What is ATS?

What is ATS? How does an ATS software work? Why use an applicant tracking system? Get answers to these and more related questions here.

Imagine the plight of a bustling HR department at the peak of hiring season—thousands of resumes flooding in, each one a potential key to filling a critical role. Yet, amid this deluge, many are left unseen, victims of overflowing email inboxes and inadequate sorting mechanisms. It’s a modern hiring nightmare where vital opportunities are missed and both candidates and companies suffer. This scenario is not just a theoretical inconvenience but a stark reality for many organizations.

One of the most effective solutions to this challenge is not merely expanding email storage or hiring more staff—it’s about leveraging technology to make smarter decisions. Enter the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a tool designed not just to keep your email inbox from overflowing but to transform the entire recruitment process. By automatically sorting, ranking, and filtering applications, ATS ensures that no worthy candidate slips through the cracks due to email limitations or manual screening processes.

With 75% of companies already utilizing ATS to enhance their recruitment efforts, the question isn’t about whether to adopt this technology, but how to maximize its potential. This guide delves deep into how an ATS not only saves valuable time but also systematically improves your hiring quality, ensuring you never miss out on top talent due to outdated practices.

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System is a software application that companies use to structure and customize their hiring into an efficient and scalable process. An ATS allows recruiters and hiring managers to attract, source, evaluate, and hire candidates better and faster.

An applicant tracking system streamlines the recruitment process end to end and helps to automate your organization's recruiting and staffing operations. Here is a thorough review of applicant tracking systems (ATS) for you to get started easily with the software and learn how to reduce your time to fill an open position.

How accurate is ATS software?

Although ATS can help save recruiters time and effort during the hiring process, the truth is that these programs are far from ideal.

An analysis by Harvard Business Review showed that 88% of prospective candidates were ignored by the applicant tracking system software because they did not match the exact criteria mentioned in the job description.

This implies that ATS prioritizes keywords over other factors, such as a candidate's abilities, experience, or qualifications.

However, this can be a plus for the candidates. They can craft the resumes according to the job description and get shortlisted easily.

The question that arises is why companies still use applicant tracking systems.

Who can use an Applicant Tracking System?

Applicant tracking system softwares can be used by-

Recruiters Recruiters tend to use the ATS for advertising jobs, sourcing candidates, communicating with the hiring team, and storing hiring-related information. Recruiters are the middlemen in recruitment and using ATS can save them from doing a lot of repetitive and redundant work.

TA Managers Talent acquisition managers make use of ATS to pull up reports and monitor their hiring pipeline. Whether it's pipeline movement or candidate inflow by source, TA managers can generate reports and dig deep to draw actionable insights.

Hiring Managers Recruitment involves a whole team to stay in sync throughout the hiring process. An applicant tracking system helps the hiring team to stay on the same page and share their thoughts on the candidate pipeline.

Employees Employees can also use applicant tracking system softwares to view job openings and refer any interested friends and family to them, without having to personally connect with a recruiter and leaving open a chance that the resume will get lost in a mailbox.

**Staffing Agencies ** A staffing agency’s core role is to quickly and consistently fill job openings with the best candidates. With the help of ATS they can reach out to millions of applicants across the globe, screen multiple resumes, and save time in doing so.

Recruitment and Selection Process_ the fist crucial step.png

Why do employers use applicant tracking systems?

Circling back to the question, why do employers use applicant tracking systems? You may not realize but recruiters receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications for one job role. They are left with the daunting task of going through the applications one by one.

Here, the applicant also takes a chance and applies for numerous job roles even if they are not well qualified, thinking ‘it is worth a shot’.

Thus, employers are left with no choice but to employ applicant tracking systems to ease their load and save time.

Signs Your Business Needs an ATS / When to invest in an Applicant Tracking System?

While companies of all sizes can use applicant tracking systems, they’re particularly useful for businesses that are regularly hiring employees for various positions or those that tend to get large numbers of applicants for each position.

