Everything you need to know about applicant tracking software 

Emily McMichael
January 28, 2021
Candidate ExperienceChanging Tech

Your CEO wants a workforce that drives successHiring managers want qualified and capable team members. Coworkers want people who contribute and add valueThe question is how to acquire the talent – or find the people – to enable your organization to meet these goals.  

 To recruit, hire, and onboard new employees, you need an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is a software that enables organizations to: 

  • Enable recruiters to attract job seekers, review applications, and communicate with candidates  
  • Create profiles and build relationships with top talent  
  • Apply data and analytics to create a successful hiring strategy 

What is an ATS? 

From the job ads you post to the offer letters you send, applicant tracking software helps organizations manage every recruitment and hiring step. An ATS is the single system that enables organizations to attract potential talent 

Recruiters use the ATS to review talent profilesscreen applicationsand engage with candidates. The software can also automate sending offer letters and process the hiring and onboarding of new employees. With these ATS-enabled efficiencies, there’s room for recruiters to make the hiring experience more personal.  

The most basic applicant tracking software acts as a database to store candidate information. Of course, today’s systems and software have the power to do much more than store first and last names. Robust applicant tracking software allows you to make the most out of publicizing open positions on job boards. It enables you to build relationships with candidates who express interestAnd, finally, a robust ATS streamlines search with automation and deploys AI to remove bias.  

Who needs an ATS? 

To meet high-volume hiring needsenterprise-level organizations adopted applicant tracking software early onHowever, it’s no longer just a system for large organizations. In recent years, smaller organizations have realized what an applicant tracking system can deliver. These platforms help large and small organizations alike tackle current hiring challenges 

How does an ATS help your recruitment teams? 

Without a system to manage recruiting and hiring, recruiters and organizations suffer. Applicant tracking software relieves that problem. Rather than sorting through endless resumes and unorganized files, an ATS empowers recruiters. It’s the system they need to track and manage every aspect of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees – with efficiency.  

The best applicant tracking software: 

  • Facilitates communication. Whether via text, email, or chatbots, candidates get the contact they need from recruitersMeanwhile, hiring managers receive updates and send responses about the search process, interviewsand offer letters. 
  • Builds your talent pool. The applicant tracking system serves as a record of all candidates and hires. It’s a valuable collection of talent from which the organization can continue to source candidates.  
  • Serves as the single source of truth. Across the entire company, recruiters and HR teams have access to the same recruiting data. It’s easy to search, filter, and find ideal candidates based on required skills and abilities. 

Is the applicant tracking system just for recruiters 

An applicant tracking system benefits the entire organization, not just recruiters. When you implement an ATS, you’ll find that: 

  • Streamlined administrative tasks increase productivity. 
  • Recruiters have more time to find higher-quality candidates. 
  • The candidate experience improves.  
  • AI helps you reach a broader talent pool and reduces bias 
  • Real-time talent data informs a hiring strategy that delivers the talent you need.  

The right applicant tracking system enhances the entire recruitment process – for the applicant who wants to find a great job, the recruiter searching for the best candidates, and the organization that needs top talent.  

An ATS enables you to recruit a workforce that drives success. Organizations that want to streamline recruitment processes, and provide a employer-of-choice experience for everyone involved, should consider using an applicant tracking system. 

Interested in learning more about how an ATS can help your organization? Download our Business Case for Focused and Inclusive Applicant Tracking Software. 

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About the Author

Emily McMichael is a Digital Brand Strategist, responsible for overseeing iCIMS’ digital properties. A proud graduate of Northwestern University with a BA in Communication Studies, Emily has more than ten years of collective branding and digital marketing experience, both in-house and at creative agencies. In her previous role, Emily was responsible for iCIMS’ own recruitment marketing efforts, and helped the company win its first ever Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards, placing #1 and #4, respectively.

With a firm passion for all things recruitment, Emily served as a panelist at LinkedIn’s 2019 Northeast Talent Symposium for their “How to Recruit Like a Marketer” workshop, and was a featured columnist for RecruitingDaily’s five-part blog series, “How to Enhance Your Candidate Experience Strategy.” When not at work, she can be found lounging on the beach, backpacking through national parks, and hanging out with her husband and four-legged furry son, Bodhi.