Applicant Tracking System

The Definitive Guide

Covering everything from key features to functionality to business benefits

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What is Applicant Tracking System?

An applicant tracking system is a software solution specifically designed to facilitate the recruitment process for HR managers, recruiters or hiring teams. It automates the process so to say. It, not only saves time and improves productivity, but also allows you to enhance the recruitment process.

An applicant tracking system simplifies, streamlines, and speeds-up the entire recruitment workflow. Apart from accelerating the sourcing cycle, the ATS integrates various functionalities to address every hiring challenge. From job advertising and candidate screening to interview management and reporting, an ATS does all the leg work!

Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Used?

The internet and job sites like Indeed and Monster have made it very easy for job seekers to apply for a job with just a click of a button. Hence, companies attract hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, clogging the hiring process and making it difficult for the recruiters and the hiring managers to sort the resumes to find the right candidates.

An ATS is generally used to ease the workload of recruiters and hiring managers in the following tasks:

  • Sorting the numerous resumes
  • Providing better recordkeeping of employees, thus making the process of tracking information much easier
  • Organizing and saving resumes for future use
  • Sending emails directly to applicants to either schedule the interview or inform them that they didn’t make the cut
How Applicant Tracking System Works?

Each applicant tracking system is different from the other – while one focuses on keyword search capability, the other stands out in resume parsing. Although each ATS has its own strengths and weaknesses, they all have the same basic process.

When candidates apply through an ATS, they are most likely be asked a few knockout questions. These questions are either in the form of checkboxes or short answers. That said, these questions have a very clear purpose – to narrow down the pool of applicants instantly.

If the reply to any of the knockout questions is unsatisfactory, the ATS flags the resume as rejected. On the other hand, if the answers to the knockout questions are correct, the ATS puts the resume through for the next stage of the recruitment process.

Hiring managers and recruiters can search for resumes in the ATS by using keywords. These keywords can be based on experience, skills, location, education, former employers, etc. They can also make notes or rate the candidate. If the resume is not flagged with negative feedback, it can be considered for future job openings.

ATS also makes use of social media to look for potential employees. By using certain keywords, the ATS can bring up certain profiles that match the job requirements.

How Does an ATS Work to Optimize the Hiring Process?

Recruiters and startup owners can use an ATS to automate the entire recruitment process from sourcing to onboarding. There are 4 crucial functionalities of an applicant tracking system that make your life easy and work efficiently.

One-Click Job Postings

The applicant tracking system will save you all the time and effort you spend on posting your job ads. It integrates with popular job boards and social platforms so you can post your job ads on multiple channels with a single click!

One-Click Job Postings

Career Site

An applicant tracking system pairs up with the career page and allows candidates to view job openings, answer pre-screening questions, apply and/or refer the job opening to other candidates. The ATS completely automates the career page with customized input forms, automated resume screening, candidate ranking, and email notifications.

Branded Careers Portal

Advanced Search

An applicant tracking system has powerful search and sorting features that allow hiring managers and recruiters to quickly search candidate listings and filter them using keywords, phrases, and skills or experience. And since an ATS works as a database of all potential candidates, the HR professionals can use this information to understand the types of individuals who apply for their positions.

Advanced Search

Screening Candidates

An applicant tracking system imports every resume, regardless of its format so you can have every profile at your fingertips. The resume parser extracts all the important information and converts it into a standard profile that is easy to scan.

Resume Parsing and Screening

Applicant Tracking

The ability of an applicant tracking system to upload files, documents, and additional information to a candidate’s CV play a very important role in assessing the candidate and reference checking too. The ATS has better workflows for organizing candidate communication, and this information helps recruiters to nurture strong candidate relationships.

Applicant Tracking

Job Interviews

With an ATS, recruiters can personalize interview emails and sync them with the calendar. They can also schedule group interviews and let candidates pick a convenient interview slot or they can send them video interview invites.

Smart Interviews for smarter people

Interview Tools

ATS is equipped with tools to assist with interviews. The features of the applicant tracking system, such as video interviewing, automatic interview scheduling, and the ability to record and track notes from phone interviews have made the interview process so much faster and simpler with improved candidate experience.

