February 8, 2023

Applicant Tracking System: A Complete Guide

Applicant Tracking System

This article covers everything you need to know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) and aims at easing it for you to decide if you need an ATS or not and what to look for in an Applicant Tracking System. Just like any other market, there are a number of Applicant Tracking Systems out there, and knowing what and what not to expect in an ATS will help you in choosing one for your company's needs.

What is an Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or Applicant Tracking Software is a software application designed to help organizations manage their hiring and recruitment processes. It serves as a centralized system to streamline and automate various tasks associated with attracting, screening, and hiring job applicants.

The primary purpose of an ATS is to simplify the overall hiring process, streamline recruitment workflow and improve efficiency by providing a structured and organized approach to managing candidates. Here are the very basic things an ATS targets to do.

  • Sourcing Candidates
  • Screening
  • Evaluating
  • Job Offering/ Onboarding
Hiring Cycle

According to a 2021 report by Talent Tech Labs, the adoption rate of ATS software among companies in the United States is around 75%. This indicates a high level of utilization and recognition of the value provided by ATS systems in the hiring process.

Problems with Traditional/Manual Hiring

Traditional Hiring

Hiring/recruiting is a very tiring job and involves a lot of time-consuming and repetitive tasks at each level. Not using software and doing it manually means that the recruiters have to do a lot of data parsing themselves.  

Manually doing tasks like sourcing, screening, background checking, evaluating, and tracking applicants isn’t only tiring and time-taking but also prone to missing key details about the applicants. Below are some of the major pain points of manual hiring.

Just About Every Task Consumes a Lot of Time

Hiring manually as a whole takes a lot of time which means it is costly. From sourcing and screening to evaluating and onboarding, it demands dedicated people spending a lot of time making decisions.

illustrates important elements of recruitment process

A resourcer has to sit and find talent through social recruiting platforms like LinkedIn, which demands time. For this, education, experience, accomplishments, background checks, and one’s leadership skills are considered. From this talent pool, a bunch of screened candidates are selected for the next stage.  

The screening phase is followed by the evaluation phase where a candidate is evaluated through either interviews or technical tests, or both. The takeaways from interviews need to be documented and discussed among the team to move an applicant to the next phase. A lot of time goes into these meetings to achieve a fairly small task i.e., to document and compare the interview takeaways.  

Then the onboarding process itself can create a mess. Keeping track of applicants who are ready for onboarding, those who have been offered but haven’t accepted yet, and the ones who are on standby, is complex and takes time.

People losing interest in jobs if the hiring process is too long

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 57% of job seekers reported losing interest in a position if the recruiting process takes too long.

Managing a Ton of Documents

Not using an ATS and hiring manually means you have a lot of documents and files to manage and store. There are tons of resumes, test results, interview takeaways, and other similar documents about an applicant that need to be stored and accessed when needed. Then there are documents that the team needs for better collaboration, like interview guides and notes, that need to be accessible to the team too.    

Redundant Tasks     

Hiring manually includes a lot of repetitive tasks which are to be performed day in, and day out without much variation. Reading applications, sourcing applicants, and emailing them after each phase, are repetitive and aren’t enjoyed by the people responsible for hiring.  

Lack of Communication within the Hiring Team                        

At each step, key decisions need to be taken which requires streamlining communication within the team. If all the documents are managed manually, it becomes almost impossible for the team to be on the same page all the time. Interview findings need to be compared, applicants are to be graded and the decision about offering an applicant a role has to be made. It’s quite tedious if all these tasks are done manually, as effective collaboration at each point is necessary.  

No Standard Way of Comparing Applicants

No standard comparison

After each stage, the applicant pool should decrease and for that, applicants need to be compared and graded on different aspects. In manual hiring, it becomes too much of a task to grade, compare and then select the few who you think are the right fits.  

Evaluating and scoring applicants may include situations where complex formulas are used to score individuals, different evaluation aspects have different weights or multiple people are responsible for scoring. These situations are difficult to handle manually.

Working of an Applicant Tracking System - The How

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) typically follows a workflow to manage the recruitment and hiring process. Below is a general overview of how an ATS works.

Job Posting

Job Post

First of all, the hiring team creates and posts job openings within the ATS, specifying details such as job title, job description, requirements, and application instructions. The ATS may also allow for posting jobs on multiple job boards and career websites. Automated job posting on different external job boards is also possible if the concerned ATS has integrations with them.

Application Submission

Application Submission

Then candidates submit their applications, which usually include resumes, cover letters, and any additional documents required by the employer. They may apply directly through the ATS or via integration with external job boards.

Resume Parsing

Resume Parsing

The ATS then analyzes and parses the submitted resumes to extract relevant information, such as contact details, work experience, education, and skills. This process helps create structured candidate profiles within the system.

Candidate Database

Candidate Database

The ATS stores the candidate profiles, along with their application materials, in a centralized database. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to easily access, search and track candidates based on specific criteria.

