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5 Tips for Using an ATS to Build Great Teams

By: Dave Rietsema
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Any company that purchases an ATS is obviously trying to improve their hiring practices in the short term, but what is often taken for granted is that the ultimate goal is truly to build a great team. In order to most effectively use the ATS for hiring, it is important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

The following are a few tips that may help to ensure the ATS is going to boost the effectiveness of the team, not just get a few okay employees that will maintain the status quo. At heart, it is important to remember that the ATS is just a machine that helps recruiters do the job and is not a replacement for good hiring practices.

1. Staff to Cover Skills Gaps

To determine the required qualifications of the new employee candidates, the skills gaps in the organization should first be identified. Interviewing department managers and taking the time to analyze performance are often the best ways to assess the organizational strengths and weaknesses. The job listing, the job description, and the keywords applied to resume filtering should all be strategically geared towards filling these skills gaps.

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2. Consider Personality

Hiring for personality is important to making sure that a candidate will fit into the company culture and adapt easily. In some cases, hiring someone that does not have all of the needed skills, but shows a willingness to learn and a positive attitude may end up being more beneficial in the end. To this end, it may be helpful to beware of limiting the keyword filtering too much.

3. Plan and Recruit Ahead

One major mistake that many companies make is to hire at the last minute. Failing to plan ahead and hire in advance of needs puts companies in the position of needing a body in the spot, which is not conducive to building an optimal team. Hiring for future needs takes the pressure off of training and allows a company to really gauge fit.

4. Emphasize Interests

An employee that enjoys his or her job will usually be more productive and will be more likely to stay longer. Many employees acquire a certain skill set because they feel it will be beneficial for the future, but actually have a wide array of interests. By emphasizing interests and asking employees about hobbies right from the hiring stage, you may find that they are better suited for a different position than their skills indicate – which can be beneficial for both the company and the candidate.

5. Use ATS To Make Collaborative Hiring Decisions

Hiring should not be done by one person, as it is too easy to overlook potential strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, an ATS can make it easier to send resumes back and forth between key hiring staff, attaching notes and collaborating in a convenient and timely way. By using the ATS to its potential for collaborative hiring, you may speed up hiring processes while ensuring the efficacy of the system in helping to build strong teams.

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