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The Empuls Glossary

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An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application designed to streamline and automate the recruitment and hiring process. It serves as a centralized hub for managing all aspects of talent acquisition, from sourcing and screening candidates to scheduling interviews and making job offers.

What is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application used by employers and recruiters to streamline the recruitment process and manage the entire hiring workflow from sourcing candidates to onboarding. ATS systems automate many aspects of recruitment, including job posting, candidate screening, resume parsing, interview scheduling, and applicant tracking.

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What are the features of an applicant tracking system?

Key features of an applicant tracking system typically include:

1. Job posting

Applicant tracking systems allow recruiters to create and post job openings to multiple job boards, career sites, and social media platforms with ease. They may also provide templates for job descriptions and allow for customization based on specific job requirements.

2. Candidate sourcing

Applicant tracking systems enable recruiters to source candidates from various channels, including job boards, social media, employee referrals, and resume databases. Some ATS platforms offer advanced search capabilities and Boolean search functionality to help recruiters identify qualified candidates quickly.

3. Resume parsing

Applicant tracking systems automate the process of parsing and extracting relevant information from resumes and job applications submitted by candidates. This allows recruiters to easily review and compare candidate qualifications, skills, and experience.

4. Candidate screening

Applicant tracking systems facilitate candidate screening by allowing recruiters to set predefined criteria and filters to identify top candidates based on qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors.  

Recruiters can review candidate profiles, resumes, and application materials within the system and move candidates through different stages of the hiring process.

5. Interview scheduling

Applicant tracking systems streamline the interview scheduling process by providing tools for coordinating interviews, sending automated interview invitations, and managing scheduling conflicts.  

Some applicant tracking systems integrate with calendar applications to automatically schedule interviews based on availability.

6. Collaboration and communication

Applicant tracking systems facilitate collaboration among hiring team members by providing centralized communication tools, task assignment features, and status updates on candidate progress.  

Recruiters can share feedback, notes, and evaluations within the system to ensure alignment and transparency throughout the hiring process.

7. Reporting and analytics

Applicant tracking systems offer reporting and analytics capabilities to track key recruitment metrics, such as time-to-fill, source effectiveness, candidate pipeline, and diversity metrics.  

Recruiters can generate custom reports and dashboards to analyze recruitment performance and make data-driven decisions.

Why is an applicant tracking system important?

The reasons why applicant tracking system is important are:

1. Efficiency

Applicant tracking system streamlines the recruitment process by automating manual tasks such as job posting, resume parsing, candidate screening, and interview scheduling. This saves time and effort for recruiters, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks such as engaging with candidates and assessing fit.

2. Centralized data

Applicant tracking system provides a centralized database for storing candidate information, resumes, application materials, and communication history. This ensures that all relevant information is easily accessible to recruiters and hiring managers, facilitating collaboration and decision-making.

3. Improved candidate experience

Applicant tracking system provides a user-friendly interface for candidates to apply for jobs, track their application status, and communicate with recruiters. This enhances the candidate's experience by providing transparency, timely updates, and efficient communication throughout the hiring process.

4. Better candidate screening

Applicant tracking system automates candidate screening by allowing recruiters to set predefined criteria and filters to identify top candidates based on qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors. This helps recruiters prioritize candidates and focus their efforts on the most qualified applicants.

5. Cost savings

By streamlining the recruitment process and improving efficiency, applicant tracking system help organizations save time and reduce costs associated with manual recruitment tasks, such as advertising expenses, administrative overhead, and time-to-fill vacancies.

6. Scalability

Applicant tracking systems are scalable and can accommodate the needs of organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. They can handle high volumes of job applications and candidates, ensuring that recruitment processes remain efficient and effective as the organization grows.

Who are the main users of an applicant tracking system within a company?

The main users of an applicant tracking system within a company typically include:

  • Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists: Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists are the primary users of the ATS. They use the system to post job openings, source candidates, review resumes, screen applicants, schedule interviews, and manage the overall recruitment process.
  • Hiring managers: Hiring managers play a key role in the recruitment process and often have access to the ATS to review candidate profiles, provide feedback, and make hiring decisions. They use the system to collaborate with recruiters, track candidate progress, and communicate with other stakeholders involved in the hiring process.
  • Human resources (HR) professionals: HR professionals may use the ATS to oversee and administer the recruitment process, ensure compliance with company policies and legal requirements, and generate reports and analytics on recruitment metrics.
  • Administrators and system administrators: Administrators and system administrators are responsible for managing the technical aspects of the ATS, including system configuration, user permissions, integrations with other systems, and troubleshooting issues as they arise.

How to choose the right applicant tracking system for your company?

Here are some steps to help you select the best ATS for your organization:

  • Identify your needs: Start by identifying the specific needs and requirements of your company. Consider factors such as the size of your organization, the volume of hiring, the complexity of your recruitment process, integration with other HR systems, and any unique features or functionalities you require.
  • Set a budget: Determine how much you are willing to invest in an ATS. Prices can vary widely depending on the features and scalability of the system. Consider both upfront costs and ongoing subscription or maintenance fees.
  • Research available options: There are numerous ATS providers in the market, each offering different features and services. Research various options to see which ones align with your needs and budget. You can find reviews, compare features, and even request demos or trials to test out the systems firsthand.
  • Evaluate key features: Look for essential features such as resume parsing, job posting capabilities, candidate tracking, communication tools, reporting and analytics, collaboration features for team members, mobile accessibility, and compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Consider ease of use: Choose an applicant tracking system that is intuitive and user-friendly for both recruiters and candidates. A complicated system can lead to frustration and inefficiency, so prioritize ease of use during your evaluation.
  • Check integration capabilities: If you already use other HR software or tools, make sure the ATS you choose can integrate seamlessly with them. Integration with systems such as HRIS (Human Resources Information System), payroll software, and background check providers can streamline your workflow and reduce manual data entry.
  • Get feedback: Involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process and gather feedback from recruiters, hiring managers, and other users who will be using the ATS on a daily basis. Their input can help you identify any specific requirements or preferences that should be considered.
  • Consider future trends: Finally, consider emerging trends in recruitment technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, and how these may impact your hiring process in the future. Choose an ATS that is adaptable and future-proof to stay ahead in the competitive talent market.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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