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Control your applicant journey

Manage the applicant information you receive and when you receive it. A recent CVMinder ATS update now makes it even easier to control your applicant journey.

Most of the time you collect the same information from each job applicant, regardless of the role being advertised. The information you need could be just some personal details and a CV. It could be more extensive with criminal conviction declarations, referees and much more. Information you collect is mostly the same, but it can change depending upon the role you are hiring for.

The applicant journey isn’t only about the information you collect, but also when you collect it. You may prefer the applicant to give less detail at the start of the process then more detail over time. With CVMinder ATS, you choose when information is requested and received.

Why collect information in stages? Some believe a lighter start can increase the number of people who apply. Numbers are definitely important, but others believe that making the start too easy increases the number of junk applicants. That can create unnecessary work. Whichever you prefer, CVMinder ATS makes it easy.

CVMinder ATS has always given its customers great control over the applicant journey. Simply publish a vacancy and CVMinder ATS controls what information is requested and when, according t your configuration. That’s all groovy, but now CVMinder ATS brings you another option and it wouldn’t be the best Applicant Tracking System if there weren’t options, right?

Changing the applicant journey

CVMinder ATS now gives you some controls within each advert. That’s right. You can now override the applicant journey on an advert by advert basis.

Why would you want to do this? Take a school with 3 Job Frames; Teaching, Leadership and Support. The school configures a different applicant journey for each of those Job Frames. However, for one or two support vacancies it needs to trim down the applicant journey. It can now do that with CVMinder’s new applicant journey override feature.

Go to Advertisements, select an advert and scroll to the bottom to override the applicant journey. There you can select the information you wish to receive and the stage you wish to receive it. So, if you just want a CV and statement for that vacancy, you can select only that. Set up the override options and publish your advert. It’s that simple!

We’re just a phone call away if you would you would like to discuss your applicant journey settings or anything else.

If you don’t have a recruitment system, now is the time to start making recruitment savings with CVMinder ATS. Contact us to find out how to make recruiting easy.

The problem with one-way video interviews

The problem with one-way Video Interviews

We were recently asked whether one-way video interviews are the future of recruitment. After all, the idea seems up to the minute, progressive and in tune with the way we communicate these days. However, when you stop and think about it, there isn’t just one problem with one-way video interviews, there are many.

We’ll start with what a one-way video interview system does and why it’s an attractive option for employers. Then we’ll explore the problems beneath the hype.

What is a one-way video interview?

Here are the basics for this type of product. A one-way video interview system allows an employer to create some questions. Applicants access the questions and shoot a video of themselves giving their answers. An applicant can do this at a time of their choosing. Employers use the videos to assist in the selection of candidates for face to face interviews.

Some products allow employers to video their questions whilst others support questions by text. The majority allow applicants to take a practice run and most support time-limited answers.

Providers of one-way video interview systems do show appetite for adding more value in the recruiting process. For instance, HireVue claims to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and question gamification to assess applicants. Artificial Intelligence is a real thing. It’s basically machine self-learning, but the AI banner is being misused in the recruitment industry. Most are replacing the word algorithm with AI, but algorithms are designed by people to do some clever, predictable analysis. Introducing genuine AI into the recruitment process is deeply concerning. Perhaps we’ll save this for another blog.

For the sake of clarity, this article doesn’t cover interactive video interviews. That’s where both parties take part in a skype video call, a google hangout or other video conference. These can be genuinely useful for interviewing at distance. However, this type of interview also comes with unforeseen problems.

To reinforce this point, a 2013 study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, Ontario still makes interesting reading today. They conducted some simulated job interviews. Candidates interviewed by video conference were rated lower by interviewers and were less likely to be selected. Candidates also rated their interviewers as less attractive, less personable, less trustworthy and less competent. Food for thought.

What’s good about one-way video interviews?

When looking for enthusiastic support for one-way video interviews, we found that the solution providers are making most of the noise. It is harder to find equal support from employers who have used these systems. Worse, it’s all too easy to find negative feedback from applicants.

All this said, some employers are using these products, so we must conclude that HR Heads can be persuaded by their merits. We believe they bought into the following arguments:

  • One-way video interviews save time in the recruitment process.
  • Interviews can take place at the applicant’s convenience and outside of normal working hours.
  • Using video reduces travel requirements, so applicants find them more convenient to ‘attend’.
  • Candidates feel less pressure than in face to face interviews.
  • Offering a one-way video interview feels modern, funky and brand-reinforcing.
  • It’s a more inclusive process, because some people aren’t great with written applications.

That seems like a pretty compelling set of arguments. But wait, do these really stack up? It’s time to take a look at some of the pitfalls when using one-way video interviews.

The issues with one-way Video Interviews

Most responsible employers are working to eliminate any opportunity for discrimination in their selection process. Some are introducing options such as evidence-based scoring, name-blind recruiting and doubling up on staff throughout the shortlisting process.

Disguising personal information from shortlisting managers is a useful feature of some Applicant Tracking Systems. Details include age, gender, ethnicity and so on. A video exposes a person’s weight, posture, hair style and other physical attributes. That can introduce unintended bias, so using video during the early stages of selection seems counter-intuitive.

Brand and Trust

In recruitment, building relationships with applicants is vital in a competitive market. However, applicant feedback warns us that video interviews can be detrimental to this objective.

Many applicants feel that recording a video interview is impersonal. Some feel uneasy about who might access their video interview. Others say that employers are being lazy by skipping face to face interviews. Overall, employers just feel more distant when using one-way video interview systems.

We should all remember that people are more attracted to employers who value their skills and want them to join. Without interaction, we must ask ourselves whether one-way video interviews really help.


Contrary to popular belief, video interviews don’t save time. Watching 3 to 5 minutes of video is slower than scanning a CV for 7 seconds. Industry tests reveal that 7 seconds is the average time taken to reject weaker applicants by CV alone. Just ask a recruiter or HR officer and they’ll confirm this for you.

James Reed, Chairman of Reed, has written a book on this specific point. It’s called The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview

We must also observe that some Applicant Tracking Systems help employers to identify the most relevant applicants quickly. Algorithms (not AI) can scan CVs for words, phrases and other information to indicate levels of applicant suitability. That’s much harder to accomplish with one-way video interviews.


