Job Candidate or Employer: Here’s What You Should Know About Applicant Tracking Systems
By: Erin Miley, Manager, Pre-Hire Services, AAIM Employers’ Association
And The Staff at The Vandiver Group
If you’ve applied for a job in the last 10 years, you’ve probably come across an ATS, or Applicant Tracking System. It’s software that allows candidates to apply for jobs through an online platform, while giving employers a quick and easy way to manage job postings and track applicants for those positions. In short, they help recruiters filter resumes. To have the best chance at snagging the job you want, it’s good to understand how these ATS platforms function. In a market where many highly qualified applicants are looking for work, job-seekers need to stay ahead of the game. Here’s how to do it.
How Does Our ATS System Work?
AAIM Employers’ Association provides an ATS system to their employer members with three distinct functions: a Job Dashboard, an Applicant Dashboard, and a Reporting Section. The Job Dashboard gets open position information out to candidates as efficiently as possible. The posting process to job boards is integrated within, providing a streamlined step-by-step process that includes qualifier questions for initial screening and basic position parameters. The result is what the applicant will see when they look for job openings on various job sites. The application is built into the system to make it easier for job seekers to apply.
Employers create their job ad through the ATS system, populating information such as the job description, pay range, benefits, and location information. When the job ad is saved, it automatically initiates a process to post the position to not only well-known job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor, but also thousands of others, including state unemployment sites, diversity-centric boards, and college/university websites. The upside for employers? A process that used to take two hours or more to complete now takes 20 minutes or less!
ATS platforms also help employers by providing an Applicant Dashboard—a centralized system of viewing and tracking applicants that apply for various open positions. As candidates apply, employers can view their application/resume information directly from the system. With all applicants in one place, it creates an easy way to make notes, communicate with them, and create side-by-side comparisons between candidates. These tools are especially helpful for employers that have multiple people involved in the recruiting and hiring processes.
How Do Candidates Use an ATS System?
If you’re a qualified candidate looking for positions on job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and so on, you have the option to create a profile within the site in order to “Easy Apply” for jobs, which essentially allows job seekers to apply with one click. With all the competition in the current post-COVID-19 job market, being able to jump on an opportunity is a crucial element.
While the “Easy Apply” button does, in fact, make it easier to apply, there are a few critical items that candidates need to be aware of in the process. First, while many employers have taken the stance of gathering a resume initially and inviting the candidate to supply further information later in the process, others require a full, completed application right out of the gate. When building a profile on a job board, include as much information as you can. Resist the temptation to write “Please see resume” into the job application field, as there are often grant programs or government funding that require employers to have full and complete application information. This is especially true if you’re interested in or looking for work in an industry that is highly regulated or would use these funding sources.
Second, double check and thoroughly read the description of the position for which you want to apply. Some employers may require follow-up steps or action items that could delay processing of your application if not supplied. Similarly, there may be information about checking on the status of an application- the do’s and don’ts, if you will. Being mindful of the requirements outlined by the employer is a step toward making a great first impression!
Third, be mindful of keywords included in the job description and make sure those keywords appear in your resume. While the employer may be placing keywords in the description to make it more search-friendly for an applicant, words are also searchable with the ATS itself. An employer can execute a keyword search of their applicant pool (i.e., sales or HR), and a report is generated that lists individuals who have those terms on their application/resume. Other systems have artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will screen the job application/resume for the preset keywords and place those applicants into a qualified applicant pool to be viewed first. This is called pre-screening. The same pre-screening can happen through a list of questions based on the minimum requirements for the position. But don’t let this discourage you! You should always submit a complete application, as your information is still being supplied to the employer for future potential and recruiting processes.
Take Advantage of Our Applicant Tracking System
While applying for jobs can seem like a complicated process, ATS platforms can make candidates’ and employers’ lives easier by saving valuable time and resources. So, if you’re searching for a job, get that resume ready and give yourself a leg up in the process with our tips!
Our applicant tracking system (AAIMTrack) and background screening service (AAIMCheck) is an integrated HR technology solution. It is efficient. It is scalable. And, all with one click! Combining ONBOARDEXP with AAIMTrack and AAIMCheck provides your HR/talent acquisition team with a fully integrated recruiting-hiring-onboarding process. This powerful solution allows you to streamline your entire hiring process and gives your organization the best chance at meeting all of your staffing needs!
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