What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

 

According to research conduct on talent professionals by GetApp, it came to light that the respondents using an applicant tracking system (ATS) had been better in their recruiting endeavors – as 86.1% of them admitted that their hiring speed had increased due to an ATS system and 78.3% of them acknowledged improvement in their quality of hire in their recruiting process.

Applicant tracking software can be useful for companies of all sizes to make it quicker and simpler for the recruiters to handle their applicant pipelines and recruit the right fit for open positions. It is one of the most important and vital tasks for employers and hiring managers to efficiently and quickly recruit quality talent. Yet, with many applicants and an increased demand from companies to recruit the top talent, it becomes a great challenge for the recruiters to come across the right fit without utilizing a bit much time and resources.

An applicant tracking system (ATS) with its advanced searching features can be very useful for the recruiters in optimizing their recruiting process introducing automation in each hiring stage from sourcing to onboarding. If this is the first time you will use ATS Software or considering adopting one for your recruiting process, you may not know what to expect. 

For this reason, we’ve developed this useful guide to give you a good start – comprising benefits of the best applicant tracking provider, what to expect from your ATS solution, and when is the right time to select a new ATS System for your hiring process, etc.

Definition of Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

The recruiting software that is specifically built to simplify a company’s recruiting process is known as an applicant tracking program. An efficient ATS system works as a centralized archiving system for the companies’ candidate data, comprising job applications, resumes, and any comments or feedback from the recruiters. 

It enables recruiters to easily access the data they need, track significant recruiting metrics, and identify potential chances for improvement. An applicant tracking software introduces automation and consistency to numerous time-consuming tasks, such as interview-scheduling and sorting out unqualified candidates.

An applicant tracking system offers a combination of functionality and ease of use to the recruiters and hiring managers. Choosing the perfect ATS system, especially one with rich features, can be overburdening. While selecting the right one for your hiring process, you need to make sure it has the following ATS features:

  • Candidate database
  • Career portal
  • Open APIs
  • Marketplace for 3rd party vendors
  • Company Portal
  • Outstanding UI/UX
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Collaboration
  • Internationally compliant
  • Built-in AI for unbiased hiring
  • Cloud-based
  • Easily customizable
  • End to end solution
  • Built-in CRM 

The quality of its hires can predict a staffing company’s potential for success. With the right applicant tracking software for the recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates, a company can accomplish its goals and save time and hire smartly. 

To turn your volatile recruiting team into an active, prolific, and cost-efficient one, you need an effective ATS system. An advanced, user-friendly, and intuitive applicant tracking software is useful in increasing the applicants’ number and helps the HR professionals save their time spent on hiring-related tasks and providing a quick response time.

Types of Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

When it comes to selecting an applicant tracking solution for their hiring processes, most of the recruiting companies may have to face many challenges, including the types of ATS they should go for, based on installation. Fundamentally an applicant tracking system comes in two installation-based types: 1) On-Premise/Offline Applicant Tracking System and 2) Cloud-based/Online Applicant Tracking System.

Whether you decide on an on-premise ATS software or a cloud-based, applicant tracking programs offer exceptional benefits in this cutting-edge competition to hire the best fit for your company. So, to help you in deciding which type of applicant tracking software suits your business needs, here is a brief comparison between on-premise and cloud-based applicant tracking system:

On-Premise Applicant Tracking System Cloud-based Applicant Tracking System
1. An On-Premise ATS software, whether it’s an applicant tracking system or not, if it has to support multiple users, needs to be installed on a Server. A server must include the hardware, server software and also needs an IT specialist to set up the server and much-needed network security for data privacy protection. 1. If you have decided to use an advanced cloud-based applicant tracking system, the good thing to know is that you can easily set up this online ATS software even without the vendor’s help from whom you have purchased the ATS systems. On the other hand, if you come across a very complicated system to install, the one-time setup fee cannot exceed $250/-.
2. Offline applicant tracking system gives you a choice to save the upgrade fees when you don’t want any upgrades in your software and want to stick to the basic version as long as you want it that way. 2. Contrary to the on-premise ATS System, an online applicant tracking system includes regular upgrades released by the vendors. The plus point is that these upgrades come as a part of your subscription fees.
3. An on-premise ATS Software offers unlimited storage for your candidate resumes and other related recruiting data. 3. Generally, there is a limitation to the storage offered by cloud-based tracking software, yet you can always select an upper limit depending on your subscription plan.
4. Depending on various hardware, software, network, and personnel requirements, an on-premise ATS software can take longer in its setup and deployment. 4. An Online ATS System is as good to use as you sign-up for your Free Trial. It takes a maximum of 1-3 Days to be up and running.
5. There is a strong guarantee that the data of your staffing organization is as secure as your network within the corporate firewall if you are using an on-premise ATS System. 5. Data stored in the cloud-based ATS system can be more secure than the data of an on-premise ATS system, depending on the cloud provider.
6. If you intend to increase your users, you will require supplementary hardware, software, network infrastructure, and setup. Following this model, when your business grows, you can easily add more users. However, if your business declines due to certain market factors or recession, you will be stuck with the infrastructure you invested in. 6. A cloud-based ATS comes with a lot of flexibility to grow or reduce the setup. You can easily add up or reduce the number of users with just a click. All you have to pay is for the number of your users.
7. One of the major concerns, while using an on-premise ATS system, must be having a backup for your recruiting data. If you don’t have any backup, you may lose all of the critical data you have acquired during the years once your hard drive crashes.  7. The majority of the cloud ATS systems use 3 levels of redundancy, which means that each file you save on the cloud has 3 copies onto 3 different disks. Besides, the database’s data is generally backed-up every 5 minutes, leaving a very minimal chance to lose any important data.
8. Usually, for small businesses, on-premise software doesn’t entail a disaster recovery plan. Hence, in the case of a force majeure, the users have no access to the premises, which means you cannot perform from anywhere until you have access to the premises. This could also lead to the loss of critical data. 8. In the case of a force majeure, cloud-based software providers include a disaster recovery plan for the users as they easily shift the data to various unaffected regions. They also allow the users to access the data from anywhere, which can help you perform and stay productive.
9. The offline applicant tracking program does not allow its users to have access to the data from any other device. 9. Cloud ATS enables its users to access the data from anywhere and from any device as long as they use an internet connection and a browser up and running.

