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Top Five Advantages of Applicant Tracking Systems

Finding the ideal candidate for every open position is critical for the growth of any organization. Aiming to increase recruiting efficiency and stay compliant, many large and mid-size companies have adopted applicant tracking systems (ATS), a software application that enables electronic recruitment processes. The top five most-valued benefits an ATS provides to an organization are highlighted below.

Key Benefits

  • Reduce time to hire

Studies show that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. Even with this quick glance, recruiters may still spend a significant amount of cumulative time qualifying resumes, a process that can be automated and reduced with an ATS. If configured appropriately, the software can pre-screen questionnaires and perform basic resume-reading tasks through keyword searches, filtering out non-qualified candidates. Additionally, an ATS can create a talent pool by storing applications and information in a database for unsuccessful but strong candidates. The hiring team can tap into the database for future opportunities in the organization, saving time on the front end of the qualification process.

  • Improve recruitment and hiring compliance

There are many rules and regulations when it comes to hiring. An ATS can help organizations reduce compliance risks by reaching a larger talent pool with online posting, reviewing each application, and only pushing through those that meet the basic qualifications to the next stage of hiring process. To further comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regulations, an ATS also offers data collection, evaluation, and reporting of recruiting and hiring protected groups.

  • Streamline and customize recruitment process

From posting positions in the right place to managing stacks of paperwork, an ATS can help recruiters stay on top of every task by consolidating all the information into a single database. The central hub not only allows recruiters an easy access to find or retrieve information about applicants, but also provides them with a platform to collaborate with team members to draw immediate attention to a candidate, using tools such as instant messaging. In addition, an ATS can configure multiple workflows on the back end of the system to accommodate organizations that have different recruiting processes across business units.

  • Enhance onboarding experience

To provide new hires with a seamless onboarding experience, an ATS should be integrated with the company’s other systems, such as their core HR information system, learning management system, and payroll. An integrated system can help the hiring manager keep track of onboarding status and proactively communicate with new hires. In addition, such an integration can speed up the onboarding process and save the new hires frustration by automatically populating candidate information from job applications to new hire forms.

  • Improve candidate experience

Candidate experience has a direct impact on job-offer acceptance and advocacy. An ATS can help a company enhance the candidate experience by tracking the candidate’s status in the pipeline and enabling clear mechanisms for communications. With this information readily available, the recruiting team can establish a single point of contact for each candidate, set up reminders to provide feedback to candidates at every point in the process, and even personalize automated response emails to a particular candidate.


With an ATS, organizations now have the means to record and measure candidate data to identify areas for improvement and ultimately drive recruiting strategy. Before investing, however, companies should recognize potential downsides of using an ATS to replace traditional recruiter activities. For example, the same configuration that allows ATS to quickly scan through thousands of resumes may also cause it to miss out on some great candidates. If an individual has valuable experience but fails to state the exact key word(s) on the resume that the recruiter is seeking, he or she will not make it through the initial round. Therefore, it is important for companies to carefully weigh the pros and cons of how they are leveraging the system to enhance the overall recruiting and onboarding processes.

Additional Resources

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): 7 Reasons to Love Your ATS How to Streamline Recruiting with an Application Tracking System

Recruiter: 3 Ways an ATS Keeps You Legally Compliant

Recruiting Daily: 10 Reasons Every Recruiter Should Use an Applicant Tracking System

Echogravity: How Does Your ATS Impact the Candidate Experience?

The HR Booth: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Applicant Tracking Systems for Recruitment

This report is part of the Human Capital Compliance Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

Additional Contributing Author: Yao Wu

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