Renewable Recruiting: Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Sep, 11, 2018 @ 13:09 PM

Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector 

One of the most common buzzwords of the last decade or so is sustainability. It’s been applied to everything from construction methodologies to laundry detergents, so perhaps it’s not surprising to hear it used in the context of the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. What does it take to be a sustainable nonprofit organization? The answers may surprise you. 


Think beyond cash flow

Naturally, what first comes to mind is cash flow. A sustainable nonprofit has to continue bringing in the money required to fulfill their mission, year after year. But sustainability goes beyond that. The analysts at Nonprofit HR laid out what we think is a spot-on description of nonprofit sustainability: “Nonprofit sustainability occurs when a nonprofit attracts and effectively uses enough and the right kinds of money and people necessary to lead and achieve their long-term outcome goals.”  


Implement a recruiting strategy

The right kinds of people are a necessary ingredient in the sustainability of nonprofits, yet a full 64% of nonprofits have no formal recruitment strategy. Without such a strategy makes competing for top talent even more difficult today than ever before. Even more alarming, once the right people are in place, most organizations (81%) lack a formal retention strategy for keeping them onboard and engaged.


While recruiting strategies will vary from organization to organization, many include elements such as workforce planning, definition of goals, employer branding, social media presence, sourcing and recruiting, a recruiting and applicant tracking technology platform, effective onboarding, and the use of data analytics to measure and monitor the process.  


Make a solid first impression

60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience. And as a result of a poor candidate experience, employers are missing out on an important talent pool. 83% of job seekers say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. Clearly, it pays to make a good first impression. 

Organizations can improve the experience of candidates in several ways, including streamlining the application process, keeping applicants informed of the status of their application, and recommending additional available positions. Steps like these are easier when you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), yet in 2017 only 33% of nonprofits reported that they use an ATS.


Promote your brand

Nonprofits have to be masters at self-promotion to meet their fundraising goals, and an organization’s brand carries a similar significance throughout the recruiting process. Does your organization have an employment brand or employment branding process? A majority of nonprofits do not, despite the important role brand plays in attracting top talent.

Think of your employment brand as the market perception of what it's like to work for your organization. It’s the image that your prospective, current, and past employees have about the employment experience, and includes things like your culture, work environment, employee benefits, and advancement opportunities. Your organization’s brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention, and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market. Essentially your brand should create a sense of urgency and excitement motivating prospect employees to seek you out and current employees to remain engaged. 

Building a sustainable nonprofit organization involves many factors, of which the right talent is perhaps the most critical. To achieve your mission, and successfully grow and maintain it, you must recruit and retain the right high-performing people.

Learn more about how an Applicant Tracking system can improve the sustainability of your recruiting efforts with our guide - 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.   


Tags: nonprofit, recruiting strategy, recruiting, employment branding, Sustainable Recruiting, nonprofits, nonprofit recruiting, applicant tracking system, Applicant tracking software, blackbaud, community brands, abila

5 Tips to a Successful ATS Implementation

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Tue, Jan, 30, 2018 @ 10:01 AM

Keys to Success - Concept on Golden Keychain over Black Wooden Background. Closeup View, Selective Focus, 3D Render. Toned Image..jpeg 

Selecting a  quality applicant tracking system (ATS) that meets your needs is critical for improving your talent acquisition process and results. But if you don’t implement it successfully, even the right ATS technology won’t be much help.  

In this post, we provide five tips that will help you successfully implement a new applicant tracking systems, enabling you to both get the most value and avoid headaches.  

1. Check vendor references BEFORE negotiating and signing a contract. As part of this reference checking, be sure to ask about the implementation experience. A few questions you might consider asking include:

  1. How difficult was implementation?
  2. How well did the ATS integrate with other software? (This is particularly helpful if the reference uses other software you also use.)
  3. How helpful was the provider with implementation?
  4. What suggestions do the references have based on their implementation experience?

