What Is An Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application designed to streamline and automate the recruitment and hiring process for organizations. ATSs are used by companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, to manage job postings, accept and store job applications, and track candidates throughout the hiring process.

Key features and functionalities of an ATS include:

  1. Job Posting Management: An ATS allows employers to create and publish job postings on various platforms, such as the company website, job boards, and social media channels. This centralized management ensures consistent branding and messaging across all platforms.
  2. Application Management: When candidates apply for a job, their information is automatically captured and stored in the ATS database. This includes resumes, cover letters, and any additional documents required by the employer. The ATS organizes and stores this data for easy access and review by the hiring team.
  3. Resume Parsing: Many ATSs feature resume parsing technology, which extracts relevant information from resumes and populates the candidate's profile within the system. This allows for quick and efficient searching and filtering of candidates based on specific criteria, such as skills, experience, and education.
  4. Candidate Screening: ATSs often include built-in screening tools, such as keyword filters and questionnaires, to help identify the most qualified candidates for a position. This automation helps reduce the time spent manually reviewing applications and ensures that only the most relevant candidates are forwarded to the hiring team.
  5. Collaboration and Communication: An ATS facilitates collaboration among hiring team members by providing a centralized platform for sharing notes, feedback, and ratings on candidates. It also enables automated communication with candidates, such as sending acknowledgment emails, scheduling interviews, and providing updates on their application status.
  6. Reporting and Analytics: ATSs generate reports and analytics on various aspects of the hiring process, such as time-to-fill, source of hire, and candidate demographics. This data helps organizations make informed decisions and optimize their recruitment strategies.
  7. Compliance Management: ATSs help ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations, such as equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action requirements. The system can store necessary documentation and generate reports to demonstrate compliance during audits.

The primary benefits of using an ATS include

  1. Increased Efficiency: By automating manual tasks and centralizing candidate information, ATSs significantly reduce the time and effort required to manage the hiring process.
  2. Improved Candidate Experience: ATSs provide a streamlined application process for candidates, with features like online application forms and automated communication, enhancing the overall candidate experience.
  3. Better Hiring Decisions: With advanced screening and filtering capabilities, ATSs help identify the most qualified candidates, leading to better hiring decisions and reduced turnover.
  4. Cost Savings: By automating tasks and reducing the time spent on manual processes, ATSs can help organizations save on recruitment costs and allocate resources more effectively.

Some popular ATS providers include Taleo, iCIMS, Greenhouse, Workday, and Lever. When selecting an ATS, organizations should consider factors such as scalability, user experience, integration capabilities, and pricing to ensure the system meets their specific needs and requirements.