Applicant Tracking (ATS) Software

Applicant tracking software aims to make the recruitment process less hassling for employers. You can use ATS software to post new jobs online, screen applicants on the basis of educational qualification, skill levels, years of experience and other keywords, schedule interviews and send notifications to successful candidates. More advanced features include automated resume ranking, individual applicant tracking, social media integration and the ability to automatically set pre-screening questions.  Read the full software guide...

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What is Applicant Tracking (ATS) Software?

An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is a type of software application designed for human resources teams, recruitment agencies, and headhunters that handle a wide range of employee recruitment processes.

ATS solutions help organizations, manpower companies, and HR teams in sorting through hundreds, if not thousands, of application forms and résumés to find potential candidates to fill a specific position within the company.

These software solutions work by skimming through résumés and application forms to look for certain keywords and other criteria for inclusion in the recruitment process. This is not like actual human recruiters who often look for key elements in the application forms to use as grounds for rejection.

In essence, ATS solutions operate by way of matching specific keywords within the résumés to the preset keywords they are programmed to identify and accept for a certain position. ATS is a tool for recruitment professionals to quickly and easily find the right candidates for a specific job opening.

ATS solutions are designed to help organizations find the right applicants more efficiently and at minimal cost. An ATS solution will facilitate all correspondence to candidates, job approvers, recruitment agencies, and hiring managers. It will also provide reporting functionality for users and managers, as well as CV database management capabilities, talent pooling, and quick search (for applicants) features.

Finally, ATS solutions allow for strategic recruitment planning, monitoring, and management, essentially facilitating HR teams and hiring managers throughout the entire recruitment process.

Types of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software

There are many different applicant tracking systems in the market, as far as vendors and service providers are concerned. But, when it comes to the ATS solution itself, they all work pretty much the same way, with a few key differences in their features, capabilities, and the additional services they provide.

With the cloud being a huge component in today’s digital services and software solutions, you can bet that even ATS services are offered via the cloud. The main purpose of ATS solutions is to provide businesses and organizations with a quicker and more efficient way to find the right individuals to fill in positions within the company, thus strengthening their workforce moving forward.

Finding the right people and sifting through candidates through conventional means is no longer cutting it, especially when one considers the time, money, and effort being invested throughout the recruitment process. As such, an ATS solution will help automate the majority of the tasks involved in the hiring process.

Now, some ATS solutions are standalone systems, meaning they are a single platform specifically designed for applicant tracking and recruitment management. Other ATS solutions serve as an additional functionality built into existing platforms like employee management systems, comprehensive business process solutions, and other similar tools normally utilized by most businesses.

Most ATS solutions work the same but differ in the feature set and capabilities they provide the user or HR team. Crelate Talent, for instance, offers flexible recruiting software mostly to staffing and recruiting agencies. The solution they provide is a unified recruiting CRM and ATS platform, which is quite efficient for most organizations.

BambooHR is another example of an ATS solution. It is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses, providing a wide range of tools and features that enable hiring managers and HR teams to perform their primary tasks at no added cost.

CATS, on the other hand, is an example of an ATS that is a fully customizable, web-based software solution designed for internal/in-house HR teams and recruiting agencies. It is built to streamline workflow-driven recruitment processes.

There are plenty more ATS solutions in the market that have further features that may be useful to specific companies. ATS solutions come in many different shapes and sizes. The key is to find the right solution that meets the standards and addresses the needs of your company.

How to Choose Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software

As previously mentioned, there is a multitude of applicant tracking systems available. The market is so overwhelmed with different vendors and service providers that sometimes it can be confusing and downright daunting to find the right ATS solution for your business.

When you’re in the market for a good ATS, you need to remember a few important things. First, is that although each ATS solution available may be different in certain ways, there are a few key features that all of the top solutions have in common.