This is a genuine point of convenience for candidates. They can choose when to complete a one-way video interview, just like they can with an application form.

However, one of the more basic employability requirement is timekeeping. For employers seeking lower skilled workers, timeliness and timekeeping are among the most essential personal attributes. Checking out someone’s motivation to arrive on time is more obvious with a face to face interview.


Suppliers suggest that applicants feel less pressure when recording a video interview, yet the opposite can be equally true. Many people who are excellent in the workplace can be terribly camera shy. Others who are relaxed with video can feel greater pressure with scrutinising eye contact.

Have you ever exceeded the maximum message length when leaving a voicemail? Have you ever had one of those sneezes that never arrives? On a video interview, such things can have a detrimental effect on the outcome.

During our research we found a number of unhappy applicants. One fluffed an answer during a video interview and believes it could stay there forever as a perpetual flaw. He can’t delete it.


Have you ever heard an applicant ask whether it’s always as busy at rush hour or whether it always takes as long to get to the 35th floor? Travel times can influence applicant interest in your vacancy.

Interviewing at your premises is a great way to find out whether an applicant’s journey is manageable. Knowing sooner rather than later seems sensible, but the opportunity is lost with a one-way video interview.


We have heard the argument that low-skilled vacancies attract people who can find it challenging to write a CV. In answer to this, one-way video interviews suddenly feel more inclusive. However, in discussion with employers they tell us that almost all roles require:

  • written communication skills and / or
  • basic IT competence.

We wonder which is easier; completing an online application form or recording a video interview. Feedback suggests that cameras and microphones don’t always work as intended across all devices. Setting up video interviews can be just as frustrating as completing an electronic form.

Of greater importance for low skilled work is that some applicants still don’t have easy access to a PC, modern smart phone or WiFi. That’s why some people still use public libraries to make job applications. Applicants can’t easily shoot a video in a library. Elsewhere, some people struggle to manage their data allowances. Even compressed video consumes data allowances quickly. Overall, a lack of access to the right equipment is a barrier to inclusion.


During our investigation, we discovered some kickback from applicants on the topic of environment. One interviewee laid out a scenario to illustrate this point:

Two people are equally qualified for a role and both are suitably dressed for their one-way video interview. Which of the following would you most likely choose to proceed in the recruitment process?

  • Somebody sitting on a sofa, laptop on knee, an awkward camera angle, poor lighting and occasional background noise.
  • Somebody sat upright, laptop on desk, perfect camera angle, great lighting and no background noise.

The applicant made a very reasonable objection; some people can’t access the perfect interview environment and this alone could tip the balance in favour of one applicant over another. Some people live in busy homes. Others find their WiFi signal is weak in quieter spaces or that their mobile signal only works in the garden.

Our own experience

We have our own experience of integrating an Applicant Tracking System with a one-way video interview solution. We completed the work at the request of a hospitality customer. It was trying to make things more open for lower skilled workers. The integration worked seamlessly, but the customer quickly dropped the interview technology. The reasons were as follows:

  • A high percentage of invitees dropped out of the process without comment and without taking the video interview.
  • Applicants reported technical issues.
  • Watching videos increased the time taken to recruit and that had a negative impact on shortlisting speed. They lost applicants to competitors.

Clever technology companies shape consumer demand by making you feel new things are essential things. Take Apple and the iPad. Apple’s marketing department made tablets look like a PC replacement. They were light, sexy and functional, so the world went mad for Tablets. Even Tesco hopped on the bandwagon with their Huddle. Consumer demand skyrocketed, but how many people use a Tablet now? In 2019 NetMaretShare says just 4.61% of the market and market share is declining. Google pulled out and Tesco dropped the Huddle years ago.

Beneath the hype, one-way video interviews introduce as many problems as they solve. The opportunity for discrimination or bias is just one. Of key concern is that applicants might not appreciate the hands off approach and this is not beneficial in a competitive market.

Recruitment is simple at heart. Employers must attract high quality applicants and court them into position. It’s a ‘people’ business, but employers sometimes buy technology to improve their own efficiency at the expense of the candidate relationship. If you want somebody to work for you, they need to feel some love soon into the process. We conclude that one-way video interviews are getting in the way of that objective.

Interviews are supposed to offer candidates the opportunity to qualify you too. Some people feel aggrieved that a one-way approach is asking too much of them too early. It can feel like an invasion of privacy; you’re seeing me before I can see you. Plenty of comments support this view.

The day may come when one-way video interviews feel personal, warm and natural to applicants. Videos might also cleverly disguise identity, regional accents and hair styles, but I’m not sure this helps with a sense of connection.

Your best employees came through a process. Try asking them how they would feel about completing a one-way video interview. Their thoughts could be very valuable if you are assessing the benefits and pitfalls for yourself.

Find out more

We are the authors of CVMinder ATS, an Applicant Tracking System to make recruiting easy. One of our ATS customers, a Care provider, asked for our thoughts on one-way video interviewing. Before answering, we took a fresh look around. It didn’t take long to find some concerns with this type of technology.

We would dearly like to hear from employers and applicants who have first-hand experience of one-way video interviewing. Leave us a comment or drop us a line to tell us what you think. Many thanks in advance.

regulated employer ATS

3 ATS essentials for regulated employers

To recruit more efficiently we must reduce recruiting costs and improve hiring results at the same time. To spend less and achieve more is difficult without some level of automation and an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) could be the perfect solution. However, a bewildering set of features can lead any regulated employer such as a Care Provider, School or College to easily overlook some of the options that matter the most. Here, we cover 3 ATS essentials that regulated employers are advised to consider before purchasing an Applicant Tracking System.

Find an ATS for employers

An Applicant Tracking System can be an great recruitment aid. It does lots of heavy lifting for you, but not every ATS is made to meet employer requirements. Most are built with recruitment companies in mind and very few are made for regulated employers.

A recruiter’s ATS helps to attract and deliver applicants to their customers for their consideration. However, employers distribute the correct details to the right staff members for shortlisting and manage the rest of the recruitment process through to start date.

  • Regulated employers disassemble then share only certain information with line managers. HR officers may try to implement fair and consistent shortlisting by removing disability, criminal conviction, ethnicity, age, name and other personal information, for instance.
  • Some employers like Care providers and Schools use application forms. Using a comprehensive application form can help employers avoid CV submissions altogether and stick to the details they need.
  • Some employers have gone further; they score applicants to protect against accidental prejudice or favouritism.

