Applicant tracking system (ATS)

Applicant tracking system (ATS) is used for covering recruitment needs in an electronic and more optimized way. The advantage of an ATS is that data can be stored and accessed online. There are various ATS for small and medium businesses or enterprises.  Depending on business needs and functionality implemented, ATS can be free, open source, sold as standalone software or on a software as a service (SaaS) basis for subscription.

Initially, the applicant tracking system was used only by large corporations, which had to deal with thousands of job applications weekly. However this tool turned to be efficient for businesses of every type and size, so now almost 95% of Fortune 500 companies successfully use ATS to manage and streamline their recruiting.

ATS are similar to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, but they have their own specificity related to tracking the recruitment process. Comprehensive Applicant Tracking Systems, like PeopleForce, maintain a detailed database of applicants, including CVs and personal data, enable management of the recruitment process with options to assign responsible people, allow for tracking of the recruitment process, sending of automatic notifications, acceptance of electronic signatures and detailed control of access to sensitive information.


Why use Applicant Tracking System?

Learning about job opportunities and applying for jobs has become so much easier worldwide. Recruiting managers receive and look through at average 250 applications per vacancy, as reported by Inc. Only 4-6 candidates of those will be invited for interview. Can you imagine how much time and effort recruiters put into searching through all applications, reviewing and selecting the most relevant ones, and afterwards sending both negative and positive feedback to applicants. Here comes ATS as a high tech solution to HR managers and recruiters needs.

Robust ATS provides functionality to organize and save CVs and all personal data of applicants for later. That makes it easier for recruiters to refer to previous applicants in case of a new job opening or different position. If the recruiter has ever contacted you months later, then (s)he probably makes good use of ATS. ATS preserves applications and applicants data even after the vacancy was closed.


Tips for candidates applying through ATS

If you see an online form for job applications, then most likely that Applicant tracking system will handle your information. So here are several tips for candidates for successful job applications.

  • Use the right keywords. Often applicant tracking systems filter applications by keywords, so make sure that your resume contains keywords, related to job requirements. Pay attention to what position you’re applying to and include those exact words, used in job description. For example, if the position requires Microsoft Word, don’t write Microsoft Office in your CV. Humans will definitely understand that, but automated system may not.
  • Be attentive and carefully follow the instructions. If you’re required to submit CV in .doc format, don’t upload it in .pdf. Include all the files that are required, for example, not only CV, but also cover letter, references, tests, etc. That’s not a hard task, just read carefully all the instructions, prior to submitting your application.
  • Avoid putting important information in the header or footer. Many applicant tracking systems might not be able to properly parse details in document header or footer. You can secure your CV from such a case, just by putting all important information, especially contact information, in the main body of your CV.
  • Avoid fancy images and graphics. Images, charts and graphics in CV may look nice and creative, but ATS may mess up or omit them. In such case, you risk being lost in the applicant tracking system for the sake of having a beautiful CV. Set your priorities and keep a designed CV for positions, where you apply manually via e-mail.

An Applicant tracking system by PeopleForce correctly processes all CV data and leaves room for manual entry of candidate information. So the above tips apply to ATS systems from our competitors, because with our product you don't have to worry about processing restrictions.

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