Screening and Filtering

Recruiters can then use the ATS to screen and filter candidates based on predefined criteria. They can search for keywords, filter by qualifications or experience, and compare candidates side by side to shortlist the most suitable applicants for further evaluation.

Interview Scheduling

Interviewing the screened and qualified candidates in the evaluation phase is important to reach a decision. The ATS provides tools for scheduling and managing interviews. It allows recruiters to send interview invitations, coordinate availability with candidates, and manage the interview process, including tracking feedback and evaluations from interviewers.

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and Analytics

The ATS generates reports and provides analytics to give insights into various recruitment metrics. These may include the number of applicants, source of applicants, time-to-fill positions, diversity statistics, and other key performance indicators that help optimize the recruiting process.

Integration and Onboarding

Depending on the ATS capabilities, it may integrate with other HR systems, such as HRIS or onboarding software, to streamline the transition from candidate selection to employee onboarding.

Benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System

Hiring the right people at the right time is key to an organization’s success and it goes without saying that the whole process of hiring takes a huge chunk of resources, both cost and time, for any firm that aims to hire the best fits. As per SHRM, it takes around 42 working days on average for a company to hire talent. That’s a lot of time, right? This is where recruitment software (ATS) comes in with its advantages and takes the burden off the shoulders of recruiters and hiring managers.

illustrates different operations performed with the help of an applicant tracking system (ats)

The main benefits of an Applicant Tracking System include sourcing, screening, evaluating, and tracking applicants for a streamlined hiring process. On top of that, it makes communicating with applicants, comparing them on different aspects, and finally taking them on board, a lot more effortless for both the recruiters and the recruitees.


Time is money, and an ATS knows that. At each step of hiring, an ATS makes sure it saves you time. From parsing resumes and filtering out applicants on its own to allowing a recruiter to score and evaluate using the ATS, it cuts the time consumed.  

An ATS takes a lot of repetitive and tiresome tasks from the recruiter. The recruiters no longer need to go through a lot of documents and files while studying an applicant, instead, they can find all the related material of an applicant in one place i.e., the applicant profile. Things are managed and a lot of time that had to be wasted in finding related documents and going through them can be saved using an Applicant Tracking System.


A recruiter won’t have to manually email applicants before/after each stage, the ATS takes care of it. The hiring team doesn’t need to communicate the status of applicants to each other. Instead, the applicants can be moved to different stages and concerned people will know what they have to do. All data relating to an applicant e.g., resume, social profiles, contact information, details, etc., is just one click away.

Reduced Cost Per Hire

Reduced time per hire automatically means reduced cost per hire. Recruitment software generally reduces the time per hire by two-thirds, which means the cost per hire drops by two-thirds too. The cut in cost per hire lets the company either hire more or use the saved amount in other more beneficial ways.

illustrates cost of hiring with the help of an applicant tracking system (ats)

Saving money is one of the major targets, especially for startups and SMBs. Each penny spent matters and hiring manually is not possible for them keeping the cost and time it takes, in mind.  

And no one loves overspending, right?

Customized Registration Process

An ATS lets you customize the way you want applicants to register for your job. You can ask questions, ask for documents, and also include screener questions in your registration form that will filter out the undesirable candidates.  

On top of that, you can customize your careers page and registration form with your themes and colors.  

Automated Filtering and Screening

One of the significant advantages of using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is its ability to automate the screening and filtering of resumes. Manual screening of thousands of resumes can be time-consuming and challenging for recruiters. However, an ATS streamlines this process by automatically filtering out irrelevant applications and only presenting qualified candidates.

illustrates problems while screening documenets manually and advantages of automated screeening and filtring

The use of screener questions in the registration form further aids in identifying applicants who meet the specific requirements. The ATS's resume parsing feature saves recruiters' effort by extracting key information from resumes, eliminating the need for manual reading and filtering. Overall, an ATS simplifies and enhances the screening and filtering process, allowing recruiters to focus on evaluating the most suitable candidates.

Summarized View of Applicants and Hiring Process

Summarized View of Applicants and Hiring Process

At times, you will need to have a summarized view of your applicants and your recruitment process.

Recruitment software provides you with information about how the applicants are doing at different stages of the entire recruitment process. You can have a summarized view of applicants at each stage and keep an eye on hiring progress.


Throughout the hiring process, recruiters often need to manage and schedule various activities such as interviews, phone calls, and tests. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) typically includes an integrated scheduling system, allowing recruiters to handle all hiring-related tasks within a single system.

With an ATS, recruiters receive notifications for upcoming events, ensuring they stay informed and organized. They can easily view their schedule to avoid conflicting appointments before scheduling new interviews, meetings, or calls. Moreover, some ATS platforms offer auto-scheduling functionality, enabling recruiters to define their available time slots, and the system automatically schedules upcoming events accordingly.

An ATS simplifies the hiring process by providing an integrated scheduling system, enabling recruiters to efficiently manage their schedules, receive event notifications, and even automate the scheduling of activities. This centralized approach helps recruiters stay organized and focused while hiring.

