ATS Value

Relationships key to getting most from technology.

ATS Value

UK & Europe

New research from Bullhorn and Herefish has studied how staffing and recruiting firms could proactively engage their candidates in order to help address today’s talent shortage.

Herefish, the company that helps deliver the ROI on candidate engagement and Bullhorn have found unlocking competitive advantage through better candidate relationships means staffing and recruiting firms are 63 per cent more likely to have their applicant tracking system (ATS) be their top source of hire over outside sources. The research from 500 staffing and recruiting firms across various industries and skillsets says most companies rely heavily on outside sources such as job boards and LinkedIn because they provide steady flows of candidates actively seeking jobs. However, candidate relationships are more important than active searches. Eighty per cent of firms acknowledged that proactively engaging their candidates is valuable to their overall business, and 83 per cent of respondents believed their ATS data is valuable.

“Finding enough qualified talent is the number one problem facing recruiters and employers,” said Jason Heilman, co-founder of Herefish, a Bullhorn Marketplace partner. “By proactively engaging with their talent pool, staffing and recruiting firms have an opportunity to leverage their own databases to identify the top talent in their markets. Strengthening candidate relationships helps firms create a competitive advantage in the global fight for talent. In the current candidate climate, firms can’t just search their databases for long-forgotten candidates and expect to hire them. Regularly nurturing these candidates not only keeps relationships warm, but also alerts recruiters for when they might be ready for a new opportunity.”


When asked about the methods used to proactively engage candidates, 59 per cent of respondents said email is the most effective communication channel, but only 32 per cent of firms said they regularly send emails. Eighty-four pe cent of respondents admitted that email marketing to candidates would be valuable.

The research also suggested that many staffing and recruiting firms aren’t proactively engaging with candidates in their databases because marketing departments typically manage this type of proactive communication.

Only 44 per cent of firms reported that they have a full-time marketer or marketing department and 14 per cent don’t market at all. When there isn’t a full-time staff marketer, the marketing functions fall on busy executives (38 percent), operational employees (21 per cent), recruiters and salespeople (19 per cent), and outsourced resources (8 per cent). Companies with a marketer are 86 per cent more likely to regularly send emails and 42 per cent more likely to have a formal referral programme in place, providing more opportunities to deepen candidate relationships.

The research also supplemented one of the findings about leveraging existing candidate databases that Bullhorn reported in its recent “2017 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: Above and Beyond Business as Usual.” Sixty-six percent of North American staffing and recruiting firms said they make more than 25 percent of their total placements from candidates already in their ATS and 38 per cent of firms fill more than 50 per cent of positions from candidates in their ATS.



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