applicant tracking systems

Everything You Need to Know about Applicant Tracking Systems

As the technology arises, it has developed many things to make our lives easier. Over the years, so much has changed for specific needs of everyone. Take Applicant Tracking Systems, for example.  These are currently helping some companies in their recruiting process. They provide a central location and database for company’s recruitment effort. Let’s get to know more about them and, more importantly, what you can do so that you can get ahead in the job market.

What are applicant tracking systems (ATS)?

Applicant tracking systems, or ATS, are software application programs designed to help in the recruitment process done by companies. They work just like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. The main difference being that they are used for recruitment tracking purposes. They typically sort all the CVs submitted to a company to find out who are the best candidates for their job openings.

Applicant tracking systems filter out all the applications based a group of keywords to describe their ideal candidate. These can be skills, former employers, years of experience, and schools attended. In other words, these systems help with the management of CVs and applicant information so that they find the right person for the job faster.

Who uses applicant tracking systems?

Large companies have long used applicant tracking systems. Recently, many smaller companies had also started using applicant tracking systems, mainly because it makes the hiring process so much easier and faster. In fact, roughly 50 percent of all mid-sized companies have been using this, and almost all large corporations at least one type of applicant tracking system software.

How do they work?

Applicant tracking systems process your resumes and CVs submitted to employers. When you submit your CV online, different applicant tracking systems automatically store this and create an entry in its database.

As soon as a potential employer keys in a set of keywords to describe the kind of candidate they want to apply for a job opening. These applicant tracking systems will then do a search through its database and pick out the CVs that have the highest rank regarding search results, which they then display for potential employers to browse. Employers can even command these applicant tracking systems to search the company’s entire database of CVs to look for candidates with certain qualifications.

Since these systems automatically file and backup all data, it is easier for them to keep track of all your co-applicants. That means that if you applied for a position in the company in the past, but didn’t get the job, your CV will still be stored, so employers still track you through this system when your CV matches the specific keywords or requirement they need for their new job post.

What are the features of an applicant tracking system?

Although each applicant tracking system programme has its unique benefits, all of them share some similar features. These include:

  • allowing companies to post job openings on their websites,
  • screening CVs based on keywords,
  • creating customised forms to job applicants to complete online, and
  • sending out emails to potential candidates.

More sophisticated applicant tracking systems generate job openings, forms, and emails in different languages. They also allow companies to track how quickly candidates respond to their interview invitations as well as which candidates have sent their confirmation.

Benefits of an applicant tracking system

Aside from making it so much easier for companies to find the right candidates, applicant tracking systems also help companies attend to other aspects of the hiring process.

Without a system in place, recruiters would need to spend lots of time in weeding through all the CVs sent by applicants. Needless to say, this is a very time-consuming process.

Since applicant tracking systems are programmes, they also eliminate any potential bias or prejudice coming from recruiters. Recruiters are only human, and it is only natural that they are more willing to choose candidates coming from the same school or those referred by a good friend rather than a complete stranger, even if he or she has all the skills and qualifications they are looking for in a candidate.

Applicant tracking systems and social media

Applicant tracking systems can also browse social media profiles for potential clients, specifically your LinkedIn profile.

That said, a great tip is to write up your social media profiles so that they contain keywords you think companies and recruiters are most likely going to use when searching through applicant tracking systems. The more keywords they find in your social profile, the higher your profile will rank in the search results, and the more likely you will be called in for an interview. Some ways you can make your profile better are including your degree, your certifications, your working experience, and skills.

How an applicant tracking system ranks a CV?

Applicant tracking systems list CVs based on closely they match a company’s requirements based on the keywords and phrases they use in their job posting. That means if your CV contains lots of these keywords and phrases, your CV will rank higher in the search results.

Just like doing a search on the Internet, companies prefer contacting candidates with CVs that land on the first page of results. So the best way to get these applicant tracking systems to pick your CV and put it up among the top candidates to consider is to sprinkle these keywords and phrases all throughout your CV.

For example, if you are applying for a job as the manager of a hotel restaurant, a recruiter may search for phrases such as “restaurant manager”, or “hotel and restaurant management” or for the word “hospitality”. Probably, recruiters will not look for words such as “team player” or “outgoing”.

The tricky part here is knowing what keywords and phrases to actually use in your CV. For this, you may need to hire a professional CV writing service company to help you out.