2. Carefully prepare for implementation, including deciding which data to bring over from your old ATS. There’s a famous quotation by Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Avoid unnecessary implementation problems by being prepared and organized. An important part of this is determining which data you will bring over from your old ATS, and which you won’t. The amount of data you bring over often impacts the length of your implementation process.

3. Test your new ATS. Ensure that it meets your specifications and expectations. Verify you’re getting what you’re paying for—that your new ATS lives up to what you’ve been promised and seen during demos. As part of this, ensure the ATS integrates properly with other software you use. Lackluster integration is a common source of frustration. Don’t let it happen to you.

4. Get users trained fully and effectively on the ATS. This includes recruiters and hiring managers, but also others who will be using it. Ensure they know how to use features and functionality that are important for getting the most value from your new ATS. Those great reporting capabilities don’t do much good if users don’t know they exist, or don’t know how to access or use them.

5. Keep refining after beginning use. Take advantage of valuable updates the provider makes to your ATS. Especially with best-in-class applicant tracking systems, taking advantage of new capabilities is key to getting more value. Additionally, give existing users training refreshers as necessary, and ensure new users are trained fully.

Follow these tips. They should help your organization implement your Applicant tracking system successfully, and help you get great results from the start. 

Are you considering changing or purchasing a new ATS? Before you make such an important decision, download “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). It will help you make a smart decision and avoid common pitfalls.


Tags: ATS, cloud based applicant tracking system, cloud based ATS, applicant tracking system, recruiting, Applicant tracking software, Hiring

Hate the Game, Not the ATS Player

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Oct, 07, 2015 @ 08:10 AM


Hunting for a job isn’t easy and candidates are very frustrated with the process. Candidates that are in the large percentile that don’t get picked by the Applicant Tracking System are naturally more inclined to hate on the ATS. But sometimes, despite their need for a job, they just weren’t qualified or didn’t fit the company’s needs. Just the same, there are those in the HR and recruiting space who loathe the automation of the ATS. But that doesn’t mean these platforms aren’t any less necessary… they are. The problem isn’t with the ATS itself, it’s the way it’s used. Chances are, many of the concerns you’ve had with your system can be attributed to user error. “More is better” isn’t always the case, especially with your platform. This is why you shouldn’t be so hard on the ATS. Learn the importance of choose the right ATS

More ISN’T Better

Massive job boards are a popular choice in placing job ads. The only problem: it exponentially increases the number of candidate applications and resumes that flood into your digital filing cabinet. Goldman Sachs alone only hired 3% of their 267,000 applicants last year. You look through all of the advice online from various industry thought leaders, but what you’ll find is the scatter your seed method. But seeds don’t prosper if they are haphazardly strewn across the land, right?

The same is true for your job ad. It has to be strategically placed so your ATS can sift through a reasonable amount of applications to pick a fewer number of great ones for you.

Tweet This: Strategically place job ads so the ATS can do what it's built to do, properly. Read more: 

Remember: An overloaded, disorganized ATS is not an effective screening and hiring tool.

Choose The Right ATS, the Right Technique

There’s something to be said for purchasing the right ATS for your organization. Not all applicant tracking systems are the same, they have different bells and whistles and although one ATS might have everything you need, there’s a chance there are features you don’t use. That could affect the way your system works. Jackye Clayton (@JackyeClayton), Editor at, said:

“But before you bash your ATS, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’re actually using it as intended. Because the thing is, the majority of recruiting and staffing end users utilize their applicant tracking systems as a resume repository and job posting platform, features which, while designed to make online recruiting a little bit easier, aren’t, in fact, a core functionality for which these systems were originally conceived and dedicated.”

Tweet This: @JackyeClayton says we need to be careful how we're using our ATS. Read more:

Remember: If you’re not using the included training and vendor provided assistance, you may not be getting the benefits your ATS offers.

