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Why do you need an ATS and a CRM?

July 13, 2021
5 min read

The world of talent acquisition is full of acronyms. We’re the first to admit it. Two acronyms that go hand in hand are ATS (applicant tracking system) and CRM (candidate relationship management).  

With access to an ATS and CRM, recruiters have a robust recruiting approach that allows them to: 

  • Quickly fill open positions
  • Plan for upcoming staffing needs
  • Build and maintain relationships with top talent 

Before we look at why you need both an ATS and CRM to level up your recruiting game, let’s examine the unique benefits of each system. And how each supports specific functions within the hiring process. 

What’s the difference between an ATS and CRM?  

An applicant tracking system (ATS) tracks candidates through every step of the application process. From the moment a recruiter posts to a job board to a candidate’s offer letter, the ATS helps facilitate the hiring process.  

modern ATS is fully automated and manages each recruitment phase, such as advertising open jobs, scheduling interviews, screening candidates, and onboarding new employees. Essentially, an ATS helps streamline the hiring process by handling administrative tasks so that recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates can connect. It’s a workflow tool that makes the hiring process happen. 

Candidate relationship management (CRM) software also helps ensure that hiring happens but in a different manner. Like the ATS, the CRM provides recruiters with access to the talent they need to hire. However, the focus of the CRM is on nurturing and guiding active and passive talent through the recruiting funnel.  

A CRM helps you stay in touch with current and future candidates through automated email marketing, recruiting events, and job recommendation portals. As a relationship management tool, it’s a rich database that captures all the details recruiters need to maximize a strategic hiring approach. 

Reasons why you need both an ATS and a CRM 

Some organizations might feel that they need only one of these tools. The truth is strategic recruiting teams power their on-demand recruiting and workforce planning with the combined capabilities of an ATS and a CRM.  

Recruiters need the right tools  

To make great hires, recruiters must first establish connections with the talent who will drive business growth. They foster interest through job fairs and then maintain relationships using campaigns within the CRM. Once it’s time to hire, the added functionality of the ATS helps a recruiter efficiently facilitate the hiring process. 

Organizations need the correct data

Without the right data, it’s extremely tough to build robust talent pipelines. Based on integrated data between your ATS and CRM, you will have access to key data points, such as: 

  • Open rates for critical positions 
  • The average time to fill 
  • Diverse sourcing rates 
  • Skills within passive talent pools  

The data points from your ATS and CRM inform business decisions, establish talent goals, and measure the success of recruiting efforts – data you need to build out all your future talent plans. 

Candidates need a positive experience 

Perhaps most importantly, an ATS and CRM enable a positive candidate experience. On both ends of the pipeline, these systems save time and allow candidates to build connections with your organization. Thanks to the power of technology, an ATS and CRM make it easy for recruiters to engage with applicants, answer questions, and make a connection. These innovative software solutions offer you ways to demonstrate your care and attention for talent at any stage of the hiring process, whether they’re a passive candidate – or your newest hire.  

Use an ATS and CRM to outsmart the competition 

If you want to attract, engage, and ultimately hire the best possible talent, you need to start doing so from the moment they connect with you. Building relationships with talent is essential. Set yourself apart and outsmart the competition by using ATS and CRM power to support a great candidate experience from the very first impression. 

Download our Guide to engaging top talent to learn how to add more touchpoints to the recruiting process and find more ways to share unique, authentic experiences with candidates.

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Emily McMichael

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