What is an Applicant Tracking System?

RecruitmentMarketing.com ReporterBy RecruitmentMarketing.com Reporter
October 23rd, 2023 • 5 Minutes

The recruitment landscape has evolved, making the hiring process more streamlined and efficient. Central to this transformation is the applicant tracking system (ATS). This guide delves deep into the world of ATS, offering insights for hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals on its functionalities, benefits and future trends.

What is an ATS?

An ATS is a software tool designed for recruiters and employers to manage and optimize the entire recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to onboarding new hires. Depending on its design and features, an ATS can range from a basic database system to a comprehensive suite equipped with advanced AI and analytical tools.\

Why Every Organization Needs an ATS

Organizations, regardless of their size or industry, are constantly on the lookout for tools that can give them an edge in attracting and retaining top talent. This is where the ATS comes into play. As a centralized platform designed to optimize the recruitment process, an ATS offers a number of benefits that cater to the diverse needs of hiring professionals.

Sourcing Top Talent
An applicant tracking system broadens an organization’s reach, targeting top job seekers and casting a wider net in the marketplace. Advanced systems use AI and machine learning to profile ideal candidates, assess skills and predict success factors, ensuring the best match for the role.

Enhancing Candidate Engagement
The journey from initial contact to the start date requires consistent engagement. An ATS ensures timely communication, interview scheduling and feedback, preventing top candidates from slipping through the cracks.

Boosting Efficiency and Reducing Costs
By automating manual processes and enhancing collaboration, an ATS reduces the time-to-hire and cost-per-hire metrics, making the recruitment process more cost-effective.

Staying Competitive
With a majority of Fortune 500 companies leveraging ATS in their hiring process, having one can level the playing field, especially for businesses looking to attract top talent.

Streamlining Onboarding
Beyond recruitment, a robust ATS assists in the onboarding process, ensuring new hires have the resources they need from day one.

The ATS Experience for Candidates

The candidate’s experience has taken center stage in modern recruitment. Top candidates have multiple opportunities at their fingertips. They are not just evaluating job roles but the entire hiring process. An ATS, while primarily designed for recruiters, plays a significant role in shaping this experience. It’s not just about streamlining the hiring process but also about ensuring that candidates feel valued, informed and engaged every step of the way.

Frictionless Digital Journey
Modern job seekers expect a seamless application process. Leading ATSs offer auto-fill applications, self-service interview scheduling and consistent communication.

Efficiency in Hiring
An integrated ATS ensures that candidates are updated promptly, reducing waiting times and enhancing their overall experience.

Smooth Transition to Employment
With tools to facilitate onboarding, candidates can transition smoothly into their new roles, ready to make an impact.

Key Features to Look for in an ATS

Navigating the vast landscape of applicant tracking systems can be daunting. With a plethora of options, each boasting a myriad of features, how does one choose the right fit? The answer lies in understanding the unique challenges and requirements of your organization. While every ATS aims to streamline the recruitment process, the nuances in their features can make a significant difference in their effectiveness.

To help you discern the best fit, here are some of the primary features to consider when evaluating an ATS:

  • Job Description Templates: Keyword-rich templates that attract the right candidates.
  • Extended Reach: Integration with job-posting sites, internal job boards and social media channels.
  • Automation: Features like automated job posting, communication and interview scheduling.
  • Collaboration Tools: Tools that allow recruiting teams to track, communicate and collaborate on candidate profiles.

Choosing the Right ATS for Your Organization

The decision to implement an applicant tracking system is a significant one, marking an investment in the future of your organization’s recruitment strategy. However, with the market flooded with numerous ATS options, each with its unique selling points and features, the selection process can become overwhelming. It’s not just about choosing an ATS; it’s about choosing the right ATS that aligns with your organization’s specific needs and goals. 

  • Identify Pain Points: Understand the challenges you aim to address with the ATS, whether it’s sourcing, engagement or efficiency.
  • Evaluate Organizational Capability: Consider the organization’s readiness for change, budget constraints and expected ROI.
  • IT Infrastructure: Ensure the ATS integrates seamlessly with existing IT systems and can interface with other essential software.

