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Applicant Tracking System A to Z Guide for Employers

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

A to Z Guide for Employers

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

What is an Applicant Tracking System? If you need an answer to this question, you are at the right place! An ATS is a platform that organizes your hiring process by filtering and directing applicant information. It also serves as a database and saves any notice regarding candidates that applied to your job opening. For example, an ATS can store contact information, resumes, cover letters, etc. It can also assist you with interview scheduling and follow-ups.

An applicant tracking system offers questions to your potential candidates. These queries often cover education level, knowledge of some programs, years of experience, willingness to relocate. You should have an option to add keywords that will guide your ATS to pick the most suitable candidates for your company. After a candidate answers these queries, they can upload their resumes and other work samples. Long story short – if an applicant’s resume passes the keywords you added to an ATS, you get notified.

Do You Need an ATS?

First things first, it would be good to determine if your business needs an ATS. To help you out with this task, we created a handy checklist of 10 indicators that suggest you might need to consider an applicant tracking system. You can check the things on this list and see how many of these apply to your business. If you can relate to most of the listed points, you’re ready for an ATS!

Do You Need an ATS

ATS Benefits

Running a business is challenging. That’s a fact. When you add the recruiting process to all that hustle and bustle, it can be confusing. Many hiring managers report that at least 50% of applied candidates don’t meet the required job qualifications. So, that means a large number of employers need to deal with irrelevant job applications. Luckily, that’s where the applicant tracking system kicks in. This software is programmed to scan numerous relevant candidate features. For example, it can search for keywords, prior employment, college records, etc. Here is a shortlist of ATS benefits for you to get a better picture:

How to Choose an Applicant Tracking System?

Choosing an adequate applicant tracking system is essential for your business. So, it’s good to know what options are available. The main question is do you want your ATS installed on your server or hosted. So, here are two options.

SaaS

Today, most ATSs are overtaken by SaaS (Software as a Service), a cloud-based service. There are various benefits of using this kind of approach.

Open Source ATS

This is another applicant tracking system option. The main advantages:

But, having an open-source ATS comes with a catch. You would need to take complete care of the software, even rewriting it to adjust it to your company’s needs. So, that requires tech savviness or an entire IT team on your side. So, if you don’t know how to do everything by yourself, you would need to spend money to pay for assistance.

What All You Can Do With an ATS?

 

Manage Candidates

It’s not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed with a bunch of piled-up candidate applications. But, one of the main benefits an applicant tracking system can bring to your company is candidate management. So, this means you don’t have to bother with organizing your candidates within a spreadsheet or rummage through emails.

An ATS uses resume parsing technology and provides you with more specific candidate information, like work experience and education history. The other handy candidate management perks are pre-screening questions. This way, an applicant tracking system can offer you a list of qualified job applicants and filter out irrelevant ones.

Candidate management becomes much easier and more fun when using an ATS. You won’t need to organize anything by yourself. A quality applicant tracking system keeps all the information in one place and accessible whenever you need it.

Manage Hiring Process

It doesn’t matter if you run a large or small-sized company. You should manage and plan your hiring process. With the help of an ATS, managing the hiring process shouldn’t be hard. Think of recruitment as a funnel. You often have a few steps that lead to a job offer.

Applicant tracking systems are designed to keep the hiring funnel going and make sure you don’t lose valuable candidates within it. By having a clear vision of your hiring pipeline, you and your team can work in harmony. That means you probably won’t need to search tons of emails and lose candidates’ feedback. Pretty handy!

Manage Interview Process

Interviews often come later in the hiring process, and they tend to be quite interesting. But, they seem to be the least automated segment of recruitment which can lead to poor performance. A good thing is that an ATS can help you out with this part of the recruitment too. If you wonder how it can assist you, read on!

An applicant tracking system can help you organize your interviews by providing you with a wholesome view of the candidate. This means any company can have a more structured way of approaching an applicant.

Typically, most ATSs integrate with Gmail and Outlook calendars. So, this way, candidates can be informed about the location and time of an interview promptly.

I like long hiring journeys – said no candidate ever. One of the main issues regarding the interviewing process is prolonging the hiring cycle. So, an ATS can help you create shorter hiring by providing you with a tool for quick response. Pus, an applicant tracking system should inform you about the number of applicants in each hiring stage and warn you if some of them are left unnoticed for days.

Use Integrations

The significant ATS benefits are its integrations. An advanced applicant tracking software often provides integrations with other programs. So, that adds to the handy moment. Besides adding your job postings to numerous job boards, you can gain a lot by using integrated apps. For example, a quality applicant tracking system can ease your work by giving you an option to use popular programs such as:

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What to Look for in an ATS?

 

Analytics

Having the proper recruitment strategy is essential. But, to implement it correctly, you should use hiring analytics. Applicant tracking systems can help you out track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as:

Performance

Before you opt for an ATS for your business, check out some reputable review sites, such as G2, Software Advice, GetApp, Capterra. Here, you can read real users’ reviews about software and get more in-depth information about your next applicant tracking system. Also, you can check chosen ATS vendor’s social networks for some additional data.

Security

Security is an essential part when choosing your applicant tracking software. So, before you opt for an ATS vendor, consider asking the following questions:

Data Control

Having data insight and ownership is crucial for any business. So, before you choose an ATS, check the privacy policy/terms and conditions. These can vary from vendor to vendor, so it’s essential to get into details before picking an applicant tracking software. Also, check if there is an option to export your data if you change a vendor at some point.

Functionality

It’s good to check the functionality of your potential ATS. This means ensuring you can search candidates by name, headline, tag, work experience, education, or skills. Also, it would be good for search to collect information from resumes, cover letters, and summaries. It’s good to know what kind of search does an ATS support offer.

Customization

As we previously mentioned, there are two main types of ATSs. The SaaS (easy to use but lacks customization) and Open Source ( customizable but less user-friendly). So, if you want a super-customizable applicant tracking system, you should consider Open Source. But, have in mind, this often requires an in-house developer role. But, whatever ATS type you opt for, try looking for ones that enable customization of:

Applicant Tracking System Checklist

Having reliable applicant tracking software can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. So, it’s essential to do detailed research before you choose an ATS for your business. That’s why we created a handy checklist for you to compare your applicant tracking system options.

Applicant Tracking System Checklist

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