Getting On Track With Applicant Tracking Systems – What You Need to Know!

Getting On Track With Applicant Tracking Systems – What You Need to Know!

Whether you are an employer or an employee, both recruitment of talent and seeking employment is an ongoing and competitive process. As an employer, making sure recruitment practices are time and cost-effective is an essential skill. And, as an employee, you need to make sure your resume stands out upon a quick scan. This is where understanding the increasingly popular HR tool called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) becomes critical.

The Savvy HR Team:

Why should you invest in incorporating an ATS into your HR practices? Plenty of reasons –

1. Track Multiple Candidates From Start to Finish: An ATS allows you to monitor and compare candidates as they progress through the entire recruitment screening process. It allows you to track multiple applicants, screen them comprehensively from job posting stage to the final hire.

2. Streamline Processes: Incorporating an ATS allows you to streamline processes surrounding job postings, comparing candidates, sending out notifications, handling employment paperwork, enabling an employee referral process, managing tasks, tracking across each round and managing documents. Why go the gruesome, manual route when there is a simpler and more effective way to go about recruitment in which the flow of information is quicker and all data is collated in one location?

3. Do Away With Duplicates & Ensure Consistency: An ATS eliminates the risk of duplicate data entry, making the HR backbone more secure and robust. It also reduces chances of hiring unqualified candidates, reduces training costs and ensures consistency across the board in all employee-screening processes, which in turn improves the quality of hires.

What should you keep in mind as en employer new to using an ATS? –

1. Keywords Are The Key: To use an ATS properly you need to pay attention to what keywords you are using as the basis to scan resumes. Brainstorm a list of keywords that describe both skills you want potential employees to have (i.e. team player, multitasking, coding, social media, etc.) and current and/or previous job positions you’d like candidates to have held.

2. Don’t Get Too Creative: Make sure you don’t enter job titles that are too offbeat as keywords. If you get too fancy with keywords of job titles, you are likely to filter out many relevant resumes that incorporate more conventional job titles. So, stick to more generic job titles that would be intuitive for candidates to list.

2. Don’t Be Too Narrow: Make sure you prioritize the keywords you want to set as filters, but without going overboard – don’t set too many keywords for the first round of resume shortlisting, else you will end up filtering out candidates with potential.

The Smart Employee:

Since there is a high likelihood your resume is going to go through an ATS, as an employee you can use this information to your advantage by building your resume to smartly stand out. Here are some tips to help you buckle up—

1. Anticipate Keywords: An ATS scans for keywords across resumes received. Keeping that in mind, anticipate what skill sets an employer is looking for. Examine job postings clearly for any particular skills or experience the employer has listed and make sure you highlight those in your own resume.

2. Entitled To Titles: In addition to skill sets, employers are likely to expect candidates have held various job titles in their previous (or current) job(s). If your current or previous employers assigned you with an offbeat job title that is unlikely to be listed as a keyword by potential employers’ Applicant Tracking Systems, then go ahead and list a common job title equivalent of your role either in parenthesis or separated by a hyphen in front of your actual job title to avoid any confusion and to prevent being filtered out.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, keeping up with the growing trend of incorporating technological shortcuts in the recruitment industry will give you an edge – as an employer it will make recruitment hassle-free and efficient, and as an employee it will help you build a more solid resume that stands out amongst the clutter!