Irrespective of your organization’s size, here are a few signs that are telling you to invest in ATS:

  • You plan on expanding rapidly in the current or upcoming quarters.
  • You are hiring for at least 3 different roles simultaneously.
  • Inability to reach and manage candidates on various platforms efficiently.
  • You juggle multiple systems on an everyday basis to cover your recruiting needs - job boards, calendars, video interview tools, career sites, social media, and so on.
  • You do not have that one place where you track all candidate information. Instead, it’s buried in sticky notes, messages, emails and may never be found again.
  • There is no place to save candidates for later roles or time.
  • Candidates fall between the cracks due to gaps in communication.
  • A lot of time is spent doing the same tasks manually over and over again. For example, follow-ups, sending out reject emails, notifying interview panel members, etc.
  • If your recruiters are spending at least 20% of their energy and time checking for someone’s availability, collecting feedback, or simply discussing the hiring decision.
  • You lack visibility into what’s happening within the process due to which you are unable to identify what’s working, what’s not, and what you should be doing.

How do applicant tracking systems work?

An applicant tracking system or ATS is a recruiting and hiring tool that assists HRs and corporate recruiters in electronically sorting hundreds of applicant resumes to find the best talent or the most suitable candidate for the post. An ATS divides the resume’s content into categories and then scans it for specific keywords to help determine if the job application should be passed on to the recruiter.

Its purpose is to eliminate unqualified applicants so that the recruiter saves time and evaluates the candidates suitable for the position. Depending on the system, it does so by storing, ranking, and scoring resumes based on keywords, relevant job titles, formatting, and other factors.

An applicant tracking system can help you from raising a requisition to hiring a superstar candidate for your organization.

Collects requisitions - First, the hiring managers raise a requisition on the ATS to let the HR manager know about open roles or upcoming roles.

Sources the best talent - The sourcing team then discusses with the hiring manager and creates a job description for the open role and broadcasts it through the ATS. Some Applicant tracking systems have inbuilt JDs to make the process easier. An ATS enables your sourcing team to publish the job to the career site, social media channels, and various integrated job boards of your choice. One-click and your job reaches the top talent in the market.

Manages candidate inflow - Once the job is published, candidates start applying. When candidates apply, they automatically start flowing into the ATS where they are represented as candidates in the system.

Screens candidates - The ATS parses the resumes of the candidates and populates the candidate profiles. This makes it easy to filter candidates. You can pull up candidates on the basis of their work experience, skills, and qualifications.

Pre-assess candidates - You can do another round of deep screening with the help of [pre-assessment tests]https://hirequotient.com/pre-employment-tests/assessment-library) for roles that require them. You can ask the candidates to undergo a pre-assessment test using employee screening tools. Based on the test scores you can decide to advance or reject them.

Enables smart interview scheduling - After you have filtered candidates and have a list of interview-worthy ones, check for availability of panel members (through calendar integrations) and schedule interviews right, left, and center. You can make use of scorecards in the ATS to rate or score candidates objectively. It enables recruiters to gather feedback from the panel in a single place and makes hiring decisions easy.

Optimizes offer management - When a candidate impresses your panel, you can roll out an offer right from your applicant tracking system. Offer letter templates make this quickly possible.

Fetches reports and analytics - They let you see in detail everything happening inside your pipeline and process. You can pull a report for every need - sourcing reports, pipeline reports, interview scheduling reports, offer acceptance reports, etc.

Automates repetitive tasks - The autopilot or recruitment automation feature in the ATS gives you the ability to automate repetitive processes like emailing, following up, sending out reject emails, advancing candidates based on referrer or source, notifying panel when a candidate is advanced to the interview stage, etc.

Covers pre-onboarding - As soon as a candidate signs your offer, an ATS turns him/her into an employee on your system. It covers all the pre-onboarding activities, like form-filling, document signing, and more.

