How To Source Candidates With An ATS

In today's cut-throat job market, sourcing qualified and skilled candidates is undoubtedly the most perplexing task for anyone looking to hire top talent.

The whole process revolves around discovering and hiring the best candidates that will effortlessly fit into the company's culture and take the business to new heights.

But we all know that finding the right talent is easier said than done, owing to the time-consuming intricate processes that overwhelm hiring managers. 

This is where an applicant tracking system (ATS) comes into play.

Many applicants believe that the first hurdle to securing a job interview is the recruiter's decision; however, this isn't the case. 

A large majority of Fortune 500 companies and an increasing percentage of small and mid-sized businesses run resumes through an applicant tracking system before anyone even looks at them.

So, what exactly is an ATS and how can it help in sourcing candidates? 

Let's find out!

What Is An ATS?

An applicant tracking system is a form of recruitment software that automates the screening process to scan for the most qualified candidate, from beginning to end, with the help of artificial intelligence. 


Many applicant tracking systems automatically sift through resumes and applications to identify which candidates should advance to the next stage of the recruiting process.

It usually takes care of things like advertising job vacancies on several job boards, keeping applicant information, and screening applications for prospective matches.

All of this makes the recruitment process much more hassle-free while also giving recruiters the liberty to focus on other, more important tasks.          

Now that you know what an ATS is, you may want to know you can use it to discover the best talent. 

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How To Use Applicant Tracking Software Effectively?                  

Once you've decided to hire, the goal is to hire the best applicants.

An ATS makes it very easy to post job openings in the right places so you can find candidates with the skills you need. The only catch is to make effective use of it.

This guide will teach you how to source candidates from several sources using an applicant tracking system.

1. Automatic Rankings And Keyword Searches

Before actually listing the job anywhere, it can be helpful to know that applicant tracking systems can vastly simplify the hiring process in two ways.

Firstly, it automatically assigns a score to each applicant based on how well their resume matches the job description. So, instead of analyzing every single application, the recruiter may concentrate just on the applicants recognized by the ATS as a good fit.

Similarly, looking for essential skills and titles in the applicant tracking system is a way recruiters sift resumes to source suitable candidates.

For instance, if a recruiter is deciding between a thousand resumes for a Key Accounts Manager position, their first step will almost certainly be searching for "Accounts Manager." Furthermore, multiple terms can be used in a search. 

Recruiters can run a complex search that includes titles as well as talents relevant to the job, like "Key Accounts Manager with advanced excel skills." 

2. Brand Your Careers Page

When you have figured out what kind of job post to make with an ATS, you actually need to list it in the right places.

When job seekers are interested in working with you, almost two-thirds of them go to your careers page. 

It goes without saying that creating and maintaining a careers website is a task that should capture your attention. It should be the first thing you need to consider when looking to source candidates.

One of the most amazing benefits of an applicant tracking system is that it aids in the creation of a branded careers page, and it may be as simple as updating your Facebook background picture or your ‘About Us’ page.

Plus, there are also built-in features that provide users the tools to build their own, customizable careers pages. 

It's a good way to speed up the hiring process by allowing recruiters to customize their career page for maximum efficiency. 

In fact, you can use their ready-made templates to post jobs efficiently; the only thing to keep in mind is how convenient it is for the applicants.

3. Use ATS To Post Job Listings To External Job Boards Automatically

Now that you have worked on your careers page, you need to move to other venues to promote your job postings to a broader audience. 

After all, you can’t let go of the remaining one-third of applicants that may be interested in working for your company, can you?

The majority of job seekers begin their search on well-known internet job boards. When you establish a job opening in your applicant tracking system, it will be automatically placed on your company's website as well as on your preferred job boards.

Often, an ATS will post a new job vacancy to different websites simultaneously. Active job searchers who find the opportunity on these sites will be forwarded to your company's careers website, where they can apply.

You have the option of posting jobs for free on multiple job boards or paying for job ads.

