How we use it & why you’ll love it: Applicant Tracking



As we’ve said before, it’s our clients’ feedback that drives our functionality… but that includes guidance from our very own team! After all, the very first “client” payroll we ever ran was our own. We’re turning the spotlight on our own people leaders, payroll pros, and HR gurus to find out how our solutions help them solve their everyday challenges.

Get to know Hayley Yamamoto! Hayley is a former Co-op student who was delighted to become a full-time HR team member upon graduation in May 2021 (and trust us - the feeling is mutual!). While she started out by dipping her toes into a little bit of everything within the HR sphere, she quickly found her niche as one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists.

We spent some time with Hayley to find out how she uses Applicant Tracking to collaborate with her many stakeholders and to engage the very best and brightest… along with how you can leverage its many tools to do the same!

theWorks: Hi Hayley! So, first things first… why did you decide to specialize in talent acquisition after joining Payworks full time?

Hayley Yamamoto.Hayley Yamamoto, Human Resources Talent Acquisition Specialist: Ever since I had the chance to give it a shot during my Co-op term, I’ve found it so rewarding to witness and facilitate that mutual “click” between a candidate and a Payworks people leader!

Hearing a candidate speak about their passions and start envisioning how they could channel them into a new opportunity, while also seeing the leader get excited about finding the right person and begin imagining the new heights the team can reach together… it’s incredibly fulfilling.

tW: Can you tell us how many roles for which you’re typically hiring at any given time?

HY: Well, it definitely varies… but we’re always growing, so on average, I’d say that we’re looking to fill about 20 open roles at any given time. This includes roles posted both internally and externally, and I use Applicant Tracking for all of them!

tW: Hiring for 20 roles at a time (!) sounds like it could devolve into “herding cats” pretty quickly. How does Applicant Tracking help you keep things organized?

HY: So, once a job requisition’s been approved and the post is ready to go, through Applicant Tracking I can post to all of the major job boards all at once. This is a huge time saver, rather than having to continually log into different systems and post for the same job over and over in different spots.

Once the word’s out and the applications start coming in, it’s super easy to track where I’m at in the hiring process for each role, and with each candidate. Applicant Tracking has tracking statuses already pre-loaded into the system, but also allows you to customize your own - so this can be anything from “Missing Qualifications” to “Phone Interview Scheduled,” depending on your workflow.

Applicant Tracking also has pre-loaded email templates, which again you can customize as much or as little as you like. So for example, you can set up an automatic “Thank you for submitting your application” email, or a “phone screen request” email template that includes the candidate’s name and the role they’ve applied for. You can even change the name of the email sender within the template to whoever is the hiring lead for that particular role. It makes communication with the candidate a breeze, and keeps me from making any embarrassing copy/paste errors!

Hayley working on a laptop.

“Applicant Tracking’s internal collaboration capabilities are my favourite part! Essentially, Applicant Tracking gives me the flexibility to set things up how I like best, while keeping everything clean and organized for me within those parameters,” says Hayley.

tW: Applicant Tracking clearly helps you communicate with potential hires… what about communication with the Payworks team?

HY: Applicant Tracking’s internal collaboration capabilities are actually my favourite part!

Once a role’s been posted, I can grant access to that particular role within Applicant Tracking to the relevant people leaders. They can dig into the applications as much or as little as they like, and can flag certain candidates in whom they’re very interested right off the hop, or leave their own status updates (“Set Up Second Round Interview”, “Please Decline”, etc) or detailed, individual-specific notes.

It’s as convenient as collaborating in a shared file, and it keeps me from drowning in my inbox, trying to stay on top of email chains or figure out which comments pertain to which candidate and which role… all communication takes place in one single spot and is automatically organized for me. I honestly can’t even begin to calculate how many hours (and how much stress) this saves me.

And then in the event that we do hire a candidate, I can identify them as “Offer Accepted” and set up their information to flow directly into our Human Resources application. At that point, other members of our HR team will use that data as the basis of that employee’s file in the future… so they’re saving tons of time and eliminating the chances of data entry error as well! It’s a win-win for all of us.

tW: Given how quickly Payworks has grown and continues to grow, you’re likely hiring for a pretty diverse set of roles. Does Applicant Tracking offer any additional customization options beyond the tracking statuses and templates you’ve already described?

HY: Absolutely - and you’re right, different roles can have very different requirements. With Applicant Tracking, I can customize pre-screening questions. One that we’ve found really helpful with some of our client-facing roles is the ability to request an audio recording of the person speaking, to make sure they speak in a way that’s both clear and pleasant.

Having so many different roles with the organization also lets me get creative with candidates that may not have been the right fit for the role for which they applied, but who could still be super valuable members of the team! If I want to keep them in mind for a future opportunity, I can use the “Share Candidate” feature to send their info to another people leader and say “Hey, check this person out!” I can also “Copy Candidate” or “Move Candidate” to another opportunity (while leaving myself a note that they originally came from elsewhere).

Essentially, Applicant Tracking gives me the flexibility to set things up how I like best, while keeping everything clean and organized for me within those parameters.

Seeing is believing!

Curious what better Canadian workforce management looks like in action (and how much time you could reclaim in your day-to-day)? Book a pressure-free, get-to-know you demo today.