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05 July 2024

What is an ATS?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software where you manage your recruitment process. As the name implies, an ATS tracks candidates during the recruitment process. We tell you why having an ATS is important to your recruiting process. We explain to you why having an ATS is important to your recruiting process.

An Applicant Tracking System helps you improve/manage your hiring process and allows you to manage the entire process from one central platform. It also helps to organize and automate the entire process of recruitment and selection. It offers you a full all-in-one system including integrated mail, agenda functionality, talent pools and more. This will make the recruiter’s job easier, allowing you to make the best match faster. Also, using an ATS will help you keep track of where the candidates are in the process.

But an ATS does more than the above. An ATS is also used to select applicants and recommend the best candidates. In addition, it can run a preliminary analysis of applicants to find the best-fit job. It can also search for keywords or use AI algorithms that make a deeper analysis of the applicant. The goal of an Applicant Tracking System is to speed up the review of applications and résumés and ultimately achieve the perfect match between the candidate and client.

How the process works

An ATS helps manage every step of the hiring process: from writing the vacancy to making an offer. The ATS tracks all activities around the candidate. The following steps characterize the process of an ATS:

  1. The vacancy is created and, if necessary, approved within the system.
  2. The vacancy will be posted in one or more places, including internally for employees, on the organisation’s website and on external job boards.
  3. Candidates apply for the position on the website of your organisation or directly on the job board (if that functionality is available). They may have to answer questions related to the position, such as their work experience and education. Some systems can be set up to reject candidates automatically based on answers to certain questions.
  4. An ATS can analyse résumés and rank new applications as they are submitted.
  5. The recruiter reviews candidates in the system and selects the candidates to continue with. Candidates who are not selected can receive an automatic rejection email.
  6. Interviews can be held with the recruiter, manager and others as needed. After each interview, notes can be entered into the ATS for future use.
  7. Once the best candidate is found, the recruiter will use the ATS to make the candidate an offer.
  8. If the candidate accepts the offer, he or she is hired. The onboarding features of the ATS will be available to the new employee, where the person can read and digitally sign policies, fill out online forms and learn more about the organisation.

The importance of having an ATS

The use of an ATS is important in a lot of ways, even for small businesses. First of all, candidates from organisations expect a positive candidate experience and a user-friendly application process. Second, an ATS automates and streamlines the hiring process for all employees involved, such as recruiters, managers and approvers.  And lastly, an ATS provides a storage of data for future use. For example, when a candidate from the past applies for a new job or it can be used as a tool to search potential candidates in applications for previous vacancies. But there are other benefits of working with an ATS.

Benefits of a recruitment system

An ATS is designed to (better) organize and quicken the recruitment process by providing the following features and benefits:

  • It can post and manage vacancies on the organisation’s internal and external career sites and on multiple job sites, such as Indeed and Monster and on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • It maintains a database of new applicants and people who may be considered for future vacancies.
  • It collects information about candidates, including communication and jobs candidates have applied to in the past, to create a good picture and profile of each candidate.
  • It can also help sort and rank candidates by, for example, performing an initial scan of candidates and selecting those who meet the qualifications of the job.
  • It can also be set up to automate responses, send call reminders and alert people in the database to new jobs. From this perspective, the ATS acts as a form of relationship management.

The future of Applicant Tracking Systems will likely bring refinements to the features they already offer today. Examples include a continued focus on usability, out-of-the-box integrations with complementary HR systems and enhancements to AI capabilities. It is also expected that vendors will continue to look for ways to simplify the end-to-end process for recruiters. Since some vacancies attract hundreds of applicants, anything that can be done to make the recruiter’s job – reviewing applications, communicating with candidates and collaborating with hiring managers – easier, should bring major benefits.

At Carerix we are also continuously working on optimizing our system. We like to think along with your organisation if you want to improve your work processes. Are you still in the orientation phase and do you want to know what to consider when purchasing an ATS? We have collected a number of important tips in the whitepaper Tips for selecting a recruitment system.


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