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Why Do Recruiters Use Applicant Tracking Systems?
by Christa Wynk
Financial Manager, ExactHire
Many people might like to believe that HR managers and recruiting specialists read through every resume they receive for each job posting; however, that is simply not always possible. Companies use applicant tracking software, in part, to help screen out applicants who do not meet the essential requirements the organization requires for specific job listings. By sourcing applicants more efficiently and better determining potential job fit, organizations can easily realize a return on their investment for an applicant tracking system. This can be especially true for organizations who must meet certain government compliance reporting rules...an ATS can very quickly and accurately export basic data necessary for EEO & OFCCP compliance -- which could save an organization from a costly audit down the road (in terms of both time and potential financial penalties). Let me elaborate more on why recruiters use applicant tracking tools...
1. The Sheer Volume of ResumesImagine you are a human resources manager -- could you really read hundreds of resumes for each job that you posted? That would be far too time consuming. Now, imagine your mid-sized company currently has 15 job openings, and you are the only one handling recruiting (among a few other HR-related responsibilities). How could you get thru that volume of resumes? The wonderful thing about an ATS is that employers can set up screening questions that will automatically "thin the herd" and disqualify applicants who fail to meet certain essential requirements for a position. After this automatic screening phase, recruiters are often left with a smaller group of more qualified candidates who are already known to meet essential job requirements.
2. Being Effective & EfficientBeing able to start your screening process by choosing from a smaller group of better qualified applicants improves your hiring efficiency. Being able to respond more quickly to the best candidates for the job (since there are fewer unqualified resumes to peruse) will lessen the chance of losing top recruits to other employers as a company is then engaging these potential hires in its own process soon after they apply. The time and cost it would take for a single person to review each resume would be staggering!
Also, using an applicant tracking system allows a company to push its job postings to multiple job boards or websites. The relatively low cost of the software (especially compared to the cost of hiring additional staff members to review resumes), combined with the easy accessibility of external job boards and the fact that an employer may better qualify applicants earlier in the hiring process, produce a win-win situation! By reaching more applicants, an organization will be more likely to effectively find the best job fit for new employees across its workforce.
3. Government ReportingThere are laws that require employers not to discriminate against job seekers based on religion, gender, age, ethnicity and more. It is very important for a company to be able to demonstrate that it is using fair hiring practices… and an ATS can provide reporting and analytics that a company may use to defend itself during times of audits - particularly if data must be provided to run an adverse impact analysis and/or an audit requires the company to detail a history of all external job postings. The applicant tracking system is a tool to help HR and recruiting professionals stay compliant with state and federal employment laws quickly and easily.
4. Job Posting ConsistencyApplicant tracking software can display your job postings in a consistent layout and format to help an organization maintain a positive recruitment brand, and that is a sure way to attract even more top talent. Future candidates will see that this type of company takes hiring seriously.
In this fast-paced job market, it can be useful to better understand an organization’s motivation for using software that helps to automate the hiring process. A more complete understanding of how this software tool fits into corporate recruiting tasks can educate applicants on how their application to a job listing is reviewed and considered in the first stages of the screening process.
For more information about applicant tracking software, please contact ExactHire.