Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of HR software that streamlines the hiring process for companies. What can an ATS do for your HR team? How can you choose the applicant tracking system that can best serve your needs? The answers and more here. 

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application designed to help organisations manage their recruitment and hiring processes. Depending on the type of ATS chosen, the software can streamline various steps in the hiring lifecycle, making it easier for the team to handle large volumes of applications. 

What Tasks Can the Applicant Tracking System Do?

An HR ATS can handle the following tasks:

  • Posting jobs: ATS allows recruiters to create and post job openings on multiple job boards and company career pages simultaneously, streamlining the process of reaching potential candidates.
  • Storing applicant data: It collects, stores, and organises resumes and applicant information in a central database, making it easy for recruiters to search and retrieve candidate data.
  • Screening potential talents: The system uses keywords, algorithms, and other criteria to screen and rank applicants based on their qualifications, experience, and relevance to the job requirements. Those who satisfy the criteria can automatically move to the next stage of the hiring process. 
  • Collaboration among the hiring team: It facilitates collaboration among hiring team members by allowing them to share notes, feedback, and ratings on candidates within the system.
  • Analysing data: Applicant tracking system provides insights and analytics on recruitment metrics, such as time-to-hire, source of hire, and applicant demographics, helping organisations optimise their hiring strategies
  • Tracking the applicant’s journey: ATS tracks the progress of each candidate through the different stages of the hiring process, from initial application to final decision, providing a clear view of the hiring pipeline.
  • Communicating with the applicants: HR ATS includes features for communicating with candidates via email or messaging, scheduling interviews, and sending automated responses to applicants

Also importantly, the HR applicant tracking system can help companies improve their compliance to laws. For example, screening applicants using keywords can help reduce discrimination by making sure you’re hiring based on skills and credentials. 

How to Choose the Best Applicant Tracking System for Your Company

There are numerous options when it comes to HR ATS, and these choices can be overwhelming. To avoid ending up with the applicant tracking system that do not match what your company needs, here are some guidelines to consider:

Look closely at the problems in your hiring process

It’s easy to assume that the HR ATS that does everything is the best for your company, but that ATS may also cost more considering you may end up not using some of its features. 

To solve this, it’s best to focus on the problems that need to be addressed or need to be filled. For instance, if your company struggles with consolidating comments, feedback from hiring managers and recruiters, it’s best to get the HR ATS that has a collaboration feature. 

Consider costs and ROI

The goal is to choose the applicant tracking system that satisfies your hiring needs and doesn’t go over the budgetary limits. For ROI, check on parameters, such as how the ATS can improve your recruitment efficiency, reduce time-to-hire, and enhance the quality of your hires.

Pay attention to the user-interface 

Your HR team most likely have their hands full of other core tasks, so it’s best to choose an ATS with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. A system that is easy to navigate will ensure that your HR team can quickly adapt and maximise its potential.

Additional things to consider

To get the most out of the HR ATS of your choice, also consider the following:

  • Customisation - find a platform that allows you to choose the features of the applicant tracking system 
  • Scalability - the HR ATS you choose should serve your growing needs (eg. can handle large volumes of applications later)
  • Integration - it’s likely that you have other workflow systems in the company; as such, choose the ATS that can seamlessly integrate into these systems


In conclusion, the applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool for modern recruitment, designed to streamline and enhance the entire hiring process. It automates repetitive tasks, facilitates better candidate management, and provides insightful analytics, empowering HR professionals and recruiters to attract, evaluate, and hire top talent more efficiently.

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