The job market is a fierce race. 

Talent is scarce and job opportunities are aplenty—making the competition for recruitment a constant struggle, no matter what size your business is. This is especially due to the fact that executive leadership’s goals are based around growth, and growth is so closely tied to recruitment.

But businesses need to do much more than simply bring in talent. They need to bring in the right talent. They need to be able to bring in someone who will not only make an impact but someone who is fully committed, and in it for the long run. 

But with so much competition, how are companies able to actually find this talent?

The answer could well lie within the HR department. 

The rise of technology within the HR sphere has redefined the role of a modern-day Human Resources team. With software making traditional HR responsibilities far more manageable through automation, the main focus of HR has shifted towards more people-based tasks.

Businesses that are committed to providing a better experience for candidates from ‘hire to retire’ are finding much more success within the recruitment market. By fostering a strong company culture and placing a series of ‘people-first’ strategies, businesses can become a far more attractive proposition for the modern employee—thereby taking a huge step forward toward winning the race for talent. 

But how can HR tech such as an ATS and HRIS help businesses get ahead? 

Let’s take a closer look.

What is an applicant tracking system?

Before we get into everything, you may be wondering how applicant tracking systems work—let us explain. 

An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is software that a company’s talent acquisition teams can use to keep track of candidates throughout the recruitment process. One of its largest boons is its ability to help simplify the entire hiring process by helping talent acquisition teams to sort through job applications and find the best-matched candidates. 

It is a sophisticated filing system that stores and organizes applicants’ information in a centralized database, helping to manage the entire recruitment process from start to finish—all in one system. 

The data that is gathered during the hiring process, both past and present, is stored on the ATS. This helps hiring managers to keep a detailed record of who exactly it is that they are targeting. 

An ATS tends to differ depending on the provider, but most offer features such as:

  • AI-based sourcing, receiving, and sorting of applications
  • Screening applicants
  • Storing resumes for easy access
  • Scheduling interviews 
  • Tracking candidates throughout the hiring process
  • Communication tools such as instant messaging or sending automated, customizable emails
  • Organizing paperwork for applicants

What is the difference between an ATS and an HRIS?

The key difference between an ATS and an HRIS is who it is used for, and who uses it.

An HRIS is used for a business’s current employees. It is a piece of software that integrates human resources and technology and works as a centralized system. It can be used to manage, store, and track all employee data that is relevant to the HR department. 

In the modern-day workplace, an HRIS is essential for HR to streamline its workflows as well as improve its overall people management and efficiency. It can also have a significant impact on the company culture as it will be the main way in which employees can interact with each other and HR.

This is in comparison to the ATS which is focused on potential hiring candidates rather than current employees. It is also used to manage, store, and track data, but for potential candidates instead of your current employees—making it a key tool for your talent acquisition teams. So, if your purpose is to recruit, then ATS software should be your choice. 

So, to put it simply:

  • An ATS is for applicants and used mainly by your talent acquisition teams.
  • An HRIS is for employees and used mainly by your HR department.

Unifying your HR tech

You would be forgiven for thinking that your ATS and HRIS should exist separately from each other. After all, one is for candidates and the other is for employees, so why should they be integrated? 

The value of connecting the recruiting process to the employee lifecycle lies in the ability to streamline the entire employee journey—all the way from hire to retire. 

Unifying your HR tech saves time, resources, and provides both prospective and current employees with the best possible experience. It also provides HR leaders with a whole range of valuable insights to help them hire efficiently and with a higher degree of success.

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The wonders of synergy

Modern businesses place a huge emphasis on data. They operate on the expectation that better data flows enable important information to be better shared and analyzed for all of the necessary strategic insights that can be gained. When it comes to HR teams, there is perhaps an even greater importance that their tech is connected to one another, rather than being siloed.

Having an integrated system brings planning, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and managing all together in one single place. This way, your hiring managers will have access to the entire recruiting and hiring process, making for a far more efficient and effective experience for both your recruiters and potential candidates. 

But the advantages of your ATS and HRIS working in unison don’t stop there. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that integrated HR tech brings. 

Decisions backed by data

There’s no getting away from the sheer value that data brings to HR and talent acquisition teams. Having an integrated system means that you can analyze and process data from both your candidates and your employees. This helps you to get far more informative insights about your current team, and your HR and hiring processes. 

For example, an integrated system can analyze your current team and spot any gaps or missing skillsets. This allows a business to make an educated assessment with all of the information that has been gathered and then create a data-backed job description that is tailor-made to find your perfect hire. Meaning you can effectively build your team and cover any potential weaknesses. 

63% of companies say that retaining employees is actually harder than hiring them. Meaning there is a huge amount of importance put into any information that can be gathered on employee retention rates. 

The data collected by your ATS and HRIS can be used internally to identify hiring managers who have a good track record of making hires who stay at your company for a long period of time—as well as hiring managers whose hires end up leaving after a short time with the company. 