Why do you need an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An efficient applicant tracking solution provider turns out to be very useful when you need your hiring team to be more proactive, productive, and cost-efficient. Here are a few reasons why should you use applicant tracking systems in your recruiting process:

  • Collaboration: Applicant tracking systems let the hiring managers and recruiters have well-structured and coherent communication inside their team and with the applicants. The recruiting teams can add notes, involve decision-makers, develop communication between themselves and candidates, and distribute resumes easily within a secured platform. Thanks to the applicant tracking solutions, the candidates do not miss out on the opportunities anymore and feel more engaged in employing companies throughout the hiring phases. The hiring managers and applicants are always kept in the loop – therefore, no more speculations regarding their progress in the recruiting process.
  • Analytics: Applicant tracking solution also offers analytic and reporting tools to quantify the effectiveness of existing recruiting and hiring strategies. Hiring managers and recruiting specialists can actively use real-time data to foresee their staffing requirements, create a recruiting pipeline, uphold functional human resources at capacity, and precisely identify the key metrics for the costs, quality, and time used for their recruiting activities.
  • Recruitment Marketing: In today’s cutting-edge job market competition, it is indispensable to have an end-to-end recruiting strategy in place. With the help of efficient applicant tracking systems and recruiting strategies, it can be a quick and easy task for the hiring managers to attract and engage the potential top talent for their open positions and employer brand. Systematic job advertising, CRM campaigns, events, social media networking and campaigns, client relations, and employee referral programs are a few strategies to name through to accomplish this objective.
  • Compliance: The primary incentive for the development of an applicant tracking system was compliance. The compliance sphere is wide-ranging, multifaceted, and continuously developing. There are various aspects of compliance to be considered during its administration subjected to the location from where your company works; such as an internationally operating company with a huge staff is required to abide by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Compliance rules and regulations differ depending on the countries and states worldwide. Therefore, it is necessary to have the best recruiting practices and an advanced recruiting solution to comply with the ever-evolving compliance laws.

Important ATS Features 

  • Job Posting: You can easily track your candidates once you have the precise idea of where to source them. Using an applicant tracking system, your hiring teams can publish open job positions to the clients’ career website and top job portals without complications. An important fact to consider before publishing the job description on various websites is to verify that it’s well-organized and detailed. Your recruiting software will go over the details your client added in the description to search for the most suitable applicants fitting the job’s skills and qualifications. If the description is not explicit, you may have the problem of attracting the wrong candidates. An applicant tracking solution with job board integration makes it easy for the recruiters to source candidates quickly. Once the applicants start to submit their details, the recruiters can develop a vast candidate pool.
  • Email Marketing: Besides job posting, email marketing also adds to the means of sourcing candidates and persuading them to drop an application to your client’s company. Email marketing can also be used to attract and get new clients. While using email marketing for candidate sourcing, you can also use it for your job orders’ publicity. It may seem time-consuming, yet if you have applicant tracking software, it can be very simple and quick. With email marketing in use, you can dispatch personalized email to many people in a go. Tell your candidates that your clients require the workforce, attach the job details, and persuade them to drop their applications in your inbox. Once done, you can easily add their resumes to your database.
  • Resume Importing: You either get the resumes in your mailbox or your email inbox. Once you’ve got your hands on these resumes, you may find it a tiresome job to keep all of them in one place. Several resumes are saved on your computer, and you may have a big pile on your desk. Yet, sifting through the resumes manually can be a very demanding task. The upside of using an applicant tracking system is that it offers a resume importing feature that lets you add the physical resumes right into your software. On the other hand, if you get electronic versions of the resumes from the job portal sites or in your email, you can quickly import them into your database without any delays. Once imported into your recruiting database, the resumes are secured, and you won’t be worrying about them being misplaced or lost.
  • Resume Parsing: Having an applicant tracking solution in place saves your time spent on reading hundreds of thousands of resumes, as the software already does it for you. The resumes don’t have a universal pattern. They can be drastically different from each other. For example, candidate A has added his skills in the experience section, while candidate B has a sorted-out skills section in the resume. Once the resumes are imported into your recruitment software, the resume parsing feature fetches important data from the resume, so each resume has a similar format. After the resumes have been parsed, the applicant tracking software sorts out the candidates based on the applications that best match the job description. Using the ATS systems, you would want to look for the top applicants, for they would be the ones with the right skills, education, and experience that fit the given job position. 
  • Candidate Tracking: Another beneficial feature of an applicant tracking system is candidate tracking. Once you’ve got the resumes, you can efficiently keep track of your applicants in the pipeline. You can easily keep tabs on your candidates’ progress, like which ones have made it to the hiring and which ones have been dropped by your clients. Such as, your client has categorized five different candidates from your pool, you can keep an eye on their positions in the process:
    • Candidate A: Interviewing
    • Candidate B: Interviewing
    • Candidate C: Placement
    • Candidate D: Offer
    • Candidate E: Interviewing

