What is Applicant Tracking?

At a Microsoft Convergence trade show a couple weeks ago, we were often asked, “What is applicant tracking, anyway?”

Loosely, applicant tracking is how your organization keeps track of resumes, applications, EEO data, and any other data required within the hiring process.  An applicant tracking system (ATS), is software designed to automate your organization’s applicant tracking tasks.  An SaaS applicant tracking system, like myStaffingPro, offers the applicant tracking software online, as a software-as-a-service model.

Applicant tracking systems normally include the following basic functions:

1.  A way to electronically store your job openings

2.  A method of displaying your job openings on a web site

3.  A process for candidates to electronically submit their resume or indicate their interest in a job opening, as well as enter their contact information

4.  The ability to report on the candidates’ that are attached to each job opening

Applicant tracking systems save companies time and money because they can automate functions that are often handled manually within organizations.  Below are a list of the common HR functions that can be easily automated with an applicant tracking system, specifically with myStaffingPro.

Posting New Job Openings
Do your hiring managers contact your HR department about new job openings, then the HR department needs to hunt down the proper person to verify the details about the job, when to post it, etc?  Does the HR Department have to notify someone in IT to post the job to the company web site?  Are job postings limited to a paid ad on CareerBuilder and a paper posted to a bulletin board?  With myStaffingPro, hiring managers can be given limited access to a web portal in which they enter their job openings.  The openings are then auto-forwarded to the HR department with all information already filled in.  The HR department can make edits as necessary, then simply click a link to post the job to their corporate career site, which is also powered by myStaffingPro.  No IT involvement necessary!  No double data entry or mistakes.

Standardizing the Job Application
Instead of filing paper resumes, having on the spot interviews, or just taking the next applicant who walks in, an applicant tracking system standardizes the application process.  All applicants may be directed to an online career portal on the company web site, allowing the applicants to review the requirements of the job, fill in their contact information, submit their resume, and with myStaffingPro, answer pre-screening questions that have been customized for the job.   Not only does this save hiring managers and the HR department a ton of time by not having to handle all the resumes and applications manually, it also creates a standard application process that treats applicants as fairly as possible.

Communication with Hiring Managers
Communication between the HR Department and hiring managers can sometimes be a rough road.  Understandably, hiring managers often have many other duties that demand their time.  myStaffingPro automates the communication between the HR department and the hiring manager.  After applicants automatically submit their application for a job on the online career portal, the HR department can easily review the applicant’s qualifications on an easy to use, secure web site.  With just a click of the mouse, HR department users can forward the applicants whom they would like the hiring managers to review.  Hiring managers then click a link in the email to enter feedback and notify HR of those applicants they want to interview.  Saves time and makes reviewing candidates easy instead of laborious!

Reporting on Applicant Data
Do you dread the year-end EEOC reporting?  Well, dread it no more!  myStaffingPro has standard reports for ethnicity and gender data, as well as source data, hiring statistics, and ad-hoc reporting that allows users to report on any field in the job opening or applicant database.

As you can see, applicant tracking systems save time and money.  Automating job postings, applications, communications and reporting can cut the time in more than half that HR spends handling applications!

The common functions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are also opportunities to automate your hiring process even more, increasing your ROI as well as the quality of your hires.  If you’re ready to take applicant tracking to the next step, explore the advanced features of myStaffingPro.

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