Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

You just clicked the button to submit your online job application to the employer’s applicant tracking system (ATS). Let’s explore what these systems are and why companies use them.

An applicant tracking system is just what the name implies It is an automated system employers use to track each applicant for every job a company seeks to fill. Your first indication you are dealing with an ATS is that you receive an immediate email response to your application, often thanking you for your interest and letting you know they will review your application. The ATS allows the company to track your application status throughout the hiring and onboarding process.

Why does a company use an ATS? The ATS allows companies to automate and effectively manage large numbers of applicants. The system equips a company to quickly move information across multiple departments and/or multiple locations. For example, applicants at one location may be considered for a nearby location by allowing multiple hiring managers easy access to the application.

The system supports federal and other compliance reporting as well as the company’s internal hiring metrics analysis. It supports real-time access to check the status of a particular opening.

Improve your chances by customizing your resume. Be truthful and include key words and phrases from the job description.