Once your existing client is no longer considering the applicants, the candidates still will be in your recruiting database. It gives you access to their data, and you can easily reach them for future job opportunities. You can sort out the candidates into different groups based on their skills and experience. Let’s say you can make a separate group for finance applicants and another group for clinical specialists.

Benefits of Applicant Tracking System

Undoubtedly the benefits that come with using applicant tracking systems are numerous due to the features it offers. An applicant tracking program can add value to your recruiting efforts. Some of the distinctive benefits are the following:

  • Save time: With the help of automation, applicant tracking software puts an end to the manual tasks by saving your recruiter’s valuable time. The recruiters can focus their energies and time on searching for and reaching the candidates rather than wasting it on manually entering the recruiting data into the system. 
  • Reduce bias: An applicant tracking freeware can help the hiring managers and recruiters to come across the most suitable candidates for a job position without any human efforts, which in result lessens the chances of hiring bias. Such as configuring your applicant tracking freeware to find the best-matched being inconsiderate of their race, gender, or nationality, and making their skills and experience the basis of their selection.
  • Improve Candidate Quality: Your ATS system guarantees the hiring of qualified employees as it automatically closes out the candidates that are not ideal for the position. What is more important is that your applicant tracking system helps you find the candidates who are up to the meticulous standards of your recruiting process.
  • Analyze Your Performance: An applicant tracking software not only makes the recruiting process easier for you. But it gives you the power to make it a better one by letting you generate, categorize, and analyze the data. You can easily channel your focus on the effective and indiscriminate hiring sources if you have the right data at your disposal.
  • Create a Better Candidate Experience: Surely, when an applicant applies for a position in a company, they expect it to have an advanced hiring process. If you have an ATS System in place, you can guarantee that an individual applicant gets a timely response to their application and has an outstanding and trouble-free experience with your company, whether in the end they are being selected for the position or not. Good candidate experience has become an important factor for a successful recruiting process with a good company reputation. The candidates do have third-party review sites at their disposal to give feedback regarding their application process experience with the companies.
  • User-friendly Design: The current applicant tracking programs with advanced technology are more user-friendly than the previous ones. With the scarcity of time, the majority of the hiring managers value the advanced design of the recruitment software, such as drag and drop and email automation. The most useful recruiting software are the ones with plug and play, with very little customization requirements, yet, they don’t demand high technical maintenance from their users. 
  • Boost Recruiting Strategy: To make strategic decisions, the hiring manager and recruiters need to use analytics, and an effective recruitment operating system can help them with it. A top-notch applicant tracking solution offers the hiring teams the capacity to analyze large data sets acquired from different recruiting tasks like sourcing, screening, interview scheduling, etc., to make sense of where they are efficient vs. where they are experiencing costly disadvantageous holdups in their recruiting processes.

How is RecruitBPM different from other Applicant Tracking Systems?

Irrespective of your company size, you don’t have to go for an average applicant tracking system. RecruitBPM’s applicant tracking solution is developed for both the candidates and HR professionals to help the users succeed in the challenging realm of recruiting. Its interface is very user-friendly, while it offers all the advanced ATS features at very cost-effective pricing, which makes it easy on your pocket. In the midst of COVID-19, RecruitBPM is here to help the recruiting and staffing agencies by offering its text recruiting tools.

Moreover, RecruitBPM is the best and highly affordable applicant tracking system for small businesses. If you have recently entered the realm of the staffing world, you don’t have to choose a recruitment software that would be tough for your business budget as a startup, as RecruitBPM is the perfect applicant tracking system for startups. So, don’t hold back your recruiting endeavors and empower the recruiters with automated:

  • Job postings
  • Social recruiting tools
  • Easy data tracking
  • And more

Having said the above, if you find yourself interested in using RecruitBPM or want to know more about it, just so you can make your recruiting endeavors hassle-free, you can schedule a demo with us or simply start your 7-days free trial.

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For further inquiries, important information and upcoming updates, contact us at sales@recruitbpm.com