What’s ATS and why should we get familiar with ?

By winfieldteam

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a Talent Acquisition tool to hire new employees which use a personalized pattern programmed by the HR specialist for early resume screening. This tool gets all the applications and evaluates them, then arranges them based on qualification. The next step goes to assigning every application to the relevant open position.

What’s ATS?

What’s ATS qualities:

ATS stands for “applicant tracking system”. The applicant tracking system is a tool for receiving and screening resumes that selects and classifies the competent and qualified resumes using keywords and show them to the human resources expert. It also provides a searching option within the resume pool using the same keywords so for example if the user is looking for a specific skill or title, they can find it within the system. The following can be mentioned among the most important benefits of ATS:

  • Decreasing the complications and increasing the pace of the hiring process
  • Decreasing Cost Per Hire 
  • Increasing hiring quality and precision
  • Keeping records and notes of each step of the hiring process
  • Facilitate decision-making for the employer
  • Improving employer branding
  • Facilitating the process while multiple hiring
  • Managing pipeline plan
  • Publishing job posts on multiple platforms at once
  • Fewer errors and cognitive biases like prejudice
  • Offering various kinds of statistic reports
  • Attaching files to cases (CV, offer letter, documents, etc)
  • Recording each specialist’s notes and applicant’s grading system
  • Recording out-sourced specialists and consultants by sharing links and providing access
  • Defining different access clarifications for users

ATS process 

How does ATS work?

What’s ATS do? ATS’s activity starts with publishing job posts and receiving applications. It then uses keywords, skills, and qualifications used in each job post to filter qualified resumes and archive the rest for future references. Users can also introduce other phases to ATS, such as filling out forms and having a test. ATS considers all these steps and necessary standards to pass and gives results. 

Resumes go through screening and enter the dashboard where the user can access them in a score-based order. Finally, an automatic email containing accepted/denied news will be sent to the applicant. The user is able to add notes and thoughts to the files after assessing them and sharing them with other employees and users.

Why do organizations need ATS?

The most important reason for using ATS is to save time and cost in the hiring process. Sometimes a small delay in communicating with top candidates means losing them. Also, this platform will analyze all the past mistakes and you can see them in all sorts of formats (like charts, reports, statistics, etc), which will help you in optimizing the process in the future. 

  • Saving time and money
  • Reducing the probability of losing data
  • Facilitating employer/applicant communication
  • Decreasing human errors
  • All the tools needed for storing and follow-up in one system
  • Avoiding repetitive tasks (emails, follow-ups, etc.)
  • Accessing all applicant’s data in one platform

How to get through ATS’s filters?

We mentioned before what’s ATS and how it uses keywords used in the job post for resume screening, that’s why sometimes we need to adjust our resume according to the job post and use matching words and verbs. But this isn’t the only obstacle you’re facing. 

This application doesn’t recognize all resume formats and if the format of your resume is not according to its standards, the application won’t be able to read it. Here are some tips for enhancing your resume:

  • ATS can’t read columns and tables. So if you’re writing your resume in multiple columns, make sure not to use more than 2 or 3 columns and don’t ever use column format.
  • Avoid using pictures, logos, or any kind of graphic design. You can always attach your portfolio if needed. 
  • How does ATS filters?
  • The application is not able to read all fonts, that’s why you can’t use customized fonts. We propose using classic and standard fonts like Arial and Times New Roman. 
  • Don’t ever use the header and footer. The information mentioned in these parts will be ignored by the app.
  • Avoid repeating words and verbs too much.
  • Keep your resume short, neat, and summarized. If you want to provide more information you can attach a cover letter or other documents.

Applicants use all sorts of formats and there are many standard formats to use, but the best format -for both ATS and HR specialists- is the Hybrid format. This template starts with skills and achievements and continues with professional experiences starting with the latest. You can also add a short summary between personal information and achievements. Limit your resume to one page if possible.

What’s ATS’s problems, Challenges, and Errors 

Remember that ATS is an intelligent application, it just recognizes the information that’s defined for it, not the synonyms or similarities, whether it’s in the skills section, position title, verbs, or key competencies. That’s why the applicants might be rejected just because they don’t know what’s ATS. User errors effects resume-screening directly. Sometimes applicants might have a similar degree but get ignored because of a name difference. If there’s any grey area we suggest you try to get your resume into human hands.