An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) automates and streamlines recruitment and staffing processes. A good ATS organises your data better and allows recruiters to place more qualified candidates.
An Applicant Tracking System can also help you enhance the candidate experience with personalised emails & reminders.
The exact definition might be vague. For an exact definition you can check multiple sources and literally create your own!
How Does an ATS Work?
The best way to see how an ATS in recruitment works is to literally schedule a demo with our product specialist and sit back and enjoy the demo. Or if you’re into reading, you can read our detailed blog here.
ATS works in a completely programmatic way.
There are a few Applicant Tracking Systems like Recruit CRM which can be automated. This means you have to set up a few things like email templates, create a jobs page, and start using it.
As you start using the software, things get pretty clear with every step.
To dive deep into the actual working of an Applicant Tracking System, you’ll have to understand how recruiting and hiring is done on a daily basis.
An Applicant Tracking System literally replaces a recruiter’s daily task with a software, that’s it!
There’s no rocket science behind it.
An Applicant Tracking System is a software which is an enhanced version of excel sheets, where you can visually see all your records in a beautiful way, and automate things which are not possible in excel sheets. You can create your own job board and host it on your website.
Your job board will have much useful information like a job description, a button to apply to your job, and almost anything you want to add. You can also post your jobs to other job boards automatically and collect job applications from candidates easily. You do this manually if you’re not using one.
You can assign candidates to jobs and then share this list of candidates with the hiring manager which lets you spare time for other tasks rather than following up the hiring manager all the time.
Once the hiring manager finalises the candidates, you can take things forward and close the deal, which ultimately allows you to generate an invoice.
That’s how it works in a nutshell.
To be honest, writing how an ATS in recruitment works is really not possible because there are so many things that can’t be expressed in words.
A recruiter collects two things– jobs & candidates. Yes, clients too, but that’s assumed.
While collecting candidates, an old school recruiter will use an excel sheet or a notepad but ATS will help you save that candidate on your computer and moreover, you can use any computer because it is actually stored on the internet or cloud.
Recruiter stores all the data in the system, which is then processed or accessed by their teammates if it’s an agency. You can store data in an ATS by parsing a resume or by typing all the details of a candidate one by one.
Resume Parsers in ATS
Almost every Applicant Tracking System nowadays have a resume parser in it. This scans the resumes and adds details like first name, last name, skills, city and more details in your system.
If you know all the job description by heart, you can assign these candidates to those jobs on the go.
Why Do You Need an ATS?
Many businesses use it to organise their workflow and manager their team under one software. It’s a productivity & management software which is used for talent acquisition.
If your company still uses excel sheets then upgrading will definitely improve your work done per hour by each employee as these systems are designed to reduce your workload and make your life a little bit easier.
Job seekers can apply to your jobs in one click and some systems allow you to track the source of candidates.
Candidates can drop their application from your website and you can find these applications right in your system. How convenient is that?!
You also get to delight your customer by sending them a list of candidates which might appeal them. In the end, customer experience should always be your first priority which will benefit your recruitment agency in the long run.
Since ATS' are generally cloud-based, you can access it from anywhere.
Most of the systems are affordable and you can get started right from day one. On that note, check out our pricings page.
Types of Applicant Tracking Systems
An ATS in recruitment is generally designed for one of two things–
I. In-house Recruitment
These systems help keep track of all applicants for roles at a company along with their information.
Date of application, offer, joining date, skills, previous employer, salary, position applied for, etc. needs to be tracked seamlessly.
It also helps in sourcing and hiring new employees for your organisation.
Companies start needing dedicated ATS when they recruit more than 5-10 candidates every month.
II. For Agency
Agency recruitment has its own set of needs that are not met by a standard ATS.
Agencies need to maintain a robust & updated database of candidates while keeping a track of all the open positions they are working on.
Candidates submitted to clients, candidates placed, invoices raised and additional reports to measure recruiter performances are all very much necessary to get tracked.
Specialised ATS systems designed for recruitment firms are needed in this case. These systems allow agency recruiters to collaborate on jobs, submit candidate information to clients & collect interviewer feedback.
Functions of an Applicant Tracking System
1. Building a Candidate Database
Most good ATS' help you parse and store candidate resumes. They also let you source candidates from your website & social media directly into your recruiting database.
2. Storing & Filtering Candidate Data
Finding the right candidates by filtering through your database is critical for filling open positions successfully. Most ATS systems have powerful search & filtering features that will help you find the right candidate for each position you’re working on.
3. Contacting Candidates
Being constantly in touch with your candidates is important but more important is having to remember your discussion in your last conversation. The best ATS’ allow you to attach notes, add call logs & send emails to your candidates so you have all your conversations in one place.
4. Interview Scheduling
Agency recruiters need to schedule interview appointments between candidates & hiring managers. Systems like Recruit CRM let you schedule these interviews and send email notifications to both clients & candidates.
5. Submit Candidates & Collect Interview Feedback
As agency recruitment firms fill positions for clients, it’s important to have a centralized system to submit candidates to and collect feedback from clients. This gives you better insight into what’s actually happening at the ground level & moves the business in the right direction.
6. Measuring Recruiter Performance
You can only improve what you can measure. An ATS helps you monitor and evaluate individual recruiter performance objectively.
How to Evaluate & Select an Applicant Tracking System?
Before choosing an ATS, pen down your business processes and pain points. Then set a budget.
Now choose an ATS + CRM system that has the features that will solve your pain points & fits within your budget.
Another thing to think about is ATS implementation. Ensure the system you pick is easy & quick to set up. You don’t want to buy something so complicated that you end up spending days setting it up.
Hope this article helped you better understand what an ATS in recruitment does and how to go about picking one for your business.