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Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): What You Should Know

  • By barraiser
  • April 18, 2024
  • 10 mins read
applicant tracking system everything to know
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    What is an Applicant Tracking System?

    ATS or applicant tracking system are a type of human resources software that is used to keep track of job candidates. Companies of all sizes utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) to organize, search for, and engage with huge groups of applicants.

    The primary purpose of an ATS is to make the lives of recruiters and hiring managers easier. Companies sometimes employ many roles at the same time, and each job opportunity receives hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants.

    When a recruiter or hiring manager receives that many resumes, it is impossible for them to examine each one attentively. ATS simplifies and even automates search, saving time and reducing human error.

    Why Use an Applicant Tracking System?

    Every organization is different, yet they all live by attracting, acquiring, and retaining outstanding personnel. Many firms confront significant obstacles during the hiring or onboarding process. An ATS can provide several skills that can assist a business in finding, hiring, and retaining the finest individuals. The following are some of the reasons for using an ATS in your organization:

    1. Find and recruit qualified candidates

    Some businesses lack the reach to engage with top job searchers or to cast a broad enough net in the marketplace. Others are missing key information on the best routes to locate certain individuals; still others may lack brand recognition and the resources to develop it. An ATS can assist in addressing these crucial candidate issues. To maximize each hire, some systems can be enhanced using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to construct a profile of an ideal candidate, assess and identify skills, and anticipate success factors. This enables firms to better understand candidate behavior, increase brand awareness, and target individual job seekers on the platforms and channels they prefer.

    2. Boost candidate engagement

    Moving a candidate from initial contact through the start date can be a high-touch process. It is all too easy to lose a top prospect due to delayed response times or lack of participation around interview dates. An ATS increases visibility across the candidate lifecycle, ensuring that touchpoints do not fall through the cracks.

    3. Increase efficiency and cut costs

    Applicants go slowly through the hiring process due to reliance on inefficient manual methods, poor collaboration throughout the recruitment team, and miscommunication with key hiring stakeholders. As a result, the cost-to-hire and time-to-hire ratios are high. An ATS allows for the automation of manual operations, increased visibility into the hiring cycle for the whole recruitment team, and increased communication possibilities throughout the candidate experience.

    4. Maintain your competitiveness

    Top organizations already have the brand recognition and resources to compete for top talent; an ATS can level the playing field by providing better, faster access to prospects.

    5. Improve the onboarding process

    The correct ATS may also help with onboarding, ensuring that candidates who accept employment have all of the information they need to make a difference straight away, enhancing overall productivity and retention.

    How Does an Applicant Tracking System work?

    Applicants want simple and user-friendly application processes. A good applicant tracking system allows users to apply for jobs from any device without logging in. Companies profit from a bigger pool of applicants, who can then be automatically graded based on their abilities and experience.

    During the recruitment process, applicant tracking systems make it simple for users to provide feedback and notes about a candidate. These solutions enable recruiters and hiring managers to collaborate on the go, which is convenient for busy professionals.

    The top ATS software screens and sorts resumes using cutting-edge technology such as natural language processing and artificial intelligence. These computer scans resumes, checks for keyword matches, and uses a variety of methods to analyse data. Many applicant tracking systems also link with job sites, making job advertisements more efficient.

    Applicant Tracking System Features

    In today’s competitive job market, an ATS can help you succeed with the following features:

    • Reduces the number of applications

    When a company issues a job posting, numerous candidates begin applying for the positions, and the data gathered is massive, which is then saved in a central database as each candidate’s profile. These profiles are examined and filtered based on the job position’s unique keywords. Keywords may contain specific abilities, credentials, degrees, experience, etc.

    If the candidate’s profile includes those keywords, the profile is sent to HR managers or recruiters. As a result, ATS narrows down the applications for companies, saving them a significant amount of time.

    • Helps with Laws

    Employment software assists you in adhering to hiring norms and requirements. The law concerning the hiring procedure can be intricate, but ATS simplifies the process for you. It also provides a report to safeguard your business from any legal challenges.

    • Saving Money

    While ATS narrows applicants and provides essential legal assistance, it saves not only time but also money, making the recruiting process faster and better at a low cost.

    • Job Postings at Multiple Sites

    Instead of spending time and money posting many times manually, an applicant tracking system allows businesses to send postings to multiple sites and job boards with a single submission. Integrating a career website into an automotive applicant tracking system allows for the retrieval of real-time opportunities.