The Modern ATS

In the dynamic world of recruitment, staying ahead of the curve is not just an advantage; it’s a necessity. As the digital landscape shifts and candidate expectations evolve, the tools used in the hiring process must adapt in tandem. The ATS, once only a database of candidate information, has become a sophisticated platform, integrating cutting-edge technologies and addressing modern-day recruitment challenges.

Here are some key advancements and features that modern ATS platforms have incorporated to meet the demands of today’s recruitment landscape:

  • Mobile-First Approach: Catering to a workforce that relies heavily on mobile devices.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Enhanced algorithms for better candidate profiling and personalized experiences.
  • Cloud-Based Systems: Offering scalability, security and integration with other tech platforms.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Using data analytics to promote a more diverse and inclusive hiring process.

Top ATS Platforms You’ve Never Heard Of

With countless lists mentioning the same big-name ATS tools over and over, it’s easy to overlook the hidden gems in the marketplace. We’ve decided to shine a light on those lesser-known ATS platforms that deserve your attention. These systems might not have the same brand recognition, but they’ve earned top ratings based on features, capabilities and user reviews.


Manatal is a leading AI-powered recruitment software tailored for HR teams, recruitment agencies and headhunters. It offers a user-friendly interface and integrates seamlessly with platforms like LinkedIn and other job boards. Manatal is cloud-based, mobile-friendly and customizable to fit various recruitment needs. The software has received positive feedback from users, highlighting its efficiency, intuitive design and robust support. Many users, including large-scale HR teams and recruitment agencies, have noted significant improvements in their recruitment metrics after adopting Manatal.


Simplicant is a state-of-the-art recruiting platform that streamlines the entire hiring journey, from candidate sourcing to onboarding. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools, including intelligent candidate screening, automated interview scheduling and in-depth analytics. With features like branded career pages and digital onboarding processes, Simplicant aims to ensure a seamless and efficient talent acquisition experience. Its platform is designed for adaptability and collaboration, making it a good option for modern enterprises seeking a strategic edge in recruitment.


Teamtailor is a comprehensive recruitment platform trusted by over 7,800 companies worldwide. It focuses on enhancing the candidate experience, aiming to attract and convert top talent effectively. The platform offers tools for collaboration, recruitment management and analytics, ensuring recruiters can work efficiently and successfully. Teamtailor emphasizes not just being a software but a transformative way of working, promising an extraordinary experience for both candidates and recruitment teams. Its dedicated customer support, combined with powerful features, has led to significant improvements in the recruitment processes of its users.


Comeet offers a collaborative recruiting and applicant tracking system designed to streamline the hiring process. The platform features “Elastic Sourcing,” which simplifies the task of finding qualified and interested passive candidates by leveraging industry and recruiting experts. Additionally, Comeet’s “Elastic Recruiting” provides an on-demand team of recruitment professionals who manage the entire hiring process, from sourcing to screening. Testimonials from users highlight the platform’s efficiency, with many praising its ability to centralize the hiring process, facilitate timely notifications and provide valuable feedback for decision-making.


Occupop provides a straightforward and efficient recruitment software tailored for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The platform emphasizes simplicity, eliminating unnecessary complexities to optimize the recruitment process. Key features include one-click job posting across various platforms, AI-powered sourcing, smart screening and automation of manual tasks such as candidate screening and interview scheduling. Occupop also offers real-time data analytics to help companies track hiring success, job ad performance and cost-effectiveness. Many SMBs have reported significant reductions in recruitment admin, time-to-hire and costs after adopting Occupop.

An applicant tracking system is no longer a luxury but a necessity in the modern recruitment landscape. For hiring managers and talent acquisition professionals, understanding and leveraging the capabilities of an ATS can be the difference between good hiring and great hiring. As the world of recruitment continues to evolve, staying updated and adapting to these changes will be the key to success.

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