What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
by Callie Hansen
Before the applicant tracking system (ATS) came to fruition, job searching was done primarily through word of mouth, newspaper ads, and help wanted signs in windows. Getting these jobs depended on connections, a resume or paper application you could fill out on-site. Along came the World Wide Web and turned that process on its head. The Internet paved the way for you to apply for a job from the comfort of your home by emailing your resume to a company’s HR department, searching and applying for jobs online and more. Employers instantly saw the benefits of moving their hiring process online, and so the applicant tracking system was born.
More people than ever before are searching for jobs online
The applicant tracking system got its start in the late 90s. But it was a slow one. The first system was your typical paper application, except it was online. However, there were few job seekers online and a bunch of screening problems. Companies realized that following the same paper process and putting it on the Internet wasn’t going to cut it. In order to find valid applicants, the system and its processes would have to change. Fast-forward ten, twenty years, and technology has transformed drastically. The whole world is communicating and interacting online, and more people than ever before are searching for jobs online. You can do it right from the palm of your hand, practically anywhere in the world. This change has brought immense opportunity for human resource departments to expand their reach and search for applicants—especially in the realm of how you hire.
The applicant tracking system provides all of the necessary components you need to sift through your applicant pool and hire the most qualified candidate for your open position”
Enter the applicant tracking system of the 21st century. It’s been through many changes and will continue to evolve as technology does. But it’s safe to say that the applicant tracking system of today is better than it’s ever been before. Today, the applicant tracking system can be one-stop shop for all of your hiring needs, with integrations. The very basics of the system, is that it does exactly what it sounds like: track applicants. Applicants use the ATS to apply for a position with your company and the system collects and stores all of their information via the cloud. It provides all of the necessary components you need to sift through your applicant pool and hire the most qualified candidate for your open position. With the applicant tracking system, there is no longer the need for paper applications or having to sift through countless emails of resumes and other requested material. Everything you need is available in one place, all the time, anywhere you need it.
The applicant tracking system has a long list of benefits. With it you can build and optimize your job descriptions with high keyword density so applicants you want can find your jobs first. Additionally, all of your jobs can be automatically pushed out to as many online job boards as you need, like Career Builder, Indeed, and Monster. Applicants then are directed back to your career site to apply for that position directly through the applicant tracking system. The ATS takes the applicant’s information and automatically filters the qualified from the unqualified for you through screening questions. At that point you can reach out to the applicant directly for an interview, and extend a job offer. Track the applicant through the entire hiring process, from the moment they fill out the application to when they are hired.
The ATS takes the applicant’s information and automatically filters the qualified from the unqualified for you through screening questions.
Without a doubt, large corporations with lots of employees who are constantly hiring certainly have a need for an applicant tracking system. At virtually every national or international corporation, the only way to apply for a position is online. While big companies reap in the benefits of an applicant tracking system, they aren’t the only ones who get a piece of the applicant tracking pie—small companies can get a slice for themselves.
Today is commonly referred to as the digital age, and rightly so. Each and every one of us carries a computer around in our pocket on a daily basis. So why shouldn’t you be able to benefit from it? Having your email inundated with resumes and applications just isn’t going to cut it. The applicant tracking system consolidates all of this information in one place, without clogging up your inbox or your desk with notes and applications.
But just because you are from a smaller company doesn’t mean you have to keep the same, bogged down process forever. Applicant tracking systems come in all shapes and sizes with a bunch of different features that are unique to each individual one. Some are easy to read and user-friendly, others are not. Whether you hire for 100 or 3 jobs a year, you should be using ATS. Sharron Ngatikaura, Director of Human Resources at Employer Solutions Group Technology said, “If your company hires more than two employees a year, you should use ApplicantPro.”
ApplicantPro offers all of these things for you for a really good price—and we’re geared toward smaller companies. Please contact us to learn more about how ApplicantPro can benefit your organization and solve your hiring needs.
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