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How do Applicant Tracking Systems Make Screening CVs Easier?

Recruitment technology / AKA: Applicant Tracking Systems might sound expensive and techy and an additional thing to think about...but it isn’t! Honestly! Applicant Tracking Systems can be in-expensive and are an absolute life saver in terms of saving time and money on your recruitment. So what is an Applicant Tracking System and how can it help you recruit smarter?  

In this article we answer the following questions:

What is an Applicant Tracking System / ATS?
What are the benefits of Applicant Tracking System?
How can an Applicant Tracking System help me screen CV's?

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An ATS is a bit of recruitment technology that enables the online management of jobs and applications. It is a portal that stores your job vacancies and any applications you receive in one place, allowing for an easy access, one-stop platform where you can organise and manage your recruitment. 

Check out our previous blog on How Applicant Tracking Systems can help the SME here for more information about how ATS’ work and how they benefit small companies like yourself.

Oh and let’s just bust a myth here too – not all ATS’ filter your applications electronically! At Flat Fee Recruiter CVs come into our system and they are manually screened by yourselves...no CVs are taken away or discarded based on a CVs key wording. We put full decision making in your hands – the CVs are yours and we don’t tamper with them at all. We also think it’s fairer on the applicants this way. Anyway, we digress...

Benefits of Applicant Tracking Systems

As a quick overview, here’s some of the ways an online platform like an ATS can really help during your recruitment process:

  • Paperless, inbox-less, spreadsheet-less recruitment
  • Build your own talent pools
  • Communicate with applicants easily and in bulk
  • Online interview booking calendars (no more back and forth phone calls!)
  • Monitoring & improving your applicant journey
  • Ease of access to key information for ROI and reporting
  • Full control of the recruitment cycle

So, how do I use an ATS to help me screen CVs?

The main purpose of an ATS is to help you manage your job applications – naturally this is all about the screening process.  

1. Use the ATS for all of your vacancies

Seriously you’ll regret it otherwise. The platform will list all of your live job vacancies in one easily viewable window so you can see what roles you’re dealing with and how many applications you have to manage. This will enable you to manage your time – we recommend setting a bit of time per day to keep on top of your applications as we all know daunting it can feel to be faced with a stack of CVs at the end of a campaign. 

Flat Fee Recruiter’s ATS also lists the number of applications and closing date on the vacancies dashboard too so you can see clearly how long your job is live for and how many applications you’ve received. Some ATS systems also state how many new applications you’ve had since your last log in – handy!

By using an ATS for all your vacancies you will also be able to reduce duplicate applications and serial appliers and even manage your recruitment agency candidates too.

2. Set up screening questions

Potentially the best way of making your screening life easier is to set up screening questions – these are questions that are set up on the system that an applicant has to answer as part of the application process. This is a great way of pre-screening your job seekers as per the requirements of the role. 

Anyone who doesn’t complete the applicant screening questions or answers ‘no’ can then be moved to unsuccessful and you only have to deal with the remaining – the applicants screen themselves, such a time saver!

3. Move CVs into stages

When you get applications for your job role your CVs will likely come into a central folder within the vacancy. To keep on top of your applications establish other folders for areas of the recruitment process such as ‘Unsuccessful’, ‘Keep in Mind’, ‘Shortlist’, ‘Arrange First Interview’ etc. 

With FFROnline (our free ATS with every advert) these stages are already established for you.  With unlimited users, any team members can be set up with access to make it easier to pick up the recruitment cycle from one another and move the candidates through the process. 

4. Arrange telephone interviews

Some particularly savvy ATS portals, like ours, have an in-built telephone booking facility allowing you to organise your own and your applicant’s time. Here you set up a list of available slots (whether for a 10 minute telephone interview or a face-to-face interview) and give your applicants a link to this page, they then select the time slot most convenient for them and voila! No more messing around with phone calls and diary checking and manager checking and booking time off work, it’s done online at a mutually convenient time.  

5. Communicate with your applicants

Now your inbox is free and your desktop isn’t full of CVs, you can really get on top of organising your recruitment. Applicant Tracking Systems often have communication templates set up for you to email the candidates. You may choose to do this as you move people between stages in the process (i.e. sending out unsuccessful emails) or you may want to wait until the end of your campaign. By organising CVs into stages you can bulk email – saving you so much time and effort! 

Don’t forget how important it is to communicate with your candidates – more on this here

These are just a few examples of how much of a god-send the good old Applicant Tracking System can be, not just for organisation or time management but in terms of actually sifting through those endless CVs. 

The recruitment technology game has changed over the last decade and software is no longer a secret just for big brands and big companies.  Flat Fee Recruiter includes free use of its ATS with all online job advertising campaigns and we can also discuss supplying an effective system specifically for your company needs so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0113 322 7243 or drop us an email at

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