What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Kristina Martic | 2/26/2018 | Recruiting

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software created to automate, fasten and improve your hiring process. In this blog, we will present main ATS features and explain their benefits for your recruiting efforts. You will also learn a proven four-step strategy for choosing an ATS that best fits your needs.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an HR software tool designed to automate, streamline and improve your hiring process.

ATS provides an automated way for HR professionals to simplify and fasten the entire recruiting process.

Why do you need to hire faster?
Because the hiring process lasts for 2 to 3 months on average, while the top candidates stay on the market for 10 days only.


Besides fastening the recruiting process, ATS offers a wide range of solutions for many different hiring challenges, from finding candidates and processing their applications to selecting and hiring the best among them. 

How to know if you need an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

ATS is designed to provide solutions for some of most prevalent recruiting challenges and problems.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • Are you struggling to find qualified candidates?
  • Are you drowning in paperwork and spreadsheets?
  • Do you lack time for sending personalized responses to all your applicants?
  • Do you need a beautifully designed, mobile friendly and SEO optimized career site?
  • Would you like to manage and maintain your career site on your own (without any coding knowledge)?
  • Would you like to increase the number of applications coming through your career site?
  • Do you waste your time posting job openings to multiple different job boards?
  • Do manual resume parsing and screening take up a lot of your precious time?
  • Do you need to speed up and upgrade your interviewing process?
  • Would you like to you quickly and efficiently share information with all your team members?
  • Do you want to easily track recruiting metrics and create beautiful reports in a few seconds?
  • Wouldn't it be nice to have a dashboard with a real-time overview of your whole recruiting process?

If so, using an ATS can bring a radical change to your hiring process and enhance the results of your recruiting efforts.

The benefits of Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Applicant tracking system offers a wide range of solutions for different hiring challenges.

According to Capterra research, 94% of recruiting professionals who use ATS say that this software has improved their hiring process.


The vast benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System are best demonstrated by its ability to improve the three most important hiring metrics. ATS is proved to improve the time, cost and quality of hire.

Research shows that 86% of recruiting professionals stated that using an ATS has helped them hire faster, and 78% of them confirmed that using an ATS has improved the quality of candidates they hire, too.


Applicant Tracking System (ATS) features

Powerful sourcing

ATS can help you find candidates with advanced web sourcing, employee referral programs and social recruiting. It can also help you get more job applicants form your career site. 

Job boards integration

ATS will save your time by offering the possibility of posting your job ads on multiple job boards with just one click.

One candidate database

The main function of ATS is to provide a central location and an easily searchable database of all your candidates.

Rich candidates profiles

When the applicant applies, an ATS automatically stores all of the applicant’s documents like their application, cover letter, CV and contact information, creating their rich, searchable candidates’ profiles.

Resume parsing and screening

One of the most useful ATS features is the automatization of time-consuming activities such as resume parsing and screening. With ATS, you can automatically disqualify candidates who don’t satisfy your requirements.

Interview scheduling

With modern ATS send automated emails with interview appointment that automatically sync with your work calendar and share your interview location. Some ATS also offer customizable interview questions within the software.

Candidate testing

Using an ATS can make your candidate testing much simpler and organized with candidate evaluation scorecards. You can use existing scorecards to evaluate your candidates or create your own based on specific job requirements or positions.

Automated email responses

ATS improves candidate experience by enabling personalized and timely communication with your candidates. ATS offers a variety of customizable email templates, which can be personalized and sent in bulks with just a few clicks.

Powerful analytics

ATS provides insights about your most important hiring metrics. For example, it can show you where the applicant found your job posting - is it an online job portal, a social media post or a referral link. That way, you can save your time and money by investing in the channels that bring you best results.

Team collaboration

ATS makes it easy to share info about candidates with team members who need them. You can assign different roles to different team members and control who has an access to what info.

How to choose an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Not every ATS is the same. Different ATS providers offer different features and capabilities.

Since there are numerous different ATS in the market, you might be overwhelmed by choice and stuck trying to figure out which one to choose

However, a search for your perfect ATS doesn’t have to be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Even though there are many different things to consider when buying an ATS, there is a proven strategy that helps in making the best decision

We structured it in 4 easy-to-follow steps:

Step #1: Define your recruiting challenges

First, and crucial step in finding your perfect ATS is clearly defining your recruiting goals and challenges.

Step #2: Research ATS providers

The second step is to conduct an online research and find a few different ATS providers that seem like a good fit for your hiring needs.

Step #3: Demo your top ATS providers

Schedule a personalized demo with your top ATS providers and narrow down your choice to a two or three that offer your preferred features and affordable pricing plan.

Step #4: Decide after a free trial

So your top ATS picks have great features, but are they simple and easy to use? The only way to test that is to try them out in a free trial!


Beyond Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

If you want more features than your regular ATS can offer, you should look into modern recruiting tools. These modern recruiting tools offer an ATS with additional Recruitment Marketing Software.

Our TalentLyft recruiting software is one of them. TalentLyft is an all-in-one recruiting platform with both ATS and Recruitment Marketing solutions. 

With TalentLyft Source you can find and reach best candidates, TalentLyft Engage makes it easy to build relationships with them and TalentLyft Convert encourages them to apply. Finally, TalentLyft Track offers the possibility to monitor your whole recruiting process in one place and provides invaluable analysis, metrics and reports.

Sounds interesting? 🤔
Try our services for free (for 14 days, no credit card required to sign up, cancel anytime)! Once you are in the free trial, you can let our team know about your needs in the live chat. During the free trial, we will help you experience all the ATS benefits - and so much more! 💪 

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