What Is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

Learn about what is an applicant tracking system and what does it do. Explore the benefits, how it works and improves the company's recruitment process.

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What Is An Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An applicant tracking system is a software solution specifically designed to facilitate the recruitment process for HR managers, recruiters or hiring teams. It automates the process so to say. It not only saves time and improves productivity, but also allows you to enhance the recruitment process.

An applicant tracking system, also known as recruitment tracking system or hiring tracker, simplifies, streamlines, and speeds-up the entire recruitment workflow. Apart from accelerating the sourcing cycle, the ATS integrates various functionalities to address every hiring challenge. From job advertising and candidate screening to interview management and reporting, an ATS does all the leg work!

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Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Used?

The internet and job sites like Indeed and Monster have made it very easy for job seekers to apply for a job with just a click of a button. Hence, companies attract hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, clogging the hiring process and making it difficult for the recruiters and the hiring managers to sort the resumes to find the right candidates.

An ATS is generally used to ease the workload of recruiters and hiring managers in the following tasks:

  • Sorting the numerous resumes
  • Providing better recordkeeping of employees, thus making the process of tracking information much easier
  • Organizing and saving resumes for future use
  • Sending emails directly to applicants to either schedule the interview or inform them that they didn’t make the cut
How Does an Applicant Tracking System Work?
  1. Each applicant tracking system is different from the other – while one focuses on keyword search capability, the other stands out in resume parsing. Although each ATS has its own strengths and weaknesses, they all have the same basic process.
  2. When candidates apply through an ATS, they are most likely be asked a few knockout questions. These questions are either in the form of checkboxes or short answers. That said, these questions have a very clear purpose – to narrow down the pool of applicants instantly.
  3. If the reply to any of the knockout questions is unsatisfactory, the ATS flags the resume as rejected. On the other hand, if the answers to the knockout questions are correct, the ATS puts the resume through for the next stage of the recruitment process.
  4. Hiring managers and recruiters can search for resumes in the ATS by using keywords. These keywords can be based on experience, skills, location, education, former employers, etc. They can also make notes or rate the candidate. If the resume is not flagged with negative feedback, it can be considered for future job openings.
  5. ATS also makes use of social media to look for potential employees. By using certain keywords, the ATS can bring up certain profiles that match the job requirements.

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How Does an ATS Optimize the Hiring Process?

Recruiters and startup owners can use an ATS to automate the entire recruitment process from sourcing to onboarding. There are 4 crucial functionalities of an applicant tracking system that make your life easy and work efficiently.

One-Click Job Postings

The applicant tracking system will save you all the time and effort you spend on posting your job ads. It integrates with popular job boards and social platforms so you can post your job ads on multiple channels with a single click!

One-Click Job Postings

Career Site

An applicant tracking system pairs up with the career page and allows candidates to view job openings, answer pre-screening questions, apply and/or refer the job opening to other candidates. The ATS completely automates the career page with customized input forms, automated resume screening, candidate ranking, and email notifications.

Branded Careers Portal

Advanced Search

An applicant tracking system has powerful search and sorting features that allow hiring managers and recruiters to quickly search candidate listings and filter them using keywords, phrases, and skills or experience. And since an ATS works as a database of all potential candidates, the HR professionals can use this information to understand the types of individuals who apply for their positions.

Advanced Search

Screening Candidates

An applicant tracking system imports every resume, regardless of its format so you can have every profile at your fingertips. The resume parser extracts all the important information and converts it into a standard profile that is easy to scan.

Resume Parsing and Screening

Applicant Tracking

The ability of an applicant tracking system to upload files, documents, and additional information to a candidate’s CV play a very important role in assessing the candidate and reference checking too. The ATS has better workflows for organizing candidate communication, and this information helps recruiters to nurture strong candidate relationships.

Applicant Tracking

Job Interviews

With an ATS, recruiters can personalize interview emails and sync them with the calendar. They can also schedule group interviews and let candidates pick a convenient interview slot or they can send them video interview invites.

Smart Interviews for smarter people

Interview Tools

ATS is equipped with tools to assist with interviews. The features of the applicant tracking system, such as video interviewing, automatic interview scheduling, and the ability to record and track notes from phone interviews have made the interview process so much faster and simpler with improved candidate experience.

