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How to Use Applicant Tracking Systems for Employee Recruiting

An applicant tracking system (ATS), sometimes called an e-recruiting system, offers a central location and database for an organization’s employee recruiting efforts. Information can be gathered from internal applications, as well as from applicants on job boards.

An ATS enables the review and management of applicant information and status. Other features may include the creation and administration of job requisitions, automated résumé ranking and evaluation, customized online applications, pre-evaluation questions, and response tracking. It also can generate interview requests to candidates via e-mail.

If you have more than 100 employees, you should be familiar with equal employment opportunity parameters. If you’re considering applicant tracking systems, ask about features that automatically address Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance. That way, you stay as up-to-date as possible.

When you’re ready to review résumés for a particular position, e-recruiting systems pre-evaluate them to identify appropriate experience, skills, education, and other credentials. The systems scan for keywords, work history, years of experience, and education. The technology identifies likely candidates and ranks them. Candidates who place poorly are weeded out from further consideration.

Some applicant tracking systems are integrated with e-mail solutions, such as Microsoft Outlook, to more easily handle résumés that are submitted this way. Some systems allow for the automatic scanning and upload of data from a candidate résumé into the ATS.

Don’t look to e-recruiting systems to take the human touch out of the hiring equation, however. They’re designed to make your involvement more time efficient and more effective, but taking their results at face value in every case is risky.

Unfortunately, misstatements, omissions, and inconsistencies abound on résumés. In a Robert Half survey, 43 percent of managers polled said they believe job seekers include dishonest information on their résumés somewhat or very often. More than one in five workers in the same survey said they know someone who stretched the truth on these documents. It takes personal involvement to drill down to the truth.

When reviewing résumés, question vague descriptions of skills, such as familiar with and was involved in — potential signs that someone is trying to hide a lack of relevant work experience. Also, ask references to confirm basic information you see on a résumé, such as the candidate’s employment history, job titles, responsibilities, and salary.

You also can work with a reputable staffing firm that is skilled at identifying experienced job candidates for your business.

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