Key features of an applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system software can cover and automate a plethora of tasks for you. The main features of an ATS are:

Job posting: An ATS helps you automate job postings by directly embedding job boards or a careers page to special media, LinkedIn, for example.
Applicant tracking: In this feature of the ATS, it reflects candidates on the basis of their stage in the recruitment process, for example, “applied”, “screened” or “first interview”.
Messaging: A large number of ATS systems have an in-build messaging and emailing system that can directly communicate with the candidate without human interference. Interview Organisation: It is an essential tool if you have multiple interviews going on at the same time and you want to make sure you keep track of data. You can arrange interviews from the system and save yourself the trouble of going through each interview manually. Careers page: Some ATS have features to create career pages on your company website where the applicant finds out about the job role and the employer's brand image. Analytics: This feature may not seem important at first, but it proves to be essential to a talent team to find out if people are coming to your career page but not applying, or if there is any other problem in your recruitment process.
HRMS integration: This feature of the applicant tracking system software allows integration with HRMS or HRIS so that once an applicant is hired, it automatically transitions the person from applicant to employee. Candidate Surveys: It is always a good idea to keep track of how you are doing with the candidate experience. Often these will be automated emails to gather feedback on your process. CRM Integration: Many applicant tracking systems are often integrated with CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) to keep track and record of potential employees and send them occasional emails to keep them updated about your company.

Top HR Conferences in 2024 (1).png

Benefits of using an ATS

An applicant tracking system streamlines and organizes the entire recruitment process by providing the following benefits:

  • It can post and manage advertising jobs on both external and internal organization sites and across recruitment platforms and social media.
  • It also provides you with an option to reuse the job description for multiple positions which saves a lot of time and effort for posting a job.
  • You get a complete candidate history in one place which means you don't have to keep tabs on individual applicants.
  • It reduces the cost per hire of the company by eliminating repetitive screening processes and reducing the chances of mishires.
  • It also prevents biases at any organization, because the ATS does not take into consideration age, sex, race or ethnicity. It parses candidates only on the basis of their skills and qualifications.
  • It also improves the overall candidate experience. Even if the applicant is not hired, use of the applicant tracking system software along with human touch, significantly improves the employer’s brand image.
  • It also creates an integrated platform where the hiring manager and the HR professional can share their thoughts on the candidate and unanimously give a decision.

Drawbacks of using ATS software

With all the benefits, also comes a good share of drawbacks of using an ATS. It is a software, rather a machine that can consider only so much while looking for a candidate.

The efficacy of the system depends on how well it is coded and therefore chances are some good candidates might slip in through the cracks of the system. There can also be some technical issues, errors and bugs that might create a hurdle in the normal pace of work

It may overlook qualified candidates: The software scans through the resumes based on the keywords provided in the job description. If a prospective and well qualified candidate missed those keywords in the resume, the system will jump through their resume and eliminate it, despite it being a perfect fit for your organization.

Technology can malfunction: A technology can anytime fail due to technical issues, bugs or errors and the whole applicant tracking system may fall apart.

User errors can negatively impact how the system functions: The ATS software has to be set up manually before it can automate the recruitment process. Any error or mistake while feeding information in the ATS will negatively impact the process.

For example: if you misspelled a keyword in the job description, the ATS will fail to shortlist any capable resumes for you.

What’s the difference between an ATS and a CRM?

When it comes to recruitment softwares, there is an utter confusion between ATS and CRM. to clear your dilemma, both are recruitment softwares but perform totally different functions. Here’s how:

A candidate relationship management (CRM) system is used to target potential candidates who have not yet applied at your company. It is a means to attract job candidates before there is a high demand to fill the position. This software is basically used to maintain a database of potential, past and present candidates and also communicate with them on a regular basis.

An ATS (applicant tracking system) on the other hand is active in nature. It keeps a track of the candidates who are applying at your organization and automates the entire recruitment process by candidate sourcing, resume parsing and candidate screening.

How to select the best Applicant Tracking System(ATS)

Finding the right applicant tracking system can be a ming-bogging task for even the most organized companies. Whether you're recruiting for your own company or multiple clients, choosing the wrong software can be detrimental to your brand, as well as a waste of time and money.

