The Applicant Tracking System Algorithm – Everything You Need to Know

Applicant Tracking Systems are all about streamlining and bringing efficiency to your hiring process and other time-consuming tasks like onboarding your new team members. In order to do this effectively, the platform relies on sophisticated algorithms doing the hard work for you.

But how exactly does an Applicant Tracking System algorithm operate? In this post, we’re going to take a look at how those algorithms work. And more importantly, how you can control them to make sure HigherMe is working for you.

Candidate scores for simple decision making

After candidates have submitted their applications, they’ll appear on your dashboard in the Applicant Tracking System. The next step is that they automatically get a Fit Score. This feature is designed to indicate how much of a fit each candidate is, based on your setup and preferences.

So, how does it work? The candidate’s score is on a scale of zero to a hundred. This simple scoring system gives you a quick overview of who to move forward with and who doesn’t make the cut.

HigherMe’s ATS defines the FitScore based on three points:

  • Distance. How far away from the office does the candidate live?

  • Availability. How well does their availability match the job requirements?

  • Answers. How ideal were their answers to the questions in the job application?

For example, in the restaurant industry, front of house staff would ideally have the required qualifications for serving alcohol. Thanks to the algorithm, HigherMe’s ATS can eliminate the candidates who don’t meet the requirements without you having to go through the applications manually.

You can also determine how crucial each of these factors are and rank them so that you highlight the ones that matter the most. You can read all about how FitScore works in HigherMe’s Applicant Tracking System.

Use knockout questions to flag applicants as unqualified

When setting up your application process through HigherMe, an important step is creating a series of multiple-choice questions for your candidates. As you’re doing this, it’s a smart idea to include some dealbreaker questions to immediately disqualify candidates who don’t match your mandatory requirements. Doing that will be an excellent time-saver, especially with hundreds of applications coming in.

For example – say you’re hiring a driver and a requirement is that they own their own vehicle. One of your multiple-choice questions could be “do you have access to your own vehicle?”. If a candidate answers “No”, they’ll automatically be disqualified. And you won’t need to spend time looking through each application to see which of them are worth taking a closer look at.

However, remember that you don’t want to overwhelm candidates with questions. Although more information in the application process generally helps the algorithm, you need to find the right balance. That means getting the information you need, while still making it easy enough for candidates to apply so they don’t give up half-way through. Our data shows that 6 pre-screening questions is optimal before businesses see a large drop-off of candidate engagement.

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