    • Improve Collaboration

    ATS has useful collaboration capabilities such as a calendar, chat, tasks, notes, email synchronization, and many more. Finding high-quality individuals becomes easier when more stakeholders weigh in.

    • Personalized Job Postings

    Hiring managers can use applicant tracking systems to add notes and personalize postings for candidates so they can maintain personal tabs on them for automatic screening; the hiring manager can set the final screening questions.

    • Interview Scheduling

    Applicant tracking systems can easily schedule interviews for applicants who advance to the next level of the hiring process.

    A recruiter can do as many tasks as possible, such as interview management, submitting the candidate to the client, sending an email to the candidate, and viewing all candidates who come from external sources from the visual pipeline.

    An applicant tracking system can help a business by discovering, employing, and keeping the finest candidates. They lighten the burden on recruiters and hiring managers. As you can see, the applicant tracking system has numerous advantages and is here to stay and flourish. If you aren’t already using it, now is the time to start and hire the top candidates.

    Benefits of the Applicant Tracking System

    1. Save time & expense

    Setting up and maintaining your candidate pipeline can be time-consuming and inefficient, what with digging through inboxes for the correct attachment and scheduling many stakeholders at the same time. An applicant tracking system (ATS) takes the guesswork out of recruiting by giving simple tools that eliminate unnecessary steps and give help you didn’t know you needed.

    The structure provided by an applicant tracking system saves time at every point, from the flexibility to develop template custom hiring workflows that can be applied to multiple departments or interview stages to incorporating approval flows into the system itself. Furthermore, integrated calendars allow you to see everyone’s availability at a glance, making scheduling a one-step process.

    2. Manage candidates in one place

    It might be difficult to keep track of your talent pool when recruiting, especially for many roles at once. Having a single location for all of your candidate information keeps your hiring process organized. Filters that group candidates by categories, such as the hiring stage, allow you to customize your view, and an ATS allows you to generate reports for things like candidate comments that you can share with important decision-makers.

    More than just saving your sanity, being able to see all of your candidates at a glance might help you spot patterns that will make future recruiting efforts even more productive. With this type of technology, you’ll be able to identify where your finest talent is coming from and which job listings are garnering the most attention.

    3. Enhance the Review Process

    Filtering through applications and examining resumes to find the best applicants is a time-consuming and sometimes messy procedure. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) provide easy tools for recruitment teams to automate activities such as screening, filtering, and ranking candidates.

    An intelligent, AI-powered ATS automatically evaluates CVs, ranks prospects based on your criteria, and shows candidate data in a transparent manner that allows for quick and easy comparisons. Finally, an ATS removes a significant quantity of paperwork, making recruitment not only more convenient but also more environmentally friendly.

    4. Simple job posting

    Casting a wide net does not have to imply revising job postings. The correct applicant tracking system will allow you to publish job openings to many networks at once, saving you time and providing crucial insights into which platforms yield the finest talent, allowing you to direct your marketing efforts where they are most effective.

    You may focus on producing the most effective job descriptions possible to attract the right people for your business with the time and work you’ll save creating and managing your posts.

    5. Streamline the onboarding process

    Once the right people have been hired, it is time to provide them with an excellent onboarding experience. Most successful businesses begin the onboarding process before the first day.

    So much of an employee’s first week at work is about receiving the correct information to enable them to integrate into your team, from the offer letter to payroll setup and then their introduction to the company systems. Automating people operations demonstrates organization and relieves stress while providing a new employee with purpose and structure from day one.

    6. Reduce paperwork burden

    It’s not just the expense of paper that can eat into your recruitment budget; it’s also the administrative time that documentation consumes. For example, digitizing onboarding paperwork can save you time, which eventually saves you money.

    HR managers devote the majority of their time to payroll and administration, leaving little time for planning, training, and employee engagement. With an application tracking system, document management capabilities for digitally signing and archiving papers, as well as e-verifying critical documents such as background checks, all reside in an employee’s central profile, along with information such as their benefits.

    Unnecessary everyday chores can produce job stress, which can lead to undesirable physical and mental consequences. Streamlining activities like paperwork, making it easy for you and your new staff to sign and square away documents, will allow you both to return to more essential tasks.

    7. Increase hiring compliance

    Once an employee has been onboarded and all documentation has been completed, the final big administrative hurdle—and a critical one—is company compliance. Being compliant with all paperwork, laws, and regulations may be a full-time job in and of itself, so automating the process ensures you never fall behind on your legal obligations.

