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An applicant tracking system, also known as an ATS, is a software used to organize recruiting efforts. Businesses of all sizes use applicant tracking systems, from small business to enterprise-level. Many large corporations may use it as an extension of their human resources information system. Businesses that focus specifically on recruiting rely on applicant tracking systems to organize the large amount of data they handle every day.
Applicant tracking systems organize job applicants’ contact information, the resumes they submit, and the information about a job opening. The information is shared between recruiters, hiring managers, HR managers, and anyone else who needs to be apprised of candidate submissions to a job opening. Candidates who have been submitted to the ATS can be easily searched for using key words present on their resume. This helps businesses to find the best match for a job opening.
In a corporate human resources environment, applicant tracking systems are used to manage applicants to job openings company-wide. Human resources managers are often responsible for filling several positions at once. In other scenarios, a corporate recruiter will have full responsibility for filling all of the openings at a company. They may receive hundreds of resumes. An ATS helps human resources managers to sort through numerous applications and pass appropriate candidates on to the next level. An HR manager or corporate recruiter will use the system to pass along appropriate candidates to the hiring manager. The hiring manager can then review candidates from the applicant tracking system. An ATS helps everyone from each department stays on the same page, and stay abreast of job opening and candidate status.
Applicant tracking systems are also widely used at recruiting and staffing firms. With the primary purpose of finding the best talent for an open position before another recruiting firm can, recruiters use applicant tracking systems to sort through resumes and quickly match them to job orders.
Applicant tracking systems help human resources departments, corporate recruiters, and third party recruiting and staffing firms process large amounts of data. Just as a manufacturing plant may have a software for tracking inventory, businesses use applicant tracking systems to track human capital. One of the most important aspects of the software is the ability for several people to have access to the same data in real time. Applicant tracking systems accomplish this through software as a service, or SaaS. An SaaS is hosted in the cloud, and can be accessed via a thin client, such as an internet browser or a desktop application. This allows multiple users to access the data at once.
Not only do applicant tracking systems increase productivity and profitability, they can be a low-cost tool. As an SaaS, expensive overhead is spread across the ATS’s user base. This means that a recruiting or staffing firm does not have to invest in equipment, technical staff, data storage, or hardware on their own.
Organization, search capabilities, multi-user access, and cost effectiveness make applicant tracking systems a vital tool for any recruiting or staffing organization.