  • Résumé storage – ATS solutions are capable of storing résumés, a database of qualified candidates that HR teams and hiring managers can always refer to for future recruitment processes.
  • Résumé parsing – This is a common feature found in ATS solutions. It allows users to extract and organize specific components of each individual résumé into a more structured and easily digestible data stream.
  • Filtering function – An ATS wouldn’t be much of a solution if it doesn’t allow the user to filter out certain parts of applicant résumés. Filtering may include location, application source, profile age, referrals, and so on.
  • Keyword search – Most ATS solutions come with keyword search functionality. Hiring managers and HR teams may perform searches by keyword, oftentimes with the Boolean search method, which connects keywords by using AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR.
  • Automated email customization – This is a functionality that is becoming more common in today’s ATS solutions. It allows companies to customize rejection letters and other forms of emails to ensure quick responses to applicants regarding their application.

Now, those are the main features most commonly present in ATS solutions. They are all crucial and almost always useful to HR teams and hiring managers. There are, however, other features that are equally important but are not always available. These are the features and capabilities that you need to look out for when choosing an ATS.

  • Implementation and support – Consider how the ATS application will be implemented into your existing business solutions and whether or not the service provider or vendor offers adequate support in the implementation, management, and maintenance process.
  • Candidate sourcing – An ATS solution is nothing without a reliable source of skilled and talented individuals. You can’t hire the right people for the job without having a reliable and consistent pool of candidates in your pipeline.
  • Interview management – An ATS solution is not just about facilitating potential recruits and organizing résumés. It has to also provide HR teams and hiring managers the ability to efficiently manage and schedule interviews and other important tasks throughout the recruitment process.
  • Centralization – Having the ability to centralize all crucial data into a single, well-organized interface will help make the recruitment process more streamlined and the workflow easier and more consistent, instead of having to jump between applications just to accomplish a task.
  • Mobile recruiting – When it comes to business software solutions, everything is about mobile compatibility and optimization. Does your ATS solution support mobile recruitment? That is something that you need to consider when choosing an ATS.
  • Security and stability – When it comes to any business solution, security and stability are paramount. You need an ATS solution that is reliable and secure, especially considering that you are essentially housing sensitive applicant information in your data center.
  • Reporting and analytics – Having the ability to store, organize, and manage hundreds of résumés and applicant information is simply not enough. An ATS solution should also be capable of providing actionable data. This means that it should be able to crunch the numbers and provide users with reliable statistics regarding their pool of candidates.

Benefits of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software

When it comes to the recruitment process, one of the biggest challenges HR teams and hiring managers often face is the paperwork associated with it. Administrative tasks often involve things that are no longer viable in today’s business environment.

The conventional means of sifting through résumés and potential candidates to fill a specific position is just too time-consuming, inefficient, and often prone to discrepancies and unavoidable human errors.

A good applicant tracking system makes a lot of things easier in the recruitment process, including database management, application and candidate search, résumé parsing, application form screening, résumé screening, interview management and scheduling, email management, candidate sourcing, workflow management, and candidate relationship management.

Common Features of Applicant Tracking (ATS)

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Budgeting Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Employee Database Manage and update employee records in a centralised database. Used to keep information about work entry, age, past roles and other employee details.
Employee Onboarding Streamlines the onboarding process for new employees in form of checklists, password and access management features, as well as other induction elements.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Feedback Management Manage feedback through the use of surveys and similar elements issued to employees and/or customers to consolidate new ideas or track employee performance.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Travel Management Manage travel plans and expenses for employees, prospects or potential recruits through a central environment.

Latest User Reviews of Applicant Tracking (ATS) Products

Ariyana Eli
14 Nov 2020
"Good web based recruiting tool"

It is exactly what most companies need for recruitment. Very easy to set up, customize and use. It can be integrated with Gmail and ...

Jack Dave
15 Nov 2020
"All the tools you can think of"

We have been using the software for over 4 months now, it's very easy to use so getting everyone onboard was super smooth. There i...

MD Alif Rahman
17 Nov 2020
"Simple and effective"

I love that you can invite an unlimited number of hiring managers and guests for free, and that they can simultaneously track candid...

Baptiste Dauvergne
20 Nov 2020
"The all-in-one ATS and CRM for recruitment!"

Very easy to track/manage candidates and openings. It also includes CRM tools so it's similarly easy to manage prospects and clients...

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