Clever talent acquisition and proper management of the entire recruiting course are the major headaches that HR-departments face once their companies hit the team of 150-200 employees and keep growing. Luckily, the market abounds with recruitment automation software that allows hiring talents more efficiently.

A common applicant tracking system is designed to embrace all recruitment stages, from an initial email to a job offer leading a candidate through the funnel. Workflows are essentially the same across various solutions available, though there are subtle but important differences.


The solution that the DDI Development team has recently delivered is tailored to the needs of IT companies and yet contains all relevant features that ATS is expected to have. This custom product is now utilized for the internal needs only but we would like to share some experiences of building it.

Collecting the database of candidates

A lot of ATS provide direct integration with job listing services to directly upload CVs into the database. Usually, users are asked to pay for the subscription on top of the payments they provide for the ATS software itself. The approach seems reasonable but has a fundamental flaw besides costs.

Recruiters know that the real talents pool is beyond job listings as far as professionals we all want to hire are most likely employed already and rarely linger on recruiting services. To bypass the problem we designed two separate parsing systems that would give recruiters all essential means to build a database with hot talents.

Web parser. The system collects the data from LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social profiles. It assists finding up-to-date information about already employed experts.

File parser. A recruiter can also directly upload CVs into the database using PDF, Doc, and XLS files.

Skills semantic network

Assembling a versatile software engineering team that would be able to handle the whole project scope is quite challenging. So a recruiter has to carefully curate candidates with skillsets fitting a project tech stack. It inevitably drains efforts and time.

The best solution we found was to integrate a database with technology skills and their relations into the system. How does it help recruiters?

skills semantic network

When tweaking the vacancy opening, a recruiter now can mark the skills that are required for the position and upload profiles specific to this skill set from social media. The obvious bottleneck of our solution is that you can’t actually embrace all technologies. That’s why we also made it possible for a recruiter to manually add skills into the system and set their relations.

Recruiting funnel

Most of the ATS solutions provide tools to track the entire recruitment funnel: all the stages that an applicant gets through to receive an offer and get hired. Making the recruiting funnel feature the right way is seemingly simple but contains a number of pitfalls that many ATS systems tend to be captured by.

A common way to reflect a funnel is to set the stages when opening a vacancy, upload matching CVs and filter out candidates stage by stage until you have your desired finalists. So the basic funnel stages are:

  • Screening
  • Phone call
  • Interview
  • Testing
  • Offer
  • Hire

That works perfectly well if your recruitment pattern is rigid, the order of stages and their number never vary from applicant to applicant. Once you have multiple candidates with different professional experiences or you just need to reschedule some stages ad hoc, it’s better to have something more flexible. So the DDI Development team decided to make a fully customizable funnel feature that lets a user set stages when making an opening and – more importantly – reschedule or change them for each candidate personally via a candidate profile. We showcase it in more details here

Recruiting funnel

Dashboard and search

A dashboard is the core source of all activities within the environment. It’s better to be user-friendly and make all the interfaces approachable. We used the modular design to make the interface easy to digest and reduce user’s cognitive load. A recruiter can see their tasks for the nearest days, numbers of people on each stage, last actions, the number of unread CVs, emails, etc. In order to retrieve candidates’ profiles from the database, a recruiter can use a quite customizable search the filters of which vary from the keyword search to technologies and assigned labels.

dashboard and search

Final thoughts

Modern ATS systems can be ample for most of the tasks a common recruiter encounters. If you’re looking for one the key criteria are:

  • Convenient recruiting funnel
  • Multiple sources to acquire talents
  • User-friendliness
  • Flexibility

Unfortunately, it would be quite hard to find the systems that are particularly tailored to specifics of your industry. Eventually, you’ll experience unused or lacking features. And if that’s critical, you can opt for custom solutions.