This information can then be used to identify why certain hiring managers are falling short when it comes to longevity and provide additional training to try and fix any issues that have been highlighted. 

Creating an inclusive environment

DE&I is a vital part of any modern business—yet there is still a lot of room for improvement in businesses across the globe. In fact, the 2022 DE&I report by Affirmity found that just 45 percent of workers say that their workforce reflects the demographics of today’s market place, while just 30 percent of workers say that their business invest in understanding their pay equity gap to a high or very high degree. 

HR leaders should keep in mind that the use of technology by itself isn’t enough to fully execute a DE&I strategy, but there are still benefits that can come from an integrated HR system. Your HR tech can gather data which will help you to better understand and have an impact on the DE&I goals of your company. By making sure that you are targeting candidates with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, you’ll be able to create a far more inclusive environment within your organization and foster a stronger company culture.

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Streamlining the entire employee experience

The employee experience is a vital component of running a business. It affects everything from workplace happiness and productivity, to employee retention. Put simply, if an employee isn’t satisfied with their experience, they will look elsewhere. 

And this turnover doesn’t come cheap. According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends about $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new worker. 

And with only 13 percent of employees being fully satisfied with their experience, you’ll want to do all you can to make sure that you are giving your employees the best possible care. 

This is something that can be helped with an integrated system. By having all of your information in one place, you can develop and finetune your employee experience right from the get-go. Your integrated system can help you to find and hire the right employee, then take them through the entire onboarding process. 

This also frees up a huge amount of time for your HR team to spend on improving the overall employee experience—therefore leaving a great impression on current and potential employees. 

Sharing and transferring data with ease

Human beings aren’t perfect, and mistakes can happen—especially when it comes to data entry.

Issues can occur once a candidate has successfully moved through the hiring process if a company’s ATS isn’t fully integrated with its HRIS. This is because it isn’t possible to simply ‘drag and drop’ data from the ATS into the HRIS—all of this data must be manually entered from one system to the other. 

This opens up the possibility of data entry errors, and this can prove costly. In fact, these errors can cost businesses across the globe over $600 billion each year, and opens them up to potential compliance risks. 

Having a fully integrated system gives you the ability to directly transfer important data between systems—therefore increasing transparency, fluidity, and streamlining the overall entry process. 

Picking out patterns

Studying the data collected by your HR tech can give incredible insight into a number of key areas within your business. 

Unifying your HR tech gives you the ability to cross-reference between the two systems. This means that you can study your data and find useful patterns in your recruitment, which can end up having a sizable impact on key metrics such as productivity, satisfaction, and, perhaps most importantly—employee retention. 

While recruiters tend to focus on metrics like time-to-hire to measure their performance, a connected ATS and HR platform allows them to look beyond these metrics and into long-term results like the productivity of new hires, quality of new hires, retention rates, and top talent sources and interviewers. 

By having the ability to easily cross-reference your data through specific keywords, you can spot gaps and use this information to optimize your processes—and even analyze the impact of any changes that you make. 

Creating modern employee experiences

It would be fair to say that a company’s culture has always been important. It is the picture of your business that you give out to the world, and it affects your customers as well as your employees. But in the modern business world, any HR leader will know that the importance of instilling a clear and consistent company culture has only grown. 

The millennial generation currently accounts for around 35 percent of the global workforce, and by 2030 they will make up the majority at 75 percent. This generation places a huge amount of emphasis on company culture, and it can often be a deciding factor on what job offer they decide to take. In fact, company culture is an important factor for 46 percent of job seekers, while 88 percent say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success. 

A connected ATS and HR platform allows you to connect candidates to your unique company culture not only from day one, but throughout the entire employee journey. This enables candidates to get a taste of your organization and understand if you’re the right match for them—because after all, it’s just as much about them choosing you as it is you choosing them.  

ATS and HRIS: A match made in heaven

As you can clearly see, having an integrated, and fully streamlined HR stack can give your human resources team, as well as the overall business, endless advantages. 

Any HR leader will know the sheer importance of a consistent, fluid, and simple candidate and employee experience. Especially if a company wants to stay at the top of its game and be relevant in the modern market.

By integrating your ATS with your HRIS, you are improving your candidate’s experience, as well as making every step of the employee journey a strong one. It allows you to not only find the right candidate—but help secure them and then put them on the start of a long journey towards success. 

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Meet Bob

At HiBob, we’ve built a modern HR platform designed for modern business needs—today and beyond.

We focused on building something robust yet intuitive and easy to use, which has led Bob to be the platform of choice for thousands of fast-growing modern, mid-sized organizations. 

For HR it delivers automation for many common processes, allows greater oversight and visibility of the business, and centralizes all people data in a secure, user-friendly environment.

For managers, it provides access to data and insights to help them lead more effectively and streamline processes.

For people, it’s the tools and information they need to connect, develop, and grow throughout their journey.  

In a short time, Bob can be deployed to enable communication, collaboration, and connectivity that drives stronger engagement, productivity, and business outcomes.