Improved Budget Management

Reducing the cost and time per hire through the use of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows companies to allocate their resources more effectively. Every company has finite resources, and optimizing budget utilization is particularly important for startups and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

By significantly reducing the hiring cost, which can be as much as 33% with the implementation of an ATS, organizations can redirect those savings to other areas of their operations. This improved budget management enables companies to invest in various initiatives and drive growth in different aspects of their business.

Better Communication within the Team

An ATS lets you create different hiring teams for different jobs. Different people in the team might be responsible for different phases of hiring. The ATS provides a very clear and crisp view of applicants at each stage and the concerned person will only need to look at his/her respective stage.

illustrates comunication gap and good comunication with the team

Once cleared, the applicant can be moved on to the next stage and the person responsible for that stage can take on. Team members don’t need to communicate the status of applicants to each other anymore.  

While evaluating, interviewers can score the applicant then and there and the ATS will aggregate each member’s score to show a cumulative answer. The need for post-interview meetings and discussions is reduced to very special situations.  

All in all, an Applicant Tracking System both reduces the need for discussions and meetings and also enhances communication where necessary.  

Better Communication with Applicants

As per LinkedIn, talents are 4 times more likely to consider a company when a company offers feedback. Keeping an applicant in the loop is important and not only is it time taking, but also subject to remembrance if done manually.

Better Communication with Applicants

An Applicant Tracking System lets you schedule automated emails before/after each phase of hiring. An applicant can be kept informed with these emails. In addition, you can also send customized emails to your applicants.  

Read why engaging with candidates is necessary and plays a vital role in building a great candidate journey and strong employer branding.

Scoring and Comparing Applicants

During the evaluation process, team members often use complex formulas and weighted scoring to assess applicants. However, manually calculating scores for each candidate and comparing them can be time-consuming and tedious.

To simplify this process, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows interviewers to create evaluation scorecards with multiple sections and subsections, each with different weights as needed. The ATS automatically aggregates scores from each team member, providing a consolidated answer. This makes it much easier to compare and rank applicants based on different aspects of their evaluation.

Scoring and Comparing Applicants

In behavioral interviews, assessing candidates may not involve numerical scoring but rather rely on intuitive judgments. With an ATS, interviewers can either assign scores to evaluate a candidate's skills or simply provide a thumbs-up or thumbs-down based on their gut feeling for a particular aspect.

Creating effective scoring cards is essential in the hiring process, and an ATS provides the necessary tools to streamline the evaluation process and ensure consistency and objectivity. It enables interviewers to assess candidates more efficiently and make informed decisions.

Streamlined Recruiting Processes

An ATS is meticulously designed to make the hiring process a lot more state-of-the-art than what manual hiring offers. Documents are managed, events are scheduled, concerned people are notified in time and an overview of the hiring process is available at each stage. All of this makes hiring much more unchallenging and simpler.

Better Decision-Making

Utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) empowers you to make informed decisions throughout the hiring process. At each step, you have access to valuable data and information that serves as a solid foundation for your decision-making.

By leveraging the comprehensive data points provided by the ATS, your decisions are not merely speculative, but rather grounded in concrete information and insights. This data-driven approach enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of your decision-making, leading to more successful hiring outcomes.

Improved Applicant Experience

According to Career Builder (2017), 82% of hiring executives see candidate experience as important. Constant communication with an applicant and streamlined registration using an ATS make an applicant’s experience much smoother and more comprehensive.

A smooth registration is also very critical to keep an applicant’s motivation high enough. As per ICIMS, 59% of the applicants abandon an online application due to issues or bugs on the website. A good ATS makes sure that an applicant doesn’t have to face any issues while registering for a job.      

Employee Referrals

Referrals often result in high-quality hires. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) enables employees to refer potential candidates and tracks the applicants who have been referred by employees. The ATS maintains a record of successful referrals made by each employee, providing valuable insights into their contribution to the hiring process.

Discover more about the benefits of employee referrals and how they can significantly enhance your hiring process.

Reports and Dashboard

Maintaining a keen focus on hiring statistics is crucial for making informed decisions throughout the recruitment process. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) offers a valuable advantage by providing a centralized dashboard that presents all the necessary data and metrics. Additionally, the ATS generates detailed reports for each job, enabling recruiters to gain a comprehensive overview of the ongoing hiring activities.

Reports and Dashboard

The ATS presents key information through visually appealing graphs, pie charts, bar charts, and other informative tools. By having access to these comprehensive statistics, recruiters can determine the optimal timing for opening or closing a position, identify the most effective social media platforms for sourcing candidates, and pinpoint areas for improvement in the hiring process.

Applicant Tracking System - Things to Keep in Mind

Although ATS automates a lot of messy things in a recruitment process and takes away a lot from the hiring team's shoulders, there are some important things one should keep in mind while deciding whether to go for an ATS or not. The important things to keep in mind are discussed below.

An ATS won't solve the Problem of Sourcing Candidates

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is primarily designed to streamline and manage the hiring process, including tasks such as resume parsing, application tracking, and candidate communication. However, an ATS does not directly solve the problem of sourcing candidates.

