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The 4 Pillars of Applicant Tracking: What You Need to Know

by Byrne Anderson
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Applicant tracking systems have been around for a number of years now. They are computerized systems that streamline the application and recruiting processes for both employers and employees. As with any piece of technology, some applicant tracking systems are better than others. It pays for a company to really know what it is getting itself into before investing in such a system.

In a recent blog post discussing the benefits of applicant tracking systems, Dallas-based BenefitMall explained why a company would want to invest in applicant tracking. The post discussed things like identifying suitable applicants, and streamlining the application and onboarding processes.

This post goes a step further by discussing what are considered the four pillars of applicant tracking. A system missing just one of these pillars is unlikely to return the kinds of results employers have come to expect.

Pillar #1: Sourcing Candidates

Most companies that know only a little about applicant tracking at least know that a good system facilitates more efficient sourcing of candidates. Applicant tracking software is generally linked to dozens of different outlets for posting job openings and collecting resumes. The more outlets available, the greater the pool of potential candidates.

The beauty of it all is that sourcing is largely automated. HR need only enter relevant information about a particular job opening and leave the software to do the rest. Job postings go out in multiple directions within minutes of submission.

Pillar #2: Managing Resumes

Automation is the key feature of applicant tracking. As such, the second pillar is automated resume management. The system collects resumes and applications, which are then run through a series of algorithms to determine the fate of each one. Much of the initial legwork of resume filtering is done automatically.

Systems can be set up to look for specific qualifications or work experience. Software can be programmed to search for a given set of keywords and phrases. Regardless of the parameters, a good applicant tracking system can identify and classify resumes so as to present recruiters with a finely tuned list of potential hires.

Pillar #3: Communicating Efficiently

How employers communicate with potential new hires has changed a lot over the last decade or so. The phone calls and typed letters of the past have given way to e-mails and online chat sessions. Even social media is now considered a valid communication tool for HR. Modern applicant tracking systems are designed with that in mind.

A good system allows interested parties to communicate with one another from within. Once logged on to the system, applicants have direct access to recruiters – and vice versa. Communications are kept secure as well. There are very few concerns of privacy or transmitting sensitive data.

Pillar #4: Managing Relationships

Last but not least is managing relationships with job candidates. In this regard, applicant tracking systems are a lot like customer relationship management (CRM) solutions used by sales teams and marketers. The software tracks every aspect of a company’s relationships with job applicants from start to finish.

Relationship management allows for more direct interaction between recruiters and candidates. It helps employers understand their strengths and weaknesses in terms of recruiting. It even allows for better marketing of future job opportunities through data analytics that help employers understand what candidates are thinking.

Applicant tracking is more than just a recruiting philosophy. It is also a technology that makes recruiting and hiring more productive than it has ever been. Companies looking to compete in a tight labor market would do well to invest in a reputable applicant tracking system.

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