Comparing an ATS for recruitment companies with an ATS for employers reveals quite a few differences. So, let’s get into the 3 ATS essentials for regulated employers. They should help you to avoid purchasing the wrong type of Applicant Tracking System.

ATS Essentials 1: Application Forms

Application forms help regulated employers to request and receive all of the information they need to support a job application. That information can include:

  • Personal details
  • Working history with any gap explanations
  • Education history, including professional qualifications
  • Personal statement
  • Disability information to prepare any necessary adjustments
  • Declaration of any personal relationship with a staff member
  • Criminal conviction information
  • Referee contact details
  • Any questions that are specific to the advertised vacancy
  • Declarations and Consents for GDPR purposes

Receiving consistent information from all applicants makes recruitment fairer and safer. It is well known that CVs can highlight good points and omit the not so good. Regulators like Ofsted advise that application forms help to avoid selective omissions by the applicant.

ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an ATS that gives you electronic application forms to suit your recruitment model. Truly flexible systems will give you the option of using electronic application forms because they can be completed online using a PC, Apple Mac, tablet or smartphone, all without additional technology. Some Applicant Tracking Systems will also allow you to deliver Microsoft Word documents to applicants so that they can complete and return them online. A few support both approaches in combination.

ATS Essentials 2: Information Sharing

During candidate shortlisting, some personal details should remain unavailable to people who are taking hiring decisions. Some of that information may be sensitive or could lead to unconscious bias during the selection process. Such information may include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Contact information, should HR feel that it is open to abuse
  • Criminal convictions
  • Disability

ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an employer ATS that gives you control over the information that remains visible to hiring managers during shortlisting.

ATS Essential 3: Shortlisting Approach

The NSPCC advises that shortlisting should be carried out by at least 2 people. Following this guidance helps employers to confidently comply with fair recruitment practices. More and more employers are trying to remove unconscious bias from their recruitment process. It seems that two people are less likely to demonstrate equal bias when shortlisting. Further, safeguarding is always a concern for employers like Schools and Care Providers. All applicants must be properly scrutinised and two sets of eyes are better than one. Check out the safer recruitment guidance from the NSPCC to find out more.

ATS Buying Advice: Look out for an employer ATS that supports shortlisting with one or more managers. It’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Flexible shortlist criteria: So that the scheme or criteria can change from job to to job.
  • Scoring scheme: to show which candidates are more suitable.
  • Audit: So that completion and scores can be reviewed centrally to defend the final selection.
ATS Essentials: Summary

There are differences in the way recruitment companies and employers manage recruitment. Recruiters find jobseekers to present to employers. Employers must manage a robust selection process and that process must consider:

  • fair recruitment practices and selection
  • safer recruitment

Applicant Tracking Systems are purpose built for recruiters or for employers. Very few Applicant Tracking Systems are made for regulated employers.

Try to think about the way you recruit and consider which type of ATS you should be looking for. Check out our ATS Buyer’s Guide if you are considering purchasing an Applicant Tracking System

Want to now more?

CVMinder ATS is an Applicant Tracking System for employers. It has lots of features to support regulated organisations so it’s a great choice for Schools and Care Providers for instance.

Recruiting tips for smaller care providers

Essential Recruiting Tips for Small Care Providers

Small care providers must compete with larger care providers when advertising their care vacancies. Bigger care providers have marketing muscle, HR departments, recruiting systems and advertising budgets. Some even have dedicated internal recruiters.

With fewer resources, less time and smaller budgets, how can a small care provider compete and recruit successfully?  

This article offers a few important recruiting tips to help small care providers succeed on a budget.

Care Jobs

Care jobs are varied, rewarding and important, but salaries are low by national standards and care jobs can be misunderstood.

When advertising care vacancies, the basics really matter. Our recruiting tips for small care providers will help you to recruit more successfully and hire great people. We cover:

  • How to advertise
  • Where to advertise
  • How to respond to job applications

Recruiting Tips 1: How to Advertise

It’s time to make job advertising your personal battleground, because advertising is where you can win.

Jobseekers don’t read your job advert

Is your mailbox is full of irrelevant job applications? If so, it may be the case that:

  • jobseekers are applying without reading your advert,
  • your advert describes your company rather than the job, or
  • you’re making it too easy to apply for your vacancy.

Before reading you job advert in full, people want:

  • A short summary that confirms the job is the right type of job for them
  • An indication of where the job is located
  • The working hours and salary.

Make it easy to find this information. It is good practice to summarise what you are looking for in your first paragraph and confirm the job title in the first sentence.

Example first paragraph of a Care Worker job advert
“We are looking for a Care Worker to support our elderly customers in their own homes within the Crawley area. Our customers have very individual care requirements and we like our Care Workers to get to know our customers well . You’ll be helping them to lead full and independent lives by assisting with meal preparation, taking medication and getting ready for bed, among many other duties. Shift patterns are flexible and we’ll give you all the training you need.”

Bring your job to life

Your next challenge is to describe the role in full and make it come to life for jobseekers. Help them to visualise their new role. Try to pack your job description with lost of detail:

  • Who will they be caring for?
  • What sort of activities will they be performing?
  • What will their own team be like and what are the unique challenges of the role?
  • Who will they report to and what is their manager’s ambition for the company and its services?
Make it easy to find the details they want

Use headings and bullet points to help jobseekers scan and qualify your vacancy in just a few seconds. Easy qualification increases the prospects of your advert being read in full by the right candidates. For a Support Worker job, your headings could include:

  • The Role of Support Worker
  • Education and Experience required to be our Support Worker
  • Support Worker Remuneration
  • Location and our Care Company
  • Our Recruitment Process
Use the singular

Try to use advert titles that are singular and not plural, like “Care Worker” rather than “Care Workers”. Advert titles like “Care Workers wanted” are less trusted than a plain job title. If that advert is on a long advertising cycle people might start to question whether you ever hire anyone.

Job boards also prefer the singular job title. Some job boards, like Indeed, might also ignore your advert in search results. That’s because forever open vacancies titled in the pleural appear to be fishing and less likely to be genuine.