Sourcing candidates refers to the process of proactively identifying and attracting potential candidates for job openings. While an ATS may have features that allow recruiters to post job listings on various platforms and track applicant sources, it does not actively generate a pool of candidates or perform external searches to find new talent.

The responsibility of candidate sourcing typically falls on the recruiters or hiring teams, who actively engage in activities like networking, utilizing job boards, attending events, and leveraging social media platforms. These efforts aim to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates and build a talent pipeline.

While an ATS can assist in organizing and managing the candidates that are sourced, it relies on the availability of suitable candidates in the first place. It is up to recruiters and hiring teams to employ effective sourcing strategies and techniques to attract and engage potential candidates.

An ATS won't Automatically Select the Right Fit

While an ATS can assist in managing and organizing candidate information, it does not have the capability to automatically select or recommend the best candidates for a position.

The process of selecting candidates typically involves assessing their qualifications, skills, experience, and cultural fit, which requires human judgment and decision-making. Recruiters or hiring managers are responsible for reviewing candidate profiles, conducting interviews, and evaluating each candidate based on specific criteria.

An ATS can help streamline this selection process by providing a centralized platform to review candidate applications, track their progress, and collaborate with other team members. It may offer features such as candidate scoring, resume parsing, and interview scheduling to assist in the evaluation process. However, the final decision on selecting a candidate rests with the human decision-makers.

It is important to note that an ATS is a tool that supports the recruitment process by organizing and managing candidate data, but it does not make subjective assessments or replace the expertise of recruiters or hiring managers in selecting the most suitable candidates for a job.

Things to Look for in an ATS

When evaluating an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for your organization, below are some key recruitment tools and features to consider and look for.

User-Friendly Interface

Ensure that the ATS has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and understand. This will facilitate smooth usage and adoption by recruiters and hiring managers.

Resume Parsing

Look for an ATS that can automatically parse and extract relevant information from resumes, saving time and effort in manual data entry.

Job Posting and Distribution

Check if the ATS provides easy integration with job boards, career websites, and social media platforms to efficiently post and distribute job openings.

Candidate Database and Search

The ATS should have a robust candidate database that allows you to store and search for candidate profiles based on various criteria, such as skills, experience, and qualifications.

Applicant Communication

Look for features that enable seamless communication with applicants, such as automated email notifications, status updates, and personalized messaging.

Customizable Workflows

Ensure that the ATS allows you to tailor the hiring workflows according to your organization's specific requirements, including defining stages, assigning tasks, and setting up approval processes.

Collaboration and Feedback

Check if the ATS offers collaboration features, such as candidate rating, feedback sharing, and internal communication tools, to facilitate effective collaboration among team members involved in the hiring process.

Reporting and Analytics

Look for reporting capabilities that provide valuable insights into recruitment metrics, such as time-to-hire, source effectiveness, and applicant demographics. This data can help in optimizing the hiring process and making informed decisions.

Integration Capabilities

Consider whether the ATS can integrate with other HR systems, such as HRIS (Human Resource Information System) or payroll software, to streamline data sharing and ensure data consistency.

Data Security and Compliance

Ensure that the ATS provides robust data security measures, including encryption, access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations, to safeguard sensitive candidate information.

Customer Support and Training

Evaluate the level of customer support and training offered by the ATS provider to ensure smooth implementation and ongoing assistance for your team.

Scalability and Future Growth

Consider the scalability of the ATS to accommodate your organization's future growth and changing recruitment needs.

By considering these recruitment tools and assessing the features and capabilities of different ATS options, you can make an informed decision to select the right applicant tracking system that aligns with your organization's requirements and enhances your hiring process.

Types of ATS - What is Out There?

There are various types of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) available in the market. Below are some common types.

Standalone ATS

This type of ATS operates independently and focuses solely on managing the recruitment process. It offers a comprehensive set of features to streamline candidate sourcing, screening, and selection.

Integrated HR Suites

Some ATS solutions are part of larger integrated HR suites that encompass a broader range of HR functions, such as payroll, performance management, and employee onboarding. These integrated suites offer a unified platform for managing multiple HR processes.

Open-source ATS

Open-source ATS software provides the source code that can be modified and customized according to the organization's specific needs. It offers flexibility and allows businesses to tailor the system to their unique requirements.

Cloud-based ATS

Cloud-based ATS solutions are hosted on the cloud, eliminating the need for on-premises installation and maintenance. They offer scalability, accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection, and regular updates from the software provider.

Enterprise ATS

Designed for large organizations with extensive recruitment needs, enterprise ATS solutions offer advanced features, scalability, and customization options to handle high volumes of candidates, complex workflows, and multiple hiring teams.

Small and Medium Business (SMB) ATS

These ATS solutions cater specifically to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. They offer simplified functionalities, ease of use, and cost-effective pricing to suit the requirements and budgets of smaller organizations.

It's important to consider your organization's size, budget, and specific needs when choosing the type of ATS that best fits your requirements. Each type has its own advantages and considerations, so evaluating them based on your unique circumstances will help you make an informed decision.

