What’s New with Applicant Tracking?

Depending on how long you’ve been in the job force, you might have memories of stacks of printed CVs and stapler-induced blisters on your hands. Those days, of course, are long over and life is much, much easier for applicants—digitizing the process has made applying to job after job a nearly effortless process. Of course, since applying to fifty jobs is as simple as applying to ten now, recruiters have a Sisyphean task on their hands. Sorting through the deluge to find the best candidates to hire requires the best tools, and as a result applicant tracking system (ATS) software solutions are exploding!

From application management to interview scheduling, ATS systems are becoming increasingly advanced. They do more than they ever have before, and an upgrade could streamline your company’s workflow, save time and resources, and provide your team with better talent more quickly than you could have ever imagined. Here’s what’s on the horizon for 2017.

More (and Better) Resume Parsing

It’ll be easier to extract resume information from a wider variety of formats than ever before: Google searches, social sites, email attachments of various file types, etc. This information will be streamlined and entered into your company’s database for easy perusal.

Resume parsing isn’t a new concept, not by a long shot. But thanks to machine learning, dated techniques like simple keyword searches are on their way out. Parsers are getting closer to reading and “understanding” resumes more like a human recruiter would. Natural language processing helps to determine whether skill sets are up-to-date or no longer relevant.

Automation in Overdrive

Automation was a big buzzword in 2016, and that’s not going to change this year. It’s another aspect of applicant tracking that’s benefiting big time from machine learning. Recruiters will be doing less heavy lifting when it comes to scanning resumes than ever before. Better resume parsing means better at-a-glance pages for recruiters, which means they can recruit more quickly. And better scanning means that it’s rare for an unqualified candidate to ever slip through.

ATS as SaaS

Just as so many other software solutions are transitioning to become SaaS (software as a service) offerings, your managed IT service or IT department is very likely to float the idea of an SaaS ATS solution if you’re not already using one. It makes sense: SaaS is usually more scalable, requires less on-site maintenance, and often turns out to be a major cost and resource saver. As cloud computing enters its prime, even the most complex and data-heavy tasks are moving off-site. In fact, they’re often better handled off-site.

Improved Analytics

All of that easily scalable computing power means better analytics as well. With so much HCM (human capital management) data centralized in one place, companies can make use of predictive analytics to hire and promote employees based on more than just a set of keywords. Companies can guide their recruitment and retention policies based on insights gathered through this quickly evolving technology.

Expanding Scope

It’s probably not surprising, in light of the trends we’ve already noted, that the scope of ATS systems is expanding significantly. Platforms that combine high end ATS features with HRM (human resource management) software are becoming more and more common. But it’s not just human resource managers that are loving the vast amounts of data new ATS systems are turning into deeper employee insights, or the convenience of only logging into one system.

The insights provided by these new and more robust ATS systems are also a boon to the marketing side of recruitment. It’s increasingly common to see ATS solutions that support creating promotional material and improving the content and appeal of job content.

Is it Time to Upgrade?

With so many new and exciting advancements, many companies are making 2017 their year to upgrade their applicant tracking software. If yours is one of them—or if you aren’t sure if it should be—check out TopAdvisor’s ATS guide. Our always-up-to-date, unbiased guides are a fantastic way to see what’s on offer from the market’s most reputable ATS solution vendors. You’ll easily be able to compare features, costs, and more, and see what today’s most popular ATS systems really have to offer.