Let’s Make The Applicant Tracking System Smarter Than A 5th Grader

Are you using your Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? Certainly for tracking candidates.  But do you aggressively mine it? It’s “the thing” almost every sourcing and recruiting speaker, blogger, and pontificator—including myself—tells you to do these days. And we recommend you do it first, or at least in tandem, with external searches.

And we know you do search your ATS. And we know you kind of hate it too. It’s a bit laborious, to say the least.  So how effectively are you searching your ATS? How many search strings do you use? Do you get to run through all your search strings or do you run out of time? Does your ATS just search the exact terms you input, or does it have the intuitive ability to look for similar terms? Do you really feel productive at the end?

Hmmmm… what if you could enter your job description into your ATS, press a button, and your ATS software will search for candidates matching the required and preferred skills and experience of your opening.

And… you don’t have to do a single Boolean string.

And… your ATS will look for all terms related to your required and preferred skills and experience because it can do so intuitively—the technical phrase is “Latent Semantic Indexing” aka LSI. Per this whitepaper LSI is a type of machine learning technology that learns from the content itself. In other words, no human needs to feed it a list of synonyms, abbreviations, acronyms, or misspellings. It learns from the job description and can locate similar terms.

You could do all this with the press of a button if your ATS was using Content Analyst Analytical Technology (CAAT®). This technology, currently used by a variety of industries including government and legal, is being marketed to the applicant tracking system industry as well as job boards. One job board, ClearanceJobs.com, recently launched CAAT® as part of its service. Can you imagine? Not spending time on a job board because you’d enter the description and the tech would develop a list for you? Heaven.

Sign. Me. Up.

If it works and works well, this technology has the ability to save recruiting teams a huge amount of man hours. From my own team’s perspective, it would more accurately generate potential candidates and make the review process more of a scan process than a deep read, confirming required search terms were truly found. And it would be exhaustive, using all of the keywords in the job description and more. Take it a step further—all those keywords you load into CAAT® and all those related terms it self-generates to search for—you could use those easily for your own external searches.

But, no ATS offers it yet. The one that gets it first? It could be game changing. Let me know if you’re that ATS.

FOT Background Check

Kelly Dingee
Kelly Dingee is a Senior Manager, Global Talent Acquisition for Marriott International. She has extensive sourcing experience having worked for Staffing Advisors (retained search), AIRS (training!) and Thales Communications, Inc., (cleared/telecom) and got her start in the profession while a full life cycle recruiter at Acterna (now known as Viavi). Lucky for Kelly, she had a boss who could see the potential of sourcing candidates from the web, and in 1998, she stepped into a newly created sourcing role. No truth to the rumor that she has a side business to help you push your resume to the top of Google search results…


  1. Henning Seip says:

    This technology does not solve the problem of job seekers omitting in their resume skills they have because they feel omitted skills are not relevant enough. With increasing customization of resumes this problem will actually grow for this technology. Nobody can find information that does not exist.

    A better way is to survey the job seeker with the requirements from the job posting. This collects all relevant information.

    • Pradnya says:

      Talentrackr provides the resume parser feature into the applicant tracking system. For request a demo visit today talentrackr.in

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