Applicant Tracking Systems – what you need to know

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Today, 99% of FTSE100 companies filter all incoming CVs through an Applicant Tracking System or an ATS. In fact, even many of the small and mid-sized businesses are using ATSs to speed up the recruitment process. Therefore, you should know all about an ATS.

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System is a software that provides hiring and recruiting tools to the company that uses it. Its main function is to collect and sort thousands of CVs. When an applicant applies for a job online and sends in the CV, it most likely fed directly to the software.

Only after the ATS clears it will the CV be forwarded to the human recruiter. This is one reason why many applicants today optimise their CVs according to ATS algorithms so that theirs has a better chance of going through to the recruiter or hiring manager.

Why are Applicant Tracking Systems used?

The biggest and most obvious reason employers may use an ATS is to sort the numerous CVs they receive. You may already know those top companies often have more than one job openings available at a time. Thus, they attract hundreds of CVs for a single opening and it quickly becomes hard to sort and find the right applicants.

How do Applicants Tracking Systems work?

As mentioned above, the primary job of an ATS is to collect and store CVs in a database for recruiting managers and hiring professionals to access. However, an applicant’s CV isn’t discarded after the job opening is filled. In fact, the software maintains a database long after the CVs stop coming in. This helps recruiters to track down applicants they were interested in earlier but couldn’t hire. They can use a number of sorting features to comb through the vast database.

  • They rank CVs

A great feature of an ATS is its ability to rank incoming CVS according to how well they match the job description. They do this using by assigning scores to every CV based on various traits and requirements. This way, a recruiter gets a place to start shortlisting candidates for the role.

  • They use keywords to perform searching

Some times, you want a candidate that has worked in the exact role you want to hire them for. An ATS can assist in this case, since it uses keywords to perform its function. It browses through their key skills and titles to find the exact keywords and displays them. You can even use a combination of terms to strategically whittle down the number of candidates and find the right one.

We this ever growing march forward in technology, its important for you to be aware of these systems and change the way to write your CV to ensure yours makes it through the software.