Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) software is software designed to make recruiting easier for companies. ATS software can process dozens or even hundreds of applications in a small fraction of the amount of time that it would take for a recruiter or hiring manager to process applications.
Additionally, ATS software can use algorithms to help hiring managers select the person that will fit best in the position being filled based on the information provided.
Why Use ATS Software?
Applicant tracking software can help companies to save time and money on recruitment. The application process becomes paperless with an applicant tracking system, so it is simple to store, recall, or purge applications from the system with just a few clicks. This helps to ensure that no critical information is lost and all necessary information is readily available for reporting purposes.
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How Do Applicant Tracking Systems Rank Applications?
Systems may vary slightly depending on the vendor, but most applicant tracking systems utilize keywords to sort and rank applications or resumes. The keywords that are used may be controlled by the hiring manager or may be synced up to job postings and historical job description information. In some cases, programs may also highlight applications for certain “unique” keywords that may distinguish one applicant from the rest.
Integrating ATS and HR Software (HRIS)
Some HR software packages come with applicant tracking systems, making it convenient to store and view all applicant and employee information in one place and move information seamlessly around as needed. Even applicant tracking systems that are purchased separately from other HR software can usually be integrated smoothly with other systems. It may be necessary to check with the chosen vendor to ensure integration capabilities.
The Importance of Selecting the Right System
With the right ATS software, companies can easily post new job ads, sort through applications quickly, and hire employees that are more likely to fit and stay in the position for a reasonable amount of time. However, a system that is difficult to use or that does not sync well with other systems may waste time as hiring managers struggle to transfer information from one place to another. Some systems may also use application sorting criteria that rejects qualified candidates’ resumes.
Selecting an Applicant Tracking System
When selecting an applicant tracking system, it is important for companies to establish expectations and budget, then work to find a system that meets these needs and is compatible with the company culture. After these important points have been decided upon, companies should research applicant tracking software vendors thoroughly until the most compatible system is clear. Vendor matching companies and charts comparing vendors side by side may help with selection.
After establishing criteria and narrowing the vendor list down to a few top picks, it is important to meet with a vendor representative and review the software first hand. You should be able to review the job posting process and see what job ads look like afterward, see what an applicant will have to do to submit an application, determine what hiring managers will see, and get a realistic feel for how easy the software will be to use. This type of demo will allow you to truly get a feel for how useful the chosen system will be before committing.
Authored by: Dave Rietsema