The transition from academia to the professional world can be both exciting and overwhelming for recent graduates. Leaving university and grasping the opportunity to join the workforce is a milestone in the lives of these young people. A first step on that career ladder.

For businesses engaged in graduate recruitment, it can be equally exciting and anxious. As with hiring any new employees, it can be a test of their recruitment and onboarding processes. An opportunity to learn if their offices and cultures are ready for more Gen Z employees.

We’ve spoken before about our tips for hiring graduates. If there is one additional tip we can offer to recruiters looking to hire and onboard candidates out of university, its all about the recruitment and onboarding software that you use to fill these graduate jobs.

Offering graduate jobs will mean an influx of new hires, who will have their own set of expectations for what the workplace will be. That is why onboarding is so crucial – it sets the tone for what their experience will be like working for your company. A sense of belonging is allegedly one of the top concerns for Gen Z candidates leaving university and joining the world of work. That sort of employee experience begins before day one in their new roles. It must start with onboarding.

So, as organisations embrace fresh talent and strive to create that seamless onboarding experience for their new hires, the utilisation of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has become increasingly essential. An ATS streamlines the recruitment process, facilitates effective communication, and enhances the overall onboarding experience for graduates and all new hires.

In this article, we will explore why an ATS is crucial for welcoming graduates to the workplace and how it contributes to a successful onboarding journey.

But first, let’s talk about what an Applicant Tracking System is.

What is an ATS?

An ATS is recruitment and onboarding software. It serves as a centralised platform for managing the entire recruitment lifecycle, from sourcing and screening candidates to tracking their progress through the various stages of the hiring process, and helping you to onboard new employees.

Applicant Tracking Systems allow recruiters and hiring managers to effectively manage job postings, receive and review applications, screen applicants, schedule interviews, communicate with candidates, and ultimately make informed hiring decisions. The Hireserve ATS includes features such as CV anonymisationautomated job board postings, talent pool management, and analytics and reporting capabilities.

One of the primary functions of an ATS is to parse and store candidate data in a structured format, making it easily searchable and retrievable. This enables recruiters to efficiently search for specific skills, qualifications, or keywords when identifying potential candidates. The system also helps track and organise communication and interactions with candidates, ensuring that all relevant information is recorded and easily accessible.

Moreover, an ATS can integrate with other HR software and onboarding tools to facilitate a smooth transition from candidate selection to employee onboarding. This integration helps organisations maintain consistency in data management and enables seamless communication between different stages of the employee lifecycle.

So, if you’re looking to bring in an influx of new hires or recruit for graduate jobs, there are clear benefits to using an ATS to deliver a high level of candidate and employee experience.

The Benefits of Using an ATS in Graduate Recruitment

With a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn, graduates bring valuable skills and potential to the workforce. It makes sense for organisations to prioritise graduates as new hires.

An ATS offers a range of benefits that streamline the recruitment and onboarding processes, making it an indispensable tool for organisations looking to attract, engage, and retain top graduate talent.

By harnessing the power of technology, organisations can position themselves as employers of choice for graduates and set the stage for their long-term growth and development within the company.

Let’s explore the key advantages of using an ATS for recruiting and onboarding graduates, and demonstrate how it simplifies workflows, enhances communication, and fosters a positive candidate experience.

Efficient Recruitment Process:

An ATS simplifies the recruitment process, making it easier for organisations to attract and identify talented graduates and new hires. By leveraging the system’s features, such as CV screening and customised application forms, recruiters can efficiently sift through a large volume of applications. This ensures that only the most qualified candidates progress to the next stage, saving time and effort for both recruiters and applicants.

Seamless Communication:

Clear and prompt communication is vital during the onboarding process, as it helps graduates feel valued and informed. An ATS provides a centralised platform for recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates to exchange messages, share documents, and make it clear to new hires what will be expected and required of them on their first day. This eliminates the need for lengthy email threads and reduces the chances of miscommunication. Graduates can stay updated on their application status, receive timely feedback, and have their queries addressed promptly, fostering a positive candidate experience.

 Personalised Onboarding Experience:

Each graduate brings unique skills and aspirations to the workplace. An ATS allows organizations to personalise the onboarding experience by tailoring the process to individual needs. By leveraging the system’s capabilities, organisations can create personalised onboarding plans, assign relevant training modules, and provide resources that align with each graduate’s role and career path. This targeted approach enhances engagement, accelerates skill development, ensuring that new hires are ready to go on their first day and sets the stage for long-term success.

 Efficiency in Document Management:

The onboarding process involves handling a multitude of documents, including employment contracts, tax forms, and policy acknowledgments. An ATS simplifies document management by providing a secure digital repository for storing and accessing these important files. Graduates can easily complete and submit required documents, while HR members can efficiently track progress and ensure all necessary paperwork is completed accurately. This streamlined approach reduces administrative burden, minimises errors, and promotes a paperless and environmentally friendly onboarding program.

Effective onboarding can have a huge impact on retention, with research showing that a strong onboarding program can improve retention by as much as 82%. Getting the onboarding process right is essential to ensure that your new hires are set up for a long career with your organisation.

 Collaboration and Integration:

An ATS fosters collaboration among various stakeholders involved in the onboarding process. Human Resources, hiring managers, and team members can seamlessly coordinate their efforts through the system, ensuring a smooth and integrated onboarding experience for graduates. By sharing relevant information and feedback, colleagues can provide support and help new hires acclimatise to their roles and the organisational culture more effectively. This collaborative environment nurtures teamwork and enhances the sense of belonging for graduates from day one.

 Data-Driven Insights:

An ATS offers valuable analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling organisations to gain insights into the effectiveness of their onboarding processes. By analysing data such as time-to-hire, time-to-productivity, and candidate satisfaction, organisations can identify areas for improvement and refine their onboarding strategies.

This data-driven approach empowers organisations to continuously enhance the graduate onboarding experience, leading to higher retention rates and increased overall productivity.

Ensuring Your Graduate Recruitment is Successful

Welcoming graduates to the workplace with a smooth and well-structured onboarding process is crucial for their success and long-term engagement. An ATS plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal by streamlining the recruitment process, facilitating effective communication, and personalising the onboarding experience.

By utilising an ATS, organizations can efficiently manage documents, foster collaboration, and gain valuable insights to continuously improve their onboarding efforts. Embracing technology and prioritizing a positive onboarding experience sets the stage for graduates to thrive, contribute to the organization’s success, and embark on a fulfilling professional journey.

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.