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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

The definition of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is digital software that assists in the recruiting and hiring process. 

The main functionality of an ATS is to collect, sort, and filter applicants who submit job applications. Other features of an ATS tool include:

  • Tracking an applicant through the hiring pipeline (hence the ‘applicant tracker’)

  • Suggesting and sending automated emails and responses to candidates

  • Revealing analytics for tracked applications

Key learnings in this glossary post:

How do applicant tracking systems work?

Applicant Tracking Systems collect, store, and track applicants, candidate information, and resumes sent to an open position. These are usually stored and tracked in an ATS database that can be viewed, searched, and sorted on demand.

ATS tools help employers and recruiters track different sources of candidate applications, as well as applicant patterns. This makes it easier to understand which job posting platforms are the most effective, alongside other analytics such as:

  • Whether a diversity recruiting strategy is working or needs adjusting

  • Which job titles and keywords receive the most attention in a job ad

  • Which times of the week are best to post roles

Some ATS tools, like JOIN also offer an automatic ranking feature that automatically compares applicants’ resumes to the job description. This helps speed up the hiring process as whoever is in charge of hiring can choose to only review applications identified as a high match by their online applicant tracking system. 

Additionally, an ATS can act as a candidate relationship management tool, providing an overview of the entire application journey and automating tasks like candidate communication and interview scheduling. Which tools you gain will depend on which ATS you use.

All of the above should improve things like candidate experience, make sourcing candidates easier and improve employer branding. 

How does an ATS improve recruiting and hiring for SMBs?

ATS platforms are not just for large enterprises with large volumes of open positions. ATS software is very advantageous to small and medium-sized businesses as it can improve the efficiency of recruiting efforts, making it faster and easier to hire. Here are some of the benefits of using an ATS: 

Streamlines processes

Efficient management of recruiting activities like job postings and screening, as well as being able to schedule emails and interviews, and communicate with candidates. 

Improves organisation

All resumes and job applications are collected and kept within the ATS tool, improving organisation and reducing admin time for hiring managers. 

Saves time

The talent pool is narrowed down faster as the ATS tool will highlight qualified candidates and unqualified candidates will be filtered out.

Better evaluation

Tracking applicants provides a clearer picture of your overall process and insights into what hiring areas need improvement.

Seamless onboarding

With all pertinent information already in one place within the ATS, it’s easy to transfer candidate data to an employee profile once hired. If you would like to learn more about the specifics of JOIN, you can check out our cool features, or you can try posting job ads for free.

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