Interview Tools

Seamless Recruiting

Having an applicant tracking system ensures that the entire recruitment workflow is easily accessible to everyone, right from the recruiter to the CEO in real-time. This facilitates informed hiring decisions when they sit to zero in on the right candidates.

Applicant Tracking at Every Stage


An ATS is data-driven, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate, interpret and react to real-time data with smarter analytics that can pinpoint the bottlenecks in the hiring process. The analytics can give insights and track the performance of career site engagement, social sourcing efforts, and also manage advertising campaigns.


What Are the Key Features of an ATS?

The key features of an ATS are all the tools you’ll ever need to increase productivity and acquire top industry talent while saving your time and reducing the recruitment cost. These features are designed to automate and optimize your recruitment process. They include automated job postings, social media integration, customizable emails and text messages, smart filter intelligence, real-time dashboards, automated interview management, reporting, and analytics tracking.

How to Test Your Resume Against the ATS (for Job Seekers)

Understanding the online applicant tracking system is as important for job seekers as it is for recruiters! With Jobsoid’s inbuilt Resume Parser, recruiters can automatically read and convert resumes from multiple document formats to candidate profiles.

Hence, in order to stand out, here’s how you can optimize your resume:

Include Keywords

The online tracking system ranks candidates higher if they mention the focus keyword more than twice in their resume.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

For instance, if you add the keyword “management” six times and hide the text, the recruitment tracker will recognize it as cheating.

Add a “Skills” Section

Recruiters search for skills in a resume. It’s better to include a separate section with necessary keywords to avoid overstuffing.

Scan Job Description for Keywords

The job posting contains the required keywords. Read it carefully and try to enhance your resume by adding those.

Why is Applicant Tracking System Used & What Are Its Benefits?

All your tedious and time-consuming recruitment activities can be automated in an instant with applicant tracking software. An ATS has the power to overhaul a mind-numbing recruitment process into the most efficient business operation overnight!

But, the biggest benefits of using an applicant tracking system are best exemplified by its ability to improve the 3 most important KPIs. ATS is proved to improve the time to hire, cost per hire and candidate quality.

Now let’s delve deeper into how each feature works and the benefits they deliver when using an applicant tracking system.


35% of hiring managers say that by fully automating manual processes, has increased their hiring costs considerably.
Job Advertising

What it does
This feature allows recruiters to post jobs on free and premium job boards and social networks with one-click.

How it works
Recruiters can automate job postings across all social channels, professional networks, talent communities and career sites for increased recruitment reach. They can also track the conversion rate of every channel and maximize ROI without having to worry about losing out on top choice candidates.

All the job postings are updated directly from your ATS account to expand your reach and generate more referrals. This makes the hiring process time-efficient and since time is money, it also helps you save big on the recruitment budget.

Reach Top Talent With ATS!

75% of big companies use an applicant tracking system for reviewing and ranking resumes.
Candidate Sourcing

What it does
With candidate sourcing, recruiters can directly source every application received from the careers site, job boards, and social channels and store it on a centralized talent pool.

How it works
With chrome plug-in, every resume received is converted into a rich candidate profile in real-time. Customizable application forms and pre-screening questions help screen candidates faster and smart filter intelligence narrows down the talent pool in seconds.

It creates a centralized candidate pool that you can proactively search to cut down the time, effort, and money needed to fill a vacancy faster. Recruiters can free up their valuable time and stay focused on interviewing candidates that fulfill the vacancy criteria.

Start Sourcing Better Candidates

65% of job seekers have said that they never or rarely receive an update on their application status.
Candidate Management

What it does
A mobile-friendly applicant tracking system eliminates every glitch in the recruitment process by tracking every applicant at every stage of the recruitment process.

How it works
It enables hiring managers to assign tasks to the recruiting team when a candidate moves from one stage to another. It also triggers automated text messages and instant email notifications to keep candidates updated as they proceed through the sourcing funnel.

Candidate management empowers recruiters to stay on top of the sourcing cycle at every step, customize the recruitment pipeline and shortlist the right fit with just a few clicks.

