Applicant Tracking Systems are systems that allow you to create a user/applicant experience.
The application process becomes paperless with an applicant tracking system, so it is simple to store, recall, or purge applications from the system with just a few clicks. This helps to ensure that no critical information is lost and all necessary information is readily available for open positions now or in the future. If you choose the right system it will make your life much easier. If you choose the wrong one, it may be unusable or more cumbersome than an actual paper process.
Applicant tracking systems fulfill four main purposes: 1) to manage applications for positions (especially in the face of a high volume of applicants regularly received today) 2) to screen out candidates who lack the required skills 3) to assist with hiring compliance 4) to provide metrics that can enhance the hiring process.
Depending on the volume of positions you have open and the volume of applications received, this can be a lifesaver or not worth the efforts. If you have say 10-20 generic positions, an ATS may not be necessary. However, if you have 100 positions and they are more specialized requiring advanced degrees and skill sets, an ATS will save you a significant amount of time.
Screen out Candidates
It’s just as important to know what you don’t want as to know what you do. As any recruiter who manages a high volume of positions in a market or time where unemployment is high, knows, it takes an inordinate amount of time just to sift through all the resumes from people who are not remotely qualified for the positions. With a good ATS you can input key words and the system will spit out resumes that have those key words.
An ATS can assist companies with hiring compliance. Employment laws prevent employers from discriminating in their hiring practices based on age, gender and ethnicity, among other things. By using an applicant tracking system to select candidates to interview the system gives employers the ability to stay at an arm’s length when selecting their candidates. They simply type in the key words and the system selects the candidates. Although failure to hire litigation is much rarer than wrongful termination, it does happen.
Every department needs to be responsible for metrics that drive the business. HR can gain a well-deserved place at the table by focusing on the same metrics that drive the rest of the organization. By utilizing an ATS, you will be able to pull resumes submitted for a particular position, pre-screed resumes, candidates brought in for interviews and offers made and rejected. Armed with this information, you can laser focus your recruiting efforts and provide funnel data by position to your hiring managers. Most are surprised to see that it could take 100 resumes received to net 1 hire.