Applicant Tracking Systems -The Candidates you (should) already know about

Continuing our series on your ATS and specifically the question

Why did your company make the investment in purchasing an ATS? (Applicant Tracking System)

We are going to look at your candidate database and how it could be set to benefit you and your recruitment process.

Using your Candidate Database:

Most organisations that have made the investment in an ATS have a facility where candidates are able to register themselves as job seekers. This is usually sold to the candidate as “Give us your details and we will let you know about jobs that may interest you”.

Then, when a job is advertised that matches said areas of interest, an automated email is sent with a link inviting the candidate to apply should they wish.

Really, this is not much different to any Post and Pray method of searching for suitable applicants.

For many a business, these candidates generally aren’t treated any different to any other applicant. However, if set up with the right amount of touch and warmth, you can create and nurture a future pool of well suited and screened talent.

A basic process involving your candidate database could look as follows:




Recruiter/Hiring Manager creates job requisition in ATS


A database search is conducted for candidates matching the roles criteria. Candidates meeting criteria are contacted.


If you feel you need more applicants, now you can start posting and praying.

How this can work in practice

Your company often has vacancies for workers in your McGuffin factories. The most common role being a McGuffin Maker.

When searching for roles on your site – Our candidate, “Mr Wonderful” a trained McGuffin maker (and retired Professional Wrestler) finds no McGuffin making roles.

Mr Wonderful

Mr Wonderful

He considers pile-driving his computer and is about to when he notices a link “Can’t find the role you are after, register for job alerts”

Mr Wonderful clicks on this and indicates that he is interested in McGuffin making roles in the Auckland Area.

As well as filling out the obvious name and email address detail, he now answers questions relating to his skills, certifications and education. These should be the same questions that are set as requirements for any McGuffin role that your company advertises.

Stunningly sexy candidate profile screen

Stunningly sexy candidate profile screen

One month later: “Miss Recruiter” has a vacancy for McGuffin makers in the Auckland factory.

She creates her requisition in the ATS from a template.

Now using her ATS search function, she finds Mr Wonderful at the top of her list. He matches all her criteria perfectly.  Most ATS allow you to search for candidates that match the requirements of any job requisition you have set.

A quick call to Mr Wonderful later and Miss recruiter now has a high touch, highly engaged candidate with a completed application for a role that hasn’t gone to market.

This is an example of how you can use your candidate database as a minimum.

We will discuss pipe-lining and keeping candidates warm in a future blog.


Less time sourcing candidates = Happy Business

Less time sorting through candidates = Happy Recruiters

More engagement with candidates = Happy Candidates.

Other posts in this series:

ATS Conversations with recruiters

ATS Candidate Databases


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