Applicant tracking software always includes these two basic functions:
- Build a candidate file from resumes
- Search the file to find candidates who match a profile
The hiring process most often begins with the arrival of a resume, usually in the form of an e-mail message. Applicant tracking software converts this resume into a complete database record, usually with just a few mouse clicks, and no typing at all. This database record will contain fields for name, address, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, keywords or phrases extracted from the resume, and also the full text of the resume itself.
In today’s e-mail and Internet driven world, resumes are available in very large numbers, and the recruiter’s task is to sift through the contents of a large number of resumes for the purpose of finding people who appear to have the necessary background to fill a particular open position. By converting resumes into searchable database records, applicant tracking software provides an important tool to help a recruiter create the information needed during this first step in the process.
The next step in the process is the searching itself. Applicant tracking software allows the recruiter to “mix and match” any number of search criteria for the purpose of identifying the handful of candidates who may be suitable for a given position, out of a database that may number in the tens of thousands. Good search functionality is what distinguishes applicant tracking software from other contact management software, (such as ACT! or Goldmine), which is more commonly used to support sales people.
Applicant tracking software provides a fast, simple mechanism for defining a list of qualifications, such as current or past job titles, years of experience, a range of compensation, relocation preferences, etc., and then selecting out from the database only those candidates who meet these qualifications. A variety of functions are also provided to send e-mails to these qualified candidates, or to print a list of names and phone numbers, or to record notes from phone conversations, etc.
Applicant tracking software gives a recruiter the ability to build a searchable file of candidates with very little administrative effort, and then to search that database easily for the purpose of finding all candidates who might be qualified to fill an open position.
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