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Applicant Tracking System

What is Applicant Tracking System?

ATS, an abbreviation for "Applicant Tracking System," is a type of recruitment software that helps the company streamline its hiring process from beginning to end. Many organizations use ATS to analyze and improve their current hiring process. It helps to post job openings on multiple job portals, stores applicant data, and screens the applications for potential matches. A lot of filters, such as experience, qualification, skills required, etc., are used to determine the candidate’s suitability for a position. An advanced ATS has an in-built communication system, which provides communication channels between the recruiter and the potential candidate.

Frequently Asked Questions About ATS

How does an ATS work?

The applications stored in ATS will be parsed into separate sections and scanned entirely to search for certain keywords to identify the job position. If the keywords are matched, the application will be passed for further process.

It clearly suggests that an ATS bifurcates applications to help recruiters find a best suitable candidate for the role. Another important thing is that ATS does not identify candidates who are a perfect match; it rather eliminates the applications of the ones that are less qualified. This means if the resume is not prepared considering the rules, even competent candidates can be skipped.

What are the features of an ATS?

Different vendors may offer different features, though the following are some of the common ones.

  • Job posting management
  • Keyword search for analyzing resume
  • Candidate sourcing
  • Storing resume
  • Parsing and Filtering
  • Interview scheduling
  • Email customization and sending
  • Applicant communication
  • Onboarding tools


Do small and medium enterprises require an applicant tracking system?

As an owner of a small or medium companies, your might think of not needing software for your recruitment process. However, ATS can be beneficial even for such organizations in a way you can’t think of.

ATS can simplify your hiring process by optimizing manual and time-consuming tasks such as managing and recording candidate applications, sending custom emails, tracking candidates throughout the process, etc. Additionally, you can generate custom reports with detailed insights, which can be challenging to create manually.

Many applicant tracking system vendors provide features that are specially customized for SMEs.

How is an ATS profitable for organizations?

Large organizations mainly have more vacancies and thus target a larger pool of candidates. This creates additional pressure on recruiters to review and screen resumes with limited time and cognitive ability. A similar situation may also happen in small or large organizations. An ATS enables those recruiters to stay organized by managing all the applications in one platform.

Additionally, an applicant tracking system becomes useful for organizations in the following ways.

  • It helps share open positions on job boards, websites, and social sites to improve the volume of resumes automatically.
  • It allows teams to accelerate their operational functions and give more time to the strategic ones.
  • It makes the screening fast and efficient with the help of algorithms and semantic search methods to compare resumes with the job requirements and remove fake ones.
  • It refines and rectifies the hiring experience of the applicants.
  • The time saved by the software can be useful to improve candidate engagement and collect more information.
  • It allows a collaborative hiring process where every recruiter can share data and rate candidates to implement an efficient decision-making process.


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How to prepare an ATS-friendly resume?

As the ATS scans applications based on pre-defined keywords, their format should be compliant. Following are the steps to create a well-formatted resume to pass through ATS.

  • Select the proper file type which works for the ATS.
  • Avoid including important information in the header or footer.
  • Use generalized keywords and not buzzwords throughout the resume.
  • Avoid images, graphics and charts.
  • Always try to include simple points.
  • Use clean design and ensure the hierarchy of different sections.

Why is recruiting software different from the applicant tracking system?

An ATS helps recruiters track candidates and store their resumes. However, recruiting software combines these features in addition to scheduling, connecting candidates, email marketing, and mobile application.

What is the cost of an ATS?

The average cost of an ATS is $4 to $7 per employee per month, and it may depend on different business models. The most widely used models for ATS are pay per user, pay per feature, and pay per position.

The price may also depend on factors such as vendors, features, company size, installation, and maintenance.

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