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Complete guide: Buying an applicant tracking system

February 3, 2022
iCIMS Staff
5 min read

Talent acquisition is a dynamic and ever-changing field. Businesses need in-person and virtual recruiting practices that attract, engage, and hire quality talent, fast. Investing in the right technology for your TA teams can be the difference between missing your hiring targets and surpassing them.

You already know that engaging with candidates, connecting with a more diverse talent pool, and scaling hiring processes requires an applicant tracking system. But with a variety of options on the market, how do you make sure that your tech stack is delivering in all the ways you need it to?

In this post, we’ve gathered some essential resources, strategies, and tactics that you can use to evaluate the power of your ATS. Read through to the end for our ebook, 5 Tips to Scale Recruiting With Automation.


  • What is an applicant tracking system (ATS)?
  • Why do I need an ATS? What are the benefits?
  • How do I get the most out of my ATS?


What is an applicant tracking system (ATS)?

An ATS is a software application that streamlines the recruitment and hiring process for recruiters and candidates. In the simplest terms, job seekers use the ATS to apply and recruiters use the ATS to manage applications electronically.

One of the greatest strengths of an ATS is that it provides a way to accept, store, and sort job applications and resumes. Many ATS solutions offer enhanced features that assist with the search for talent, candidate interviews, and skill assessments.

Learn more about applicant tracking systems:


Why do I need an ATS?

To recruit, hire, and onboard new employees, you need a strong applicant tracking systemResearch indicates that improved decision making and an established workflow are two of the top benefits an ATS adds to an organization.

Ultimately, an ATS provides a streamlined employment process from the moment the job is posted to the day the candidate is hired. Thanks to technology and automation, an ATS makes life easier for everyone involved in the hiring process.

An applicant tracking system has many benefits, including:

Applicant tracking systems can be used across all industries and types of organizations.

Even different roles within your organization can benefit from an applicant tracking system.


How do I get the most out of my ATS?

Every company wants to hire the best talent to build their teams. The ATS is at the core of what you do, but it can be so much more than a database. As you evaluate applicant tracking system vendors, look for solutions that will help you scale to meet your talent acquisition goals.

When evaluating ATS vendors, know which questions to ask:

It’s also important to evaluate how your ATS fits in with other parts of your recruiting tech stack. Modern ATS solutions can sync data with other common HR systems like your HCM, payroll, or recruitment marketing software.

Ultimately, your applicant tracking system is a tool to support your recruitment strategy. Your vendor should work to understand your TA needs and ensure that their software complements your recruiting efforts.

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