The Platform Isn’t Broken

One thing to remember, one small, yet key feature to always keep in mind, your platform isn’t broken. You may not like the way it functions anymore, or your team simply doesn’t know how to use all of its features, but that doesn’t mean it’s malfunctioning. Really, it could be you just have too many applicants or the ATS doesn’t fit your needs anymore.

Tweet This: Reassess your ATS needs before completely ditching the system like this:

The ATS doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) remove the human aspect from the application process. It merely automates the administrative portions so recruiters can focus on their primary duty - interacting with candidates. But when you don’t have the right system in the first place, it becomes cumbersome, clunky and a loathed recruitment platform, as Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Executive Editor and Head of Content at Recruiting Daily, described: 

“In fact, almost every one of the many potential perils of the average recruiter out there today faces on the talent battlefield can be more or less directly traced to the system that they’re forced to rely on, even at the expense of recruiting efficacy, efficiency, and optimal outcomes.”

Remember: Even if you didn’t choose your ATS, you need to use it in order to do your job, which is hiring the right talent for your organization.

Despite the reservations or any struggles you may have with your applicant tracking system, you shouldn’t abandon the idea of an applicant tracking system just yet. You may simply scatter your job ads too wide or may not have the right platform for your company, but the system isn’t necessarily broken. It takes the right ATS to do your job exceedingly well, and if you don’t have the best-fit platform, it can lead to more struggles down the road.


Tags: Applicant tracking software

One Flew Over the ATS

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Tue, Oct, 07, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

ATSType in “passing the applicant tracking system,” or “resumes and applicant tracking systems,” and the first things that come up are articles upon articles detailing how applicants can at least get their resume in front of human eyes. Companies receive a plethora of resumes from applicants who aren’t necessarily qualified for the position, but they had fantastic resumes. However, that also means, they don’t see the resumes from talent who have all of the prerequisites for the job; the experience, the skill, the training, but their resumes don’t reflect that. The question remains, how many of the 70% of resumes does an ATS pass over because of incompatibility?

Whom Are You Missing?

You could be missing the perfect candidate. If the Applicant Tracking System your company uses isn’t functioning at peak levels, or if it’s simply not a match for the organization’s needs, the talent pool might not be everything you’ve hoped for. It is estimated that the average ATS rejects 75% of technically qualified applicants because it can’t read an applicant’s resume

While, yes, formatting and imagery have a large part to do with that, it’s not necessarily everything. The resume might not be littered with industry buzzwords or keywords, making the file seem irrelevant to pass on to the hiring manager. This is where it’s important to let your candidates know the company’s hiring process and give them feedback as to why they were not selected. Letting them know their skills did not meet the requirements could alert them to any mistakes in their resumes they need to change.

Playing the System

An ATS is a necessity to filter, organize, and streamline major company hiring processes. Companies like Google receive a deluge of 75,000 resumes in a week. How on earth could they even dream of reading – or in the very least scanning – all of those resumes in a timely manner? Without a good ATS, Google’s HR and recruiting department would be sent off to the loony bin. 

What some companies don’t know about their ATS, could hurt them. Not purchasing – or renting – the right ATS for your company could lead to higher stress levels, a longer hiring process, and missing resumes that otherwise would have made it to your desk. In fact, 40% of current ATS users are looking to change their system in order to obtain a more full-bodied system. So with your current program, it might not be the applicants who aren’t qualified, but the applicant tracking system. Just because an applicant doesn’t “play the system,” so to speak, that doesn’t mean they might not be the person for the job.  

How Can You Fix it?

Sometimes it comes down to price. Can the company really afford this? The company isn’t big enough to actually need this…But that’s not true. Nearly 60% of mid-sized companies use an applicant tracking system to help them along the screening and hiring journey. They didn’t even have to purchase them. Many HR technology companies allow users to rent or purchase the ATS. The right system can help prevent your recruiters and HR professionals from missing candidates. It can track them better. It can also put you at ease knowing you’ve made the decision to upgrade your organization to a system that is easy to integrate, has configurable options, and has the technical support you need. The ideal ATS will save the sanity of the HR team; on the other hand, the glitchy, non-integrated, and non-supported system will make them lose their minds. 

