While those of you who came up in TA or HR in the early 2000s may have a little bit of a sweet spot for the “traditional” ATS, let’s be honest: its best days are behind us.
The traditional ATS has a rigid, rule-based approach that lacks ease of use for candidates and hiring leaders alike. Want a personalized experience? Want to easily apply to frontline jobs in a few minutes? Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
A “conversational” ATS is different. It leverages the latest artificial intelligence and automation to create seamless experiences for all.
Instead of the pains of working with a system that hasn’t changed much in two decades, a conversational approach is like visiting your favorite coffee shop. They know your order, it feels familiar, and the experience feels like it was made for you.
What else can a conversational ATS do that traditional ATS can’t? We have five differentiators.
1. They get to candidates better and faster
Speed and ease are key to attracting high-demand, frontline employees. Make it difficult to apply and you’re going to be fighting high abandonment rates. Organizations that need candidates yesterday can’t make people jump through hoops like circus performers.
With a conversational ATS, candidates can pre-qualify for a position in a minute and apply in two minutes via text. And because these processes are automated by an AI they can happen 24/7, not just when your hiring managers are available.
UOB, a leading bank in Asia, reduced their time to hire by 50% with conversational software (try doing anything in two minutes on a traditional ATS). A global leader in quick-serve restaurants was able to cut their time to hire from two weeks to four days.
2. They speak your language, whether it’s “Hello” or “你好”
Traditional ATSs often do have multiple languages. They might have a handful of Western languages or they might be more ambitious and have a dozen or two available for organizations to use (as long as you don’t change too much).
But with a conversational ATS, candidates can apply in over 100 languages. No, there’s not an extra zero in there. This widens the candidate pool significantly without any extra work from the hiring organization. With demand for bilingual workers more than doubling in recent years, this flexibility is vital to creating seamless experiences for every candidate.
A conversational ATS also makes the experience even more immersive and personal for the candidate while helping them stay comfortable and confident through the hiring process.
3. They don’t require candidates to have an account
Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate. You get excited about a role you see on your phone, tap on apply and the first thing you’re met with is a registration page for some ATS you’ve never heard of. Sounds terrible, right?
With a conversational ATS, candidates don’t have to jump into a traditional ATS to apply for a job. Instead, candidates apply through text and don’t have to leave that experience. One trucking company was able to drive an overwhelmingly positive candidate experience that was available 24/7 and still reduced cost per hire by 90%.
What does that mean for hiring? Because a conversational ATS is so easy to use, 85% of candidates qualify, apply, and schedule an interview in less than an hour. With candidates being able to manage it all on their own schedule, wherever they are, the process is good for them and for organizations.
4. They save money instead of spending it
Let’s face it: Traditional ATSs can be expensive. In between the costs, the inefficiencies, and all of the solutions (and people!) you have to add to make it work well, the budget really begins to skyrocket.
But a conversational ATS actually helps you save money. For Southern Rock Restaurants, their conversational ATS was able to reduce their paid advertising spend by 70% and reduced turnover by more than 60%. In one year with a conversational ATS, they will have saved over $840,000 in recruitment costs and increased their candidate flow by more than 50,000. Instead of having to hire more hiring managers to manage the process, they ended up saving massive costs and freeing up hiring managers to spend more time on the floor with customers.
So not only is the technology saving time and reducing headaches for hiring teams, it’s also impacting the bottom line of the business — and it’s doing it almost instantly. That’s something a traditional ATS could never replicate.
5. They're more personal and actually generate smiles (thousands of them)
With a traditional ATS, it’s on the candidate to do everything. It’s very obviously not a humanized experience. Filling out forms? Clicking yes or no dozens of times? Uploading a resume only to fill out the same information yet again.
No wonder it feels so rigid.
With a conversational ATS, you’re having, well, a conversation. Whether it's on a website or via text, you get to have an experience that feels natural. So, because it feels like a conversation — because that’s exactly what it is — it’s natural for people to respond in a conversational way, like with a smile emoji (our conversational assistants received 23,000 ☺️ emojis last year). Companies that use conversational ATS platforms end up getting all kinds of positive responses and emojis from candidates, often because they think the AI on the other end is an actual human.
There’s nothing more personal than that.