What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool that digitally organizes your applicants’ applications, documents and data while giving you insights about the performance of your online recruitment channels.

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what is applicant tracking system or ATS

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Definition

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application designed to streamline and automate the process of managing job applications and recruitment activities. It is commonly used by businesses and organizations to efficiently handle the hiring process and track potential candidates throughout various stages of recruitment.

Learn more: How to Choose the Best Recruiting Tool?

How does an ATS work?

An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) works by automating and simplifying various stages of the recruitment process. Here's how it typically operates:

Job Posting: The ATS allows employers to create and post job openings on multiple platforms like company websites, job boards, and social media.

Application Submission: Candidates apply for the job directly through the ATS, which may include submitting their resumes, cover letters, and other application materials.

Resume Parsing: The ATS scans and parses the resumes to extract relevant information such as work experience, education, skills, and contact details, creating structured data from unstructured text.

Candidate Database: The system stores all candidate information in a centralized database, making it easy for recruiters to access and manage applicant data.

Application Screening: ATS uses predefined criteria to automatically screen and filter applications, identifying qualified candidates based on keywords, qualifications, and experience.

Candidate Evaluation: Recruiters and hiring managers can review candidate profiles, resumes, and application materials within the ATS platform.

Communication: ATS facilitates communication between recruiters and candidates, often through automated email responses and status updates.

Interview Scheduling: Some ATS systems offer interview scheduling tools, allowing recruiters and candidates to coordinate interview times efficiently.

Collaboration: Hiring teams can collaborate within the ATS, sharing feedback, interview notes, and evaluations of candidates.

Selection and Onboarding: Once the best candidates are identified, the ATS can assist with the final selection process and manage the onboarding of the selected candidates.

Analytics and Reporting: ATS provides insights and metrics on recruitment performance, helping companies evaluate the effectiveness of their hiring efforts and make data-driven decisions.

Why Do Companies Use Applicant Tracking Systems?

ATS systems help companies streamline and optimize their recruitment process by automating time-consuming administrative tasks, enabling HR professionals to handle the recruitment process from a single platform, and providing a wide array of other benefits that make their job easier and more efficient. 

Here are some of the biggest benefits of using an applicant tracking system:

Time and Cost Savings: ATS automates manual tasks, such as resume parsing and application screening, reducing the time and effort required to manage large volumes of applications and ultimately saving costs associated with traditional recruitment methods.

Improved Efficiency: With streamlined workflows, ATS allows recruiters to handle more applications effectively, speeding up the hiring process and ensuring quick responses to candidates.

Centralized Candidate Database: ATS maintains a centralized repository of candidate information, making it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to access, search, and manage candidate data efficiently, both for current and future job openings.

Enhanced Collaboration: ATS facilitates collaboration among hiring teams, enabling seamless communication, sharing of feedback, and efficient decision-making throughout the hiring process.

Data-Driven Insights: ATS provides valuable recruitment analytics and insights, enabling companies to assess the effectiveness of their hiring strategies, identify areas for improvement, and make data-backed decisions.

Improved Candidate Experience: ATS systems often offer user-friendly interfaces, automated email responses, and clear communication, ensuring a positive and professional experience for applicants, thus enhancing the employer brand.

Compliance and Fairness: ATS can help ensure fair and unbiased hiring practices by standardizing the screening process, reducing potential bias, and promoting equal opportunities for all candidates.

Integration with Other Tools: Many ATS platforms offer integration with other HR and recruitment tools, such as background check services and pre-employment testing, further streamlining the hiring process.

Scalability: ATS systems can cater to companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, providing scalable solutions to meet changing recruitment needs.

Talent Pool Management: With a candidate database, ATS enables companies to build and manage talent pools of potential candidates for future job openings, ensuring a steady pipeline of qualified candidates.

Overall, applicant tracking systems are a valuable tool for modern recruitment processes, offering convenience, efficiency, and improved candidate management, ultimately contributing to better hiring decisions and organizational success.

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