Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application designed to automate and manage the recruitment process. It helps employers to organise job postings, sift through applications, and manage candidate data efficiently.


Imagine you have posted a job opening for a Marketing Manager. You receive hundreds of CVs via email, making it challenging to keep track of qualified candidates. An ATS can automatically filter these applications based on predetermined criteria such as years of experience, skills, or education level. This way, you can focus on the most promising candidates, saving both time and resources.

Who Uses an ATS?

Business owners, hiring managers, and recruiters commonly use ATS to streamline their hiring operations. The system helps organisations save time and money by automating several aspects of the recruitment process.

Key Features of an ATS

An effective ATS should offer functionalities like:

  • Scheduling interviews and other activities
  • Facilitating communication between candidates and hiring teams
  • Enabling collaboration among team members
  • Ensuring legal compliance in candidate sourcing
  • Evaluating candidates through assessments and scorecards
  • Enhancing employer branding
  • Providing recruiting reports for performance analysis

Before investing in an ATS, organisations should compare multiple options based on their unique hiring needs and challenges.

Why Use an ATS?

The growing popularity of ATS in the recruitment landscape is not coincidental. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency. ATS automates tedious tasks like sorting through resumes, allowing hiring teams to focus on more critical aspects.
  • Improved Candidate Experience. A streamlined hiring process, facilitated by an ATS, enhances the candidate's perception of the company.
  • Unified Application Management. ATS aggregates all applications, irrespective of their source, into a single platform for easier management.
  • Stronger Employer Branding. An efficient hiring process sends a positive message about the company's professionalism.
  • Data-Driven Decisions. ATS offers valuable analytics that can help refine recruitment strategies.
  • Legal Compliance. The system can be configured to ensure that the company adheres to legal requirements in recruitment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some alternative names for an ATS?
It can also be referred to as ‘hiring software’, ‘talent acquisition software’, ‘hiring platform’, and ‘recruitment software’.

Who typically uses an ATS?
Everyone involved in recruiting, including business owners, hiring managers, and recruiters.

What are the key functionalities of an ATS?
It assists in scheduling, communication, collaboration, legal compliance, candidate evaluation, and employer branding.

Why is using an ATS beneficial for companies?
It increases efficiency, improves candidate experience, centralises applications, enhances employer branding, and provides valuable insights.

How can a company choose the right ATS?
Companies should evaluate their hiring methods, identify challenges, and compare multiple ATS options to make an informed decision.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software solution designed to streamline the recruitment process. It serves as a central repository for candidate information, tracking applicants from the initial application stage through to the final hiring decision. The system can also integrate with various job boards to disseminate job openings and collect applications.

Why Invest in an ATS?

Efficiency and Accuracy

An ATS enhances the efficiency of the recruitment process by automating repetitive tasks and reducing the likelihood of errors. It ensures that no candidate is overlooked and helps recruitment teams act swiftly.

Enhanced Candidate Experience

The system keeps candidates informed about their status, thereby improving their overall experience. It also allows recruiters to easily track each candidate's progress.

Data-Driven Insights

For modern talent acquisition teams, metrics are crucial. An ATS can generate reports that offer insights into the candidate pipeline, the effectiveness of different sourcing channels, and the time spent at each recruitment stage.

Key Features to Consider


The system should be user-friendly, catering not just to recruiters but also to candidates, hiring managers, and interviewers.

Sourcing Capabilities

The platform should offer a range of sourcing features and integrations to maximise your return on investment.

Reviewing and Triage

The software should facilitate quick and effective candidate reviews, allowing you to add notes, contact candidates, and make decisions on the go.

Interview Management

The ATS should enable the creation of detailed interview kits and offer straightforward candidate scorecards for assessment.

Reporting and Analytics

Comprehensive built-in reports should provide a complete overview of all candidates considered for a position, as well as future hiring activities.

Integration and Compatibility

The software should integrate seamlessly with other applications you use, such as scheduling tools and video interviewing platforms.

Support and Training

Ensure that the vendor offers robust support, especially during the initial implementation phase.

Data Security

Given that the ATS will store sensitive data, robust security measures are essential.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System, also known as hiring software or talent acquisition software, is a digital solution that automates various aspects of the recruitment process. It is an essential tool for business owners, hiring managers, and recruiters aiming to streamline and optimise their hiring procedures.

Key Functionalities of an ATS

An effective ATS should offer a range of functionalities, including:

  • Scheduling: Simplifies the coordination of interviews and other candidate interactions.
  • Candidate-Team Communication: Facilitates seamless communication between candidates and hiring teams.
  • Team Collaboration: Enables internal collaboration for more effective decision-making.
  • Legal Compliance: Assists in maintaining lawful candidate sourcing and data management.
  • Candidate Assessment: Utilises scorecards and assessments for a more objective evaluation.
  • Employer Branding: Helps in conveying the company's culture and values.
  • Recruitment Analytics: Provides insightful reports, such as candidate sourcing metrics.

Organisations should evaluate multiple options before investing in an ATS based on their unique hiring processes and challenges.

Why Use an ATS?

The increasing popularity of ATS solutions is not coincidental. They offer several significant advantages:

  • Increased Efficiency: Automates manual tasks like sorting resumes, allowing hiring teams to focus on decision-making.
  • Enhanced Candidate Experience: Speeds up the hiring process, leading to a positive impression of the organisation.
  • Unified Application Management: Aggregates applications from various sources into a single platform for easier management.
  • Stronger Employer Brand: An efficient recruitment process signals a professional and employee-valuing organisation.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Offers analytics that can help refine recruitment strategies.
  • Legal Safeguards: Helps in adhering to legal requirements, thereby reducing risks.