Selecting an Applicant Tracking System for your Hiring Cycle

Selecting an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for your company requires careful consideration of your organization's needs and priorities. Below are some steps to help you in the selection process.

Identify Your Requirements

Assessing your company's specific hiring needs is the first step in selecting an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that aligns with your requirements. Below is an explanation of what to consider.

Size of your organization

The size of your organization plays a role in determining the scale and scope of the ATS you need. Smaller organizations may require a simpler ATS solution, while larger organizations with more complex hiring processes may benefit from a robust and scalable ATS.

The volume of hiring

Consider the frequency and volume of your hiring needs. If your organization has a high hiring volume, you might need an ATS that can handle large numbers of applicants and streamline the screening and selection process effectively.

The complexity of your recruitment process

Evaluate the complexity of your recruitment process, including the number of stages, types of assessments or evaluations involved, and the level of collaboration required among hiring team members. A more complex recruitment process may require an ATS with advanced features such as interview scheduling, candidate scoring, and collaboration tools.

Unique requirements or workflows

Identify any unique requirements or workflows specific to your organization. For example, if you have specialized roles, industry-specific compliance needs, or specific reporting requirements, you'll need an ATS that can accommodate these unique aspects of your hiring process.

Research ATS Providers

Conduct thorough research to identify recruitment software (ATS) providers that offer solutions aligned with your requirements. Consider factors such as the provider's reputation, experience in the industry, customer reviews, and the features and functionalities they offer.

Evaluate Features and Functionality

Review the features and functionalities of each ATS option. Look for key capabilities such as resume parsing, job posting and distribution, candidate database management, collaboration tools, reporting and analytics, and integration capabilities with other systems you use.

Consider User Experience

Evaluate the user experience of the ATS by requesting demos or trial access. Assess how intuitive and user-friendly the interface is, and consider whether it aligns with the technical skills and preferences of your team members.

Check Customization Options

Determine if the ATS allows for customization to meet your specific requirements. Look for features that can be tailored to your workflows, branding, and communication needs.

Assess Integration Capabilities

Consider the ATS's ability to integrate with other systems you use, such as HRIS or payroll software. Seamless data sharing and synchronization can streamline your recruitment process and enhance data consistency.

Review Data Security and Compliance

Ensure that the ATS provider has robust data security measures in place to protect candidate information. Check if they comply with data protection regulations and industry best practices.

Consider Scalability and Cost

Assess whether the ATS can scale with your organization's growth and changing needs. Consider the pricing structure and whether it aligns with your budget, including any additional costs for customization, implementation, training, or ongoing support.

Seek References and Feedback

Reach out to other organizations that are currently using the ATS options you are considering. Request references or read online reviews to get insights into their experiences and satisfaction with the system.

Vendor Support and Training

Evaluate the level of customer support and training provided by the ATS vendor. Consider the availability of technical support, implementation assistance, and training resources to ensure smooth adoption and ongoing support for your team.

Conduct a Pilot or Trial

Whenever possible, consider conducting a pilot or trial period with the shortlisted ATS options. This will allow you to test the system in real-world scenarios and gather feedback from your team before making a final decision.

Make an Informed Decision

Based on your evaluation, prioritize your requirements and select the ATS that best meets your needs, offers the desired features and functionality, aligns with your budget, and has a strong track record of customer satisfaction.

Remember to involve key stakeholders, such as HR, recruitment teams, and IT, in the decision-making process to ensure that the selected ATS meets the needs of all relevant departments.

Understanding the Cost of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

In today's competitive job market, efficient and effective recruitment processes are crucial for businesses to attract and hire top talent. To streamline and automate their hiring workflows, many organizations turn to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). However, one common question that arises is, "How much does an ATS cost?" Here, we will delve into the factors that influence the cost of an ATS and provide insights to help you understand the pricing dynamics.

Factors influencing ATS costing are discussed below.

Size of the Organization

The size of your organization plays a significant role in determining the cost of an ATS. Larger companies with a higher volume of hiring and more complex recruitment needs may require advanced features, scalability, and customization options, resulting in a higher price tag. On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may find cost-effective ATS solutions that cater specifically to their needs and budget.

Features and Functionality

The range of features and functionalities offered by an ATS can vary significantly, and this directly impacts the cost. Basic ATS packages typically include features such as resume parsing, job posting, and candidate database management. As you move towards more comprehensive solutions with advanced capabilities like AI-powered candidate matching, job interview scheduling, analytics, and integration with other HR systems, the cost will likely increase.

Deployment Options

ATS systems can be deployed through different options: on-premises or cloud-based. On-premises installations require upfront hardware and infrastructure investments, as well as ongoing maintenance and IT support costs. Cloud-based ATS solutions, on the other hand, are hosted on the vendor's servers and accessed via the Internet. They often involve a subscription-based pricing model, allowing businesses to pay on a monthly or annual basis. Cloud-based ATS systems eliminate the need for upfront infrastructure costs and provide the benefits of scalability and regular software updates.