Free Listings

Whether you eventually decide to pay for a job listing, it is always good to post positions for free first.

In many circumstances, this can be highly effective. For example, Indeed's free job postings attract millions of unique (and qualified) visitors.

Paid Listings

Free listings can occasionally suffice for your needs. 

However, you may want to consider paid job postings depending on the situation. You don’t need to create multiple accounts or enter payment information on each site. Using an ATS, you can buy numerous paid placements at once.

The following are some instances of situations where paying for a job listing might be a smart idea:

When you're looking for somebody with a lot of experience

Niche job boards make it possible to target qualified candidates more precisely. 

You probably wouldn’t appreciate your email inbox being flooded with hundreds of unqualified applications when you're looking for highly qualified engineers or technicians. 

You can even categorize your job listing by industry, job type, location, or other specific factors to source the ideal candidates.

When you're looking to hire someone right away

Paying for a job post can be beneficial when making a quick hire. A free job ad will almost certainly get lost beneath other job postings.

When you want to reach a large pool

Paid global job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, or Careerbuilder can also be quite beneficial when you want to reach a large number of people and receive a significant number of applications.

In essence, you can select from a choice of free and paid job boards and submit your job opening to the right audience very conveniently with the help of an ATS.

4. Leverage The Power Of Social Media

Without a doubt, job boards are an excellent tool to connect with people who are actively applying for jobs.

However, today's social media generation may find social media to be more accessible.

Social media has evolved into a powerful tool for connecting with skilled individuals, including passive qualified applicants who are not actively looking for a new job.

When you post a new job listing in your ATS, you can instantly share it on your company's social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Interested people who follow your pages can then apply for the job by clicking on the link that redirects them to your website.

It's also simple to add social sharing buttons on your job postings with your applicant tracking system. A visitor to your careers site can share your opportunity with anybody on their social media via a shareable link at the touch of a button. 

Undoubtedly, an ATS that integrates with social media can help guarantee that your social media recruitment fits your overall hiring strategy and makes finding the right people easier.

5. Utilize ATS For Employee Referrals

Applicants referred by current employees are typically hired faster and retained for longer than employees hired through external recruitment efforts.

Using ATS to help with employee referrals is a rational way to speed up the hiring process and reduce issues with regular referral programs.

An ATS makes it easy to keep track of all referrals in one spot. Every job opening you create has its email address and URL. You can distribute them to others so that they can quickly refer their connections to apply or send a resume via email.

The ATS may also be used to discover how many employees a candidate is related to through social media and other contact information. In a situation when numerous individuals are vying for the same job, this could be crucial in making a hiring choice.

As part of a proactive hiring strategy, an ATS can be utilized to build up and maintain a highly effective employee referral program.

It can save time for management and HR while also ensuring that referral records are kept up to date and that employees are recognized and rewarded for their efforts.

6. Rediscover Talent Through ATS

Previous applicants are an often-overlooked source of candidates.

The good news is that an ATS can help you convert resumes into standardized candidate profiles so that if the need arises, you can refer to your existing applicants before spending resources to look for new ones.

You can either upload all of your resumes as a .zip or CSV file all at once or forward them from your email to your ATS. Your system will automatically collect necessary information from the resumes and fill in the appropriate fields in the candidate profile.

As your company grows, you'll have a pool of previous candidate profiles to consider for new positions, making it relatively straightforward to source candidates who you already know want to work for your firm.

Hopefully, you now understand how to source applicants efficiently using an applicant tracking system (ATS). If you're still unsure how it can help your company, keep reading to find out!

5 Ways Applicant Tracking Software Can Benefit Your Business

An ATS can benefit your business in numerous ways. Here are the top five of them:

1. Cut Down On The Time Spent On Administrative Chores

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest advantages of an ATS is that it reduces time spent on unnecessary administrative chores that can easily be automated.

It allows you to streamline your hiring process and free up time for more critical activities.

