What Is An Application Tracking Software or ATS, Really?

Recruiteze: What is ats or Application Tracking Software, REALLY

iring great employees requires a lot of detailed time and effort to identify the right candidates from many applications. 

As per this article on Zety, which has aggregated the hiring statistics, a job opening receives an average of 250 applications.

In this article, you will learn how applicant tracking software can help you solve the problem of sifting through numerous applications and hire great employees for your organization.

If you are an applicant, you can learn tips on optimizing your resumes and applications for success.

The usual and slow way of doing this

slow way of doing it

The usual recruitment process without using an applicant tracking software involves the following steps:

  • Creating and posting job advertisements on numerous job boards.
  • You will manually add the job to your career page on your website.
  • Receive applications to your email account.
  • Store the resumes on your hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Prepare and maintain a recruitment spreadsheet to track your applicants.
  • Communicate with the candidates at each step using your email account.
  • If multiple people are in the hiring team, each member will communicate from their email account.

You can read more details on the traditional recruitment approach in this article.

What are applicant tracking systems?

applicant tracking systems

As per this article from Recruiteze:

Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, are software programs that automate and optimize much of a recruiter’s hiring processes. They are much like CRMs only for recruiting, and they have infiltrated the entire recruiting process. They save recruiters and hiring managers from an impossible mound of applications to manually go through and streamline the entire hiring process, even onboarding.

Before the advent of cloud software, applicant tracking software used to be hosted on-premise. On-premise software was expensive, requiring specialized training and personnel to maintain the hosted software by updating and securing the servers.

Cloud-based applicant tracking software democratized the usage and adoption of applicant tracking systems.

Read this article to understand the difference between on-premise ATS and online ATS.

How Applicant Tracking Systems Work

how applicant tracking systems work

For the sake of this article, we will be referring only to cloud applicant tracking systems.

Online applicant tracking systems have several features that help you sift through the applications and streamline your hiring process.

First, the job has to be posted and distributed to various job boards and social media channels to receive any applications. Most modern applicant tracking systems can broadcast a job to numerous job sites with one click.

Another popular way to filter applications is by using screener questions. With a modern applicant tracking system, you can create highly customizable screener questionnaires, which will help you to shortlist or reject applications based on the responses. 

Applicant tracking systems also allow you to quickly sift through many applications using customizable workflows to organize your applications.

Communication is the key to hire great employees. There is both internal and external communication involved. 

An applicant tracking system can significantly help you keep everyone in the loop by either sending automatic notifications or sending personalized communications quickly using templates. Effective communication will lead to a great candidate experience.

Read More: 

How an Applicant Tracking System Enhances Candidate Experience

An applicant tracking system will also help you manage your career page by displaying only active jobs on your career page.

Why ATS is so amazing


ATS, when it was initially invented, was not affordable for every business. Large enterprises only used it to manage their applications using an ATS.

With the advent of cloud applicant tracking systems, it is easily accessible and affordable for every business that hires.

Here are some reasons why ATS is awesome:

  • It is the single best thing that has happened to recruitment. ATS helps you to reach a large number of talented candidates easily.
  • It allows you to build a resume database to source from within your database in the future.
  • It allows you to keep in touch with the candidates to maintain a strong pipeline of candidates for future jobs.
  • It enhances your application experience, which in turn improves your brand value among applicants.
  • It removes the problem of ghost jobs on your career page.
  • It allows you to track your hiring metrics so that you can improve your hiring processes.
  • It can also help remove bias in hiring.
  • It allows your recruitment team to work well together by maintaining all the recruitment data in one place.

Cons of using ATS


One of the main drawbacks of using an online applicant tracking system is sometimes missing out on great candidates. 

This is especially true if the applicant tracking system is automatically filtering out applications based on some built-in intelligence.

For a cloud-based applicant tracking system, availability is the other important factor. Unless you signup with a vendor who offers greater than 99.9% uptime. 

You may not have access to the software if the site is down.

If you sign up with an applicant tracking system provider hosted on AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud, you should have the software pretty much available.

The applicant tracking system’s choice determines some of the other disadvantages like cost and ease of use.

Most recruiters use the software that they are familiar with, which could be expensive. 

These days, many new applicant tracking system vendors offer better designed, more modern software without breaking the bank.

How to Choose an Applicant Tracking System?

how to choose an applicant tracking system

These days there are numerous options for applicant tracking software.

Here are some tips on how to choose an applicant tracking system.

  • Try the software first. Only consider vendors who offer a free trial.
  • Learn about their pricing model through their pricing page. First, determine whether that specific ATS software is within your budget before investing time in a free trial.
  • Check to see if there is enough documentation for the software.
  • Check to see if the software works from both the desktop and mobile devices.
  • Check the software reviews on Capterra or similar review sites.
  • If you like the software, you can also ask for customer references to talk.
  • Do not pay for features you do not use. Most people use only twenty percent of any software. Make sure you like the specific features that you will use the most.

Following these simple steps, you can choose an applicant tracking software that is good for your organization.

Here are a couple of articles that will help you choose the right applicant tracking software for you:

Actionable tips for ATS applicants

actionable tips for ATS applicants

If you are an applicant, here are some useful tips on creating a resume that will get past the applicant tracking system and land you the job.

  1. Keep it simple: Your resume does not need to have a lot of colors or formatting. Most recruiters strip out all the design and formatting before they submit your resume to a hiring manager. You can pick one of the simple resume templates in Word and build it out.
  2. Here are the essential things your resume should convey:
  • Your full name and contact information: Enter your full name and contact information like your mobile phone and email address. You can also put your city and state, but your street address is not required.
  • Objective: You should have a clear purpose for your next desired position. 
  • Summary: Write a summary of your skills and experience for the job highlighting your strengths and achievements. If you have a good summary, most recruiters will not even look beyond the summary.
  • Education/Certifications: Put your education and certifications in its section.
  • Achievements: Publications, presentations, commendations, patents, and any other notable accomplishments, list them out.
  • Tools/Technologies:  List out all your familiar tools and technologies and group them appropriately.
  • Work Experience:
    • List your work experience, starting with the most recent one.
    • Mention your employer name, job title, and dates you worked with the employer.
    • List out your job duties with each employer or project in a bulleted list. 
  • Professional Memberships/Affiliations: List out any professional memberships or affiliations that are relevant to your job.
  • LinkedIn Profile: Put a link to your LinkedIn profile. Try to get as many recommendations as you can to enhance your profile.

Do not put your references, date of birth, social security number, and other confidential information. References should be provided only after the initial phone screen and if the specific position is a good fit for your education, experience, and objectives.



Hopefully, by now, you’re equipped with a better understanding of what an ATS or Applicant Tracking Software is and how it can enhance your hiring process.

We’ve also included some actionable tips on choosing the best applicant tracking system for your needs.

Finally, if you’re a job seeker, we’ve included advice on building an awesome resume to help you land your job in the ATS equipped industry.

Recruitment is one of the most critical parts of an organization. An organization is only as good as the employees and it is imperative to use the right tools to hire great employees.

Naturally, we want to assist you on your journey. With the help of Recruiteze, a simple modern, and affordable applicant tracking system, you can broadcast your jobs to numerous job boards. 

Some of them include ZipRecruiter, Google Jobs, Facebook Jobs, Glassdoor, and several others. 

Additionally, you can sort and manage your applications through customizable screener questions and workflows. We can’t wait to start working with you!

Thank you for reading!

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