Interview Tools

Seamless Recruiting

Having an applicant tracking system ensures that the entire recruitment workflow is easily accessible to everyone, right from the recruiter to the CEO in real-time. This facilitates informed hiring decisions when they sit to zero in on the right candidates.

Applicant Tracking at Every Stage

Analytics

An ATS is data-driven, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate, interpret and react to real-time data with smarter analytics that can pinpoint the bottlenecks in the hiring process. The analytics can give insights and track the performance of career site engagement, social sourcing efforts, and also manage advertising campaigns.

Analytics

Key Features of an ATS

The key features of an ATS are all the tools you’ll ever need to increase productivity and acquire top industry talent while saving your time and reducing the recruitment cost. These features are designed to automate and optimize your recruitment process. They include automated job postings, social media integration, customizable emails and text messages, smart filter intelligence, real-time dashboards, automated interview management, reporting, and analytics tracking.

The Benefits of Using an Applicant Tracking System

All your tedious and time-consuming recruitment activities can be automated in an instant with applicant tracking software. An ATS has the power to overhaul a mind-numbing recruitment process into the most efficient business operation overnight!

But, the biggest benefits of using an applicant tracking system are best exemplified by its ability to improve the 3 most important KPIs. ATS is proved to improve the time to hire, cost per hire and candidate quality.

Now let’s delve deeper into how each feature works and the benefits they deliver when using an applicant tracking system.

Job Advertising

35% of hiring managers say that by fully automating manual processes, has increased their hiring costs considerably.

 

What it does
This feature allows recruiters to post jobs on free and premium job boards and social networks with one-click.

How it works
Recruiters can automate job postings across all social channels, professional networks, talent communities and career sites for increased recruitment reach. They can also track the conversion rate of every channel and maximize ROI without having to worry about losing out on top choice candidates.

Benefits
All the job postings are updated directly from your ATS account to expand your reach and generate more referrals. This makes the hiring process time-efficient and since time is money, it also helps you save big on the recruitment budget.

Job Advertising

Candidate Sourcing

75% of big companies use an applicant tracking system for reviewing and ranking resumes.

 

What it does
With candidate sourcing, recruiters can directly source every application received from the careers site, job boards, and social channels and store it on a centralized talent pool.

How it works
With chrome plug-in, every resume received is converted into a rich candidate profile in real-time. Customizable application forms and pre-screening questions help screen candidates faster and smart filter intelligence narrows down the talent pool in seconds.

Benefits
It creates a centralized candidate pool that you can proactively search to cut down the time, effort, and money needed to fill a vacancy faster. Recruiters can free up their valuable time and stay focused on interviewing candidates that fulfill the vacancy criteria.

Candidate Sourcing

Candidate Management

65% of job seekers have said that they never or rarely receive an update on their application status.

 

What it does
A mobile-friendly applicant tracking system eliminates every glitch in the recruitment process by tracking every applicant at every stage of the recruitment process.

How it works
It enables hiring managers to assign tasks to the recruiting team when a candidate moves from one stage to another. It also triggers automated text messages and instant email notifications to keep candidates updated as they proceed through the sourcing funnel.

Benefits
Candidate management empowers recruiters to stay on top of the sourcing cycle at every step, customize the recruitment pipeline and shortlist the right fit with just a few clicks.

Candidate Management

Team Collaboration

86% of recruiters say that using an applicant tracking system has helped them hire better and faster.

 

What it does
Recruiting is a team effort that requires consistent collaboration at every stage. Cloud-based applicant tracking system facilitates real-time collaboration with co-workers.

How it works
Recruiters can tag their favorite profiles and share their info with team members in real-time. They can also assign different tasks to team members and control who has access to what candidate data. By centralizing all candidate information on one easily accessible database, recruiters can take quick and informed decisions from anywhere.

Benefits
Task automation and reminders eliminate all delays and discrepancies and ensure timely completion of tasks. When the entire recruitment funnel is at your fingertips, productivity is increased even when team members are working remotely!

Team Collaboration

Candidate Messaging

80% of candidates say that a positive or negative experience can change their mind instantly about accepting or rejecting a job offer.