Focus on these main points to select the best ATS for your organization:

Decide your Budget: Before selecting an ATS for your organization, remember the issue you are trying to solve. Is the price of the software doing justice to your problem and solution?

Find out the best features of the software and other candidate management details because these are the factors that ultimately impact your purchase decision.

Chalk out your workflow: No two companies are alike, and neither are their hiring requirements. Every business has a different procedure for moving candidates through the pipeline. Before you sign up for a trial or demo, take the time to learn about the hiring needs at your organization.

Read all sorts of product reviews for the registered site and product comparisons before making your decision. There is never a single software that fits all your requirements.

Evaluate the Software: Many ATS providers advertise their products as simple-to-use, customized solutions, although this is rarely the case. Spend some time comparing various recruiting software options. Make an ATS wishlist and identify the gaps in your solution. Utilize the free trials that the majority of cloud-based software vendors provide.

Mobile Recruiting: Mobile recruiting is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. You can be away from your desk while still working thanks to mobile recruiting. Ensure that the ATS system you select has a mobile version so that you may connect with your candidates at any time.

Secure your data: Make sure the cloud is a secure place for your data. There are many confidential and sensitive details in recruitment software that should only be seen by you and your business. Verify that your ATS adheres to the necessary Privacy Policy Framework. Additionally, use SSL or comparable technologies to encrypt your data.

Exempt Employee in Ohio_ Defintion (1).png

While there are myriad of options available in the market for applicant tracking system softwares, we went ahead and jotted down the best ones that have the topmost ratings on G2 for you:


With more than 95000 active users, Teamtailor has grown to be one of the most widely used ATS systems. It is regarded as the top applicant tracking system software because of its quick onboarding, live chat support, developer-friendly APIs, and data security.


It is simple to understand why Manatal is a one-stop shop for all of your recruitment needs. Manatal is revolutionising the hiring process as we know it with top-notch features like an application tracking system, candidate enrichment, candidate sourcing, recruitment CRM, and AI-powered suggestions.

Breezy HR

Another software that is ideal for small enterprises is Breezy HR. It contains features that are easy to use, like job posting, candidate management, automated workflows, and several interviewing tools.

Zoho Recruit

Searching for a complete hiring solution? Zoho Recruit is the only place to look. Zoho Recruit features everything you need to streamline your hiring process, including a single platform for application tracking and candidate relationship management, as well as scalable, adaptable, and remote hiring solutions.


By providing a quicker placement turnaround, increased candidate redeployment, and client relationship management all under one platform, Bullhorn has emerged as a major player in the mid-segment recruitment industry.


Greenhouse is a recruiting tool that streamlines the hiring process by finding the greatest prospects, ensuring fairness in the selection process, and creating an outstanding candidate experience.

Jazz HR

JazzHR is a fantastic choice if you're seeking for hiring software that can assist you in creating a successful business. JazzHR is steadily becoming market favorite, thanks to its solutions for every stage of the hiring process, immediate access to their software, connections with all HR products, and strong customer service.

Bamboo HR

For mid-segment companies who never want to miss another fantastic hire, BambooHR is a great platform. The ability to hire as a team is what distinguishes this platform. Any team member of the employer can provide feedback on a candidate because of the unified candidate data provided by BambooHR, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

SAPSuccess Factors

With its amazing ATS and CRM platform, SAP SuccessFactors has improved the entire hiring process by making it more rewarding and engaging. It provides features for managing everything from hiring and onboarding to performance and compensation management.


Avature has proved its mettle in the market by bagging enterprises like GSK, Loreal and Accenture as their customers. It offers a wide range of tools for the recruiting managers that are unique, technologically advanced and totally customizable as per the request of the customer.

What can HR do to seamlessly implement an ATS?

With so many ATS software options available, choosing the best one for your business can be overwhelming. You can begin with a free one at first, but it's ideal to focus on the specific capabilities you believe your business will require. These actions can help HR leaders get the greatest outcomes from an ATS:

Talk with the ATS provider: The ATS vendor will outline the system deployment procedure and gather detailed information about the needs and concerns of your business during this initial meeting.

