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What is applicant tracking software?
In a highly competitive job market, applicant tracking software (ATS) allows recruiters to streamline the whole process of managing applications. It provides recruiters a well-organized database of applicants and job information. The software helps them collect applicant information and filter it based on skills and job requirements.
ATS provides an interface that allows recruiters to manage all the open opportunities in an organization's job openings. It also helps with tasks such as applicant tracking, applicant scoring, candidate profiling, and resume parsing.
The benefits of applicant tracking software
ATS is essential for automating the process of filtering candidate applications as per the job requirements. The software aids in the following tasks:
- Automating and streamlining the recruiting process: A prerequisite for an effective recruitment process is to get the right candidates from a vast pool. Modern applicant tracking tools improve recruiters' experience by automating the cumbersome tasks of screening resumes, contacting candidates, and following up after selection. The software consolidates all the information in a database, making a recruiter's job easier.
- Boosting HR efficiency: Recruitment is a long, multi-stage process that starts with creating a job posting to sourcing the right candidates and hiring them. With the ability to post jobs on multiple portals with a single click, recruiters and hiring agencies can easily expand their candidate search hire faster. Eighty-six percent of recruiting professionals say that using ATS helps them expedite the hiring process.
- Lowering cost-per-hire: Though there are multiple sources to search candidates, you need the best talent in the shortest amount of time. For instance, an ATS can help you figure out whether to spend money on job boards or boost your referral process based on the success rates of both sources. This will drastically cut costs and recruiting time.
- Improving the quality of hires: Applicant tracking software shortlists candidates based on the required skills. Recruiters can have a database of talented candidates that they can quickly hire for possible openings in the future. With the automation of admin tasks, recruiters can more effectively engage with candidates, which accelerates the hiring process and allows you to onboard candidates faster.
Typical features of applicant tracking software
Here are some of the most common features of applicant tracking software:
- Candidate tracking: Tracking candidate's progress in the hiring process. Record the interactions, notes, and development stages of each candidate.
- Candidate profiles: Create, manage, and record candidate's information and data on a searchable database.
- Resume search: Manage applicants' resumes and search the database for saved resumes.
- Interview scheduling: Sync your calendars with the software and schedule candidates interview from your preferred calendar.
- Resume parsing: Convert the various resume formats into a standard format to easily compare candidates and skill sets.
Considerations when purchasing applicant tracking software
Software buyers should keep the following factors in mind when selecting an applicant tracking tool:
- Final cost of software: Some vendors have annual agreements, some charge you per user, while others offer the software as a monthly subscription. A vendor could also ask you to pay for each job post or every user. Therefore, make sure you understand a vendor's overall pricing and the associated expenses, such as training costs, reporting costs, customer support fees, and onboarding fees, which are bundled with the software.
- Ease of implementation and integration capabilities: Make no mistake, you have to handle a ton of data, which the ATS should do for you. It should be able to transfer the data to a new system, or import data from another database with ease. You may need to integrate your ATS with your HR software to make onboarding and payroll easy. This will be vital for many businesses that handle recruiting inhouse. Therefore, check with the vendor whether they offer integrations (with email, databases, calendars etc.), implementation support, and training after installation.
Relevant applicant tracking software trends
- Social media recruiting is on the rise: Millions of people, especially millennials, engage with social media for a few hours every day. Companies should leverage this trend to increase their visibility and brand. About 94% of recruiters network on social media to post jobs and engage with applicants. You can also do live Q\&A with applicants, piggyback on the trending Twitter hashtags, time your social media posts for maximum engagement, create a LinkedIn page and more.
- AI is the new workhorse for recruiters: Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly helping businesses improve their productivity and performance. It can help recruiters by automating tasks such as resume screening and onboarding. Also, AI chatbots can quickly respond to candidates and reduce the workload of recruiters. Reports predict that AI will replace about 16% of jobs in the next 10 years, which calls for a complete overhaul of current recruiting practices.