Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Definition - What does Applicant Tracking System (ATS) mean?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application used by organizations to manage their recruitment activities more efficiently. The technology enables the recruiter or hiring manager to track candidates electronically from origin to hire. It is especially useful where high volumes of applications are handled by the recruitment team or hiring manager.

WorkplaceTesting explains Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) allow companies to keep track of all things related to recruitment and hiring in one place.

ATS can allow an organization to track candidates from application to hire easily. A candidate is assigned a number and all information is maintained within the system. This prevents loss of resumes and candidates being lost as the software automatically enters and files the data the candidate submits.

Candidates apply for the job vacancy on a job board or the company's website by responding to specific questions required by the recruiter and this gives the recruiter the ability to screen applications based on particular criteria such as key words. These criteria can be used to match suitable candidates with job vacancies based on skills, experience, qualifications, and more, even if it is a job the candidate did not originally apply for. Some ATS software includes the capability to automatically search the Internet and social media for potentially damaging behavior on the part of the candidate or clues that submitted information is inaccurate.

Some software applications can rank candidates based on set criteria, allowing the recruiter to quickly discover the most suitable candidates for the vacancy. It works similarly to search engine optimization where key words are searched for as indicators of top results. The ATS application tracks the applicant responses and can produce interview requests to selected applicants.

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