event. While the impression is still fresh, group your candidates into: Best matches, possible matches, and no matches. View each candidate as a potential customer or future client, and tailor your follow up message to each group.

Ultimately though, the success – or failure – an individual or employer has with the ATS isn’t solely technology-based, says Saïd Radhouani, Ph.D., co-founder of Nextal, a collaborative applicant tracking system.

“I believe that the ultimate success depends on how the ATS is used, and not on how it’s set up,” said Radhouani. “Yes the implementation and functionality has an impact, but even if the setup is good, it doesn’t mean that recruiters won’t make mistakes.”

When a recruiter starts using a new ATS, they often won’t understand all the features and functionality, says Radhouani. As time goes on, they sometimes fail to learn new functionalities, and don’t maximize the systems capabilities. So recruiters within the same organization who use the same system should meet monthly to collaborate and share experiences, functionalities, and tips on how to best optimize their applicant tracking system.

“Recruiters should also attend webinars put on by the ATS vendor,” said Radhouani. “If recruiters know other colleagues from different companies who are using the same ATS, reach out to them to see how they are using it to ensure they are getting the most out of their ATS.”

And if the ATS vendor has a community forum, be active in the forum, ask questions and provide feedback.

Recruiters should be sure to measure success – and failure – in their recruiting by using the analytics/metrics capabilities of their ATS.

“Most modern applicant tracking systems have analytics capabilities that provide very insightful metrics about the entire recruiting process,” says Radhouani. “If a recruiter doesn’t measure what they do, they’ll never know whether they’re improving their productivity or not.”

Over time, recruiters and hiring managers get frustrated if an ATS is not user-friendly, doesn’t have specific functionality and capabilities, and does not help enhance the recruiting process. Applicant Tracking Systems are not all equal, and as hiring managers move from company to company, and use different systems, they can find pluses and minuses of each system they use. The key however, is to take advantage of the functionality of the system that is in place, find what works, and align your recruiting needs with the capabilities of the system.

“If you don’t have what you love, love what you have,” said Radhouani. “Every ATS has its good and bad sides. Recruiters should focus on the good side and work with the ATS, not against it.”

Mayer agrees.

“Really embrace the entire suite of options your ATS provides,” says Mayer. “Automate where appropriate and make sure the ATS provides a candidate experience that aligns line with your employment brand.”

Want to learn more about latest recruiting trends? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted January 26, 2015 by

Study shows ATS block 86-94% of those trying to apply

Most popular applicant tracking systems, as ranked by OnGig

Most popular applicant tracking systems, as ranked by OnGig

Human resource departments have always understood the need to efficiently manage the flow of information about people who want to work for our organizations.

Several decades ago the need for efficiency led to the popularization of applicant tracking systems and those have allowed employers to greatly reduce their costs-per-hire, time-to-hire, and ability to defend themselves in lawsuits. That’s all good but with the good often comes some bad.

At niche job board College Recruiter, we see ATS from the vantage point of our employer clients as well as the millions of actively searching recent grads and students who use our site and more passive candidates who we reach via targeted email, targeted mobile banner, and targeted display ad campaigns. As you might expect, many of them get pretty frustrated and the most highly qualified and therefore most sought after candidates tend to give up because, well, they can. (more…)

Posted February 18, 2013 by

College Recruiting Bootcamp at LinkedIn Head Office on May 13, 2013

LinkedIn head office

LinkedIn head office

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, and, the leading niche job board for college students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities, co-hosted a half day, college recruiting conference on Monday, May 13th at LinkedIn’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The event was a smashing success. We expected 75 and ended up with a whopping 205 attendees. Feedback from presenters, attendees, and organizers was 100 percent positive. Indeed, Kaiser Permanente’s National University Relations Recruitment Specialist Luke Scanlon wrote to me after the event, “I wanted to personally thank you for hosting such an incredible event. I flew out from Atlanta, GA and it was well worth the cross country flight.” That made my day.

No Selling

During the keynote and presentations there was absolutely no selling of any kind. There was no exhibit hall. There were no sponsors. All presenters and attendees were corporate or government recruiting and human resource professionals. No third party recruiters. No career service office professionals. No vendors. Just peers. (more…)

Posted May 02, 2012 by

Free Publicity for Small Businesses Who Are Hiring

Smart Recruiters Got Jobs landing pageI recently teamed up with my friends over at SmartRecruiters, the free, web-based applicant tracking system, on their Got Jobs? initiative to help put America back to work.

The initiative is designed to help create one million jobs in the U.S. by simplifying the hiring process while celebrating the heroes who are hiring new employees despite today’s difficult economic times. More than 12.7 million Americans are unemployed, yet according to Bersin and Associates, 80 percent of businesses report difficulty hiring, and 3.5 million U.S. jobs are currently left unfilled. If these positions were filled, the unemployment rate in the U.S. would be an estimated three percentage points lower than what it is today.

“We live in an increasingly connected world. Hiring should be fast, easy and social; not lengthy, painful and expensive like it is today,” said SmartRecruiters Founder and CEO Jerome Ternynck. “Through the Got Jobs? Campaign, we and our partners are seeking to make it easier than ever before for companies to hire, grow their businesses and strengthen the economy. We are laser-focused on creating one million U.S. jobs. We welcome everyone to join our Got Jobs? crusade and the Zero Unemployment Movement.”

The Got Jobs? campaign honors the people, business owners and managers who are creating jobs. In recognition of those job creators, SmartRecruiters created the “I Hired” Badge. The “I Hired” Badge can be displayed on a company’s website or Facebook profile and represents to its fans and followers that the business has created a job in 2012. This social campaign encourages the public to consider whether a company is driving our economy forward by asking a simple question: “Got Jobs?”

As part of the campaign, SmartRecruiters has created a series of custom landing pages (see above) featuring business owners who have hired in the past year.  Visitors to the page see a changing series of business owners who have made hires, and invites the visitor to create an additional job right then and there.

Would you be willing to have your face/name/company name/number of recent hires included on one of these pages?  It will lead to some good exposure for your brand.  Post a comment below if you’re interested.

Best Regards,

Steven Rothberg, Founder and President

Posted October 05, 2011 by

How to Write an Effective Job Posting Ad

By David Smooke

The importance of a well written job ad cannot be underestimated. The job ad is your direct medium of communication with a candidate. In reading, a potential candidate quickly forms a lasting impression of your company culture and how that potential candidate envisions daily life at your workplace.

Writing an good job ad optimizes your sourcing investments. I cannot emphasis enough that time spent on writing a good job ad is money saved in your short and long term recruiting budget. A good job ad will reduce time to hire and increase duration of employment. In writing your job ad, I have four broad strokes of advice (followed by a guide on how to optimize each section of a job ad): (more…)