Applicant tracking systems won’t be headed out the door anytime soon. HR professionals need them, if not to make the hiring process efficient internally, but to save their sanity. It can be quite costly if the organization didn’t choose an ATS to fit their needs. Unfortunately, some qualified applicants can get shot down in the crossfire. That’s not only worrisome for the jobseekers who don’t make it to the interview phase, it’s disconcerting for the company as well, considering they are losing out on dream candidates. Some unqualified candidates make it to the interview because they have riddled their resumes with keywords simply to get past the ATS. On the other hand, those who don’t use buzzwords ad nauseam can be placed at the bottom of the totem pole by the ATS.

Need help finding a better ATS for your company? Lucky for you, Visibility has a Recruiting Comparison tool, free for you to use. You’ll like what you see.


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Tags: Applicant tracking software, cyber recruiter

3 Ways an ATS Will Change Your Recruiting Department

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Tue, Jun, 03, 2014 @ 10:06 AM


Called an Applicant Tracking System, but oh so much more to the recruiters who have come to know and love this software. Once known for being a luxury that only the larger companies could afford, ATSs are quickly becoming the Swiss Army Knife of tools in recruiting and HR departments of all sizes, in every industry. As the tech has gotten more user-friendly, scalable and cost effective, everyone is getting ahold of an ATS.

Check out what recruiters are experiencing when they ditch the spreadsheets and start using the right Applicant Tracking Software.

You can now focus on the people matters in recruiting and hiring.

For a long time, overtaxed recruiters and HR professionals have been forced to focus on the paperwork, compliance demands and the overall clerical work that goes into enrolling a new hire. This leaves little time to onboard properly, gather feedback from the candidate or help the new employee adapt socially to their new work environment.

A recent study revealed that of 20,000 new hires, nearly half of them (46%) failed within a year and a half. Of those new hires that failed, 89% of the times it was for attitudinal reasons, not lack of necessary skills.

Recruiters everywhere are realizing the importance of a proper cultural and attitudinal fit, over the traditional emphasis on skill or experience. When recruiters don’t have to micromanage every step of the documentation and compliance process, they can work towards ensuring that proper fit. This has been shown to increase retention rates, employee engagement levels and overall productivity.

Organization, finally!

When new users finally get to dive into Cyber Recruiter, they realize very quickly that this tech does so much more than parse and organize information from job applications and resumes. Hiring managers and recruiters can create requisitions effortlessly with templates, or from scratch. They can also review, share and score an applicant through an internal mailing system on the platform.

Once your team decides on a new hire, you can send the approval to the candidate through the platform, with all necessary new hire documents. No more volleying emails back and forth. Read more on our blog about Recruiting Software and Email Hell.

Offer a better candidate experience.

If your hiring process is a mess on the back end, it’s a mess on the candidate end as well. Disorganization and undefined processes will lead to a lengthy hiring process, poor communication with the candidate and even multiple rounds of interviews that are very often, completely unnecessary.

Candidates don’t have to stick around while you get it together. Furthermore, the hiring process is where the new employee starts to form their opinion of the entire organization. They want speed, communication and efficiency. HR pro and founder of popular HR and Recruiting blog site, Blogging4Jobs, said:

“The saying, Candidates are Customers too, should be hung over every wall of Human Resources departments across the country. Sometimes we forget that each candidate that goes through the HR department will most likely influence a future purchasing decision of your product/service.”

A good ATS will take most new users by surprise, as they do more than their name would suggest, and this is just a taste. ATS users experience improved scheduling, seamless onboarding and much more. Is your team ready to experience life with an ATS, or are you looking to improve your recruiting technology? We want to talk with you about it! Or if you want to check things out on your own first, here is a resources page to get you started.

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Tags: applicant management, applicant experience, Applicant tracking software