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Applicant Tracking System- A Big No to Recruitment Stress

Gone are days when the recruiter in an organization used to scan each and every resume to search out for the best candidate which can suit the job description skills human element and manual process set and can make a perfect fit for what the company is looking for. With involved in multiple stages of the hiring process, it has the disadvantage of missing important details and information. Such process of manual system of tracking employees is very tedious and time-consuming.  With the advancement of technology companies big or small are coming up with technical ways of recruiting or recruitment. One such technology is the use of Application tracking system or ATS.  

An Applicant Tracking System as the name indicates tracking of candidates in the hiring process. The ATS manages completely the hiring process starting from resume screening including scheduling of interviews up to the final selection of candidates. It also helps in issuing notification alerts and sending automated emails to candidates. 

According to Wikipedia the definition of applicant tracking system is: An applicant tracking system is a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs. An ATS can be implemented or accessed online on an enterprise or small business level, depending on the needs of the company and there is also free and open source ATS software available.

ATS  is primarily used to assist in hiring by collecting, organizing and filtering candidates. One can get to know that they are using ATS in case they are submitting their resume and application for the job through an online form.

Why HR relies on Technical means for Hiring and Recruiting?

The human capital of an organisation decides the fate of the company's success. The Company wants to hire the perfect talent which can fit their requirement and can be proved successful in the future endeavours. Hiring which was previously seen as the messy exercise is now one of the most reliable ones thanks to the use of technology. There is the renaissance in HR with technical usage in most of its processes. At the heart of all this, we have the applicant tracking system.

Is Implementing Applicant Tracking System a Right Choice?

Having an ATS Recruitment System for one's organisation needs a lot of thought process and a thorough understanding of the recruiting and hiring process. Various key question originates while making a final call to have an applicant tracking system or not. Some questions which need to be answered before making a final call are as follows:

  1. How your company does the planning for the hiring process?
  2. How much is the estimated cost of your company’s hiring budget?
  3. How does the company create its job description?
  4. How it creates its job advertisement?
  5. How posting of the job description and job advertisement are done?
  6. What is the current way of receiving job application?
  7. What all steps are followed from receiving application till final hiring?
  8. Does the company take any written assessment while hiring?
  9. Who all manages the hiring process of the organisation?
  10. Does the company carry out a reference check before finally making an offer?
  11. How the company uses its data towards the betterment of its hiring process?

These questions need to be thought about and answered before deciding to have an Online Applicant Tracking System. Identify  the gaps that exist in the company’s current model of recruitment and hiring process  and an ideal recruitment process. If we see current scenario robust ATS is still not a majority. There are many small and medium sized enterprise that rely on the spreadsheet for recruitment and some big organisations are using ATS but not with very advanced features so the problem lies where it was.

However, some Statistical data are in favor of having Applicant Tracking System Software.

Application tracking System (ATS) – How it works

We have seen the flowchart and various steps to be followed in working of applicant tracking system now let’s understand it from a theoretical point of view.

ATS recruitment system provides strong support to the recruitment and hiring process of a company.  It's easy for a company to use ATS as it works very efficiently in reducing the cost and is a big time saver.  Let’s understand the working of an applicant tracking system

  1. Job Posting:  Job posting on various portals, websites, etc. can be done by using ATS. It has a feature to integrate with the job portal and job board. One can publish listing from the software and can collect applications. The Job description can also be posted on ATS. An effective JD must be posted so that candidate can know about various aspects such as skills required, job responsibilities they need to know etc. These can be made available by using the  best feature of ATS  system. 
  2. Spreadsheet importing: One of the reasons of concern for an organisation is regarding transferring the existing company’s spreadsheet data into the new software. However,this stress is completely released by  ATS  as they have spreadsheet importing feature. It can be done quickly. The data that has been imported from spreadsheet remains at one place.
  3. Import of resumes:  As the recruiter receive resumes from different  sources such as Job boards, portals, company’s intranet page, it is humanly not possible to compare all the resumes and scan them physically. ATS is the boon in disguise. It can import resumes and can sort them out using the candidate tracking system . With  ATS, a company does not loose any of its potential candidate resumes. It can be easily found as and when the company is in need of them.  
  4. Parsing of resumes: Parsing of resume helps the various hiring professional as they need not analyse every resume manually but the analysis can be done with a feature called resume parsing. As resume differs in their structural format carrying out the comparison of the different resume is difficult but resume parsing takes out information in a standard format and the recruiter can get to know about the most relevant resume's thus saving the recruiter time. 
  5. Email marketing: With the use of the feature of online ATS various tasks of recruitment and hiring can be eased out. For eg. Email marketing saves hiring team valuable time by sending emails to candidates and managing the complete email campaigning.
  6. Candidate tracking: The use of employee tracking system  helps in candidate tracking also one can check how a candidate is advancing. Up to which stage of hiring the candidate has reached. One can also know whether the offer has been accepted or rejected. In such tracking, categorisation is done basis skills or interest and resume pool can be created basis this and which can be used in nearby future.
  7. Cooperation: The ats can be used by multiple users using the software on multiple devices. The latest information about the candidate can be viewed by multiple users at the same time. ATS  makes it easy to work even from remote locations. 

Reading Suggestions : Experts Guide on Recruitment management System (RMS)


Important Features of an ATS Tracking System

  1. Email:  An ATS provide the email template for follow up with candidates in different stages of the hiring process. Such feature save the recruiters time as they need not send emails to candidates individually.
  2. Bulk email:  This feature also saves recruiters time as bulk email can be sent to multiple candidates in one go. For instance, some candidates have crossed certain stages of the hiring process so bulk email can be sent to this group of candidates. No framing of email for different candidates.
  3. Career  Portal: ATS tracking software gives employer facility to make a career portal, on this career portal applicants can get to know about the various vacancies in the company, some insight into company's ways of working and they can also apply for jobs.
  4. An Added feature of mobile application:  This applicant tracking software has a feature of mobile application wherein the recruiter can get to know the information on any candidate on mobile. This feature gives an added advantage that it can be used anywhere anytime. 
  5. Social media platform:  One unique feature of applicant tracking system is its integration with social media app like facebook, through this feature job opening can be advertised, an application can be accepted etc.
  6. Candidate filtration: The ATS has another feature wherein candidates can be filtered by various screening questions which are asked at the beginning of filling of application form. These details can be related to education, work experience etc. This feature has an added advantage in candidate tracking and filtration system.
  7. Addition of personal note: To save on recruiter time from maintaining spreadsheets, ATS  has a feature wherein any note can be written on candidate resume by recruiter which candidate will not be able to see but it is beneficial for the recruiter to maintain record; organising ideas etc.
  8. Mass action:  Actions which can be used in an ATS System  are as follows:
  1. Sending emails to candidates. 
  2. Sending rejection emails.
  3. Addition of tags
  4. Making a single profile of a candidate who has a duplicate profile by merging
  5. Assigning follow up reminders
  1. Advertising job vacancy to different portal:  This feature saves lots of recruiter time by posting a job advertisement to different job portals at one time so that audience can get to know about it.
  2. Review of job portal:   the applicant tracker has an attribute wherein recruiter can get to know from which job portal the candidate has come from so that they have an idea regarding job portal giving the best candidate and accordingly recruiter can focus on the relevant portal.
  3. Search made easy: A recruiter can search any candidate, emails etc. this helps the recruiter to save on time and energy and information can be accessed anytime.
  4. Resume pipeline:  ATS  has a characteristic that any resume which has the skill set needed by the company in nearby future but not currently, such resume can be added in the pipeline with ATS.
  5. Interview reminder email:  Interview reminder email can be sent to the screened candidate.
  6. Format job application form:  The job application form can be customized depending upon the job profile.
  7. Filtration: This is a unique feature wherein candidate need not have a look at all the application received. A filter can be made using different parameters and only relevant resumes and candidate profile can be received.
  8. Integration with calendar: The  applicant tracking system in recruitment   can be integrated with the calendar and both the recruiter and candidate can view the available time slot and can schedule the interview accordingly.
  9. Interview plans: The interview questions can be formatted as per the job profile and tests, presentation etc. can be added to an interview questionnaire which need to be answered by the candidate.
  10. Team alliance: This is an added advantage in using an online applicant tracking system  that it can be used by multiple users once permission is granted to them. 
  11. Approvals: The  ATS  also have a feature which set an approval flow in which approval from various authority can be taken once a final offer is made to a candidate.
  12. Daily overview:  An overview for what all happened in the hiring process can be obtained using the list of notes, emails from applicant tracking system. It helps to know about upcoming interviews, schedule of interviews and the new addition to the company talent pool.
  13. Integration with HRIS:  The ATS system can be integrated with the human resource information system for it can save time. Most important point is that any information can be accessed from HRIS through ATS.
  14. Video interview feature:  This feature of ATS  allow integration of video interview. The video interview feature saves the cost of travelling and it can be conducted after deciding on the scheduled date and time.  The recorded video interview can be attached to the candidate profile. 
  15. Apply through email:  With this feature, it allows the candidate to email the application to an account that automatically puts into the ATS.
  16. Fetching data:  This feature allows the data which can be obtained in an excel file or other formats as considered appropriate. Data can be analysed and can be sent to other system and it helps in final decision making. 
  17. One signing integration :  A  candidate can sign on multiple application using a single login via ats. It is not required to sign on with different applications.

What makes Applicant tracking system successful in Indian markets?

ATS was introduced in India a few years back however, a number of features have been added to it to make the best possible use of it. What makes it successful can be explained as:

1. Sourcing of candidate is easier with online ATS.

2. Ease with vendir coordination time to hire is reduced considerably.

3. Using the best ATS system duplication of efforts and time is saved.