 

What it does
It allows recruiters to better engage candidates in just a few clicks and rules out every possibility of unread messages and emails

How it works
Candidate messaging keeps candidates informed with auto-reply and emails.

Recruiters can also reach out to candidates on their phones with automated text messages and eliminate no-shows.

Benefits
Recruiters can personalize email templates and send multiple files with a single click. Since an applicant tracking system empowers recruiters to keep candidates informed about their progress, it conveys that you care and keeps them interested.

Candidate Messaging

Interview Management

42% recruiters have said that AI has been the most helpful in scheduling interviews.

 

What it does
It sends personalized emails with the interview appointments that are synced with your calendar.

How it works
Recruiters can schedule interviews with time slots in just a few clicks. They can further accelerate the selection process by sending video interview invites to candidates and view the responses at their convenience.

Benefits
Timely reminders of upcoming interviews eliminate no shows. With instant access to activity log and real-time visibility into a full audit trail, recruiters can stay on top of every step and take better hiring decisions.

Interview Management

Reporting and Analysis

 

What it does
From evaluating the effectiveness of a job description and analyzing the efficiency of social networks to tracking process compliance and monitoring acceptance rate, analytics offer actionable insights to optimize the recruitment process.

How it works
Applicant tracking software collates all your candidate data to generate customized reports for performance tracking. This helps recruiters identify bottlenecks, monitor the effectiveness of the recruitment process, and optimize the hiring process.

Benefits
Recruitment performance reports provide actionable insights into issues that are not otherwise noticeable and help employers maximize the returns on the time and effort they invest on the hiring process.

Reporting and Analytics

Cloud Reliability

 

What it does
Cloud reliability ensures that your applicant tracking system runs smoothly round-the-clock while making sure that there is no room for errors.

How it works
Cloud-based applicant tracking system stores all your recruitment data in secure data centers.

Benefits
Cloud technology eliminates the risk of data-theft even with unlimited storage space. If you use Jobsoid applicant tracking system, your data is backed up multiple times! This backup is retained for up to 60 days, in case you ever need to retrieve it.

 

Cloud Reliability
The ATS Features Your Business Really Needs

A wide variety of industries and sizes use ATS. The ATS buyers can be categorized depending on the number of employees they have in their organization: Small business, midsize business and enterprise business.

Here are the most crucial ATS software features for different business sizes:

Type of Business BuyerBusiness SizeATS Feature NeededFunction
Small business buyer1-50 employees with no dedicated HR and recruiting teamApplicant databaseTracks all applicants in a centralized, secure platform and eliminates the need for paper files and complex spreadsheets
Midsize business buyerExperiencing rapid growth with 51-500 employees, with an increasing need for hiring an in-house recruiterResume parsingSearches for important phrases and words automatically in the resumes received to shortlist the top candidates and weed out unqualified candidates
Enterprise business buyerMore than 500 employees with a dedicated hiring team and an IT departmentRecruiting analyticsLets you dive deeper into the recruiting processes to pinpoint areas that need optimization and improvement

What Questions Should You Ask Vendors To Evaluate the ATS Product?

It's easy for business buyers to get distracted and end up paying a lot of money for ATS features which they don’t need for their business. Don’t buy the ATS that’s popular; buy the one you need.

If your recruiting strategy involves relying on employee referrals for sourcing top talent, but your ATS focuses on sourcing candidates from social media, then your ATS is not aligned to your recruitment strategy. So, choose an ATS that matches with your recruiting strategy.

ATS vendors use a lot of different methods depending on the features they offer to decide on the price. Make sure you know the price of the ATS you intend to buy in advance so that you can budget it accordingly.

If you have a problem after buying the ATS product, you need to make sure that there is a customer support team to help you out. So, ask your ATS vendor whether they have a support team in place.

The ATS market is highly competitive. It is, therefore, crucial for ATS vendors to constantly add or update their product features to attract attention and gain competitive advantage.

You can purchase a standalone ATS or an ATS that’s a part of an integrated HR suite with applications like payroll, personnel tracking, time and attendance, etc.

A poorly implemented or chosen ATS can do more harm than good to your online candidate experience, leading to your talented candidates dropping out of your hiring funnel. So, make sure you take time to provide a seamless transition for job seekers into your system, regardless of the web browser or device they use to apply.