Location with benefits

Care sector workers prefer jobs in their locale, but your specific site location might have benefits. Perhaps shops are nearby, you work in air-conditioned offices or you have on-site parking that makes it easy to drop in and out. If you can find a benefit, it’s a good idea to mention it.

Optimise, optimise

Optimise your job adverts to increase the number of people who can find them.

Let’s make sure that people can find your advert on any job board. Try repeating the job title a few times throughout your advert. For every 350 words, consider typing the job title 3 or 4 times. By doing this, job boards might push your advert further up their search results.

If you want to know more about job advertising, read optimise your adverts to get more job applications.

Recruiting Tips 2: Where to advertise

Did you know that you can advertise Care Jobs for free? Your key resources are:

  • Indeed
  • GOV Find a Job
  • Google for Jobs
  • Adzuna
  • Your website and Social Media
Your free job boards

According to our research, Indeed is the biggest provider of care job applications. The great news for you is that Indeed allows all UK employers to advertise their vacancies for free. They call their free job postings, organic job listings. Indeed also allows you to sponsor your adverts. By paying to sponsor your Indeed job adverts, they will stay higher in search results for longer.

GOV Find a Job was Universal JobMatch. You can post jobs for free and it’s very active for Care vacancies.  If you want to see the numbers just follow the link.

Google for Jobs is free, but it’s not a job board in the conventional sense. If you follow the link you’ll see Google for Jobs at the top of the search results. Posting jobs manually is not possible. Instead google fetches your jobs from your website and presents them to jobseekers. You will need an Applicant Tracking System to do that for you or you can develop two key additions to your careers page:

  • The structured job data that Google requires and
  • An application form for your job.

Adzuna is a useful job board too. It might not be a go-to jobsite for care workers, but jobseekers could be attracted by Adzuna’s occasional re-posts on LinkedIn.

Advertise jobs on your website and social media

Your own website is a valuable advertising option, so keeping it updated with current vacancies is essential. Some people don’t trust job boards with their details because they know that their current employer or other recruiters might have access to it. Instead, some prefer to apply directly on your website, so try to offer an electronic application form. A good Applicant Tracking System for care providers can make posting jobs and receiving applicants really easy for you.

Social Media is free and easy to use. Place your job on twitter and other locations. You just never know who might see it. Again, jobseekers may benefit from a application form on your website. We all want to avoid losing people just as quickly as we find them.

Recruiting Tips 3: How to respond

Good people don’t hang around for long, so speeeeeed is name of the game. Our advice is to organise some standard messages so you can communicate quickly with your best applicants. If you do everything by email, Microsoft can help you with that. Create some templates on Outlook by following these steps:

  1. Create a new email by completing the subject and body
  2. Select File > Save As
  3. For ‘Save as Type’, choose Outlook Template
  4. Give it a filename and save.

Try telling good applicants that you like their details just as quickly as you can. Politely declining all the applicants who you won’t interview will be appreciated (honest) and your brand is at stake if you don’t. You might also want some people to return in future when they have more experience or qualifications.

We do understand that when it gets busy, managing communication with lots of applicants can be overwhelming. So, when your recruitment admin grows, you might want to consider an online Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for Care. That will help you to post jobs everywhere, speed through shortlisting and communicate with everyone quickly. Imagine recruiting with 90% less effort.

Recruiting tips summary

Our essential recruiting tips for small care providers are all about the basics. That’s because getting the basics right will help you attract higher quality job applications and stay ahead of your competitors.

If time is short and you feel that you’re missing out on key candidates, try an Applicant Tracking System for Care. CVMinder ATS is low cost, manages the whole recruitment process and saves lots and lots of time.

You experiences, comments and suggestions

If you’re recruiting for a smaller care provider, why not tell us about your own experiences? We’d also love to hear from you if you have any other recruiting tips for smaller care providers.

Like our advice? Why not give it a thumbs up and share? Many thanks in advance for taking the time.

Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment

What is safeguarding and safer recruitment?

Welcome to Recruiting Made Easy. In this series, we answer the questions that HR and internal recruiters ask most often. The series covers recruiting processes, tech and regulation. Up next: What is Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment?

In this article we start with an overview of safeguarding. We learn that safeguarding affects employers that look after children or vulnerable adults. Because hiring trustworthy staff is fundamental to safeguarding success, we we pay particular attention to the subject of safer recruitment. These are processes to make safe all future hiring decisions. Requirements are quite strict, so we include a handy ‘safer recruitment’ checklist for HR Officers and internal recruiters.

What is Safeguarding?

Many organisations offer services for the education, support or welfare of children and / or vulnerable adults. For convenience, we’ll call children and vulnerable adults “service users”.

Organisations with a safeguarding responsibility are commonly regulated. Ofsted and the CQC are examples. But what is safeguarding?

Safeguarding overview

In basic terms, organisations are accountable for the safety and well-being of service users. That means an organisation must be a safe space, free of the threat of physical, sexual and emotional harm for children and vulnerable adults. It should also be free of discrimination and other harmful influences.

Safeguarding also considers the safety of service users in the outside world. That means that employers must remain diligent to any signs of abuse in a family setting, for instance.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes a statement on its responsibilities for safeguarding children and adults. This highlights some other areas of safeguarding concern:

  • Unnecessary or disproportionate acts for the control or restraint of an adult or child.
  • Acts that may be degrading to the adult or child.
  • Significant disregard for the needs of the adult or child for care or treatment.
Safeguarding Policies

Organisations with a safeguarding responsibility must have a clear and robust set of policies and procedures. Any staff member with unsupervised access to service users should be fully trained on these.

Inductions should include safeguarding training and it’s common practice to log completion for all new employees. Some employers also re-train staff members after any change to procedures which is excellent practice.

Safeguarding breaches

Safeguarding breaches are a big concern, so whistle blowing procedures should be clear and mandatory. In safeguarding courses, one quickly learns that whistle blowing is the potential Achilles heel of a safeguarding policy. Personal relationships between colleagues can, at worst, betray the service user in favour of the colleague. All safeguarding concerns must be reported so it is vital that people feel compelled and able to do so without fear of consequence.

Employers should maintain procedures for the investigation of all safeguarding issues. Concerns could be raised by staff members, the service users or an external party. Your procedures should also include action(s) to be taken in the event that an allegation proves true. Conclusions should be drawn by a panel and not by an individual so that personal relationships don’t interfere with outcomes.

