Most talent acquisition professionals would agree that the ATS system that they are using doesn't really provide a lot of useful information back to the recruiter. It simply processes the applicant.
The reason for this is that at its core, the design of the ATS model is not built to help recruiters actually recruit. Recruiting occurs prior to an application record being created and an ATS starts it’s job after the applicant record has been created.
Once it starts to track the applicant, in technical terms, it uses a “flat” data model and not a “relational” data model. Because it is flat, it is not set up for future recruiter use in a good analytical way.
One thing that I do is take flat ATS data and convert it into a relational model. Specifically, in regards to competitors, it tracks company names, locations, and industries of what companies applicants are coming from.
In addition, it tracks how far each of the applicants (along with their current employer) go in the hiring process and specifically to which job requisitions, job family and to which hiring managers. The more data we get the better the process gets and the more the recruiter learns about the manager’s “appetite."
Essentially, determining candidate quality on all applicants and not just on those that got hired. Too many companies just look at the history of those that got hired. I think they are leaving a lot of food on the table by doing this.
Start to associate applicants, their professions, their locations, their employers and their job interests and align this information up against your competitors. In other words, start to talent map the most likely locations and companies that will result in on-site interviews for your requisitions and subsequently hires.
Move from anecdotal stories from one recruiter to another about where to find the best talent, to a data driven program that is based upon real information that occurred within your companies hiring process. Again, the longer the program is ran… the better the predictability becomes.
Once you start to compile and organize all of this ATS data in a more understandable and actionable way, the recruiter begins to have what I call "go forward” information.
It is great to have information about what worked in the past and what did not work in the past, but if you do not apply this information in making decisions to what you do in the future… all the reporting in the world is not going to improve you're recruiting program.
Past successes in your ATS should drive the targeting in your sourcing program. You can also use it to begin to build “libraries” of candidate lists that your data has determined as targeted talent.
After Talent Pipelines, these libraries of candidates (name, title, company, email, location) should be your second step in your sourcing process in regards to outbound engagement.