    8. Reduce Friction and Improve Communication

    No more chasing interviewers down to schedule interviews or collect feedback. Don’t be concerned about notifying candidates. Management can easily receive status updates. Allow the ATS to handle it!

    9. Strong Resume Storage

    Applicant tracking systems are an excellent tool for storing and retrieving resumes. Candidates’ data and applications are easily accessible and can be evaluated for better decision-making.

    With its extensive filters, an ATS can assist you in effortlessly tracking applications. It saves time and allows businesses to access a larger number of potential candidates, in addition to conveniently posting open positions on job boards and social media.

    10. Boost Employer Branding

    One of the most appealing aspects of applicant tracking systems is their ability to be tailored and created to be consistent with the corporate identity. Videos, photographs, and personal-toned paragraphs can all be included to help produce a site that matches the company’s DNA.

    It’s an excellent tool for employer branding because it demonstrates the company’s beliefs and inspires people to work for them. Aside from that, it might be built to be an integrated element of the company’s official website.

    What to Know When Selecting an Applicant Tracking System?

    If you’ve assessed your hiring processes and determined that an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) could benefit your company, you’ll need to find out how to choose the best system for your needs. Choosing the best ATS system is not as simple as going online and selecting the most popular ATS, because it may be completely inappropriate for your firm. Every organization has unique employment processes and requirements that necessitate the use of one ATS over all others. Read about myths about using an ATS as well.

    1. Involve Your Recruiters in the Selection Process

    There will most likely be one or a few people who use the ATS regularly to handle your company’s recruiting demands. These personnel will be able to accurately identify your company’s pain points and determine which system will be the easiest and best to utilize daily. Working one-on-one with the people who will be using the system throughout selection can also demonstrate to those employees that you appreciate their input and care about making their job better, which can increase loyalty and morale.

    2. Determine Needs and ATS Priorities

    Brainstorming sessions and lists might be useful in determining what your ATS’s top priorities are. After the priorities have been determined, they should be written down and ranked so that each member of the ATS selection team can keep this list in their hands while researching and assessing various ATS system characteristics. Having guidelines in place can assist team members to avoid becoming swept up in the enthusiasm of selecting a new system.

    3. Think about Compliance

    When assessing ATS features, ensure that the ATS will assist with compliance requirements. Failure to consider compliance while picking a system may result in extra paperwork for your recruiters and a large financial consequence for your firm. It is still necessary to grasp the fundamentals of compliance regulations, but having an automated system that handles the majority of compliance demands can alleviate many concerns.

    4. Make it difficult during the demonstration

    Don’t be difficult for the sake of being difficult, but put pressure on the vendor representative to demonstrate the system’s capabilities. Ensure that it is simple for employee applicants to apply and for recruiters to make hiring judgments and move information around. Make mistakes on purpose so you can understand how simple it is to recover from them.

    4. Learn More About Support Quality

    Many companies provide help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but this service is useless if the support is of poor quality. Read evaluations submitted by other companies utilizing the systems on your shortlist, and perhaps contact some of those companies if an acceptable context can be found. When you commit to an ATS, make certain that you will be able to adapt and use the system to your best advantage, obtaining quick and high-quality assistance when you require it.

    The Future of Applicant Tracking Systems

    The world is aware that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) entered the recruitment sphere only a few years ago. Although ATS solutions were formerly adopted primarily by a few firms that could afford the high investment costs, their use in the HR sector has increased significantly. Firms globally will choose an applicant tracking system to boost total talent acquisition efficacy; in this regard, the future of ATS appears promising.

    Here’s how applicant tracking systems have evolved and how they’ve benefited the new breed of recruiters.

    • Standard Applicant Tracking System

    Until recently, all staffing firms relied on manual expertise or obsolete methods to follow possible candidates for open positions. Even if a few agencies adopted ATS solutions, they would only use them to manually submit job advertising to job boards or social media. Furthermore, the agencies would go through all of the job boards and candidate databases by hand, calling each one individually to alert them of the posting or to set up interview dates and times. It was time-consuming and exhausting. In comparison to today’s automated and intelligent ATS, productivity was far too low.

    • Modern Applicant Tracking System

    Leaving tradition in the dust, the recruitment-technology area has introduced new dimensions and unique features, transforming ATS into the heart of the recruiting industry. It has adopted different access and distribution mechanisms in genres such as social networking via WhatsApp and video conferencing. With all of these advancements and innovations, it is now quite simple for an HR executive to stay current.

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