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Breaking Down Applicant Tracking Systems

Technology holds paramount importance in the recruitment industry. Human resource departments are no longer ignoring the flexibility, efficacy, and tremendous value that hiring technology brings to the table. One such technology is applicant tracking system (ATS). 

True to their name, ATS tools help HR teams manage the entire recruitment process from start to finish. A good ATS gives teams the tools, capability, and features they need to acquire, assess, and hire top talent quickly and effectively. No wonder 99% of Fortune 500 companies prefer to filter all incoming resumes using an ATS rather than a set of eyes. Unsurprisingly, there is an abundance of applicant tracking system software on the market today. 

Applicant Tracking System Software

Applicant tracking system software describes any tools or programs used in the management of the hiring process and all included candidate information. These tools are typically handled and operated by real humans, not bots. There is no rogue ATS operating without human intervention. 

Among other functions, applicant tracking systems collect thousands and thousands of resumes, sort through them quickly, and deliver a curated list of prospective hires based on a set of predetermined criteria. Usually, the system will assign a relevancy score to each resume, making it easy for the recruiter to find the perfect match for their organization. An ATS scours a resume no differently from a recruiter looking at the resume, as both are looking for certain criteria. While human recruiters typically look for grounds for outright rejection, such as lack of relevant skills or spelling errors, ATS tools work by searching resumes for specific keywords.

At its core, the ATS acts as a centralized repository where most of an organization’s hiring actions take place. Recruiters can post jobs to multiple job boards and review new applications directly from the ATS. Some systems also make it possible to search for profiles in the existing talent pool, evaluate candidates, and schedule interviews. 

Applicant Tracking System for Small Business

Some out there peddle the misconception that an applicant tracking system is only reserved for large organizations, but that is not the case. Any business, whether large or small, can benefit from using a recruiting software of this caliber. Applicant tracking systems come with varying features, fees, and payment options, so anyone can afford them.

Small business or not, the truth is that hiring involves a lot of actors, notes, and communication. Without a centralized way to manage all the factors involved, the information will be scattered between memory, documents, and emails. For this reason alone, recruiters in small organizations need to sign up for an applicant tracking system. 

Additionally, ATS is way more efficient compared to spreadsheets, and it’s available to all users from anywhere. Plus, it allows a small business to become a paperless hiring organization.

Applicant Tracking Systems List

The market for applicant tracking software systems is awash with numerous solutions for every kind of business and hiring need. Whether you’re in the market for your very first hire or an already established organization looking to scale your business by adding team members, there’s quite literally something for everyone.

Below are the 10 best ATS tools available today (in no particular order):

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Some of these tools charge a fortune to access premium features. Nevertheless, these are some of the best applicant tracking systems for small businesses and large ones alike. The best ATS systems offer accessible UI and a multitude of tools. 

ATS Tools for Recruitment

ATS tools might be collectively considered as recruitment software, but not many recruiters understand why. The capabilities of these modern systems affect nearly every phase of the recruitment process, including:

Candidate sourcing—automated job posting as well as application pages that integrate into the candidate database

Candidate management—automatic uploading of candidate information into the central repository, adding scheduling and screening information to candidate files, and ongoing storage of current and former candidates

Pre-screening candidates—keyword parsing of cover letters and resumes, automated screening of ineligible candidates, as well as automated outreach and interview scheduling

Screening candidates—setting up and managing video interviews and online tests, adding screening results to candidate files, and collaborating with team members on candidate qualifications

Sending out job offers—generating and extending offer letters, pooling together signed documentation, and adding them to necessary files

Onboarding—collecting and storing candidate documents as well as making sure all compliance documentation is complete

Recruitment process optimization—input metrics and intelligence into every step of the recruitment process, allowing businesses to pinpoint bottlenecks and make the necessary changes

Best Applicant Tracking Systems

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to the best applicant tracking systems. A tool that works for another organization might not work for yours, and that’s okay. The important thing is to consider an array of factors before choosing the ideal ATS solution for your business.  

Some of the factors behind top-ranking ATS software include:

Consider a software that offers a free trial. This way, you can give critical functions and performance a trial run before fully committing. 

Powerful integration capabilities. It should allow you to connect with all of your favorite tools without any hiccups. 

Easy, intuitive design. Applicant tracking is hard enough as is. The last thing you want is a cluttered interface.

Choose a software that offers analytics and timely data insights to keep a close eye on your return on investment (ROI).

Opt for cloud-based software. SaaS solutions are easily accessible from any device, require no upfront hardware costs, and are incredibly flexible.

A solid software should also allow for out-of-the-box personalization to meet your organization’s needs fully

Committing to a good, well-rounded ATS tool might seem like a big leap for a growing business, but the benefits (happy recruiters and new high-quality hires) are too important for any organization to ignore.

How to beat applicant tracking system

If you are an applicant yourself, this blog will also be a helpful resource. Understanding how to use applicant tracking systems to your advantage gives you a leg up in the job search. The ATS scans your resume, and as a result, discards irrelevant ones. Hence, it is important to create an ATS-friendly resume. Multiple websites offer free ATS resume scans, so you know how to beat applicant tracking systems. These websites have an applicant tracking system test your resume, so you can edit it accordingly.

HR Applicant Tracking System

When hiring or assessing potential candidates, an HR manager can utilize ATS tools to increase efficiency. Using the ATS, the hiring manager can list job descriptions, screen and test candidates, schedule interviews for selected candidates, and so much more. This way, the entire HR department can have a 360-degree view of the applicant’s progress throughout the hiring journey. Nothing is left to chance.

Here are more ATS benefits hiring managers can enjoy: 

Turns recruiting from chaotic to streamlined and successful

Saves time by automating mundane tasks

Offers quick way to build an attractive employer brand

Reduces cost per hire, sometimes as much as 40%

Generates key hiring insights

Centralizes document tracking and candidate management

Applicant Tracking System Free Download

Free ATS software for small business or fast-growing recruiting agencies is a welcome bonus. Liaising with an agency that provides an ATS free download enables you to save tons of money. Every small business that’s considering going down the hiring path sometimes soon should consider a free ATS before all else. That way, they’ll get to save a sizable chunk of money, which can be reinvested into other areas of the business.  

Open source applicant tracking systems are also available online. These include free and modifiable code. Another saving tip is to try applicant tracking system free trials. This way, you can test multiple systems and determine the best free applicant tracking system for your business. 

With an applicant tracking system online, it can be difficult to determine which system is right. This is especially true if you have a startup, or other lean organization. Luckily, some SaaS companies offer free ATS for startups, so you can be confident with the product. 

Similarly, new staffing agencies and executive search firms can also benefit from the undeniable perks of a free applicant tracking system. They can use the free versions of these tools until they find their feet, after which they’ll be in a position to invest in sophisticated technology.

Unfortunately, the market is flooded with expensive ATS tools. Only a few hiring agency software developers actually offer free quality tools. This is a significant challenge for new staffing agencies, especially those with dwindling or non-existent resources.

This is where Loxo comes in. It’s a next-level applicant tracking system that ensures fast-growing recruiting agencies and small businesses never have to compromise. It’s not always simple to make the right decisions in the talent market, but with this talent intelligence platform, everything becomes easier. We offer the best ATS for startups and large firms. 

Learn more about how Loxo supercharges your recruitment process. If you’re already sold on the perks, schedule a free demo today.

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