What is An Applicant Tracking System (ATS): How Employers Use ATS

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by an HR manager.

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Have you ever wondered how large companies handle the hundreds to thousands of job applications? It’s not a team of recruiters poring over each resume and application. Even though that might what has been done in the past, nowadays, companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter resumes and applications. In fact, most Fortune 500 companies and, recently, some small- and medium-sized businesses utilize them.

An ATS is a recruiting and hiring software that can scan and categorize resumes and professional documents to see if a certain applicant is fit for the employer. So if you receive too many resumes and job applications to handle, you can make use of ATS so only the qualified ones can reach you.

What is the Function of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

ATS works by collecting and sorting resumes based on the criteria that the hiring manager or employer sets. When someone applies, the system gathers and processes them first to see if they have the proper skill set, education, and background for the position they applied in.

If they pass, their application reaches the hiring manager and if not, their application is discarded. This way, only the best applicants with well-written and optimized resumes can be seen by the employer.

This is a good system for employers because it saves them time and effort. It also helps the employer to find qualified applicants who are not only well-qualified but have already been screened by ATS so they know that these people will be able to do what’s required of their job position with no problem at all

Why Do Employers Use ATS

If you’re a Fortune 500 company like Intel, you would most likely receive hundreds of job applications and resume each day from all over the world to apply to one of your job openings. In the digital online, applying online is so easy that even if an aspiring employee is not qualified for a position, they’d still give it a try. For large companies, or even for smaller companies with competitive openings, a job advertisement can yield too many applications to handle.

Applicant tracking systems are a recruiter’s best friend. They not only keep all the resumes in one place but also help recruiters stay organized and compliant with EEOC hiring practices. ATS can automatically surface top candidates by highlighting them on-screen — although this isn’t always accurate because it relies too heavily on keywords that may or may not be relevant to certain positions for different companies.

Moreover, ATS saves time for job applicants. Many job seekers find themselves wasting hours of their time laboriously re-typing the same resume, cover letter, and references for every application. Fortunately, there are systems that allow them to upload professional information such as work history, education, and other details from LinkedIn or Indeed directly into an employer’s system saving a significant amount of both time and effort in this process.

Problems with Applicant Tracking Systems

Employers should be aware of the drawbacks to applicant tracking systems before they invest in one. These programs can miss out on good candidates who are switching careers, so it’s important that employers also manually check resumes and not just rely solely on their system for new hires.

Here are a couple of drawbacks:

– Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can’t tell if someone is qualified based on a resume alone because resumes don’t always provide a full picture of the candidate’s qualifications.

– Some systems will reject candidates if they can’t read the resume correctly, or if it looks different than what the system is programmed to recognize. This happens when your resume doesn’t look like something that the machine would expect it to.

How Do Applicant Tracking Systems Work?

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) work by scanning resumes and matching them to the job description. The system then ranks candidates based on how well they match up with what is required for that specific position, in terms of skills or experience level needed as outlined within a company’s requirements when posting an opening online through their ATS software program.

Typically, most ATS has the following features:

Accessing and Viewing Resumes and Applications

Some recruiters still glance at every job application that comes through their applicant tracking system. In this case, most take a quick look at the applicant’s past highlights, job titles, and companies in only 6 seconds to decide if they want to learn more about them or not. So applicants usually make sure that their top skills and qualifications come across quickly to be processed by the ATS.

Ranking and Organizing Applications

You can use your applicant tracking system to rank candidates based on job requirements. Taleo’s Req Rank feature automatically scores applicants and ranks them according to how well their resume matches the requisition of a position you are hiring for. This way, recruiters do not have to sort through all applications when they could be looking at only those that would make an ideal fit.

Keyword Searching in Resumes

In a competitive job market, recruiters are constantly looking for the best of the best. One way they do this is by filtering resumes through applicant tracking systems and searching keywords and key terms like “Virtual Assistant.” Those that do not have those terms in their resume will be filtered out.

A search can have numerous keywords and terms. For example, they might perform a complex search that contains a combination of titles and skills important for the job:

Virtual Assistant, Data Entry, Graphic Design, and Photoshop

Candidates who know which resume keywords to include will be more likely to show up in the recruiter’s results. The best way to figure out what skills are most needed is by analyzing their current job description and job opening on job boards and job sites.

Applicant Tracking Systems Will Stand the Test of Time

With the numerous applications that have flooded companies since the online age, they had to resort to some of the more ridiculous application processes and filters that are seen today. The unemployment rates are improving and employers want to receive applications from only qualified candidates instead of wasting their own precious resources on those without skills. Unfortunately, unemployment rates can’t be expected to improve anytime soon so we’ll likely see an increase in this tech before it dwindles back down again.

Companies are adapting to the modern age by updating their systems for more streamlined and efficient recruitment. As companies fight for talent, candidate experience is becoming a priority in order to make sure that these individuals will want to stay with them after they have successfully found an opening within their company. Automation and ranking systems aren’t going anywhere; employers just need new software that can take advantage of AI while still providing candidates with individualized customer service experiences from recruiting staff members.

Final Thoughts

Now, you know what applicant tracking systems are and how employers use them. We discussed the problems, issues, and drawbacks of these ATSs as well as why they are used by companies in order to find more qualified candidates for positions within their company or organization that need filling quickly with a high-quality candidate who will stay on after being hired into an open position.

If you’re an employer, recruiter, or hiring manager looking into hiring more employees, an ATS can be a great tool and system to invest in.

If you’re looking to post jobs, you can make use of Job Spring, a job board with jobs from multinational companies open to everyone including Filipinos.

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