If you’ve applied for a job online before, it’s likely you’ve encountered an applicant tracking system (ATS). Pre-screening questionnaires and the option to do one-click apply may be signs that you’re interacting with an ATS. They’re also responsible for cutting-edge resume parsing tools, and that’s why it’s become important to use resume optimization techniques when applying for a job.
With the overwhelming number of candidates that now move through the application and hiring process for any given position, many businesses implement an ATS.
ATS products help to automate and streamline workflows, making it easier for HR professionals to select the best candidates for your team. An ATS can help with every step of the hiring process, from posting jobs to on-boarding new hires, making them a valuable addition to any HR department.
Source qualified candidates
The first step of filling any open position within your business is finding qualified candidates who can add value to your team. Traditionally, this would be done by having an HR manager write up a job description and publishing it in the classified ads or even posting a sign in your store window. In today’s modern world, the process looks a bit different — all there is to do is post the job to an online job board and wait for the resumes to arrive in your email.
While that may sound simple, the process of posting open jobs can still be time consuming. There are countless job boards to post to, and managing all of your posts without an automated solution can be daunting. There are also a variety of non-traditional ways to find top candidates, including social media. In addition to posting jobs to the top job boards, many solutions are also able to assist with social job recruiting by promoting jobs on platforms like LinkedIn. Some systems can even help to facilitate email campaigns to potential candidates and manage employee referrals. Some of the key features that will help you recruit the best talent include:
- Job Description
- Premium Job Boards
- Free Job Boards
- Social Media Job Postings
- Candidate Emailing
Sort and manage resumes
As you probably know, posting a job is the easiest part of the recruiting process. Once the job is posted, you’ll likely find yourself inundated with resumes and cover letters to sift through in order to determine which candidates you’d like to interview. Fortunately, many products have found ways to automate and streamline the application process, making it easier to manage all of those resumes directly through the platform.
After posting the open job, many systems enable applicants to create their own login and upload their resume. From there, you can choose to receive notifications when a new resume is uploaded and pull resumes directly from the system. Some advanced systems are even capable of pre-screening resumes by looking for indicators that the applicant has the specific skills you’re looking for. As an added bonus, this repository allows you to keep an eye on candidates who might be a better fit for a different position than the one they originally applied for. It also serves as a pool for potential candidates in the future. Some of the specific tools that will help you manage resumes include:
- Candidate Login
- Resume Upload
- Resume Inbox
- Resume Extractor
Evaluate job applicants
While posting and collecting jobs is a lot of work, a full ATS is designed to help with far more than these two tasks. These applications also assist with candidate evaluation, helping you to make informed decisions about which applicants will be the most valuable assets to your team. One of the ways that these solutions assist with this is by helping you to evaluate resumes and track employee referrals. By prioritizing employee referrals, you can ensure that you’re considering the opinions of your team members who know what it takes to do the job as well as the capabilities of the candidate they’re referring.
Even after you’ve narrowed down your selection and begun the process of interviewing candidates, ATS solutions will continue to help guide you through the process. Many solutions provide assistance with developing interview questions by providing sample ones and allow for internal collaboration after the interview so that all members of your team can share their thoughts on the candidate. However, there are a variety of other useful tools that you can leverage to improve your hiring process. Some of those features include:
- Candidate Pre-Screening
- Full Text Search
- Resume Parsing
- Candidate Analysis
- Candidate Evaluation
- Document Sharing
- Employee Referrals
- Talent Pool Management
Throughout the process of filling an open position on your team, you’ll be managing an array of candidates — many of which will be at different stages of the application and hiring process. Especially if you’re hiring for more than one position, you’ll want to ensure that you can keep track of all of the candidates you’re considering for any given role. An effective ATS will allow you to track and manage applications and candidates, allowing you to see how far along in the process each applicant is. From notifications of new resume uploads to sending job offers, an advanced solution can help you manage every step of the process. Some tools that can benefit you include:
- Candidate Emailing
- Auto-Response Mechanism
- Pipeline Management
- Activity Management
- Duplicate Management
How Do I Know if I Should Implement an ATS?
If your business is growing, then it’s likely that you will benefit from an ATS. Regardless of how quickly your team is growing or how large your business is, applicant tracking tools can help you to save both time and money. In fact, according to Recruiterbox, businesses with just eight employees can save as much as $10,000 by implementing an ATS.
However, it’s not only growing businesses that can benefit from implementing an ATS. These solutions can also help to reduce turnover rates by improving the quality of candidates you have to choose from. While an ATS won’t stop unqualified candidates from applying for a position, it will help you to quickly determine which applicants lack the skills you’re looking for so that you can focus on the candidates that have the most potential. By helping you to identify the best applicants, an ATS will help you to hire the candidate who is the best fit for the position.
Applicant tracking tools are designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. In fact, many vendors offer specialized solutions for businesses in specific industries and scalability allows you to use a system that meets the needs of your business no matter what size it is. Regardless of what your hiring needs are, an ATS can help you to streamline your hiring processes and lighten the load of your HR team.
What’s the Difference Between an ATS and Recruiting Software?
While ATS and recruiting systems address similar needs, there are slight differences in their capabilities. The primary focus of an ATS is to track applicants by utilizing tools such as automatic job posting and resume parsing. A recruiting system will undoubtedly be able to address all the same needs as an ATS, and do a little extra as well. Many recruiting systems will also provide you with advanced ATS features that allow you to post jobs for different businesses and across industries. A few other capabilities that a recruitment system is likely to have include:
- Scheduling work activities like phone calls and candidate start dates
- Automated email follow-up
- Connecting multiple users, including recruiters, candidates and clients
- Advanced search features, such as boolean search
How Do I Select an Applicant Tracking System?
Selecting the proper solution for your business will require you to assess what your specific pain points are when it comes to recruitment. Based on what your needs are, you’ll be able to determine which ATS features can help alleviate those pains. From there you can begin to narrow down which vendors offer solutions suited to meet your needs. If you aren’t sure where to start, then consider taking a look at our requirements checklist, which can help guide you through the process.
If you’re still not sure where to start, feel free to reach out to us. Our team is happy to provide you with a variety of tools, from personalized requirements to pricing guides. Send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 877-692-2896.