Which one you should purchase depends on what your needs are. If you want advanced recruiting functionality, then choose standalone ATS. If you need the software to do other HR things besides applicant tracking, then choose an integrated HR suite.

How to Make an Applicant Tracking System Work for Businesses of Every Size and Scale

Not every applicant tracking system available on the market is the same. Different ATS providers offer different features and functionalities. Figuring out which one would work best for your business can be overwhelming. To help you select an applicant tracking system that truly benefits your business and improves your recruitment process, we’ve shortlisted 5 essential factors for a large company or a small business and here they are:

Choosing an ATS for a Large Company

Intuitiveness

Intuitiveness

The intuitiveness of an applicant tracking system should be a major consideration when making a final selection. This factor becomes even more critical if you are planning to use the ATS across multiple locations.

Multi-Language Support

Multi-Language Support

A company that is operating from different countries needs to ensure that the chosen applicant tracking system supports the languages spoken in all the countries. An ATS that comes with multilingual support may just support two languages so, do your research. An ATS that supports all the languages in which your company operates will help maintain consistency across your hiring practice and procedures.

Industry-Specific Functionalities

Industry-Specific Functionalities

If you are an established brand with businesses across verticals, your chosen applicant tracking system should be versatile enough to fit your unique needs. To know if the solution works at optimal efficiency, you can sign up for a free trial and see how it works.

Compliance for Multinational Companies

Compliance for Multinational Companies

HR laws vary from country to country which makes it difficult to keep up with all applicable rules and regulations. An applicant tracking system that supports compliance across multiple locations will keep your policies and procedures compliant and help you avoid penalties.

Testimonials from Companies of similar size and scope

Testimonials from Companies of Similar Size and Scope

Reviews from other companies in your niche are helpful in spotting an ideal applicant tracking system. Reviews will not only reflect the fine points of a specific solution but also highlight potential flaws in the system. So don’t rely on vendors and do your homework.

Recruiters are often running a million miles in different directions and this often leaves them frustrated and fatigued. Using an ATS can make this uphill battle an absolute breeze! To help you address your unique pain points, we have compared leading recruitment software solutions with Jobsoid. Check out this table below to compare features and pricing so you can make an informed decision that helps you hire better and faster.

JobsoidWorkableLeverZohoBreezyHRBullhornTaleo
Job Posting Management
Job Description Templates
Social Media Recruitment
Sourcing Tool
Talent Pool Management
Blocking Spam Candidates
Smart Filter
Interview Scheduling
Self-selecting Interview Timeslots
Best Interview time suggestions
Video Screening
Scorecards
Workflow Automations
Mobile Apps

Get started with a free trial today

Selecting an ATS that Works for a Small Business

Customizability

Customizability

Every company has unique recruiting needs and so, it makes perfect sense to choose an applicant tracking system that allows you to customize the recruitment workflow your way.

Affordable Pricing

Affordable Pricing

A small business needs to keep the recruiting costs as low as possible and so skipping an ATS may seem like a good idea. But, having an applicant tracking system will actually help SME owners save a significant chunk of their time, money and resources. So, instead of avoiding automation; look for an affordable option.

Preferred Features

Preferred Features

Before you take a big leap and actually deploy the applicant tracking system, figure out if it has all the features and functionalities you desire. You can try Jobsoid for free and while you’re at it, our support team will help you experience all the benefits of having an ATS.

Test run the system for usability

Test Run the System for Usability

Involve the hiring team and have them figure out how the system will be used so they can make the most of it. Getting them onboard will ensure that they understand the mechanism right from the start. Make sure your chosen solution efficiently addresses their pain points and has the bandwidth to grow with the growing needs of your business.

Evaluate, assess, and opt for the best

Evaluate, Access and Opt for the Best

Your chosen applicant tracking system may have the best of features but is it user-friendly? Does it guarantee an uptime of 99%? Will it update regularly? Does your vendor provide priority support? Does it offer unlimited cloud storage? And scheduled backups?

How to Create Executive Buy-In for an Applicant Tracking Software Purchase?

