Today, all sizes of companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to select resumes from applicants to fill at least 70% of their job openings.
This is a guest post by Robin Schlinger.
If you are a job seeker, you may “hate” these systems Or see them as a black hole, since they seem to reject their applications and they seem “not human.”
However, ignoring the systems you have eliminated yourself from consideration from 70% of the jobs out there, even if you “network” into a job.
As a job seeker, you will want to keep up with the latest news in these areas.
You may think you do not want to work for a company that uses an Applicant Tracking System, since any company that screens resumes mechanically is not a company you want to work for.
However, that may be self-defeating, since companies have been forced, in many cases, to use the ATS systems due to the volume of applicants and/or governmental regulations. Here are the reasons many companies use ATS.
Number of applicants:
Companies that post jobs online receive hundreds, if not thousands of applicants per job. Many of these resumes are from applicants who apply to many jobs on the Internet, whether or not they are qualified for the job.
Let’s say for every opening, a company decides to read the thousand resumes it receives for the announcement. If you have a thousand resumes, and a reviewer spends 3 minutes reading every resume (which is what many job seekers hope a reviewer would spend on their resume), it would take a reviewer 3000 minutes – the equivalent of 40 hours – just to review the initial number of resumes they receive. Companies do not have the personnel to spend 40 hours just to review resumes, without doing other work.
Therefore, as the number of applicants to jobs increased due to the Internet, companies began to use ATS systems. By using algorithms to search for keywords indicating possession of the key skills required for a job, this substantially reduced the number of resumes a human needed to review and allowed them time to review the resumes thoroughly. Even if the method eliminated qualified candidates, as long as the company can find a qualified candidate for the job, it increased efficiency without impacting the ability for them to fill the position.
Government Reporting Requirements:
Over the years, the U.S. government has increased reporting requirements on job applicants, including information on race and disabilities, to ensure conformance to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requirements. By using ATS systems, companies can easily comply with these reporting requirements. In addition, by selecting to only interview job applicants that are selected by the “impartial” ATS system, companies protect themselves from suits from job applicants who claim discrimination.
With the advent of new EEO and hiring laws, the Federal government now requires all applicants to jobs from companies accepting Federal contacts to meet all job requirements listed in job announcements. Some ATS systems can check applications to be sure the applicants meet these requirements.
By using ATS systems, companies gain efficiencies. The status of hiring for each person and each job now can be accessed immediately online. This saves companies time, reduces errors, and ensures proper tracking of each person’s application.
Of course, ATS systems do not replace the need to network to find jobs.
By networking and having a strong resume formatted properly to be read by ATS systems (for example, do not use a functional resume), you will have a much better chance to get the job. If your resume passes the ATS system filter AND you have networked to get noticed, you have increased your chances of being selected.
What’s your experience with ATS systems as a job seeker, recruiter or hiring manager?
Thanks Waponi for the photo via Flickr
Written by: Robin Schlinger
Tags: ats systems | candidates | Job Search | resume review | sending a resume
Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes