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Why You Need an Applicant Tracking System During COVID

a supermarket employee wearing a covid mask

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Although applicant tracking systems were around long before SARS COV-2 turned the world upside down, they’re more useful now than ever before. From socially distanced interviews to new training practices, there has been a major overhaul to the way we work—and the way we hire. If you’re running a business, there’s only one option: adapt.

Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you change your onboarding program to make the new normal work for you. Here are a few specific situations where an ATS can help, especially during these difficult times:

If you have a massive influx of job applications

Business closures over the past year have seen increased unemployment rates, especially in the United States. If you’re hiring right now, there’s a good chance that any opening you post on job boards will have a massive influx of applicants. While that might seem great at first, many of those applicants won’t have the right qualifications. As a result, you’ll have to be even more vigilant about screening them.

Separating the wheat from the chaff takes time unless you have an applicant tracking system. With TimeForge ATS, you can easily screen applicants for relevant skills and qualifications. Using a predefined screening workflow is much more efficient, so you’ll have a better chance of interviewing the right people.

If you have new interview questions

In this new normal, you might find yourself hiring for different job positions than you’ve recruited for in the past. These days, restaurant owners might find they need more delivery drivers than servers. Retail stores might rely more on web development than on merchandising. This abrupt shift can make hiring managers feel at a loss about what questions to ask these new candidates. It also makes it easier to forget to check for necessary qualifications.

An applicant tracking system can help you formulate the questions you need to ask and build them into your process. You’ll make sure you ask candidates the right questions, even if you’re new to hiring for their skill set. That way, you’re not stuck wishing you had asked your new delivery driver about their driving record!

If you’re conducting remote interviews

OHSA recommends that businesses replace face to face communication with virtual meetings. If you haven’t already started hiring over Zoom or some other video call platform, it’s a good idea to start. Doing so will help create a company culture of respect for health guidelines.

How do you conduct remote interviews without compromising your talent acquisition process? Get more detail in other ways. It’s easy to record better notes with an applicant tracking system. For example, TimeForge gives you a way to organize your notes and rank candidates accordingly at each step of the interviewing process. You can share the information with other hiring managers, making it more efficient to collaborate on hiring.

If you need to provide PPE

One of the more significant changes that businesses have faced is that it’s now mandatory to provide on-site employees with PPE, or personal protective equipment. Customer-facing employees, like grocery store clerks or hotel receptionists, will need to use extra caution to ensure they comply with health guidelines. 

PPE isn’t easy to organize when you’re onboarding new employees, especially if you’re assigning a face shield or other equipment to different individuals. With an applicant tracking and onboarding system, you can record whether your interviewee is willing to wear PPE during the interview, and whether or not you’ve provided it to them during onboarding. Avoid human resources scuffles about PPE before they start by keeping records handy at all times.

If you’re supplementing your employee onboarding program

In the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new mandates about how workplaces can maintain healthy business operations. With new health checks, social distancing guidance, and new sanitization practices comes more training. As a result, you’ll have to fill your new hires in on these procedures when you’re onboarding them. 

Fortunately, recruitment software like TimeForge has custom workflows that let you create a step-by-step employee onboarding process for each new hire you bring on. This can help you make sure that employee engagement with new practices stays high, and that you’re complying with CDC guidelines.

An applicant tracking system not only streamlines your recruiting process, it also helps you make sure nothing falls through the cracks. This is especially crucial when you’re complying with public health guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe. It’s been a long and difficult year, especially for business owners. But having an applicant tracking system during COVID is a way to reduce the burden. What’s better – it’s an investment that will continue to benefit your business well after COVID has ceased to be a problem.

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