Applicant tracking and recruiting software have become so critical that even small companies use ATS’s to handle a host of digital recruiting processes. The sheer volume of resumes rules out manual processing. Tracking systems turn resumes, cover letters, business intelligence and applicant research into searchable data that HR departments can use to achieve many strategic company objectives. The key to success, however, depends on using the right keywords when assessing talent and filling critical positions. Using Targeted Keywords in your Talent Search Forbes recommends that HR managers use the same methods that savvy job applicants employ. That means dissecting job descriptions to uncover those traits that are most desirable for a given position. These traits become triggers or keywords, and smart applicants use these terms to customize their resumes and make their applications stand out from the rest. Professional HR staff can use the same keywords to search databases, weed out unqualified candidates and identify applicants that meet diversity hiring mandates. Getting the Most Value out of your Applicant Tracking System Many HR professionals don’t get full value from their recruiting software because they fail to use the resource to its fullest capacity. Using a diverse set of keywords, hiring managers can search for less obvious candidate characteristics, such as an active social media presence, volunteer activities and/or industry certifications. The information from resumes, cover letters, and other candidate communications is stored in an actionable database. Many job seekers send hundreds of resumes for positions for which they barely qualify, which creates a huge problem for hiring managers who can’t read hundreds of resumes for every open position. Only about four to six people will be chosen for further interviews, and an ATS can weed out the unqualified candidates. Using keywords related to the position, experience and qualifications, HR managers can determine which resumes they should spend time reading. Hire with Training and Development in Mind Ideally, you should configure your ATS to identify candidates that have at least 60 percent of the requisite skills and qualifications. In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, job functions change with extraordinary speed. If you find qualified candidates with 60 percent of the essential skills, you can easily train them on the skills they may be lacking. Finding and recruiting top talent can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive. Tracking systems and recruiting software can automate the labor-intensive tasks so that you can identify the best candidates faster. Whether you need to find a candidate for succession planning, a specialized work team, community outreach or any other type of role, ATS technology and the right keywords can provide the right tools for the job.