Creating executive buy-in is one of the most challenging parts of initiating a software adoption process because executives only invest in solutions that help them avoid risks, save money, and serve long-term purposes. It is, therefore, very important to build a compelling proposal that appeals to the decision-makers of the company.

Below are a few ways you can approach your C-level audience to initiate ATS adoption process:

CTO Icon

CTO/CIO

  • Talk to your technology leadership about ATS before a project starts to involve them as early as possible to minimize implementation issues later.
  • Interest them with what solution an ATS can provide to reduce infrastructure requirements, and support required.
  • Make the technology leadership your ally upfront because when HR and IT are together on a proposal, you will have higher chances of buy-in from other C-level executives.

CEO Icon

CEO

  • Your CEO is more focused on the big picture and not very concerned about the specifics of ATS. So, whatever information you are going to put across to the CEO has to be backed up with data.
  • Provide information on current HR concerns: applicant conversion rates, time taken to review resumes, interview-to-hire pipelines, etc., and how ATS can help alleviate these concerns.

CFO Icon

CFO

  • When you meet the CFO, make sure you know the cost of the ATS and how much it can save the company.
  • While pitching for ATS adoption, consider presenting how this technology can affect or improve the quality of hire and fine-tune the recruitment process.

Build a Business Case for ATS

When making your business case for ATS adoption, consider presenting how technology can improve or affect these 3 ROI drivers:

ROI DriversHow ATS Helps
Hire people fasterDiscover drawbacks in the hiring process, enabling you and your team to assess and rectify them to hire talent better and quicker.
Reduce cost per hireThe embedded analytics allows you to identify areas where recruiting budget needs refocus, helping the company save money.
Retain quality talentUncover traits that can translate to job role success, increasing worker productivity.

We’ve hunted through spreadsheets to find that perfect candidate, searched through several email threads for one attachment, struggled to keep candidates informed and fought with the tech team to keep the careers site up and running round the clock. We’ve worn your shoes and walked in them. We’ve been through all these challenges. Now let us help you take charge of your recruitment workflow with Jobsoid.

Jobsoid is a mobile-friendly applicant tracking system that eliminates every glitch and ensures a seamless candidate experience at every stage with personalized and timely candidate engagement. Whether you are an upcoming local business or an established international brand, Jobsoid is custom-tailored to optimize your recruitment process. It includes the latest features to keep up with the best industry practices and evolves to accommodate the growing needs of your business.

With Jobsoid, all the posting, sorting, screening, shortlisting, communicating, sharing and sourcing can be automated in an instant!

Ready to speed-up your sourcing process?

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Jobsoid has reduced our work burden manifold.

We know exactly where everything is when it come to open job resume submissions, interview notes, screening notes. We no longer have to go through my email to find that one resume!

Zulma Velasquez, Talent Acquisitions Manager, Jar House
Jobsoid has improved our hiring efficiency.

It is a very effective tool to manage application processes and candidate data. The interface is simple and ergonomic, allowing smooth collaboration among HR and pther departments. Jobsoid team has been very flexible in terms of customizing features for our needs.

Yonglin CHEN, Consultante Digital, Keley Consulting
We have achieved clarity in our recruitment process with Jobsoid.

Within a year of using Jobsoid, we have gone a long way to simplify our recruitment process. Jobsoid team is constantly working to improve the system with innovative solutions. In addition to training sessions and tutorials, Jobsoid offers amazing customer service.

Sumil Jalota, Sr. Business Analyst, Axtrum Solutions
Easy to use and Support when I need - That's Jobsoid to me!

Candidate tracking was never so easy until I was introduced to Jobsoid in my last company. And today, I've implemented in my current company as well. Jobsoid has saved us from traditional way of MIS reporting. It has simplified our recruitment process.

Suvarna Potdar, HR Manager, Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers
Jobsoid is really a blessing for a progressing company like us.

User friendly web pages, Job wise segregation of resumes, and also Linkedin & Facebook post options given a professional way of recruiting.

Pranoy Paul, Executive – HR & Admin, BiOZEEN

Jobsoid has been designed to eliminate every hassle in the hiring process – it covers all your sourcing needs with customizable features that not only suit the unique hiring needs of every business but also fit hiring budgets easily.
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