Job Applicant Tracking Systems and Software / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Thanks to online job boards and recruitment Web sites, any company advertising an open position gets inundated with hundreds of resumes ...

Thanks to online job boards and recruitment Web sites, any company advertising an open position gets inundated with hundreds of resumes -- most from unqualified candidates.

Technology may have created headaches for many HR departments, but it can cure them, too. The solution? Applicant tracking systems that automate the online job application and resume tracking process, including collecting, reviewing and responding to resumes. At the bare minimum, your applicant tracking system should enable you to:

1. Do candidate tracking by referral source.
2. Manage applicants during the entire recruiting process, from screening and evaluation through interviewing and hiring.
3. Share candidate information with colleagues.
4. Send emails and updates to job applicants.
5. Report recruiting metrics, such as cost per hire and time to fill.

Evaluate your resume tracking needs

Only once you’ve identified your company’s needs can you expect to find a solution that meets them. Depending on your size and hiring procedures, concerns might include software compatibility, search capabilities, ease of use and security.

Compare applicant tracking systems

Most applicant tracking software is Web-based and can be accessed exclusively via the Internet thanks to an application service provider (ASP). Some, however, are self-hosted. Which solution you choose depends on your security needs and on the number of users you’ll have.

Advertise jobs with your new applicant tracking software

The best applicant tracking systems allow you to create a corporate career site on which to post job openings and attract candidates.
job description with help from vendors, then post it to your corporate career site. To pull candidates to your site, use software such as SmartPost, PostingPal or RecruitUSA that post to multiple job boards quickly and easily.

Collect information on job candidates

Applicant tracking systems’ key feature is data collection. When candidates apply for a job through your system, their background and qualifications are stored electronically in a searchable candidate tracking database, allowing you to easily sort, filter, find and assess applicants.
public records, then enter relevant information into your applicant tracking system.

Measure your applicant tracking system’s performance

The goal of applicant tracking software is to help you find the right candidates to fill open jobs as quickly and for as little money as possible. Your chosen applicant tracking system should come with a reporting function that tells you whether or not it’s helping you do that.
recruiting firms—several are listed at—to learn what benchmarks you should be setting. Your ultimate goal should be to lower your cost per hire; use the calculator from TEKsystems or Aerotek to determine your numbers before and after implementing an applicant tracking system.
  • Applicant tracking systems cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Arguably more expensive, however, is the cost of unfilled positions. Consider the savings that applicant tracking software can provide, then, along with its cost.
  • If you’re like most companies, an applicant tracking system isn’t the only tool in your tool belt. Make sure, then, that your newest HR toy plays well with your older ones, including your HRMS and CRM software.
  • If you want to stay on the cutting edge, look for applicant tracking software with RSS functionality, which can send job openings directly to qualified candidates’ desktops, eliminating the need for them to find you online.
  • Because the best applicant tracking systems have similar features, quality of service is a better differentiator than functionality.
  • An applicant tracking system is also a marketing tool, as candidate tracking enables you to interact more frequently, more quickly and more intimately with candidates. And when applicants have a positive experience, it improves your company’s image and reputation.
  • Don’t buy technology your team won’t use; that’s the biggest mistake that applicant tracking software buyers make.

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