The Effectiveness Of Applicant Tracking Systems

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In an ideal world, the employee hiring process would be a highly individualized, personal process. Employers would carefully review every single application and resume with care and a discerning eye.

But unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. The harsh reality of the hiring process is that most businesses receive far too many applications to dedicate the time and energy required to review each one. Moreover, in any applicant pool, there are bound to be those that simply do not fit the minimum qualifications for the job opening. In order to avoid the cost of reviewing these applications, companies can use applicant tracking systems.

The Effectiveness Of Applicant Tracking Systems

What Is An Applicant Tracking System?

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are also sometimes referred to as “candidate management systems.” They are a special type of software that can be utilized by companies in order to streamline and increase the efficiency of the employee hiring process. The software can be used to perform a number of employee recruitment tasks including posting job openings on online forums, using targeted applicant screening questions, and ranking applicant resumes, among other things. Approximately fifty percent of mid-sized businesses and nearly all major enterprises use some form of ATS in their employee hiring process.

Do Applicant Tracking Systems Produce Quality Candidates?

When used appropriately, ATS can indeed be a highly effective tool, especially for growing businesses. Benefits include:

  • Data Management

ATS allows employers to manage all of the applicant information. For instance, if a particular job position requires that the employee have at least a Bachelor’s degree, ATS can be used to scan resume data and weed out any applicants that do not have a Bachelor’s degree.

This is just one example of a job specific parameter that can be set by the employer and used to screen applicants. Employers can also use screening questions that are customized to a particular job position. You can also use a positive screen such as rewarding applicants on the basis of employee referrals. All of these screening options are customizable, which means they can be tailored to suit the needs of a particular business and job opening.

  • Automation

Posting to multiple job boards and employee recruitment forums can be completely automated by ATS. Communication can be automated as well as assigning tasks to make the whole process much easier.

  • Centralized, Collaborative Hiring Tools

Notes, individual reports, follow-up questions and other information that is pertinent to a particular applicant can be attached to their application file. This information can then be easily accessed at any point in the future without the hassle of searching through overflowing filing cabinets.

All of these advantages of using ATS mean a streamlined and more effective hiring process for businesses that utilize them.

Some companies are hesitant to use ATS for fear that qualified candidates would be unfairly eliminated from the applicant pool. While it is true that a good candidate for a job opening could be eliminated due to factors like an unusually formatted resume, for the most part ATS is an efficient way to manage a high volume of applications that would otherwise take considerable time and manpower to review.

What is the Cost of Making the Wrong Hire?

In making a decision about the applicability of applicant tracking software to your business, you must also consider the consequences of making the wrong hire. For instance, hiring an employee that is poorly qualified for the position will inevitably result in loss of productivity, internal stress, and financial losses. If the employee is unable to perform the necessary tasks of the job, you may be forced to begin the employee recruitment process all over again. Using ATS can help prevent these negative repercussions by helping employers make efficient and appropriate hires.

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Written by Laura Smous, Senior Project Manager at The Resumator.