Meet the entire HR team: Update all the members in your team about the new ATS system ,and let them ask questions and make suggestions which could improve the implementation of the ATS.

Stay in constant touch with the ATS vendor: At the stage of ATS establishment, the HR should be in contact with the vendor to build and incorporate the system into your company. The vendor might have any issues or questions which the HR can clear for smooth establishment of the software.

Try out the system: It is best for the Hr professionals to try out the system temporarily, bring up any issues that they come across, and report feedback.

Train the HR team: HR leaders can run a training session to teach the rest of the HR team the ins and outs of the ATS. Integrating an ATS system is a big change, so allow for a learning curve for your team to get comfortable with the new software.

Although learning how to use and comprehend the ATS may take some time for HR professionals at first, it's a great investment because it can ultimately save your firm a substantial amount of time and money.

The future of applicant tracking systems

An ATS is a valuable tool for improving talent management and acquisition. Finding the finest ATS for your company requires having a clear idea of your goals because there are numerous alternatives tailored to satisfy diverse requirements.

It might be difficult to find new talent for your company, so you want to be sure you make the best decision. An online application tracking system can make the hiring process easier and reduce stress for hiring managers and recruiters. The way your company handles recruiting can be changed by applicant tracking systems, which can also assist you in finding the ideal new employees for your company.

Introducing EasySource: The Ultimate Candidate Sourcing Software

In the fast-evolving landscape of recruitment, finding the right talent efficiently is paramount. EasySource, a cutting-edge candidate sourcing software, embodies this principle by offering an unparalleled toolset designed to simplify and enhance every aspect of the recruitment process.

Seamless Talent Discovery

EasySource sets itself apart with its sophisticated candidate discovery module. Whether you input simple prompts or detailed job descriptions, EasySource scours through active and hidden talent pools to identify the most relevant candidates. This technology is particularly effective due to its integration with high-intent signals, ensuring that you connect with individuals who are not just qualified but eager to join your organization.

Efficient Candidate Screening

Handling a deluge of applications is a breeze with EasySource. The persona-based Candidate Screening Module utilizes both qualitative and quantitative assessments to sift through applicants, ensuring that only the most suitable candidates make it to the next stage. This smart filtering saves recruiters countless hours they would otherwise spend manually parsing resumes.

Engaging Qualified Candidates

Drafting personalized messages to candidates can be a time-consuming task. EasySource’s Candidate Engagement Module automates this by reading candidate profiles and aligning them with your job description to craft personalized outreach messages. These messages effectively communicate why your organization believes they are the perfect fit for the role, increasing engagement and response rates.

Leveraging Your Internal Talent Pool

EasySource also excels in tapping into your existing resources. Its easy-click integration capabilities allow it to access and re-engage candidates from your internal talent pool. By screening these individuals against your current criteria and engaging them with hyper-personalized messages, EasySource helps you maximize your recruitment efforts and reduce time-to-hire.

Integration and Compatibility

Understanding the diverse tech landscapes of modern organizations, EasySource is built to integrate seamlessly into any existing tech stack. Its bi-directional compatibility with various Applicant Tracking Systems ensures that it enhances, rather than complicates, your recruitment process. This integration enables a smoother transition of data, maintaining consistency and accuracy across platforms.

Trusted by Industry Leaders

EasySource is the trusted partner for over 100 midmarket and enterprise organizations worldwide. Success stories from companies like YCharts and Alton Lane highlight the profound impact EasySource has on their recruitment process, from reducing hiring timelines to enhancing candidate quality.

Discover the EasySource Advantage

To truly understand how EasySource can transform your recruitment strategy, we invite you to book a demo and see this powerful tool in action. Whether you're looking to streamline candidate sourcing, enhance screening processes, or engage potential hires more effectively, EasySource is your go-to solution.

recruitment and selection- conclusion