Effective talent relationship management is more important now than ever before. Manpower’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey reveals that 48 percent of American employers admit that talent shortages have a medium to high impact on their companies.

That means that, in order to accommodate a growing need for top talent, organizations must find ways to deepen their talent pools and manage them more effectively. One way to do this is to choose the right applicant tracking system for your firm.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Build Relationships

There can be little doubt that the role of applicant tracking systems is evolving. Early applicant tracking systems concentrated heavily on workflows and compliance issues, becoming, in essence, little more than document management systems or resume banks.

Today, however, the best applicant tracking systems do much more than merely house resumes and manage documents. They actually facilitate talent relationship management in ways unheard of a few short years ago.

SHRM’s “ATSs: Moving Beyond Applicant Tracking” notes: “Applicant tracking systems have outgrown their initial function and are rapidly evolving into a recruiting resource.” This new generation of applicant tracking systems has the goal of improving the experience for recruiters, hiring managers and candidates.

Best-in-class applicant tracking systems now incorporate improved methods of collaboration and communication that enable recruiters and hiring managers to build strong, vibrant relationships with both active and passive candidates in their talent pools.

Using Your ATS to Manage Your Talent Pool

In the SHRM article, Kyle Lagunas, principal analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, notes the “disproportionate amount of effort and money that goes into recruiting before the application comes in,” so it makes sense to broaden the scope of ATS technology beyond tracking applicants. “There are endless opportunities to apply candidate relationship management tools to engage with past clients, silver and bronze candidates that didn’t make the cut, and alumni networks,” he says.

Thus, applicant tracking systems are not just static databases anymore. They are now interactive forums where talent relationship managers can go to reach out to active and passive candidates and cultivate deeper and wider talent pools. Robust applicant tracking systems now facilitate more frequent and useful communication and collaboration between recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates.

Explaining one approach to using your ATS to improve your talent relationship management strategies, Elaine Orler, CEO and founder of Talent Function, says in SHRM’s “Talent Pools Must be Interactive to Be Effective”: “There are so many capabilities in talent acquisition systems today that can create and manage talent communities … (you can) leverage the current requisition capabilities in the ATS to create a container for managing a specific set of candidates. In many cases, you can create different workflows, reminders, communication templates, and actions for the recruiter and candidate with requisition container models.”

Using the applicant tracking system’s segmentation capability, recruiters and hiring managers can quickly access the candidates they need and evaluate their current level of engagement with the firm. Leveraging this information, recruiters can actively target those candidates with whom relationships must be strengthened to keep the talent pool deep and well balanced.

Making Talent Relationship Management a Priority

With an ever growing need for talent, VC firms must take proactive steps to build and maintain strong relationships with their pool of available talent. Cutting-edge applicant tracking systems are excellent tools that can be used to communicate, collaborate, and build lasting relationships with top talent in your field.

Thus, applicant tracking systems are an essential part of a robust talent relationship management solution. Would you welcome more information about your talent management options? To explore technology solutions for your VC firm, contact us today.