The Top 6 Applicant Tracking Software Trends for 2014

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This year will see some important changes and evolutions in the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) space.

Businessman Walking To The New Year 2014

While things like social recruiting and mobile have been slow to ramp up in 2013, we’ll see these, and others, quite a bit more in the next 12 months.

Based on our experience dealing with hundreds of Applicant Tracking Software vendors and buyers we predict the following six trends will really make themselves known in ATSs in 2014.

1. Smart ATS

This is becoming much more common, and refers to an ATS with selection tools like online skills testing built in. In 2014 we’ll see most of the major ATS players start to adopt these selection tools and build in proprietary algorithms (that may even use biometric data) that predict whether a candidate will be a good fit or not before first round interviews even happen.

2. Smart Social recruiting

According to a Jobvite report, 52% of job seekers use Facebook to help find work. Many ATSs will now integrate with social networks and allow you to share jobs, find talent, and even conduct interviews on places like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

In 2014 we’ll see this process accelerate to become more “smart” social recruiting that allows for more targeted messaging, personalized outreach and gamification within social networks. Additionally, expect to see Facebook muscle into this space in a big way, as it seeks to poach recruiting revenue from LinkedIn.

3. Mobile recruiting

Smart phone optimized access to your company’s jobs portal and your ATS will become a necessity in a jobs market where, according to a Comscore survey, 77% of jobseekers use smart phones to find jobs. The big thing for 2014 will be an easy, smooth process for submitting a job application through mobile.

4. Self serve assessments

These tests, which allow candidates to validate their skills and fit for the position, without having to interview with eight different recruiters first, will see a major uptick in adoption in 2014. As employers in a glutted labor market need to find more ways to save time and sift through the avalanches of applicants, they’ll demand more of this functionality, and ATSs will deliver (if they haven’t already).

5. Collaborative hiring

While collaborative hiring features in an Applicant Tracking System (like sharing notes and impressions about applicants with your entire team) are nothing new, look for this functionality to evolve to a more robust set of tools that includes more social integration and gamification elements (like tagging and rating profiles and applications).

6. Cloud enabled

It used to be that an ATS was only used by the biggest enterprise companies and it was tied to an install at the office. This has changed and is continuing to change dramatically as the number of ATSs hosted in the cloud and aimed at small and mid-sized businesses is exploding. 2014 will be the year that the truly cloud-based ATS overtakes its hosted and installed cousins.

What’s next?

What did I miss? What new functionality and focus do you see on the horizon for Applicant Tracking Systems or the recruiting industry as a whole? Consult your crystal ball in the comments below!

Looking for Applicant Tracking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Applicant Tracking software solutions.

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JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.

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