So, instead of manually posting your job openings on job boards one by one or sending follow-up emails to each candidate, perform all of this in a matter of seconds.

2. Find The Best Fit For Your Company

Applicant tracking systems can find the best fit for a position by bridging the gap between open jobs and the most qualified candidates. 

Recruiters then engage with the best applicants in the applicant pool because of the automated matching of candidates.

Also, because of the extra time that an ATS can buy you, you may get to communicate more with candidates during the selection process. 

This means that before making a hiring decision, you can acquire more information and conduct more thorough analyses of the applicants and see whether they are a good fit according to your company’s culture.

3. ATS Encourages Collective Hiring

Applicant tracking systems have incredible capabilities that make collaborative hiring a breeze.

HR teams can easily and quickly share notes and evaluations on each candidate simultaneously, allowing for a collaborative decision-making process in which each recruiter has a voice.

Your company can gain greatly from collaborative recruiting since it will allow your team to be on the same pace with hiring decisions hence reducing any conflicts.

4. Accelerate The Recruitment Process

By now, we know that employing an ATS can allow you to get a better picture of the hiring process by reviewing all of a candidate's information organized in one place. 

However, automated communication tools can also shorten the recruitment process by making it easier to give general follow-up and transfer candidates to the next stage. Overall, you can build and execute a more effective workflow with the help of an applicant tracking system.

5. Promote Your Brand

When you employ an ATS to execute a consistent and engaging recruitment process, it can strengthen your employer branding.

It can not only attract and engage more candidates to your company but also promote your brand in general. For example, a comprehensively designed and updated Careers Page can help you impress applicants and expand your talent pool.

Key Tips & Tricks To Make The Most of Applicant Tracking Software

So, if you’re ready to integrate an ATS into your operations, here are a few very valuable tricks to help you optimize its use:

Choose A User-Friendly ATS

When you’re shortlisting the applicant tracking system to go for, make sure you choose one that has a user-friendly interface for your recruitment staff and any other stakeholders. 

Nobody likes demanding software that takes a long time to learn how to use. 

So, keep in mind the candidates who will apply for your job listings, as well as the hiring managers and your HR team who will be analyzing the applications. 

That brings us to our second point; check to see if the ATS you're thinking about has a free trial or demo so you can try it out first.

Go For Test Drives

You may have your sights set on two or three applicant tracking systems (ATS) that would assist both your recruitment process and your staff. 

They may even fit your budget perfectly. However, you should now see if they offer a free trial version. 

If not, you might want to give it a second thought.

Testing the software will provide you with firsthand experience and insight into whether the system will work for your recruitment in the long term.

When evaluating your ATS competitors, keep the following points in mind:

  • Have the software tested by as many people on your team as possible so that everyone gets familiar with it.
  • Check all of the features and see if they fit your requirements.

It's crucial to keep in mind that an ATS with too many unwanted features will likely be of little benefit to your company, and you would instead end up incurring unnecessary costs. 

Get Everyone On The Same Page

Now that you have finally decided on implementing your chosen ATS, always keep your staff’s satisfaction in mind. They will be the ones making use of it.

Whenever a new system is implemented in an organization, it will almost certainly face some resistance.

Typically, people become accustomed to outdated ways and only consider the short-term inconvenience of change.

So, to get the most out of your investment in a new ATS, you'll need to turn their concern into excitement.

You can do this by emphasizing how the new system will boost overall performance. Demos, reading manuals, and attending workshops on recruitment software can help. You can also present case studies and examples to which your team members can personally relate.

In the end, not only will this benefit your organization but also potential applicants.

Parting Thoughts

The job market is constantly evolving, so recruiters need to be more versatile and resourceful than ever when creatively sourcing the right talent.

This is where an applicant tracking system can come in handy.

A proficient ATS is more than just an administrative assistant. It can also help your company grow by attracting the best talent that fits its overall needs.

So, if you're looking for a reliable ATS, sign up for our free 14-day trial to learn more about our ATS to remedy all your recruitment hassles.

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