Hiring 101

A glossary for simplifying complex hiring concepts

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

In today’s job market, managing applicant tracking is a daunting task for HR professionals and recruiters using hiring platforms. Moving quickly with a smooth recruitment process can lead to lost candidates without an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Enter applicant tracking software (ATS), which streamlines the hiring process and digitizes steps involved in turning an applicant into a hire. Read on to understand the ins and outs of what an ATS is and what to look for if you’re seeking a top candidate tracking system.

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Applicant tracking software defined

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a digital solution designed to assist HR teams and recruiters in managing, organizing, and automating recruitment. An ATS acts as a virtual hiring command center, enabling you to seamlessly handle everything from job distribution to screening candidates to conducting interviews. In essence, an applicant tracking system facilitates a smoother, more efficient hiring journey.

Applicant tracking system
The best applicant tracking systems help you organize your candidates and hiring process to fill critical roles faster

Key functionality of the best applicant tracking systems

1. Job posting and distribution

A reliable applicant tracking system should enable creating, customizing, and publishing job listings across channels like company career sites, job boards, and social media. The best allow managing job sponsorships and optimizing spend centrally. Distributing jobs instantly across a range of channels ensures maximum visibility for attracting quality candidates.

2. Application screening

One of an applicant tracking software’s most crucial functions is screening applications based on predefined criteria. The best offer customizable surveys that help weed out unqualified applicants automatically, saving recruiters time and allowing them to focus on more important work using their hiring platform.

3. Candidate tracking

An applicant tracking system should serve as a centralized repository for all candidate information. Recruiters should easily search, sort, and filter candidates based on criteria, quickly understanding a candidate’s status or open position at a glance in their candidate tracking system.

4. Talent relationship management

Great applicant tracking software allows building, managing, and filtering a full talent database of relationships — alumni, former candidates, or current employees. The best ATSs automate campaigns targeted at these groups to build relationships over time and quickly source talent when new roles open up.

5. Collaboration and communication

Top applicant tracking systems facilitate team collaboration by allowing comments, candidate ratings, and shared feedback within the platform. They enable automated communication with candidates, moving the process along faster while providing a great talent experience via preferred channels.

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6. Interview scheduling

Great ATS solutions offer interview scheduling tools syncing with recruiters’ calendars, allowing candidates to select time slots, minimizing back-and-forth.

7. Assessment and evaluation

Top applicant tracking systems provide built-in assessment tools or integrations for skills testing, drug screening, references, allowing employers to evaluate candidates directly within the hiring platform.

8. Reporting and analytics

A robust applicant tracking system offers analytics and reporting on recruitment metrics like channel effectiveness and ad spend ROI, helping refine hiring strategies over time.

9. Integration capabilities

To maximize efficiency, an ATS should seamlessly integrate with other HR software, such as HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems), payroll providers, onboarding tools, scheduling software, and more.

10. Compliance and security

A great applicant tracking software has robust security measures safeguarding sensitive candidate data and maintaining legal compliance.

An applicant tracking system empowers navigating complex recruitment landscapes with ease. By embracing the right ATS hiring platform, organizations streamline efforts, enhance candidate experiences, and make better quality hires for business success.

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