What you should know about an Applicant Tracking System?

Understand the various features of an Applicant Tracking System that you might not know…

If you think the first hurdle to getting a job interview is a recruiter’s judgment, you’re not seeing the whole picture. 99% of Fortune 500 companies and a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses filter resumes through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before someone takes a look. Here’s what you should know about an applicant tracking system.

Top employers hire for hundreds of jobs at a time and receive thousands of resumes for any given opening. Because applying for a job online is easier now, and many of these candidates are unqualified or not at par with the current industry standards.

1. What are applicant tracking systems?

An Applicant Tracking System is a software that manages the recruitment process, mainly sorting through thousands of resumes and CVs, to determine which candidate fits the job profile. An ATS processing your resume isn’t so different from a Hiring Manager glancing at your resume for ten seconds, as both are looking for a certain benchmark for inclusion. An ATS can be implemented or accessed online at the enterprise level or small-business levels, depending on the needs of the organization. An ATS is very similar to customer relationship management (CRM) systems, but are designed for recruitment tracking purposes. In many cases, they filter applications automatically based on given criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and universities attended.

2. Why do employers use applicant tracking systems?

Applicant tracking systems help keep all the resumes in one place, helping recruiters and hiring managers to stay organized as well as GDPR compliant. ATS helps ease the workload of recruiters and hiring managers, especially now that the internet makes it faster and easier than ever for job seekers to apply for jobs. Job board sites like Indeed and LinkedIn allow job seekers to apply using a saved resume and only one click. In theory, these systems also save time by automatically surfacing and focus on top candidates. In reality, ATS helps to hire professionals to narrow their candidate pool.

What you should know about an applicant tracking system?

What you should know about an Applicant Tracking System?

3. Keywords play a main role in ATS

Keywords are easily the main factor in getting through the Applicant Tracking System. Many ATS’s use Boolean search capabilities which allow the system to combine search terms using AND, NOT, and OR. For example, if a recruiter or hiring manager types “C++ AND Mumbai City” into the ATS keyword search bar, candidates whose resumes mention “C++” as a skill and Mumbai City as their location will move to the top of the candidate list.

This has caused many to adapt resume optimization techniques similar to those used in search engine optimization (SEO) when creating and formatting their resume.

4. Common ATS Features you should know

Some of the features to look for in an Applicant tracking system are:

  • Resume Parsing:Draw out and arrange the parts of each resume into an organized format.
  • Resume Storage: Once the data is entered into the ATS, resumes remain in the system depending on the ATS as possible candidates can reapply for future positions. But some ATS have GDPR compliance like AviaHire’s ATS.
  • Keyword Search: Recruiters and hiring managers can search by any keyword, frequently with the Boolean search. Boolean search connects keywords using OR, AND, NOT, and NEAR.
  • Filters: Filters can include the job seeker’s experience, the source of the application, how long ago candidate applied to the company, and whether or not candidates are a referral.
  • Automized Email Customization: Companies can customize rejection or approval emails to ensure that applicants get a response to their application.
  • Whatsapp Integration: AviaHire’s Applicant Tracking System has an inbuilt Whatsapp messaging feature that none of the other ATS currently has, this will help to let the candidate know about any important event almost immediately as one might skip reading mails but won’t miss out reading messages on Whatsapp.

5. ATS is a Growing Market

According to the market report, The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) market size is expected to grow from USD 1.08 billion in 2017 to USD 1.81 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.3% during the forecast period. North America is anticipated to have the largest applicant tracking system market size during the forecast period, as organizations are shifting toward new and upgraded technologies with increasing adoption of digital business strategies.

The break-up profiles of primary participants are given below:

By company: Tier 1–43%, Tier 2–35%, and Tier 3–22%

By designation: C-level — 60%, Director level — 25%, and Others — 15%

By region: North America — 44%, Europe — 25%, APAC — 21%, and RoW -10%

6. Resume formatting matters in an applicant tracking system

When a candidate uploads his/her resume into an ATS, the recruiter won’t necessarily view the file. Some ATS will analyze the document into a digital profile to make things consistent and searchable. This causes big problems for job seekers. Many ATS parsing algorithms are outdated and unintelligent, causing your resume information to get distorted or off-course. This means important keywords or details might not be imported. AviaHire uses the latest technology and algorithms to help recruiters to channelize their candidates according to the job profile, location, experience, and various other factors.

7. Each Applicant Tracking System Is Different

There are several major applicant tracking systems out there, including AviaHire, iCIMS, Lever, and Greenhouse, and no two are the same. While all seek to serve the same purpose i.e. to help recruiters narrow large pools of applicants, there are notable differences in search capabilities, parsing, and filters. The principal function of an ATS is to provide a central location and database for a company’s recruitment efforts. ATSs are built to better assist the management of resumes and applicant information. Data is either collected from internal applications via the ATS front-end, located on the company website or is extracted from applicants on job boards. Most job and resume boards (Reed Online, LinkedIn.com, Monster.com, Hotjobs, CareerBuilder, Indeed.com) have partnerships with ATS software providers to provide parsing support and easy data migration from one system to another.


During the Great Recession, companies were swamped with applications and wanted an attribute that filtered out unqualified candidates. This resulted in many of the dull application processes and aimless filters found in ATS today. This is why it is important to know about your applicant tracking system.

While old ATS systems are still in use at some big companies, we are seeing new ATS being developed for the modern age. Newer ATSs (often known as next-generation) is a software as a service(SaaS), where the main piece of software has integration points that allow providers of other recruiting technology to plug in seamlessly. The ability of these next-generation ATS solutions allows jobs to be posted where the candidate is and not only on the job boards. This ability is being referred to as omnichannel talent acquisition. As employers fight for the best talent, candidate experience is becoming a priority. Automation, search, and ranking systems aren’t going away; they’re just becoming more technical as recruiting software begins leveraging AI. This is why ATS’s aren’t going anywhere in the days to come.

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Suchismita Panda