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Applicant tracking system

Applicant tracking system: a guide for recruiters

from  December 28, 2021 | 7 min read

Are you new to using the applicant tracking system (ATS), or do you plan on getting this HR software application for your recruitment team? Whichever category you fall under, this article is for you.

Read on to learn how ATS makes HR recruitment work easier.

What is an applicant tracking system?

Short for ATS, an applicant tracking system provides a suite of recruiting and hiring tools for companies. It helps users organise candidates, collect and sort thousands of resumes, and filter applications based on experience skill sets.

While originally designed as a job applicant tracking system, this tool also offers wide-ranging capabilities, including:

  • post to multiple job boards online
  • generate interview questions via email
  • develop, manage, and publish career pages
  • automate interview scheduling or email distribution 

All these software functionalities have convinced hundreds, if not thousands, of companies to invest in ATS. According to Jobscan’s Resume Match report, over 90% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS to assist with human resources, recruitment, and hiring needs.

Big industry players, such as Nike, Starbucks, Airbnb, and more use this software for collecting and organising large volumes of applicants.

Here are some more statistics that evidence application tracking systems are a reliable HR solution for recruiters:

  • 94% of recruiters and hiring professionals say their ATS or recruiting software has positively impacted their hiring process. – Capterra
  • 75% of recruiters use recruiting or applicant tracking software to streamline their processes. – Capterra
  • 86% of recruiting professionals say that using recruitment software has helped them hire faster. – GettApp

Why is applicant tracking software a handy tool for recruiters?

Applicant tracking systems help hiring managers to see all the information they need with a click of a button. The software enables them to sift through resumes and determine which candidates will advance to the next step of the hiring process.

Often, an ATS tracking technology uses filters based on keywords and set parameters. Examples of such filters are years of experience, skill sets, educational background, and other criteria companies set for candidate selection.

Some applicant tracking software solutions also use advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing, to screen and sort job applications or resumes.

Let’s delve deeper into how ATS benefits both recruiters and employers.

  • Save time. ATS allows users to reuse job descriptions for multiple job openings, reducing the time to post a job. 
  • Automate communications. ATS comes with built-in communication channels, which enable smooth and consistent communication with candidates. It also lets users set automated responses, send out interview reminders, and notify people in the database about the open positions. 
  • Schedule interviews with ease. Since ATS helps send automated emails, hiring specialists can allow candidates to choose a time that works for both of them.
  • Manage job listings. Applicant tracking systems enable job posting on the company’s website, social media channels, and across multiple platforms.
  • Organise applications. ATS serves as a central place where recruiters can keep applicant data and retain applications for future openings. It maintains a searchable database of new candidate profiles, helping companies organise and streamline the entire hiring process.
  • Assists with candidate screening. Applicant tracking software also helps sort and rank candidates based on job requisition matches. This feature helps HR professionals speed up candidate management and reduce time to fill.
  • Evaluate the current hiring process. ATS programs provide reporting tools that enable recruiters to assess their existing processes and measure the success of their recruitment campaigns. Here are some reports that ATS generate:
    • hiring performance reports
    • talent source reports
    • hiring trend reports
    • candidate reports
    • sales reports

How do applicant tracking systems work?

The best job applicant tracking system assists recruiters in every step of the hiring process. It includes essential features that make it easy for employers to keep tabs on job applications and communicate with applicants directly.

How Does ATS Works


While ATS programs are designed differently, most of them cover common functions, including:

1. Write job description

To find the best candidate that fits your company’s hiring needs, you must first form a picture of an ideal candidate. Create a job description that includes the person’s main responsibilities, job purpose, required and preferred qualifications, and working conditions, to name a few.

An applicant tracking solution lets you formulate strong job descriptions that attract the right talent. Most ATS programs provide keyword-rich templates that help your job opening rank higher in search results.

2. Job board posting

Posting job opportunities has become easier with an application tracking system. The HR technology integrates with various job portals, such as Indeed and Monster, enabling you to post job vacancies in a single submission.

Not only does ATS integrate with external career sites, but it also allows you to post and manage ads on your organisation’s career page and social media profiles, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. 

3. View applications

Like in conventional hiring processes, applicants submit their resumes after seeing a job opening. The only difference with ATS software is that everything happens digitally. No in-person visits to entertain and a pile of printed resumes to review.

Applicant tracking systems maintain a database of applicants. They show how many people have clicked and applied to a job you posted and suggest potential candidates for future openings.

4. Resume parsing

Resume parsing is a unique feature of applicant tracking platforms. This process begins once applicants upload their resumes on the software. ATS ranks new applications and scans each document. 

The HR software then extracts all data based on the recruiter’s needs. When ATS finds a resume that matches the job description, it automatically forwards the application for further consideration. 

5. Candidate vetting

After the application tracking system completes filtering and parsing resumes, you may start evaluating the applicants recorded in the system. Most ATS software solutions allow you to do the following:

  • preview applicants per job opening
  • forward resumes to other hiring stakeholders
  • make notes about candidates (i.e., review at a later date) 
  • change the candidate status (i.e., screened, rejected, shortlisted) 

6. Interview scheduling

The candidate interview is a crucial part of the hiring process—and HR technologies like applicant tracking software take interview scheduling up a notch. ATS lets you schedule calls and even exchange emails with candidates.

The best ATS programs integrate seamlessly into everyone’s calendar. So, if you want to get reminded of your upcoming interviews, choose one that comes with such a feature. 

7. Offer management

Applicant tracking solutions also enable automation and customisation of offer letters (and rejection letters). Once you’ve selected the candidates you’d like to hire, ATS automatically sends offer letters, which successful candidates must sign electronically. 

8. Onboarding

When the candidates accept the job offer, they will be marked “hired” in the application tracking system. ATS will also assist in employee onboarding and provide new hires with employment forms to complete online.

More than an applicant tracking system

ATS isn’t just a job applicant tracking system—it’s also a tool for streamlining the entire recruitment process. If filling in a vacancy in a short time becomes a challenge and reviewing tons of resumes begins to stress you out, applicant tracking software can come to the rescue.

Your business will benefit from this software, especially if your HR team has been experiencing problems with recruiting and managing new talents. ATS simplifies your convoluted recruitment process, helping increase hiring efficiency and improve the quality of hire.

Unit4 Prosoft HRMS is one of the most reliable human resource management systems with ATS functionality. Our HR solution allows users to perform many things, including posting jobs on multiple sites, managing candidate communication via email or SMS, screening applicants, and more.

Are you thrilled to digitise your hiring and recruitment? Contact us today or request a demo with our Asia Pacific team.

Unit4 Prosoft

Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.