Customization and Integration

The level of customization and integration required can impact the cost of an ATS. Some organizations may need extensive customization to align the ATS with their unique recruitment processes and branding. Integration with other HR systems, such as HRIS (Human Resources Information System) or payroll software, can also affect the pricing. These additional services and customization efforts may involve extra charges, so it's essential to evaluate your organization's specific requirements and budget accordingly.

Vendor Reputation and Support

The reputation and credibility of the ATS vendor can influence the cost. Established and reputable vendors with a track record of delivering robust solutions and excellent customer support may charge higher fees. While it can be tempting to opt for lower-cost options, it's crucial to consider the vendor's reliability, product quality, ongoing support, and ability to meet your organization's long-term needs.

Exploring Different Billing Plans of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become essential tools for modern recruitment processes. As businesses strive to streamline their hiring workflows, understanding the different billing plans offered by ATS providers becomes crucial. Here, we will delve into the various billing options available in the ATS market and shed light on their advantages and considerations.

Monthly Subscription

Monthly subscription plans are a popular billing option offered by many ATS providers. With this model, organizations pay a fixed monthly fee to access and utilize the ATS platform. This billing plan offers flexibility, allowing companies to scale their usage up or down based on their hiring needs. Monthly subscriptions are suitable for businesses with fluctuating recruitment demands or those looking for short-term commitments without large upfront costs.

Annual Subscription

An annual subscription plan entails paying for the ATS platform on a yearly basis. This billing option often comes with discounted rates compared to monthly subscriptions. It is ideal for organizations with steady or predictable hiring volumes and a long-term commitment to utilizing the ATS. Annual subscriptions offer cost savings over time and may include additional perks, such as priority support or access to premium features.


Some ATS providers offer a pay-per-use or pay-per-posting billing model. This means that companies are charged based on the number of job postings or the volume of candidate data processed through the system. Pay-per-use plans provide flexibility and cost control, particularly for organizations with sporadic or occasional hiring needs. It allows businesses to pay only for the services they actively use, making it a suitable option for startups, small businesses, or those with infrequent hiring requirements.

Customized Enterprise Plans

Customized Enterprise Plans

Large organizations with complex recruitment processes and specific requirements may opt for customized enterprise plans. These plans are tailored to accommodate the company's unique needs, such as advanced features, integrations with other systems, dedicated support, or enhanced security measures. Enterprise plans often involve a customized pricing structure, negotiated directly with the ATS vendor's customer support team, based on factors like the organization's size, hiring volume, and specific feature requirements.

Getting Started - Implementing an ATS in your System

Implementing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be a transformative process for your organization's recruitment efforts. It involves several steps to ensure a successful implementation. Let's explore the key considerations and steps involved in implementing an ATS.

Define Your Requirements

Start by clearly defining your organization's recruitment needs and requirements. Identify the pain points in your current hiring process and determine the specific functionalities and features you expect from an ATS. Consider aspects such as resume parsing, candidate database management, collaboration tools, reporting and analytics, integrations with other systems, and a user-friendly interface.

Research and Select an ATS Provider

Conduct thorough research to identify reputable ATS providers that align with your requirements. Evaluate their features, pricing, customer reviews, and customer support. Request demonstrations or trials to assess the usability and compatibility of the ATS with your existing systems. Additionally, consider factors such as scalability, security, and data privacy.

Plan for Data Migration

If you have existing candidate data in spreadsheets, emails, or other systems, plan for data migration to ensure a seamless transition to the ATS. Define the scope of data migration, including candidate profiles, resumes, and other relevant information. Work closely with the ATS provider to facilitate a smooth and accurate data transfer.

Configure and Customize the ATS

Once you have selected an ATS, work closely with the provider to configure and customize the system to match your organization's requirements. This may include setting up user accounts, defining user roles and permissions, creating customized workflows, and configuring integrations with job boards, career sites, and other recruitment platforms.

Training and Onboarding

Provide comprehensive training to your recruitment team and other relevant stakeholders on how to effectively use the ATS. Ensure that users understand the system's features, workflows, and best practices. The ATS provider may offer training resources, webinars, or onsite training sessions to facilitate a smooth onboarding process.

Test and Refine

Before fully deploying the ATS, conduct thorough testing to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. Test various scenarios, such as creating job postings, managing candidate profiles, and generating reports. Seek feedback from users and make necessary adjustments to optimize the system's functionality and user experience.

Communication and Change Management

Effective communication is essential throughout the implementation process. Keep all relevant stakeholders informed about the implementation progress, changes to recruitment processes, and the benefits of the ATS. Address any concerns or resistance to change by highlighting the advantages the ATS brings, such as improved efficiency, better candidate experience, and enhanced data management.

Monitor and Evaluate

Monitoring  and Evaluating

Once the ATS is implemented, continuously monitor its performance and gather feedback from users. Evaluate the system's effectiveness in streamlining your recruitment processes, improving time-to-hire, and enhancing the overall candidate experience. Regularly review analytics and reports provided by the ATS to identify areas for further optimization.

