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Part 1 of 2: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

With everyone having to apply online at some point these days (even senior executives have to comply), there are some things you need to know.

There are more than 190 manufacturers/providers of the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that most employers use today. They were created for (and embraced by) employers for employee/candidate tracking and compliance reporting purposes.

Applicants detest the online application process because it depersonalizes the process; recruiters detest the online application process for the same reason—and a number of others.

Before the advent of ATS, recruiters would root through hard copy resumes and track candidate statistics on spreadsheets, which they would then share with hiring managers. Today, recruiters use keywords to identify qualified candidates, visually scan resumes on computer screens and track statistics on spreadsheets, which they then share with hiring managers.

Recruiters are evaluated by “time to hire.” That means that the quicker they place people, the better their performance evaluations (and job security). When there is a job posting with a 30-day open period, recruiters are already beginning to make interview selections once they have a meaningful number of applicants.

Note that recruiters look for qualified candidates, those who meet the hiring criteria; they are not looking for the best person for the job. So if you wait until the day the posting closes, you are unlikely to be invited to interview.

Stay tuned . . . there’s more to come!

Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC