Interviewing is the most interesting and least automated part of the hiring process. This also means it’s the hardest and frequently the most poorly executed part as well. Unstructured interviews are no more likely to end with the right candidate than choosing a name from your shortlist at random.

An ATS can’t teach a hiring manager how to interview, but it can help them create an interview process that assists them in making an informed decision.

Interviews don’t begin on the day someone walks into your office. Done properly the hiring process has worked like a funnel ,you spoke to some candidates, you met a handful, now you want to work out which is the best of them to hire.

The support that the best applicant tracking software can deliver at this key phase is to streamline the scheduling of interviews and provide a rounded view of the candidate from sourcing or application, through screening and any assignment to the actual interview. It enables hiring managers to approach interviews in a structured and prepared manner.

Scheduling and communications with candidates goes from tangled to straightforward when your ATS integrates with your company email (typically with Gmail or Outlook) and calendar. Proper mail and calendar integrations ensure the right people are informed in a timely manner whether it’s the candidate who needs the time and location of an interview or phone screen, or if it’s the hiring team who need to know when an action is required.

The same is true for feedback that will inform the interviewer’s approach to each candidate. When all comments, notes, documents and communications are in one place a hiring manager can get up to speed in a fraction of the time an old-style briefing or a review of an email thread would otherwise take.

As well as time saving and automation, the benefit that the right ATS can deliver is a better candidate experience. As the hiring process has become more sophisticated it has begun to take longer. The “time to hire” means that in every hiring cycle you are losing qualified candidates because the interview process is taking too long.

US time to hire in 2015

25 Days

UK time to hire in 2015

27 Days

The best candidates are fielding multiple offers, or recent research suggests, losing interest in your company because they assume that the lack of response. The response times are critical for the candidate experience, which is where the streamlining, team tools and scheduling capabilities of an ATS can make the difference.

The hiring pipeline offered by an ATS enables hiring managers to keep track of how many candidates are in each stage and where bottlenecks may be developing. Advanced applicant tracking software can also warn you when a candidate has been left hanging for a certain number of days.

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