iCIMS is a top applicant tracking system used by over 4000 companies. While it supports companies of all sizes, locations and industries, its target audience is primarily mid-market and enterprise companies (most often those with 1000+ employees).

While they have seen a lot of growth in the past couple of years, they have not been able to catch up with ATS giants Taleo or Workday in terms of Fortune 500 ATS market share. However, job seekers are still likely to encounter this ATS in their job searches, so there are a few key features that candidates should be aware of.

iCIMS Knockout Questions

Because so many large companies use iCIMS, and job postings are likely to attract many applications, recruiters may utilize knockout questions to filter out unqualified candidates right from the get go. Knockout questions are prescreening questions designed to eliminate candidates who lack basic qualifications or requirements for the job.

Knockout questions can come in many formats:

  • Yes/No
  • Multiple choice
  • Short or long answer
  • Scale (usually 1-5 or 1-10)

Here’s what knockout questions may look like when applying through iCIMS:


iCMS ATS Knockout Questions

Recruiters can assign scores to answers, as seen in the screenshot below. The question is: “What is your highest level of education?” and, as you can see, each answer is awarded a certain amount of points. A high school diploma receives 0 points, followed by a Bachelor’s degree at 15 points, PhD at 20 points and Master’s Degree at 25 points:


iCIMS ATS points

Furthermore, recruiters can also filter candidates by score, from lowest to highest:

ICIMS ATS score

Recruiters can mark an answer as “Do Not Qualify,” automatically rejecting candidates from the running:


iCMS DNQ

iCIMS auto rejects DNQ candidates and places them in a category separate from applicants who did pass the screening:

iCIMS ATS screenshot

How iCIMS Parses Your Resume

iCIMS scans your uploaded document and parses it by identifying the skills and qualifications that you possess. In other words, it tries to recognize your skill set and associate it with your profile.

iCIMS parses out all the skills in a candidate’s resume. In this case, the top search result is the candidate who had the most skills related to “management” in their resume:

iCIMS screenshot


iCIMS also parses the education and work experience sections of a candidate’s resume into the “Experience” section of the candidate profile within the ATS. While this is supposed to make things easier to read for the recruiter, iCIMS parses these sections inconsistently. Information can get jumbled:

iCIMS parsing education and work experience

It is important to keep the order of information in the work experience section consistent (e.g., company name, job title, complete dates of employment, accomplishments).

The iCIMS Skills Search Feature

Recruiters can use keyword searches to identify the ideal candidate. When a recruiter searches for a keyword, the system searches applicants’ entire resumes for the keyword. The main factor for how the results are returned to the recruiter is keyword frequency.

For example, if a recruiter searches for “marketing,” an applicant with five mentions of that skill in their resume will appear higher in the results than someone with three mentions. Keyword matches must also be exact, meaning a search for “marketing” won’t turn up variations such as market, marketed, or marketer. 

Because of this, it’s important to ensure that the most important to include hard skills and keywords multiple times in your resume.

When searching for the term “marketing,” the top candidate at 100% is the person who included the keyword the most times in their resume:

iCIMS screenshot

Identifying the ATS

If you want to learn about iCIMS’s additional features, sign up with Jobscan. Users have access to the “ATS Tip” feature, which can match the ATS with the specific company you’re applying to and provide additional tips on how to tailor your resume to the ATS.

Companies That Use iCIMS

A number of notable companies use iCIMS as their ATS, including:

  • General Mills
  • Intuit
  • DISH Network
  • General Dynamics
  • Goldman Sachs
  • American Heart Association
  • AutoNation
  • Samsonite
  • ViacomCBS
  • Hanes
  • Dollar General
  • American Financial Group
  • Discovery
  • Hertz
  • Keurig Dr. Pepper
  • Aramark

One notable client that iCIMS lost within the past year is Amazon, who now uses its own proprietary job platform. Although they do use iCIMS to process some of their hires, they no longer use the system to host jobs.

Although iCIMS’ dipped in terms of Fortune 500 market share last year, they grew in overall market share. As companies switch from the old technologies that once controlled the market and seek new ways to engage job seekers, it will be interesting to see where iCIMS lands in the mix.

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