Your remedial actions might include:

  • In the case of a child, contacting the children’s social care department of the local authority where the child lives.
  • In the case of a vulnerable adult, contacting the local authority adult services department.

So, what is Safeguarding? It is a serious set of obligations for organisations, so that children and vulnerable adults remain safe in their care. Whistle blowing is key to its success. One of the best defences is to hire trustworthy people into all positions with unsupervised access to service users. That takes us neatly onto Safer Recruitment.

What is Safer Recruitment

The purpose of safer recruitment is to identify, deter and reject people who are at risk of abusing children or vulnerable adults; your service users. Safer recruitment forms part of your safeguarding policy.

In short, safer recruitment requires you to:

  • Highlight your safeguarding obligations.
  • Make clear the level of scrutiny you apply to job applicants.
  • Ensure that your selection and on-boarding process is rigorous.

Safer Recruitment Checklist

Our safer recruitment checklist is for any role involving unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. It covers:

  • advertising
  • selection & interviewing
  • offers
  • on-boarding
Safer Advertising Checklist
  • Use plain English to describe your role and your commitment to safeguarding so that you deter less appropriate jobseekers. If possible, attach your safeguarding policy document to adverts.
  • Include details of your organisation’s values and expected behaviours.
  • State that applying for your job is unlawful should someone be barred from working in regulated activity.
  • Make clear the level of criminal record check required and when a disclosure will be requested.

For roles that bring workers into unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, applicants should:

  • Declare all spent and unspent offences. This should include cautions, convictions and reprimands in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 and ROA Exceptions Order.
  • Explain any gaps in employment. Typically this would be for any period exceeding 28 days, so that you test any prior employment issues.
Safer Selection and Interview Checklist
  • Have at least two people shortlist each applicant using agreed criteria.
  • Develop a consistent interview structure so that you improve the discovery process.
  • Combine values with your competency-based recruiting methods. Review the attitudes of any applicant towards people requiring care and support.
Safer Offer Checklist
  • Make a conditional job offer. It should be subject to passing all employment checks and receiving adequate references.
  • Include your company handbook in your offer as it should include your safeguarding procedures.
  • Include a probationary period in your offer of employment.
Safer On-Boarding Checklist
  • Apply for the correct level of criminal record check so that you can be certain of someone’s history.
  • Use only original documents to check proof of ID, right to work and qualifications.
  • Request and review references for the applicants you shortlist. These should be professional references when possible and should include the most recent employer. Take a look an example reference request template for more details.
  • Check for gaps and inconsistencies by comparing the application with information provided by referees.
  • Telephone each referee on a landline number so you can check the provenance of their reference.
  • Should concerns arise from a criminal record check or an allegation, carry out a risk assessment. This should include any recommended safeguards to minimise risk.
  • Keep a risk assessment with a copy of the self-declaration and certificate, all subject to your data protection policies.
For employers with an Applicant Tracking System

Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) may be able to assist you with safer recruitment, so that you can recruit to a process and reduce admin. Here are a few questions that should help to set things up:

  • Can you attach your safer recruitment policy to job adverts so that applicants can see your level of commitment?
  • Are appropriate prompts on your criminal conviction request so that you receive spent convictions too?
  • Does your ATS protect the distribution of criminal convictions so that you can remain compliant?
  • Are declarations highlighted to the right people in HR so that your organisation doesn’t miss them?
  • Will your ATS ask applicants for an explanation of any gaps in work history so that you can comply with safer recruitment more easily?
  • Can your ATS allow two or more people to shortlist each applicant so that you develop greater scrutiny and eliminate bias?
  • Does your ATS allow the addition of shortlisting criteria so that you can audit of who checked each applicant?
  • Are you able to upload applicant proofs into your ATS? Can you restrict access and manage the term of their availability so that you comply with your Data Protection policy?
  • Will your ATS help HR to request and receive references so that can monitor which are outstanding more easily?
  • Is your ATS able to record the observations you make during competency and values based interviews?
  • Can you send employment offers from your ATS so that you can standardise them?
  • Are employment checks and on-boarding checklists set up in your ATS so they reflect your data checking needs.

Safeguarding Resources


Safeguarding and safer recruitment are serious obligations for schools, colleges, care providers and other employers. We hope you can draw on this article so that we can all assure young people and vulnerable adults genuine safety in the spaces we provide for them.

Please contact us if you spot errors or omissions in our article ‘What is Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment?’

Are you new to the subject of recruitment systems and applicant tracking? Try what is an Applicant Tracking System?

If you are looking for an easier way to manage safer recruitment in a School or College, try Best ATS for Education.

Care Providers looking for easier recruitment with support for safer recruitment should try Best ATS for Care.


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Using the information in this article is at your own risk.


What is an ATS and why have one

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

Welcome to Recruiting Made Easy. In this series, we review some frequently asked recruitment questions. We cover recruiting processes, technology and regulation. First in the series: What is an Applicant Tracking System? 

If you work in HR or Internal Recruitment, you may have heard of or used an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). But what does an ATS do and why is having one so important to recruiting success? Read on for the basics or check out the free ATS Buyer Guide if you are selecting an applicant tracking system.

So, What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An ATS helps any employer to manage and automate the recruitment process. It provides a secure, central repository for candidate data, including their CVs and applications. It should help you at every stage in the recruiting process, including advertising, shortlisting, interviews, employment offers and on-boarding. An Applicant Tracking System makes recruiting more efficient and more successful.

Who should use an ATS?

Everyone! A good Applicant Tracking System upgrades your entire recruiting operation so it becomes more productive, profitable and efficient. It doesn’t matter whether your organisation is big or small. Benefits vary, but employers using an ATS often mention the following:

  • Automated access to free advertising options
  • An easier, more inclusive application process for jobseekers
  • Higher percentage of relevant job applications
  • Savings of up to 90% on administration time
  • More efficient, more transparent on-boarding
  • Easy recruiting compliance and reducing confidential waste

Employers using an ATS report more placements in less time and at lower cost than employers without one. 

Is an ATS the right choice for recruitment companies?

Recruitment companies recruit for their clients so they need a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). A CRM helps to manage prospects and customer communications, including new job orders.

