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What Is an Applicant Tracking System

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

When running a small business, getting the RIGHT people into your company is key.  Staying organized is a high priority and that’s exactly what an applicant tracking system can do. Because this is such and important tool for companies to use, we will go through, What is an ATS, and how does it work?

What is an ATS?

What does ATS stand for? ATS stands for applicant tracking system. Home service businesses use applicant tracking systems to stay organized and speed up their hiring process. In fact, 75% of  Small businesses use applicant tracking software. Of that percentage, 94% believe the software has improved their hiring process.

Example: You own a HVAC company looking to scale and bring in new employees.  Old way is to drop a post on Craigslist and put in your general email as a place for candidates to apply.  It gets a bit messy with spammy messages and non-relevant resumes coming in.  It gets messy to remember which resume you’ve looked at, where they are in the hiring process.

An ATS would help this company post their job inside the ATS.  The ATS will push you job description out to the top job sites. Candidates find your job online and apply.  As they apply, your ATS captures their information and stores their record in an organized manner to track progress.

What is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system is all about being able to track and manage candidates in one organized database.

ATS is included in most hiring software systems. But, it can also be purchased as a stand alone software, which could benefit businesses. Applicant tracking systems help employers saving them time and energy on managing candidates. As a home services business, ATS is a must-have.

An applicant tracking system’s features may vary depending on what provider you use. Here are some features of most applicant tracking systems:

How do applicant tracking systems work?

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of the main functions an ats does to get a better look at how it can help your business.

Job posting

In order to track candidates, you need to know where to source them. With an ATS, you can easily post open jobs on your client’s website and top job boards.

Before posting the job description you’ll want to make sure it accurately describes the position.  Job sites will prioritize job listing by quality of job descriptions to match what the candidate is looking for. Your ATS will go off of the information you enter in the job description to find the best candidates who fit that description. If it is not accurate, it’ll be a bit harder to get organic traction from the job boards.

Easily source candidates through the job posting feature of an ATS. When applicants begin submitting their info, you can build a database of great candidates.

Email marketing

Email marketing is yet another way to source candidates and get them to apply to your client’s company. Or, you could use email marketing to attract candidates who are passively looking for work.  They may already have a full-time job, but at the right time, may be inclined to apply to your job.

When you use email marketing to source candidates, you can advertise backfill roles. It might sound time consuming, but it is actually very quick and simple when you have an ATS.

You can send a personalized email to multiple people at once with email marketing. Stay connected with great candidates by sending them nurture and company culture related content.  You can attach the job description, and encourage them to apply to future positions.

Resume importing

You might receive resumes in your email or one of your techs may be handed a resume while out on a job. Once you have them, it can be difficult keeping them all together. You might have resumes on your computer and a big stack of resumes on your desk. Resume screening can be an arduous process if done manually.

Wouldn’t it be easier if all your resumes were in one place?

ATS has a resume importing feature that lets you load physical resumes straight to your software. If you receive resumes from a job posting site or in your email, you can quickly import them straight into your ats.

You don’t want to risk misplacing a resume. Once you have imported resumes into your software, they are safe and organized.

Resume parsing

What is resume parsing? This is a technical phrase to describe the resume translating from PDF, DOC to an HTML language.  The content becomes easier to translate and quickly identify key information in the resume.

Resumes are all set up differently. Candidate A could have their skills listed under experience at the bottom of the page while Candidate B has a separate skills section listed at the top.

After resumes are imported into your hiring software, the resume parsing feature extracts key information from the resume so each one is formatted the same way. Once the applicant tracking system has parsed resumes, it then categorizes applicants based on whose resume most matches the job description. When using the product, you will want to look at the top candidates, as these are the ones whose skills, education, and experience are most appropriate for the open position.

Candidate tracking

Once you receive candidate resumes, you can start tracking the applicants in your pipeline. You can see who advances in the hiring process and who is no longer a good fit for each role.

For example, you are hiring for several people and with a lot of resumes and open positions, you can quickly see where they stand:

After candidates are no longer being considered, they are still part of your candidate pipeline. You have access to their information and can reach out to them if they match future open positions.  You can use tagging and status labels to keep track of each one of them.

Categorize candidates based on their skills and enter them into separate groups. For example, you can organize your accounting candidates under one group and your pharmaceutical candidates in another.

What are the benefits of ATS?

Using ATS saves you time and money. Through the software solution, you can can automate many hiring processes like sourcing, organizing and tracking candidates, as well as building a network.

The ATS helps you determine which candidates match your job description. As a result, you only present qualified candidates to your clients, which could lead to a faster hire.  When the market is tight and hard to find A-players, speed is very important to hiring.


ATS For Contractor Companies

Home services is the clear focus for VIVAHR.  Here’s a list of industries our ATS would be a good fit for:

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