Track and Manage Candidates Effectively

86% of recruiters say that using an applicant tracking system has helped them hire better and faster.
Team Collaboratio

What it does
Recruiting is a team effort that requires consistent collaboration at every stage. Cloud-based applicant tracking system facilitates real-time collaboration with co-workers.

How it works
Recruiters can tag their favorite profiles and share their info with team members in real-time. They can also assign different tasks to team members and control who has access to what candidate data. By centralizing all candidate information on one easily accessible database, recruiters can take quick and informed decisions from anywhere.

Task automation and reminders eliminate all delays and discrepancies and ensure timely completion of tasks. When the entire recruitment funnel is at your fingertips, productivity is increased even when team members are working remotely!

Simplify Collaboration Now!

80% of candidates say that a positive or negative experience can change their mind instantly about accepting or rejecting a job offer.
Candidate Messaging

What it does
It allows recruiters to better engage candidates in just a few clicks and rules out every possibility of unread messages and emails

How it works
Candidate messaging keeps candidates informed with auto-reply and emails.

Recruiters can also reach out to candidates on their phones with automated text messages and eliminate no-shows.

Recruiters can personalize email templates and send multiple files with a single click. Since an applicant tracking system empowers recruiters to keep candidates informed about their progress, it conveys that you care and keeps them interested.

Personalize Messages & Send Emails

42% recruiters have said that AI has been the most helpful in scheduling interviews.
Interview Management

What it does
It sends personalized emails with the interview appointments that are synced with your calendar.

How it works
Recruiters can schedule interviews with time slots in just a few clicks. They can further accelerate the selection process by sending video interview invites to candidates and view the responses at their convenience.

Timely reminders of upcoming interviews eliminate no shows. With instant access to activity log and real-time visibility into a full audit trail, recruiters can stay on top of every step and take better hiring decisions.

Try Seamless Interview Scheduling Now!

Reporting & Analysis

What it does
From evaluating the effectiveness of a job description and analyzing the efficiency of social networks to tracking process compliance and monitoring acceptance rate, analytics offer actionable insights to optimize the recruitment process.

How it works
Applicant tracking software collates all your candidate data to generate customized reports for performance tracking. This helps recruiters identify bottlenecks, monitor the effectiveness of the recruitment process, and optimize the hiring process.

Recruitment performance reports provide actionable insights into issues that are not otherwise noticeable and help employers maximize the returns on the time and effort they invest on the hiring process.

Get Realtime Insights & Smart Reports

Cloud Reliability

What it does
Cloud reliability ensures that your applicant tracking system runs smoothly round-the-clock while making sure that there is no room for errors.

How it works
Cloud-based applicant tracking system stores all your recruitment data in secure data centers.

Cloud technology eliminates the risk of data-theft even with unlimited storage space. If you use Jobsoid applicant tracking system, your data is backed up multiple times! This backup is retained for up to 60 days, in case you ever need to retrieve it.

Secure Your Data With Zero Errors

What Questions Should You Ask Vendors To Evaluate the ATS Product?

It's easy for business buyers to get distracted and end up paying a lot of money for ATS features which they don’t need for their business. Don’t buy the ATS that’s popular; buy the one you need.

If your recruiting strategy involves relying on employee referrals for sourcing top talent, but your ATS focuses on sourcing candidates from social media, then your ATS is not aligned to your recruitment strategy. So, choose an ATS that matches with your recruiting strategy.

ATS vendors use a lot of different methods depending on the features they offer to decide on the price. Make sure you know the price of the ATS you intend to buy in advance so that you can budget it accordingly.

If you have a problem after buying the ATS product, you need to make sure that there is a customer support team to help you out. So, ask your ATS vendor whether they have a support team in place.

The ATS market is highly competitive. It is, therefore, crucial for ATS vendors to constantly add or update their product features to attract attention and gain competitive advantage.

You can purchase a standalone ATS or an ATS that’s a part of an integrated HR suite with applications like payroll, personnel tracking, time and attendance, etc.

