What is an ATS?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is a software program that helps hiring managers and other HR professionals in the recruitment process. Around 80% of companies in Australia use Applicant Tracking Systems to search for qualified candidates from large job applicant pools. An ATS basically scans your resume and checks that qualifications and other pre-determined criteria are met by a candidate before it decides whether to score (or rank) the resume high enough to warrant a real person reading it.  ATS also look for certain keywords set by the employer. If your document contains the keywords then ATS will rank you higher in search results.

Most experts agree that applicant tracking systems are flawed, but an increasing number of employers rely on them to screen resumes. ATS are most helpful for big companies who receive hundreds of applications on a daily basis. These software programs save time (and money) by performing the initial screening of submitted resumes for a position.

If you’re a job seeker, you may be familiar with these ATS programs in use in Australia:

Technology Advice listed down the top Applicant Tracking Systems in the market today:

  • SmartRecruiters
  • Zoho Recruit
  • Jobvite
  • Greenhouse
  • RecruiterBox
  • iCIMS
  • Bullhorn
  • Jazz
  • Workable
  • Jobscience
  • BreezyHR

It’s not uncommon for some perfectly qualified candidates to be thrown out in this screening process though because their CVs don’t match the requirements of the software, however the argument remains that these systems give recruiters and hiring managers a better, more manageable starting point in what is always a lengthy, and very expensive process. Lucky for clients of CV Saviour, we have a few tricks up our sleeves that help us get our clients documents through the systems.

Think of ATS programs as robot gatekeepers. If you pass the screening, you can move to the next level of the hiring process. So it is important that your application documents contain specific keywords that the employer is looking for.

If you were to apply now with your current resume, do you think you’ll pass the ATS screening? Try our FREE Resume + Job Match Check to know.

Tip: Recruiters are always looking for concrete skills in your resume. These skills or work experience are the usual keywords that they would program the application tool to look for when scanning your documents. An example is if you’re applying as a project manager, ATS would probably search for phrases like “problem solver,” “management”, or “budget forecasts” in your resume. It is also a good idea to make a research about the job position you are applying for. Take note of the words used in the job advertisement and see if you can incorporate some phrases in your resume. Remember that an ATS ranks your CV among the hundreds of other applicants based mostly on keywords, no human judgement involved.

You can read more about Applicant Tracking Systems here.


Image courtesy of Freepik

(updated 2021)

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