top of page

What Is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? A Simple Guide

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

The term "Applicant Tracking System" may be familiar, but its significance might not be clear. You're not alone. Many job seekers and hiring managers encounter this term without fully understanding it. An Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, is a software application used by employers to manage the hiring process. This includes receiving and sorting resumes, as well as scheduling interviews.

In this simple guide, we'll explain the basic functions of an ATS and its role in the modern job application process.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Revolutionize Hiring

Streamlining the Recruitment Process

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can make hiring easier. It automates tasks like collecting, sorting, and filtering job applications. This saves time for HR professionals, allowing them to focus on engaging with potential candidates.

A good ATS should have features like resume parsing, automated job posting, customizable workflows, and integration with other HR software. It can also improve the candidate experience by providing timely communication, personalized feedback, and a user-friendly application process. This enhances the recruitment experience for candidates and strengthens the employer brand.

By using an ATS, organizations can save time, reduce errors, and improve the overall recruitment experience for both candidates and HR professionals.

Improving Candidate Experience

Implementing an Applicant Tracking System can greatly improve the recruitment process.

A user-friendly ATS with a simple application process, clear communication channels, and transparent status tracking can provide a positive experience for candidates.

Integrating automated responses and personalized feedback further enhances the candidate experience.

Moreover, an ATS can offer insights into candidate data, performance metrics, and screening tools, helping employers make better hiring decisions.

By efficiently managing the hiring process and reducing time-to-fill rates, an ATS has the potential to significantly improve the experience for both employers and candidates.

Helping Employers Make Better Hiring Decisions

Employers can improve their hiring decisions using Applicant Tracking Systems. These systems automate and streamline the hiring process. They efficiently manage a large volume of applications, saving time and enabling hiring managers to focus on the most qualified candidates.

Additionally, they include tools for pre-employment assessments and skills testing, allowing employers to make more informed decisions about a candidate's qualifications.

Key features that employers should look for in an Applicant Tracking System to help them make better hiring decisions include robust reporting and analytics capabilities, integration with other HR systems, and customizable workflows to fit the specific needs of their organization. With these features, employers can gain valuable insights into their hiring process, create a seamless experience for candidates and hiring managers, and ensure alignment with their overall hiring strategy.

Employers can maximize the use of their Applicant Tracking System by implementing best practices. This involves establishing clear and consistent evaluation criteria for candidates, training hiring managers on the system's features and functionality, and regularly reviewing and updating the system to align with changing business needs and regulations. By leveraging the full potential of the Applicant Tracking System, employers can make more informed hiring decisions and ultimately build a stronger workforce.

Understanding the Basics of ATS

What Does an Applicant Tracking System Do

An Applicant Tracking System helps companies with recruitment. It automates resume screening and tracks candidate communication. This saves time and makes the process more efficient.

The system also improves the candidate experience by giving updates and simplifying applications.

ATS uses data analytics to attract high-quality candidates. It tracks recruitment metrics and helps in making better hiring decisions. The system allows for custom hiring workflows and collaboration, ensuring comprehensive candidate profiles and input from multiple stakeholders.

Common Features of ATS Software

ATS software makes the recruitment process easier by automating job postings, parsing resumes, and creating custom hiring workflows. These features help recruiters reach more candidates, review applications efficiently, and monitor candidate progress.

Candidate-facing features like automatic status updates, interview scheduling tools, and mobile-friendly interfaces improve the candidate experience.

For employers, ATS software provides data analytics, identifies top talent, and enables collaboration among hiring team members. This data-driven approach ensures hiring decisions are based on objective information, leading to more successful hires.

Key Features to Look for in an Applicant Tracking System

AI Capabilities for Better Screening

AI capabilities can improve screening processes for job candidates. It can efficiently analyze resumes and applications, identify top candidates, and reduce bias in the selection process.

AI also plays a role in creating more efficient job ads for employers. It targets the right audience, optimizes job descriptions, and matches company needs with candidate qualifications.

Furthermore, AI can be integrated with other tools like video interviewing platforms, background check services, and skills assessment tests. These integrations streamline the entire hiring process, from the initial candidate review to the final offer, saving time and resources for the employer and providing a seamless experience for the job seeker.

AI Capabilities for Job Ad Creation

AI can be used to improve job ad creation. It can analyze successful job descriptions to find keywords and phrases that attract the right candidates. An AI system should have features like natural language processing to make job ads engaging. It should also give real-time feedback to optimize ad content. Using AI in job ad creation streamlines recruitment by automating repetitive tasks, letting recruiters focus on more strategic aspects.

This makes the recruitment process more efficient and provides candidates with better-targeted job ads.

Integration with Other Tools

An applicant tracking system needs to work well with other tools used in the recruitment process. For example, integrating the ATS with job boards and social media platforms helps recruiters post job openings in more places. This means more people see the jobs and apply.

Integrating the ATS with HR software or payroll systems helps with the transfer of candidate data and makes onboarding easier. This saves time and cuts down on administrative work.

Integrating the ATS with email and calendar tools also helps. Recruiters can schedule interviews, send notifications to candidates, and keep track of all communication in one place. This saves time and makes sure important information is easy to find.

