Blog post

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

If you’re applying for jobs online,  at some point you will encounter an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). In the following article, you can learn how an ATS works, what they do to your resume if you are applying, or how they can help save your business time and resources if recruiting.

Commonly abbreviated as ATS, an applicant tracking system is just as it sounds. While it’s most commonly known to track applicants, this system also provides recruiting and hiring tools. From collecting resumes to sorting prospective employees, applicant tracking systems serve as a database for job applicants. Ideal for both large and small companies, an ATS helps organise, search, and locate qualified applicants. In essence, this system breathes convenience into recruiting and hiring employees.

When looking into multiple candidates, it’s easy for companies to get bogged down in the details. Moreover, finding appropriate applicants for each position demands great attention to detail. Fortunately, an applicant tracking system rids hiring managers with the hassle that comes with this process. Thanks to applicant tracking systems, gone are the days of sifting through an abundance of resumes. Instead, this modern alternative provides automated solutions that promote efficiency and accuracy.


How Does An Applicant Tracking System Work?

The primary purpose of an applicant tracking system is to streamline the recruiting process. It does so by putting employers in touch with suitable candidates. For optimal results, recruiters should make detailed job postings. The more specific this posting is, the more fitting your applicants will be. Drawing in the wrong candidates will only prolong this task, so be sure that you’re taking a thorough approach.

When applying for a job through an ATS, you’ll likely be asked knockout questions. With these pointed questions, employers can whittle down the pool of applicants. In other words, they allow recruiters to eliminate unfit candidates early on. Depending on the answers that an employer has set, the applicant tracking system will reject resumes that aren’t worth reviewing. On the other hand, if an applicant answers the questions satisfactorily, they’ll move on to the next stage.

Once you have all your potential candidates, you can track them throughout the process. For instance, an ATS will let you know if an applicant has graduated to their second or third interview. Similarly, if a candidate has proven unwilling to commit to their job requirements, an applicant tracking system will remove them from the talent pool. You can also keep applicants for future reference, making it easy to reach out to candidates when a new position opens up.


Applicant Tracking System Benefits

Applicant Tracking Systems are multifaceted and have many features, many of which may vary based on which brand of software you’ve invested in.

Thanks to their dynamic, user-friendly features, applicant tracking systems offer several benefits. However, not all applicant tracking systems were created equal, so you’ll want to look into each brand before moving forward with a selection. In most cases, here’s how an ATS can prove advantageous to your company.

Viewing Applications

Viewing applications is a breeze with applicant tracking systems. Recruiters can quickly glance at resumes, immediately determining whether or not someone is a good fit. For candidates, this means that highlighting your top skills is critical. Otherwise, your resume is liable to get lost in the shuffle.

Automatic Rankings

More advanced applicant tracking systems have automatic rankings. After comparing your job description to a resume, an ATS can decide how qualified an applicant is. Since an ATS does all the legwork, recruiters don’t have to worry about weeding out ill-suited employees.

Keyword Searches

Keyword searches help recruiters find certain resumes. For example, maybe you’re looking for an applicant who has a background in the food industry. Using keyword search tools, you can find what would otherwise be a needle in a haystack. From skills and experience to location and education, you can make your search as specific as you want. The list below highlights some additional benefits that an ATS offers.

  • Applicant communication
  • Sourcing
  • Automated email customisations
  • Resume Storage
  • Job posting distribution


Enhance Your Company’s Operations

With an ATS, you save time, money, and effort. What’s more, you gain access to talent pipelines that are rich with certified candidates. By investing in an applicant tracking system, you can fill positions faster while building your dream team. To see which applicant tracking system is right for you, place your trust in HRLocker. Between our world-class customer service and extensive expertise, we make your experience hassle-free from start to finish.


HRLocker is a people management solution with a built-in recruitment module to help you hire key talent for your organisation.

What is an Applicant Tracking System? was last modified: September 27th, 2023 by Jenny Martin

Enquire about using HRLocker in your organisation in 2024

Book a Demo

Join our Newsletter

Receive blog posts, updates & keep up to date with HRLocker!