AI and Applicant Tracking Systems - What to Expect

As technology continues to advance, the recruitment landscape is evolving rapidly. One of the key driving forces behind this transformation is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation into Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These intelligent technologies are revolutionizing the way businesses attract, screen, and hire candidates. Below, we will explore the role of AI and automation in modern ATS and the benefits they bring to the recruitment process.

Enhanced Resume Screening

Enhanced Resume Screening

AI-powered algorithms have significantly improved the resume screening process. ATS equipped with AI capabilities can automatically scan resumes, extract relevant information, and assess candidates based on predefined criteria. This automation eliminates manual effort and allows recruiters to focus on evaluating qualified candidates, resulting in more accurate and efficient screening.

Intelligent Candidate Matching

Intelligent Candidate Matching

Matching candidates to job requirements is a time-consuming task for recruiters. With AI, modern ATS can analyze job descriptions and resumes to identify the best-matched candidates. By considering factors such as skills, experience, and qualifications, AI-powered ATS can provide a shortlist of top candidates, saving recruiters valuable time and improving the quality of candidate selection.

Personalized Candidate Experience

Automation plays a crucial role in delivering a personalized candidate experience. ATS can automate personalized email communications, keeping candidates informed about their application status, job interview invitations, and other relevant updates. By tailoring communication based on individual candidate profiles, businesses can create a positive and engaging experience, enhancing their employer brand.

Interview Automation

AI-powered ATS can streamline the interview process through automated scheduling and video interviewing. With integrated scheduling tools, recruiters can easily coordinate interview times with candidates, eliminating back-and-forth communication. Video interviewing capabilities enable remote assessments, reducing geographical barriers and expediting the selection process.

Data Analytics and Insights

Data Analytics

AI and automation provide valuable data analytics and insights to optimize recruitment strategies. Modern ATS can generate reports and analytics on key recruitment metrics, such as time-to-hire, source effectiveness, and candidate quality. These insights enable recruiters to make data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, and refine their hiring processes over time.

Continuous Learning and Improvement

AI-powered ATSs have the ability to learn and improve over time. Through machine learning algorithms, these systems can analyze recruitment data, identify patterns, and make predictions. This continuous learning allows ATS to refine its matching algorithms, provide more accurate recommendations, and adapt to changing recruitment trends.

Some Popular Applicant Tracking Systems Out There

Below are some top Applicant Tracking Systems that are widely recognized in the industry.



Hirecinch is a software platform that offers all-in-one hiring software for businesses of all sizes generally and for small businesses especially. The platform is designed to help employers attract high-quality candidates, evaluate them collaboratively, and ultimately find the right fit for their team.


The platform offers a range of tools to help employers create and post job listings, as well as reach out to candidates directly through email campaigns and social media channels. This helps businesses to increase their candidate pool and find the best fit for their open positions.

Workday Recruiting

Workday Recruiting

Workday Recruiting offers a comprehensive ATS solution that integrates with its suite of human capital management tools. It is suitable for large organizations with complex hiring needs.



Greenhouse is a popular ATS platform known for its robust features and customizable workflows. It offers advanced candidate sourcing, collaboration tools, and analytics to optimize the hiring process.



Lever is an ATS designed for fast-growing companies. It provides an intuitive user interface, and collaborative hiring features, and integrates with various tools to streamline the recruitment process.



JazzHR is a user-friendly ATS that caters to small and medium-sized businesses. It offers features such as job posting, candidate screening, interview scheduling, and reporting at an affordable price.



BambooHR is an HR software platform that includes an ATS module. It provides a user-friendly interface, and applicant tracking features, and integrates with other HR tools for a seamless hiring experience.



iCIMS is a comprehensive talent acquisition platform that offers an ATS solution along with other recruitment and onboarding functionalities. It is suitable for mid-sized to large enterprises.



SmartRecruiters is an ATS platform that focuses on collaborative hiring and candidate engagement. It offers features like sourcing, interview scheduling, and reporting to optimize the hiring process.



Bullhorn is a cloud-based ATS and CRM platform designed for staffing and recruiting agencies. It provides end-to-end recruitment management, candidate tracking, and customer relationship management capabilities.



Jobvite is an ATS platform that combines applicant tracking, social recruiting, and employee referrals. It offers customizable workflows, recruitment marketing, and analytics for effective hiring.

Taleo (Oracle Taleo Cloud Service)


Taleo is a widely used ATS that provides a comprehensive talent management solution. It offers applicant tracking, onboarding, performance management, and learning management functionalities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application designed to streamline and automate the recruitment and hiring process. It helps companies manage job postings, track applicants, screen resumes, scheduling interviews, and ultimately select and hire candidates.

How does an ATS work?

An ATS works by centralizing and organizing all recruitment-related data in one system. It allows recruiters to post job openings, receive and store resumes, screen candidates based on predefined criteria, schedule interviews, and track the progress of each candidate throughout the hiring process. ATS software often includes features such as resume parsing, automated email notifications, collaboration tools, and reporting capabilities.

