What Is an Applicant Tracking System? (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you apply for a job, your resume may go through an applicant tracking system before reaching a hiring manager. As part of efficient and successful recruiting methods, the tracking system evaluates applications and approves individuals who seem to be the best fit for the post based on specified criteria. Learning how you can use this system can help you improve the hiring process and recruit suitable candidates for open positions. In this article, we answer the question "What is an applicant tracking system?", discuss its benefits, and provide tips for finding the best candidates using one.

What is an applicant tracking system?

If you're wondering, "What is an applicant tracking system?" An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a human resource management software that's often used by organizations throughout the recruiting and hiring process. This program analyzes, sorts, and rates all resumes received by the company. When you apply for employment, your resume may not reach the hiring manager immediately as it may first go through an ATS. This program assists them in streamlining the assessment of their resumes.

It gathers data about each candidate from their resume and then classifies them according to their experiences and skill sets. This stage helps recruiters and hiring managers narrow their number of candidates to the most qualified.

Related: Applicant Screening Process (Definition, How-to, and Tips)

Benefits of applicant tracking systems

During the employment process, hiring managers and recruiters may get hundreds of candidates. An applicant tracking system enables these experts to gather critical information about candidates and arrange it in a central location. They may also use this data to handle other aspects of the employment process, such as arranging interviews, conducting reference checks, and completing necessary documentation. Using applicant tracking system software may assist businesses in a variety of ways, including:

Allows for more time for value-added work

The primary benefit of an automated applicant tracking system is that it saves significant time in comparison to traditional application processing and hiring procedures. Many resumes that hiring managers receive are unqualified for the position. By removing the need for manual posting and listing on job sites, and also screening out irrelevant applications, this whole process may be complete in a much shorter time frame.

Streamlines the hiring process

You may locate candidates using an applicant tracking system regardless of where they're looking. An applicant tracking system enables you to submit positions automatically to different job boards with only a few clicks. After sourcing, an applicant tracking system evaluates resumes and applications and automatically shortlists the top candidates. You may also quickly arrange interviews after short-listing. By totally automating the employment process, an ATS eliminates the difficulties associated with it.

Enables better tracking

Organizations may use applicant tracking system software to determine how candidates discovered their job advertisements. Employers and recruiters may use this data to modify their recruitment efforts. For instance, if most candidates applied through a certain online job portal, they may concentrate their efforts there. When they discover less popular areas, they may either minimize their efforts or find strategies to increase involvement in those areas.

Related: Differences Between Recruiting and Selecting Employees

Easy job posting

With an applicant tracking system, you can easily distribute job adverts across many channels with a single click. It's unnecessary to create and manually log into separate accounts on each social site to publish the job. It's also no longer important for you to track each social media site and the results created by each post separately. An automated applicant tracking system can collect data from each platform and aggregate it.

While each country has its prominent job board, the minimum requirement is that your ATS be capable of automatically posting your positions to the most frequently searched employment sites.

Improved cost per hire

Personnel expenses reduce significantly with applicant tracking systems, as data entry, communication with candidates, and other administrative tasks are simpler and accelerated. It's no longer necessary to perform these procedures manually. This alone results in a reduction in labour and, eventually, in a reduction in overhead expenses. Some organizations cannot afford to invest a lot of finances each time they want to hire new employees. Similarly, these organizations cannot afford to recruit unsuitable talent because of an ineffective screening procedure, as the resulting costs might be substantially higher.

Improvement of inter-departmental communication

One of the most significant issues encountered throughout the recruiting process is a lack of information and communication across departments. An applicant tracking system allows for better communication between members of the recruitment team and with others engaged during the process. It also enables you to send messages to many recipients and assign tasks in an orderly timetable. Additionally, every team member may contribute by leaving comments, ratings, and reviews on each candidate. Presently, many ATS easily integrate with online calendars and a variety of e-mail platforms.

Tips for finding the best candidates using an applicant tracking system

Here are some recommendations to help you find the best candidates using an applicant tracking system:

Promote job vacancies from your ATS to job boards

A job posting on the company's website may not get as much attention as you want it to have. To be effective, it's important for the posting to reach the appropriate individuals. Many individuals begin their job hunt on well-known internet job boards. When you publish an opening in your applicant tracking system, it's instantly published on the corporate website and your preferred job sites.

Promote opportunities from your ATS to paid placements

While job boards are an excellent source of candidates, they may also be a congested environment. Your job opportunity may get hidden behind hundreds of others that are identical, preventing qualified people from seeing it. Many employment sites provide sponsored placements. If you use this service, your job listing might appear at the top of that list, generating more candidates than those below. You may purchase sponsored placements and post your advertisement straight from your applicant tracking system.

It may be unnecessary to create different accounts or submit payment information on each website. You may purchase multiple paid placements simultaneously in your applicant tracking system.

Related: How to Write Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Resume

Promote job postings from your applicant tracking system on social media

While job boards are an excellent resource for locating active candidates, they may elude the passive candidate. Social networking has developed into an excellent tool for connecting with exceptional individuals, even passive prospects. Many individuals use it to promote their work, discuss their professional achievements, and search for employment prospects.

Accept recommendations easily with your ATS

Referrals are a very effective candidate source. Many individuals can risk their professional reputation only by suggesting someone who is exceptionally competent for a position. External recruiters are skilled at identifying exceptional candidates to suggest to hiring organizations. Your application tracking system simplifies the process of managing all referrals in one location.

Consider past candidates stored in your applicant tracking system

You've likely gathered many resumes before using your applicant tracking system. Fortunately, it's simple to turn those resumes into standard profiles in your applicant tracking system. You may submit all of your resumes at once into a single file, or you can transmit them directly from your e-mail to your applicant tracking system. Your system might automatically extract key information from the applicant's resume and populate the appropriate areas in the candidate profile.

Each time a candidate applies to the organization, your applicant tracking system builds a candidate profile for that individual. As the company expands, you may have a database of previous candidates to consider for new positions. Your applicant tracking system makes it simple to search for a combination of relevant phrases by using the "AND", "OR", or "NOT" qualifiers.

Know the source of every candidate with ATS reporting

While you're expanding your candidate sources using your applicant tracking system, you may use the reporting tool to determine which routes are the most effective. Not only can the report show which sources provide you with the most candidates, but you might also monitor which sources result in new hires. These reports assist you in determining the most effective use of your time, effort, and recruitment budget. You can guarantee that the sources on which you concentrate your efforts give the maximum amount and quality of prospects.

Source candidates all over the world with an ATS

In today's competitive employment environment, it's vital for businesses to put in their best efforts for candidate sourcing. You may consolidate candidates from a range of sources into a single, consolidated database by using a high-quality application tracking system. This way, you can concentrate your efforts on identifying the most qualified candidates to interview and eventually recruit.

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