Employment Resources

Applicant Tracking System

Estimated reading time ~ 5 min


Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System is a tool that assists organizations in automating the recruiting process by tracking, categorizing, and storing applicant data (Koteswari, n.d). This program aims to save time and money by automating various recruitment operations, such as publishing job advertisements, collecting and sorting applications, and completing preliminary screenings (Koteswari, n.d). Even though this software offers several benefits to companies in the United States, it nevertheless presents a substantial obstacle for people of color looking for work. As a result, this article aims to shed light on the many challenges this software presents to people of color looking for jobs and investigate the factors contributing to these challenges.

Employers often utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter and sort applicants for job applications (Koteswari, n.d). Nonetheless, several studies have shown that these systems may be biased against specific groups of individuals, such as persons of color (Sánchez-Monedero et al., 2020). These studies demonstrate that ATS may contribute to discrimination based on race throughout employment. This concern may make it more difficult for competent individuals of color to get work. It may also reinforce current workforce inequities. In one study, when resumes were processed by an applicant tracking system (ATS), white candidates were 2.5 times more likely to be invited for an interview than black applicants. In a separate study, researchers discovered that resumes with "African American-sounding" names were less likely to be picked for interviews than resumes with "white-sounding" names (Sánchez-Monedero et al., 2020). There is still more study to be conducted on this issue. Still, applicant tracking systems may considerably influence who is employed in the United States.

In contrast, various variables contribute to job searchers of color confronting difficulties while utilizing applicant tracking systems (ATS). First, many ATS do not account for how people of color use language. This might result in resumes being rejected because they lack the appropriate keywords. Second, ATS often relies on hiring information from the past, which may be prejudiced toward persons of the race (Sánchez-Monedero et al., 2020). As a result of the underrepresentation of persons of color in the workforce, their resumes are less likely to be in the system. Thirdly, some applicant tracking systems include algorithms that favor candidates who attended prominent colleges or worked for well-known organizations. This may be detrimental to people of color, who are less likely to have access to these chances (Sánchez-Monedero et al., 2020).

In conclusion, although numerous variables contribute to this disparity, it is evident that applicant tracking systems perpetuate racial inequity in the workplace. The research indicated that using applicant monitoring technologies in the United States unfairly affects people of color seeking employment. The study also suggested that adopting applicant monitoring tools negatively influences hiring time and quality.

Be sure to use the Job Scan feature in your dashboard before you submit your application. It’s our ATS system designed just for you!