What are the benefits of using an ATS?

Using an ATS offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved efficiency and time savings in the entire recruitment process.
  • Enhanced candidate screening and selection through automated resume parsing and keyword matching.
  • Better collaboration and communication among hiring team members.
  • Access to data and analytics for tracking recruitment metrics and making data-driven decisions.
  • Compliance with hiring regulations and equal opportunity guidelines.
  • Enhanced candidate experience through automated communications and streamlined processes.

Can an ATS integrate with other systems?

Yes, many ATS platforms offer integration capabilities with other HR systems such as HRIS (Human Resources Information System), payroll software, background check providers, and job boards. The integration allows for seamless data exchange between systems, reducing manual data entry and improving overall efficiency.

Is an ATS suitable for small businesses?

ATS solutions are available for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. There are ATS options tailored specifically for the needs and budgets of small organizations. These solutions often offer essential features for efficient hiring without overwhelming complexity or high costs.

Can an ATS help with compliance and diversity hiring?

Yes, an ATS can assist with compliance and diversity hiring efforts. ATS software can facilitate tracking and reporting of EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) data, ensuring compliance with equal opportunity guidelines. Additionally, some ATS platforms offer features that support diversity sourcing and enable the monitoring of diversity metrics.

Is data security a concern with ATS?

Data security is a top priority for ATS providers. Reputable ATS vendors employ robust security measures to protect sensitive candidate and company data. This includes data encryption, secure storage, access controls, and regular security audits. It's important to choose an ATS vendor with a proven track record in data security.

How much does an ATS cost?

ATS pricing can vary depending on factors such as the size of the organization, the features and functionalities required, and the chosen vendor. Some ATS providers offer subscription-based pricing models, while others may charge based on the number of users or job openings. It's advisable to request pricing information directly from ATS vendors and consider the value and return on investment the system can provide.

Is it necessary to have the technical expertise to use an ATS?

Most modern ATS platforms are designed with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows, making them accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. Training and customer support are often provided by ATS vendors to ensure smooth implementation and usage.

Can an ATS be customized to fit specific recruitment processes?

Yes, many ATS platforms offer customization options to align with the unique needs and workflows of organizations. This may include customizing application forms, creating personalized hiring stages, and configuring automated email templates to match the company's branding and communication style.

Can an ATS integrate with job boards and social media platforms?

Yes, integration with job boards and social media platforms is a common feature of ATS software. It allows recruiters to post job openings across multiple channels with ease and automatically captures candidate information from different sources into the ATS database.

Can an ATS help with candidate relationship management (CRM)?

Some ATS platforms include CRM functionalities that enable recruiters to build and maintain relationships with potential candidates, even if they are not currently being considered for a specific role. These features facilitate future talent pipeline and proactive candidate engagement.

How can an ATS improve the candidate experience?

An ATS can enhance the candidate experience by providing a user-friendly application process, automated status updates on application progress, and timely communication regarding interview schedules and outcomes. Additionally, ATS platforms with mobile optimization ensure candidates can easily apply and stay engaged through mobile devices.

Can an ATS help with managing internal referrals?

Yes, many ATS platforms include features to manage employee referrals. This allows employees to refer potential candidates directly within the system, track the status of their referrals, and receive notifications on referral outcomes.

Are ATS platforms suitable for remote hiring and distributed teams?

Absolutely. ATS systems are well-suited for remote hiring, as they provide centralized access to candidate information, collaborative tools for remote team members, and seamless communication regardless of geographical location.

Is it possible to migrate data from an existing system to an ATS?

ATS vendors often provide data migration services or support the import of data from other systems. This allows organizations to transfer candidate information, job postings, and other relevant data to the new ATS platform without significant manual effort.

How does an ATS handle job postings?

An ATS typically allows recruiters to create and manage job postings within the system. They can define job descriptions, requirements, and qualifications, and publish the postings to various job boards and career websites directly from the ATS.

How long does it take to implement an ATS?

The implementation time for an ATS can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the organization's recruiting process, the number of users, and the level of customization required. It typically ranges from a few weeks to a few months.

Can an ATS help with candidate relationship management (CRM)?

Yes, some ATS platforms offer CRM functionality, allowing recruiters to maintain relationships with potential candidates, build talent pipelines, and nurture connections for future job opportunities.

Can an ATS support mobile recruiting?

Yes, many ATS platforms are mobile-friendly, enabling recruiters and applicants to access the system and perform essential tasks from mobile devices. This includes job applications, resume uploads, interview scheduling, and candidate communication.

Does an ATS have automated email and notification capabilities?

Yes, ATS systems typically have automated email functionalities, enabling recruiters to send automated notifications and updates to applicants at different stages of the recruitment process. This helps keep applicants informed and engaged.

Are there any industry-specific ATS solutions available?

Yes, some ATS providers specialize in specific industries or job types, offering tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of those sectors. These industry-specific ATS platforms often include features and workflows specific to the targeted industry.

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Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier