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What is an applicant tracking system (ATS)?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software that automates hiring administrative tasks. For example, ATS systems enable faster interview scheduling and easier job advertising. Overall, a good ATS helps relieve recruiting pains that recruiters and hiring managers often face.

Alternative names for an applicant tracking system include: 'hiring software', ‘talent acquisition software’, ‘hiring platform’, and ‘recruitment software’.

Who uses applicant tracking systems? 

Everyone involved in recruiting, such as business owners, hiring managers, and recruiters, will use applicant tracking systems at some point. Understanding the costs of traditional hiring methods, both in terms of time and money, makes companies turn to an ATS. With the help of this system, organizations can optimize their hiring process.

What should an applicant tracking system do?

Some areas an ATS system can help in are:

Each ATS may specialize or excel in specific recruiting areas. Before purchasing an applicant tracking system, it’s useful for organizations to compare several options with each other. To do so correctly, they may map their individual hiring methods, analyze the problems they need to resolve or identify opportunities for improvement. Then, they can evaluate available systems based on important criteria.

This list of best applicant tracking systems in the market today can also help you make an informed decision.

Why should you use an applicant tracking system software? 

It’s not out of sheer luck that applicant tracking systems (or generally recruiting software) keep gaining popularity in the recruiting world. They take a huge burden off the shoulders of hiring teams and give them time to focus on what matters – connecting with candidates and making hiring decisions. More specifically, some important benefits of applicant tracking systems are:

  • Increase in productivity and efficiency when hiring
  • Better candidate experience through faster scheduling and communication
  • Access to multiple job boards and the ability to manage all applications in a centralized location
  • Improved employer brand that attracts great candidates
  • Valuable metrics and reports to improve the hiring process (e.g. HR analytics)
  • Easier compliance with laws related to recruitment

Interested in an ATS for your company? Request a Workable free trial to see how it can help you improve your hiring process. 

Did you find this applicant tracking system definition useful? Visit our library of HR Terms to find more definitions.

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