What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Definition of Applicant Tracking System (ATS):

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software applications designed to organize and sort job applicants. Applicant tracking systems simplify the recruitment process by providing a centralized platform to view applicants, track their progress through the hiring process, and filter based on qualifications. Many applicant tracking systems can be accessed online through open source or software as a service (SaaS) products.

Why do companies use an ATS?

These types of software products are especially useful for HR departments or recruiters who have to sift through large applicant pools or who need to regularly hire employees for a lot of different positions. The increase in online job postings has made it easier for job seekers to apply for jobs with ease, simultaneously inflating applicant pools. An ATS helps to minimize the extra labor associated with larger applicant pools by managing the entire recruitment process under one system.

Implementing an ATS is an important part of streamlining an organization’s recruitment process. And since there are often many different people and departments involved in making a single hiring decision, applicant tracking systems keep everyone in the know.

Ultimately, an ATS can be a key part of reducing time-to-hire and improving the effectiveness of the hiring process.

Popular ATS Features

Applicant tracking systems are often very robust, managing hundreds or even thousands of candidates at a time (depending on the size of the company). Some popular ATS features include:

  • Resume search and filtering
  • Tracking applicants through the recruitment pipeline
  • Communicating with candidates
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Analyzing recruitment data
  • Collaborating with members of the hiring team
  • Resurfacing talent from previous filled requisitions 

And the power of an ATS can be increased further with additional product integrations that incorporate other beneficial hiring tools, like assessments, background checks, and job postings.