But, there are also challenges. Setting up these integrations can be complex, and there might be issues with data consistency and compatibility. Thorough testing, working closely with software vendors, and providing training can help address these challenges.


Customizing an Applicant Tracking System can help the recruitment process. It lets organizations adapt the system to their specific needs.

For example, customizing the system to match the organization’s hiring stages, job requirements, and interview processes can make the entire recruitment process smoother and more efficient.

When searching for an ATS, it's important to consider customization options. These may include creating custom workflows, defining user permissions, and integrating with other HR software tools.

These customization options make sure the ATS fits with the organization’s current processes and workflows.

Also, customizing an ATS can enhance the candidate experience. It provides a personalized and seamless application process.

For example, customizing the application portal to reflect the organization's branding and values can make a positive first impression on candidates, improving their overall experience.

Exploring Different Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant tracking systems have different features. Some important ones to consider are resume parsing, automated scheduling, and customizable workflows. These features can make the hiring process smoother and more efficient.

When it comes to pricing, applicant tracking systems offer various options like monthly subscriptions, pay-per-use, or tiered pricing based on company size.

Integration with other tools is also important. Many systems offer options for seamless integration with HRIS, payroll, and other software. This is crucial for businesses looking to automate and centralize their HR processes. It's important to evaluate the specific needs of the organization when exploring these options.

Pricing Model

Usage Based Pricing

Usage-based pricing for applicant tracking systems has both advantages and disadvantages for businesses. Companies pay only for the actual usage of the system, potentially saving them money if they have low hiring needs.

Factors to consider:

●      The size of the organization

●      Hiring volume

●      Potential for fluctuating recruitment needs

Organizations should also take into account the potential impact on budgeting and financial forecasting before deciding if this pricing model aligns with their hiring needs.

User Based Pricing

User-based pricing for applicant tracking systems is different from other pricing models. Businesses are charged based on the number of users accessing the system, rather than a fixed rate. This allows businesses to pay for what they need, which is great for small to medium-sized companies with a limited number of hiring managers and recruiters.

User-based pricing also offers scalability, allowing businesses to easily add or remove users as their needs change. To decide if user-based pricing is right for their applicant tracking system, businesses can consider factors such as the number of employees involved in the hiring process, the frequency of hires, and their budget for an applicant tracking system. They can also compare the total cost of ownership of user-based pricing versus fixed pricing models over the long term to make an informed decision on the most cost-effective option for their needs.

The Role of Applicant Tracking Systems in

Candidate Experience

Applicant Tracking Systems have a big impact on the job candidate experience. They make the application process smoother, give updates on application status, and ensure fair evaluation of qualifications. These systems automate the initial screening process, improving communication between employers and candidates. They also make sure candidates get acknowledgment of their applications, building a positive relationship with the employer.

Moreover, they help employers give feedback and keep candidates informed about the next steps. By creating a transparent and organized application process, Applicant Tracking Systems make the recruitment experience positive and efficient for job seekers. This ensures equal treatment for candidates and avoids them getting lost in the process, leading to a more satisfying experience overall. In short, these systems enhance the candidate experience by maintaining clear communication, timely updates, and fair evaluation.

Maximizing the Use of Your Applicant Tracking System

Employers can make the most of their applicant tracking system by using its features to simplify the recruitment process and improve the candidate experience. This includes automating job postings, resume screening, and interview scheduling to save time and enhance efficiency. It's important to seek out customizable workflows, advanced analytics, and seamless integration with other HR tools to make better hiring decisions and create a smooth experience for both the hiring team and candidates.

Common issues with applicant tracking systems may involve user adoption, data security, and integration with other HR software. To address these issues, employers can provide thorough training, implement data privacy measures, and carefully assess compatibility with existing HR technology.

Maximizing the use of an applicant tracking system requires thoughtful consideration of its features, user adoption, and integration to address common issues and ensure its successful use in the recruitment process.

Troubleshooting Common ATS Issues

When using an Applicant Tracking System, applicants may face common issues. These include difficulty uploading resumes and formatting errors. These challenges can slow down the application process and reduce an applicant's chances of being considered for a position.

To solve these issues, employers can:

●      Provide clear instructions and guidelines for the application process

●      Ensure that the ATS is user-friendly and works with different file formats

●      Offer technical support to applicants experiencing problems

By addressing these common ATS issues, employers can make the application process smoother and improve their hiring practices.

Evaluating the Success of an Applicant Tracking System

An effective Applicant Tracking System helps to streamline the recruitment process and make the candidate experience better. It automates tasks like resume screening and candidate communication, which makes hiring faster and more efficient. Candidates also get regular updates on their application status, improving their experience.

Additionally, an ATS helps employers make better hiring decisions by providing valuable data analytics on recruitment activities and candidate profiles. This data-driven approach helps employers identify trends, and areas for improvement, and make more informed hiring decisions.

In comparison, an ATS offers a more organized and streamlined approach to recruitment and hiring processes than traditional methods. It centralizes candidate information, communication, and hiring workflows, improving efficiency and overall effectiveness.


An applicant tracking system is a software used by businesses to manage and streamline their recruitment process. It helps in sorting and tracking job applications.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page