Recruiting software for recruitment companies combines some ATS and some CRM functions. So, employers should find an ATS made for employers rather than one for recruitment companies. An employer ATS is more focused on internal recruiting requirements, including:

  • Flexible options for applicant data capture including criminal convictions, disability, existing relationship with current staff member, etc.
  • Flexible distribution of Manager vs HR responsibilities.
  • Shortlisting options to support compliance and fair recruitment.
  • Stronger team reporting and management options.

In HR and internal recruitment, you don’t need CRM features, so always choose an ATS for employers.

Find the best Applicant Tracking System for you

Let’s help you work out how you recruit today. Then you’ll be in a better position to choose the best ATS for your organisation.

  • How do you recruit now? Record each recruiting step.
  • How often do you perform each recruiting step?
  • Identify the steps that take most time.
  • Note down what you do well and want to preserve.
  • Think about what you what you would like to do better.
  • Summarise what you want others to do better.
  • Note any critical recruiting or compliance issues to resolve.

Your notes form the basis of an ATS wish list. That puts you in a better position to start looking for the best ATS to meet your requirements. 

Does the ATS make recruiting easy?

Here are some questions you should ask before you select your ATS:

  • Does the ATS specialise with organisations just like yours?
    Applicant Tracking System providers specialising in your market understand recruiting scenarios that you haven’t yet thought of.
  • Is the applicant tracking system genuinely easy to use?
    Getting full value from an ATS means using it. So, the easier it is, the more you’ll get from it. Try to avoid systems that require training for infrequent users like some line managers.
  • Can the ATS post vacancies onto job boards that candidates use?
    Look for MultiPost functions that include free-to-post resources like Indeed, Google for Jobs, GOV Find a Job and Adzuna. Check out other national, local and specialist job board connections too.
  • Can candidates apply for jobs easily?
    You want people to apply for jobs easily, so they require easy access from any device. Applicants can come from job boards, your website, social media and other places, so check out all the routes.
  • Is the system quick and easy to implement?
    Look for an ATS that is simple to implement. Try to avoid an ATS that requires service or system fees when you alter the way you work.
Recruiting functions, compliance and reporting

Here are some of the more complex questions you should ask before you select your ATS:

  • Does the applicant tracking system help with repetitive communication?
    Writing the same response each time takes too much time. Look for an ATS with flexible templates to personalise candidate communication at every recruitment step.
  • Is the ATS application form flexible enough to meet your requirements?
    You may work with just a candidate CV. You require much more information to meet regulatory requirements like safer recruitment. Make sure an ATS can capture what you need from applicants.
  • Will the system help you with fair recruitment and remaining lawful?
    Can the ATS capture and manage protected characteristics to ensure that your organisation can defend against discrimination.
  • Will the ATS provide useful management information?
    You’ll want to know where your candidates have seen your vacancies, how long your shortlisting takes and other information that helps you make better recruiting choices.

Do you want to go a little deeper into the applicant tracking subject? Check out the free ATS Buyer Guide before choosing the best ATS for your organisation.

Download your free ATS Buyer Guide

Free ATS Buyer Guide

ATS Buyer Guide - Cover
ATS Buyer Guide

Our free ATS Buyer Guide is available for download at the bottom of this page. It is written for employers who are trying to make recruiting more successful. It’s perfect if you are an HR Lead or internal recruiter and you’re trying to find the best Applicant Tracking System for the job. With so many choices, basic guidance is hard to come by. We believe that our ATS Buyer Guide can help you make case for an ATS. It also helps you compare options and select the best Applicant Tracking System to meet your own requirements.

What’s in our ATS Buyer Guide?

You know the author of this ATS Buyer Guide is a vendor. We know that you don’t want an ATS sales brochure dressed up as a guide. So, you’ll get some useful tips on building a case and deciding what you need. Your free ATS Buyer Guide is part of our Recruiting Made Easy Series and guide sections include:

ATS Buyer Guide - Basics
ATS Basics
  • Do you need an ATS?
  • Building a case
  • Calculating your budget
  • Key ATS features
  • Hidden costs

We hope this ATS Buyer Guide helps all employers, big and small. Larger employers should easily justify the purchase of an Applicant Tracking System. The administration savings alone make a compelling case. But, smaller employers also benefit from using an ATS. They too can make big savings and enjoy the same advantages as their bigger competitors.

Just in case, what is an ATS?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a recruitment software system. It helps you to advertise, shortlist, interview, offer and on-board new starters. An ATS can save as much as 90% of administration time and helps you to recruit more successfully at lower cost:

ATS Buyer Guide - Features Section
ATS checklist in handy sections
  • Reach more potential candidates more easily.
  • Improve your applicant experience.
  • Share and process applicants faster.
  • Reduce administration time by up to 90%
  • Ease compliance with industry regulations including safeguarding and safer recruitment.
  • Remain lawful and adhere to data protection regulations.
Download your free ATS Buyer Guide

Your free ATS Buyer Guide will download automatically after completing the form below. If it doesn’t appear at the foot of your web browser, please check your downloads for the ATS Buyer Guide .

We hope you you find the guide useful and please feel free to offer your suggestions for future improvements.

Please use your company email and not a personal email address
Please select all reasons that match your issues and at least one.
Want to know more?

This guide forms part of our recruiting advice for HR and internal recruiters.

CVMinder ATS is an award winning Applicant Tracking System and all enhancements are guided by its Ambassador customers. They and we ensure that it always manages real world recruitment requirements. According to Care customers, it’s the best Applicant Tracking System for Care Providers. According to Schools and Colleges, it’s the best ATS for Education.

CVMinder ATS is low on price and BIG on function. Contact us now to find out more.

Best ATS delivers Interview Management

Reduce the number of Interview No-Shows

Scheduling Interviews is time-consuming and locks up diary space. With interview no-shows on the increase, what’s going wrong and what can you do to fix it?

Candidate No-Shows

Many HR officers report an increase in the number of interview no-shows. They’re experiencing candidate drop-outs, even after confirming on the day of interview. This change of behaviour puts pressure on HR departments because line managers can lay blame at HR’s door.

The increase in candidate no-shows seems consistent, with and without recruitment systems. So, what’s changed?

Recruiting has Changed

More employers are advertising their own vacancies. More job boards offer 1-click methods of application. Applying for jobs is increasingly convenient and resistance-free applications seems attractive to employers. However, that 1-click convenience has been weaponized by applicants.

