What is an Applicant Tracking System?

Posted by Karen Wiley on Feb 14, 2020 3:52:42 AM

An ATS is a software application that helps you manage the entire recruitment process, right from receiving resumes to hiring employees. The software helps you automate the process of screening & shortlisting applicants, applicant evaluation, scheduling interviews, managing the hiring process, background verification, and completing new-hire paperwork. ATS helps in sorting through resumes, to determine which ones are the suitable fit for the open positions. 

Applicant tracking systems evaluates your resume by checking for keywords or skill sets that fit the job description. The main function of an ATS is to provide a central location and database for an organizations hiring strategy. ATSs are designed to better assist management of resumes and applicant information. Data is either received from internal applications via the ATS front-end, located on the company website or is extracted from applicants on job boards. The majority of job and resume boards (LinkedIn.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com) have partnerships with ATS software providers to provide integration, parsing support and ease of data migration from one application to another. 
 
How Applicant Tracking Systems Work

When an applicant submits their resume for a job of their liking and interest, the ATS captures the applicant information. Information such as the applicant skill sets, experience, educational background, contact information, resume and covering letting can be uploaded into the system database.

As the hiring process progresses, this information can be seamlessly transferred from system to system. Recruiters can review applicant information, shortlist and review if found suitable for requirements. Applicants can be sent automated messages on receiving their application, as well as information with regard to interview schedules, communication of details such as date, time and place of interview, and progress of the recruitment process. Online testing can also be conducted to screen applicants. The ATS also helps close the loop in the hiring process. Rejection letters can be shared, and if selected, the new hires can connect the information to payroll and HR managers for onboarding. The ATS thereby, cohesively streamlines the recruiting and application process with other networks and systems in the organization.
 

The ATS can also scan and search potential candidates using social media channels, and help in hiring the right talent. The Applicant Tracking system can store resumes and maintain a database. By this method, when a suitable opportunity comes up in an organization, recruiters use keywords to search out applicants from the database. The ATS matches the keywords and ranks resumes in the search results according to relevance. Keyword searches could include skills, experience, qualifications, location, specific to a particular job opening. This works well for both the applicant and the hiring managers, as the system filters the entire database, even evaluating applicants who have applied a long while back.

 
Streamlining the Process


The ATS helps reduce errors in the recruitment process, saving time, money and effort. Risks involved in deletion of mails, or misplacing files connected to candidates are entirely eliminated. Certain systems even have provision for candidates to directly apply from their social network sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed. Vital information such as work history, education, specific qualifications, work references can be uploaded with ease. This information is automatically collected and organized digitally, making it easily available to all connected systems. HR managers, line managers, and hiring managers can seamlessly review candidates, reducing and even eliminating time involved in sorting, filing and collating the same information over and over. This helps job applicants, who no longer have to retype the same information for each application, making it easy to use and time saving.


Why do employers use applicant tracking systems?

Human errors such as deletion and misplacing files can be eliminated. The ATS help hiring managers stay organized, and on top of their game. The system streamlines the hiring process, handling both small and large volumes of applications. The ATS also helps to keep employers maintain connect with potential hires, by communicating with the applicants directly.

 
Tracking the process


The ATS also helps to build efficiency in the recruitment management process. The system allows employers to track how and where the candidate found a particular job posting. This helps to identify the most efficient means of job posting – be it a job board, the company website, referrals, consultants, or any other source. Percentage of employee applicants, as well as applicant to hire success rates can also be measured. This enables employers to focus and build in the venues where there has been most success, while reducing or improving efforts in others.

 
Drawbacks of ATS


Like with any automated system, there can be a few drawbacks employers and hiring managers need to consider. The ATS is programmed to look for specific keywords, and background information for a particular job opening. Hence, good candidates looking for a switch in roles and careers may slip through the cracks and never come up in the search results. There could also be technical issues that need to be reconciled with. If there are any deviations from the programmed style of resumes, the system may eliminate applicants if it is unable to interpret the scanned resume properly.