A poorly implemented or chosen ATS can do more harm than good to your online candidate experience, leading to your talented candidates dropping out of your hiring funnel. So, make sure you take time to provide a seamless transition for job seekers into your system, regardless of the web browser or device they use to apply.

Which one you should purchase depends on what your needs are. If you want advanced recruiting functionality, then choose standalone ATS. If you need the software to do other HR things besides applicant tracking, then choose an integrated HR suite.

List of Top Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Their Feature Comparison

Recruiters are often running a million miles in different directions and this often leaves them frustrated and fatigued. Using an ATS can make this uphill battle an absolute breeze! To help you address your unique pain points, we have compared leading recruitment software solutions with Jobsoid. Check out this table below to compare features and pricing so you can make an informed decision that helps you hire better and faster.

List of Top Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Their Feature ComparisonJobsoidWorkableLeverZohoBreezyHRBullhornTaleo
Job Posting Management
Job Description Templates
Social Media Recruitment
Sourcing Tool
Talent Pool Management
Blocking Spam Candidates
Smart Filter
Interview Scheduling
Self-selecting Interview Timeslots
Best Interview time suggestions
Video Screening
Workflow Automations
Mobile Apps

The Future of Applicant Tracking Systems

In a digital-first world, usage of tracking systems for recruitment is on a soaring rise! But what’s the future?

A great ATS solves every demand of your hiring process. In the future, these are the problems that every ATS will solve:

Mobile-first Adaptability

A multi-generational workforce demands flexibility and adaptability. As people pray for a more convenient lifestyle, ATS will continue offering a seamless mobile-friendly interaction.

Enhanced User Experience

Simpler interface with an optimized candidate journey will rule the hiring tracking systems. It will be easier to pull information from resumes and schedule interviews.

Boosted Social Integration

ATS will further integrate more into various social platforms and help you attract top talents to your organization by creating a stronger social identity.

More AI-Enabled

By incorporating AI, recruitment trackers simplify complex data to create better-targeted job postings, assess candidates accurately, and strengthen the hiring process.

Cloud Ecosystem

Cloud integration will eliminate on-premise management and maintenance while also keeping privacy, security, and scalability in mind.

Better Diversity & Inclusion

Hiring trackers will use data to impact the recruitment patterns, making them inclusive for all sets of talents.

Jobsoid has simplified the process of applicant tracking altogether.

Right from posting jobs to giving direct feedback on candidates, Jobsoid takes care of all nitty-gritties of our hiring process. It has not only simplified candidate tracking and management for us but also, enhanced team collaboration and candidate experience for us.

Milind Halbe, HR Manager, LogicalDNA
Jobsoid was a great decision.

Jobsoid is an efficient recruitment software that has simplified our recruitment processes. Giving us easy access to our interviews, Jobsoid has saved us from the hassles of interview scheduling. We are now able to manage and maintain records of the interviews. We can also share our feedback about candidates with the team conveniently.

Reshma Shetye, Assistant Manager - HR, Mirum Digital Pvt. Ltd.
Jobsoid saved me from so much recruiting efforts and lessened our hiring time.

Jobsoid has saved ample of our recruiting time and efforts. It is extremely user-friendly and has all the necessary features to simplify our recruitment processes. Jobsoid is a must tool if you are looking forward to hire new talent for your organization.

Lise-Andree Duperre, Recruiter, Gologic Inc.
An ATS that changed our recruiting experience to another level!

Since we started using Jobsoid, our recruitment processes have become truly efficient. With this leap of innovation, we have what we wanted to achieve for a long time. We are delighted!

Rosário Aleixo, HR Manager, CUF | Hospitals & Clinics
Jobsoid addressed all our pain points.

Jobsoid has increased the efficiency of our recruitment process by 80%. We now have access to our candidates' information and all their recruitment history in just a few clicks. Our recruitment process has become more centralized ever since we started using Jobsoid.

Pratibha P Sawant, Co-Founder & CFO, Buoyancy Consultants & Engineering LLP

Jobsoid has been designed to eliminate every hassle in the hiring process – it covers all your sourcing needs with customizable features that not only suit the unique hiring needs of every business but also fit hiring budgets easily.
Get started with a free trial today