Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant tracking systems (ATS)are an easy way for large and small companies to efficiently manage the hiring process. In general, applicant tracking systems keep candidate resumes in a database to permit efficient and effective searching, sorting, and routing of applicants. ATS systems usually include functions like job board interfaces, job ad postings onto a secure website as a means of attracting candidates and a way for recruiters and hiring managers to document candidate interactions.

Reasons to Use an ATS

There are a number of reasons to use an ATS. Here are a few good ones.

  • Cool Company Job Boards - Integrating you jobs into your corporate web site can turn your web traffic into applicants. Done right you can get candidate who are pre-screened sent right to your mailbox, which leads to next item...
  • Integrated Job Application and Scoring tools - Some of the better systems will not only allow you to post your jobs, accept applicant resumes against that job, but give you tools to score applicants and rank them.
  • Automated Emailing - This service allows you to send reply emails to candidates, letting them know their progress in you recruiting process.
  • Legal - We already alluded to documenting candidate interactions, this helps with EEOC compliance and a myriad of legal compliance issues.
  • Summary Reports - An offshoot of the compliance aspect is the report summaries, showing numbers of candidates, interviews, offers and hires. This helps gauge your hiring effectiveness and allows for better planning of future recruiting efforts.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Solutions

There are a number of choices in terms of solutions for applicant tracking systems. They range from larger hosted versions to smaller scalable SAAS (Software As A Service) applicant tracking solutions.

If you are a large to midsized company that does not have an HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) system or if you do a module for applicant tracking, you may want to consider purchasing and hosting your own ATS solution. There are a number of such services. Sadly there are too many factors to cover here but if you do a search online for "ATS buyers guide" for a couple hundred dollars you can get a pretty good report on the best options and find what is compatible with your current system and recruiting process.

For the smaller companies you might be better served to IMAGE: Recruit with CATS

looking at SAAS solutions. This model is much cheaper and you get all the functionality. There is never a worry about breakdowns, maintenance or hardware failures corrupting your data. It is all part of the package and you get full functionality. The best part is the price. Full systems can run $20K if you want to own things. Add to that base cost you need someone smart enough to administer the software for tasks like updates, backups and upgrades.

Software as a Service CATS

In the SAAS model all the hassles of managing your own software and service are taken care of for you. I have tried a couple of these types of solutions and one I can recommend is the CATS system. There is a fully function open source license version, which is what I used, but it requires a pretty savvy software person to set it up.

They now have a SAAS version that offers the full functions of the big guns at a remarkably affordable prices. For less than $30 a month you can have it all. Your small HR department can get a full service ATS system saving you time, money and eliminating many of the hassles of recruiting.

Enough said about that product. Needless to say, I'm a big advocate of applicant tracking systems for the reasons mentioned above and for all the automation it affords a hiring manager.

When you consider your legal exposure to lawsuits and the added efficiency gained with using such a system, it is easy to see that an ATS is a great choice for any company.

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