What is an Applicant Tracking System and How Does it Work?

As a recruiter, attracting and hiring top talent for your organization is always your number one priority, and your constant challenge. From sorting through the stack of resumes to scheduling interviews and follow-ups, finding the perfect person to join your organization can be overwhelming. That’s where an applicant tracking system can help. 

What is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software that manages the recruiting and hiring process, including job postings and job applications. It organizes and makes searchable information about job seekers. As its name implies, an ATS tracks candidates through the hiring process. It helps scheduling, issues notification alerts and sends automated emails to candidates. Source: TechTarget

The Ins and Outs of an Applicant Tracking System

Whether you’re recruiting in unionized environments, hiring for hundreds of positions a year or just starting to scale, an applicant tracking system can dramatically reduce your time to find and hire the right talent.

Replace time-consuming, outdated spreadsheet and email processes with easy-to-use software that streamlines every step of the hiring process for recruiters and hiring managers. An applicant tracking system takes the hiring process out of your inbox and into one centralized online platform. Here’s how it works:

Post jobs

An ATS makes it easy to create and advertise job postings. The ATS guides a recruiter through the creation of a job posting, and at the end of the process the system sends a notification to the hiring team advising that the posting is complete and available on the organization’s website. Once a posting is created the team can then go back in and complete additional tasks such as scheduling planning meetings, reviewing applications or scheduling interviews.

With the ability to leverage job posting templates and copy common jobs, you’ll save countless hours writing (and re-writing) job postings.

Screen applicants

Applicant tracking systems help recruiters and HR professionals sift through top candidates to ensure they find the best hire, while reducing the time it takes to find that perfect candidate. Since many open positions can attract hundreds or possibly thousands of candidates without all the necessary qualifications, screening questionnaires save the recruiter time that would otherwise be spent manually weeding out these candidates. When screening questions are integrated directly into the application process, answers will automatically separate each applicant into ‘qualified’ or ‘unqualified’.

Manage and evaluate candidates

Getting candidates is the easy part. Now comes the features for actually communicating with candidates, managing them, and driving them through your interview stages– all while keeping your hiring team involved in the process. If you’re still managing candidates with spreadsheets and emails, it’s time to make the switch to an ATS. Easily collaborate with hiring managers in one centralized location and when it’s time to start looking at qualified candidates, the ATS brings your hiring team together to work effectively. 

Make an offer

Creating an offer letter for that perfect candidate can be simple with the use of an ATS. When you’ve found the ideal candidate and are ready to hire, you can leverage and customize offer templates to ensure a consistent and accurate format that complies with your brand and regulations.

Reporting and analytics

Recruiting metrics and reports ensure everyone has access to the most up-to-date data, from how many people applied for a given job to who's involved in the hiring process. With an applicant tracking system, you can generate a variety of reports based on a number of common search criteria.

  • View applicant history
  • Filter responses to screening questions
  • Export jobs by hiring manager, office, posting date, etc.
  • Access background checks and other credential

When everything in the hiring process is done electronically, all of the relevant information is already in the ATS if there is an audit.

Switching to a new online ATS can be time-consuming. Fortunately, Recruit Right is designed to be implemented in just a few days. We helped organizations like the Municipality of Central Elgin through a short integration period and back to recruiting right away. Read the full story here.

There’s a Better Way to Recruit.