Applicant Tracking System: 5 Things Employers and Candidates Should Know

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a game-changer for hiring managers as they seek more efficient and effective ways to select the best candidates, one of the most time-consuming challenges for any employer. According to Forbes, 90% of large employers now use applicant-tracking systems to sort and manage candidate applications. A whopping 99% of Fortune 500 companies have adopted the software. Even with the proliferation of this technology, many still wonder how exactly does an ATS work? And what should both employers and candidates know about this innovative new tool?

What Is An Applicant Tracking System and How Does It Work?

Applicant Tracking Systems are a digital talent acquisition tool used to help company’s post, organize and track job applications. They also filter and sort candidates by role suitability. Rather than keeping a filing cabinet full of physical CVs to review manually, an applicant is added to the talent pool making it quicker and easier for recruiters to evaluate candidates.

Applicant Tracking System: What Employers Should Know

1. An ATS quickly and objectively scans for the best skills and experience

Featuring artificial intelligence and machine learning, an ATS helps in screening and selecting candidates based on the job description. This applicant tracking software works by scanning CVs and applications with keyword trackers. Relevant keyword trackers find the most appropriate skills, education and experience required for positions. This is particularly helpful for larger organisations who expect greater volumes of applications for vacancies. Some ATS like X0PA’s AI Recruiter will also mask personal data in the CV. This helps employers make a more objective decision through eliminating potential human biases.

2. Automates and streamlines candidate follow-up and scheduling

An applicant tracking system can streamline steps in recruitment through Robotic Process Automation. Interview arrangements and the candidate follow-up process are automated with a great degree of personalization. This ensures a highly engaged hiring process with far less time and effort for a recruiter.

3. An applicant tracking system can help recruiters source and retarget candidates

As well as managing job postings, some ATS help recruiters to source suitable candidates from professional platforms like LinkedIn and other job boards. A recruiter can easily source, contact, and add profiles of prospective candidates to their ATS (and therefore their talent pool). Minimizing the loss track of contacted candidates.X0PA’s AI Recruiter uses AI Retargeting based on its patented algorithm to intelligently ensure when companies add applicants to their talent pool, they can be retargeted for current or future roles. This can make it easy and more cost-effective to employ workers into other positions without further recruiting efforts.

4. An ATS acts like a CRM

Applicant tracking systems also work as a form of Customer Relationship Management system; storing all candidate data for the future and sending out automated interview reminders, notifications and responses. This feature is particularly handy for alternative role considerations. Recruiters can always keep track of previous interactions with the candidate and notes from hiring managers on aspects like interview performance, key strengths and weaknesses.

5. An applicant tracking software conducts objective assessments for prospects

Some ATS can facilitate customized candidate assessments through linked platforms like X0PA ROOM to objectively pre-screen candidates. These assessments might come in the form of questions and answers, one-way video interviews, and more. AI analysis of these assessments intelligently highlights candidates with the best skills, while also providing a fairer hiring process. All results and insights automatically add to the candidate’s holistic profile in the ATS for further review.

Applicant Tracking Systems: What Every Candidate Should Know

1. Ensure your CV is a good fit for the position

ATS equipped with smart algorithms can screen applicants’ CVs based on keywords and search terms relevant to the advertised position. Applicants should therefore ensure CVs prominently showcase their skills which are relevant to the job description. Make sure you are automatically ranking among the top candidates by highlighting the most accurate and closely matching skillsets.

2. CV’s should be in an ATS-friendly format

Forbes notes that 75% of qualified job applicants are rejected by an ATS simply due to formatting issues. So make sure you don’t get caught out on the technicalities with a few best practices… PDFs or Docx formats are an ATS’ best friend. Always try to submit CVs saved in these formats. AI screening will then pull information based on headers, so you should try to make your titles logical and clear. Fonts and images also play a huge role in the acceptability of your CV. Some relevant fonts to use include Arial and Calibri. It’s also worth noting that CVs with images can be difficult to process by some ATS platforms.

3. ATS enables swifter responses for applicants

Automating the screening and follow-up process ensures that applicants receive swift responses and notifications from the recruiter. This spares the candidate the anxiety of not hearing back. It also helps unsuccessful candidates to move on to the next job opportunity faster.

4. It connects applicants with their preferred roles and companies

Applicant tracking systems have powerful job matching abilities that can connect prospects to desired roles based on skills and preferences. Certain ATS can screen suitable prospects from job boards like LinkedIn based on their online presence. This enables recruiters to reach out directly. This can open new opportunities for both active and passive candidates, and speed the process of job searches without the need to apply and fill out multiple forms. The ATS can then store the candidate profile in the company’s database for future positions and consideration.

5. An applicant tracking software can create more steps in landing the desired role

An ATS creates room for further assessment before the eventual face-to-face interview. This means the candidate may have to go through several screening levels as employers try to ensure best fit. Therefore, qualified applicants should remain open to different assessment formats whether through written tests or video interviews etc. While this can seem lengthy, this makes for a much fairer hiring process. Each candidate’s assessment uses the same metrics, rather than solely taking into account someone’s apparent background and experience. This is a fantastic way to level the playing field and lead to more diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Make sure you are getting the most out of ATS

Applicant tracking systems are now a staple in hiring around the world and offer efficiency and effectiveness for both employers and candidates. But there are a number of elements both groups should consider for success. Employers need to understand how to effectively utilize this innovative technology to save them time in the overall hiring process, while nurturing top talents. For candidates, it’s imperative to understand how to work with the software to put themselves in the best possible position to be selected for their desired role. Find out more about how X0PA AI Recruiter can help you intelligently streamline your hiring and build your talent pool so you never miss out of those quality hires.

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