Applicants still complain about poor feedback from employers. Too few employers take the time to update applicants on their progress. In response, applicants have become less selective.

Silence encourages jobseekers to apply for more roles to improve their prospects. They spend less time reading job adverts and more time clicking. To back this up, most HR officers report an increase in the numbers of unsuitable applicants.

However, the strongest applicants will develop more options with more employers. It is against this backdrop that we must consider interview no-shows.

The Applicant

HR officers expect that if somebody applied for a job, they should want the interview. But, we forget that their specific interest in our vacancy might not be as strong as we would like. We forget that the applicant might have other job options. And we forget that some people just can’t say no.

Candidates should be able to confirm interviews with ease. That goes without question. But, we believe they should also feel more able to decline their interview if they’re not going to turn up.

Scheduling Interviews

Your Applicant Tracking System should help. Scheduling an interview should update the applicant. Unconfirmed interviews should trigger automatic reminders. Declining an interview should be as easy as accepting it. You shouldn’t need the best ATS to achieve these goals.

What about self-scheduling interviews? This allows a candidate to schedule their own interview within an offered period. It sounds great, but does it work? Evidence is to the contrary. HR Heads tell us that self-scheduling can lock out diary time waiting for confirmations that never arrive. Weaker candidates are also blamed for locking out prime times at the expense of better applicants. If recruiting starts with 1-click applications, we can begin to understand why this happens.

Finally, should your best candidate see a reducing number of interview slots upon revisiting the diary, they can quickly feel part of a herd. Your candidate can calculate a reduced chance of interview success. This alone can make an interview no-show more likely.

What your ATS Should Do

The best Applicant Tracking System will get the balance right. It should offer options for pre-confirmed interviews in addition to those requesting confirmation. Sending invitations should be as simple as specifying the type, date, time, location and other details, before releasing an invitation from a template.

Your candidates should be able to click-confirm their interview. They should also be able to decline or request a change. Your ATS should send automatic reminders of confirmed interviews close to the date. It should also send reminders to confirm or decline interviews that are outstanding.

The option to decline should be prominent, so that confirmations will be more reliable. That leads to more successes and fewer interview no-shows.

Review any of the 1-click application methods, if you are using it. Find some balance so that convenience doesn’t win out over serious intent. For example, take a look at the way in which CVMinder ATS can achieve more applicants with Indeed Apply.

Tracking Interview Status

Line managers should be able to track all upcoming interviews. They should also receive email warnings when applicants haven’t confirmed. That saves time or helps managers and HR officers to intervene.

Bringing interview confirmations to the attention of managers relieves the pressure on HR officers. Managers can see much more clearly that a candidate confirmed. There’s nobody to blame in HR.

Interview Management Summary

Managing Interviews always be challenging. But we can do some things to reduce the number of interview no-shows . Review how easy it is to apply for your jobs with 1-click application methods and make appropriate changes. Then review whether applicants find it as easy to decline interviews as accept them. Try applying for one of your own jobs so that you can run through the process and check things out.

Want to know more?

CVMinder ATS is an award winning Applicant Tracking System. Our Ambassador Customers in education, care and hospitality shared the best of their experiences on the subject of interview management. They shaped new features that make interview management work better rt reduce the number of interview no-shows. Contact us now to find out more.

Best ATS Job Advert Analyser

Optimise your adverts to get more job applications

HR officers and internal recruiters would generally like more job applications from people who are suitable. People generally start by writing an informative advert. Then they post the advert on an appropriate job board and hope. However, adverts sometimes fail to attract relevant job applications in the numbers required. It is true that salary, location and some other factors can influence applicant numbers. However, something much simpler is often overlooked.

To improve results we must understand how jobseekers find jobs on job boards. Most jobseekers want to see relevant results when they search for jobs on a job site. If the jobseeker is looking for catering jobs in the local area, they don’t want to see IT jobs or Tecahing jobs.

Relevance is determined in different ways by each jobsite and they don’t generally give you that magic formula. So what can you do to optimise your adverts so that they are seen by more of the right people? If you can get that right you should receive more relevant job applications.

Here are some top tips to lift your job adverts further up the search results.

Choose the right Job Title

It may seem simple, but use an industry recognised job title that people will search for. We know that some employers like to create special titles for their workers, but the world down’t know them. Use a title like “Cleaner” rather than “Sanitation Operative”. This one correction can give your advert a much greater chance of discovery.

Repeat the Job Title

The search ranking of your job can be influenced by your liberal use of its job title and other words / phrases throughout your advert. The more you mention a job title, the more likely it is that your advert will be appear in search results. But, beware the job board anti-spam detection. If you go too far, you may hit the spam detectors and that will diminish your ranking. A reasonable target is to repeat the job title 3  times per two hundred words.

Tell jobseekers what the job is

It sounds basic, but many adverts start by describing the employer or what the employer requires of the jobseeker. That is a no, no because jobseekers read a job advert like recruiters read a CV. In fact, they don’t read it on a first pass! They qualify whether they should read your advert by scanning it.

To get more job applications, you need to spell things out quickly. Jobseekers want to know what the job is, so make sure your first sentence delivers that information. Tell jobseekers what your job is, the scale of it and why you are recruiting.

Don’t start with your “We are a lovely group of people with high commitment to our staff” story. Instead, start with “We are looking for an experienced chef to work in team of 6. Reporting to the head chef you will be preparing Italian classics with a twist for a over 150 covers during weekdays and Saturdays … ” – you get the picture.

Avoid adding Contact Details

Job boards can react badly to email addresses, web addresses and even telephone numbers in your adverts. This is particularly relevant for free job postings on Indeed and others. They want to track jobseeker behaviour and count the number of application clicks. Directing jobseekers away from the job board will work against this and you. Indeed diminishes an advert in search results if you include an email address or URL.

Your advert should read easily

Split your advert up with titled sections and bullet lists. It makes your job advert easier to read. Don’t forget that your advert isn’t being read word for word. Jobseekers scan it to find the information they need to qualify their interest. If you make it easy for them, you might get more job applications.

If your job board prefers plain text, use capitalised text for headers and a character of your choice for bullets. The best Applicant Tracking System will do this for you automatically.

Order of sections might be:

  • A summary of the job
  • A summary of the minimum / ideal criteria for applicants (education / skills / experience etc.)
  • Remuneration summary
  • About the employer
  • About the recruiting process (optional)

The titles for these sections could be:

  • The role of Chef
  • Skills and experienced required to become our Chef
  • Chef salary and benefits
  • About our restaurant
  • How we recruit for the role of Chef

By including the job title in some oft your section headings, you will also help to improve your advert’s ranking in search results.

Avoid dirty formatting

Avoid horrible formatting when copying from Microsoft Word. Job adverts look unprofessional when fonts, paragraph structures and colours change erratically. Again, the best Applicant Tracking Systems will manage this for you automatically. Alternatively, copy the text to a plain text editor like Notepad before uploading to your job board.

Job Analysis

Use a job analyser built on these and other useful rules. CVMinder ATS has one. It calculates a score, highlights areas for attention and gives remedial advice for each advert.

Among other measures, the CVMinder Job Advert Analyser reviews:

  • The structure of the job title
  • Job title discovery in the advert body
  • Whether attached documents might double up on information collection
  • Dirty formatting
  • The length of the advert
  • Sentence length
  • Use of headers and bullets

Want to know more?

CVMinder ATS is an award winning Applicant Tracking System. It manages recruitment from advertising thru on-boarding and is so simple to use. CVMinder ATS is low cost and perfect for employers in Care, Education, Hospitality and other markets.  It also helps you to get more job applications by helping you to optimise your adverts. If you want to know more, then please contact us for further details.

Get more job applications with better adverts

How to write job adverts that get more applications

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could receive more job applications from people with the right skills, experience and personal qualities? Unfortunately, many HR Heads and Recruiters complain after receiving too few applications or too many applications from the wrong people. The conversation often starts “Indeed just sends me rubbish …” or “Job boards are a waste of money …”

So what is going wrong? Is the job board deficient, your job unattractive, or could there be something wrong with our advert? You might be surprised to hear that in most cases, the advert is to blame.

In this short blog, well learn how to write job adverts that get more applications of the right quality.

There are so many reasons why the right candidate won’t see your job advert, or read it when they do. Reasons include:

  • Your job board selection
  • How old the advert is
  • The job title you are using
  • Salary issues like omitting it, or headlining the wrong amount.
  • Location issues
  • The ‘wall of text’ job description
  • The “you must have” type of advert
  • Whether you Optimise your Job adverts

Let’s take a quick look at how your job advert is discovered and how jobseekers read then qualify your job.

First up …

People don’t read your job advert!

Really? True.

Direct feedback from jobseekers confirms that most don’t read your job adverts in full unless they’re convinced they should. They scan it for clues for relevance, just like you do with CVs.

As an employability expert, I have presented CV advice to groups of jobseekers. I tell them that the CV they have been slaving over for 6 months isn’t read by recruiters. They look shocked and instinctively disagree. When I tell them how they scan and avoid reading adverts, they generally laugh with embarrassment.

You’re reading the opening paragraph of a CV … “I’m a lovely person who can work alone or as part of a …”, yawn! Skip to most recent job title. “Working from home, 2018 to present” Does it fit? No. Skip to previous job title. Does that fit? Skip to far history. Anything matching here? Nope. Reject!

You read sections of a CV if you believe there is sufficient reason to do that. So do jobseekers with our advert. Now we know that jobseekers do what you do. It’s just that they spend longer writing their CV than you do writing your advert.

Now let’s cover some of the other points, like how jobseekers discover your job in the fist place.

Finding your job

Jobseekers often start with an internet search engine like Google. They find job boards by using search terms like “admin jobs in surrey” or “care worker jobs”. Alternatively, they head straight for indeed or another well-known job board.

Each job board has its own method for showing the most relevant jobs to jobseekers. Each job board has its own special algorithm and that often considers advert age, job location, job title and the number of times a job title is mentioned in the advert.

So, if you have a “Care Worker” job, make sure that the job title is repeated several times in the advert body. That should improve its chances of appearing in search results.

Reviewing your job

Jobseekers scan adverts for critical information. Before they read anything in detail, they want to know:

  • What the job is
  • Location
  • Salary

If there’s a fit, they may look for the following:

  • Required skills, experience and education
  • Responsibilities

If interested, they will consider:

  • Organisation type
  • Size of organisation
  • Personal prospects

The first line of your advert should clearly state what the job is. Don’t waste a valuable opportunity to grab their attention by giving a history of your organisation and why it’s great employer.

Make sure you split sections up with titles and bullet points to make scanning your job easier.

What, where and salary

Most job boards prefer you to give the plain job title as the title of the advert. Indeed is just one job board that complains if you include other details like location and salary. Read why your jobs aren’t appearing on Indeed if you want to know more.

Your mission is to get basic information into your job advert near the top. “We are looking for a senior PHP Developer to join a team of 5 other developers in our Maidenhead office …” would be a good first sentence.

To supplement this, write a headed remuneration section, giving the salary and benefits. A headed section makes it easy to find.

Responsibilities and Requirements

As jobseekers go on to qualify your job, they want to know what type of work they will be doing. They may try to understand how it helps them with skills or career development and whether the work will be interesting enough.

Bring the job to life so that people can visualise it. Don’t make the mistake of only listing the qualifications, skills and experience you need.

Write something about the organisation, its ambition and the potential influence of the role. Think about the scale of the opportunity, the level of autonomy and the impact you’re expecting from your new employee.

When you do list responsibilities, it’s a bad idea to infill with basics like ‘Write good quality PHP code’. The best potential applicants can qualify out because the brief sounds too junior.

In Conclusion

You can get more job applications by writing better adverts. Just recognise that there is a science to writing them. Yes, it’s more work and you might not be able to fix any recruiting barriers like your location or salary. But, making your adverts easier to find could help you reach more jobseekers. Making them easier to scan could develop more interest and more job applications.

Want to know more?

Stuart Haddow is the Product Director for CVMinder ATS. He has been a Board Member of successful Software Companies, a Recruitment Business owner, delivered CV masterclasses to senior executives and advisory classes to jobseekers.

CVMinder ATS is an award winning Applicant Tracking System for employers. It comes with an Advert Analyser to help you get more job applications.

Contact us now if you would to know more about job advertising or our Applicant Tracking System.