Applicant Tracking Basics - Why You Need an ATS

Published on 12/17/2014 by David Webb
Last Updated on 12/30/2022

Categories: Recruiting Software BlogWhat Is ATS

Tags: applicant trackingapplicant tracking basicsapplicant tracking softwareapplicant tracking systemATSbest practicesbuyers guidesystem requirements

Almost everyone in Human Resources knows what an applicant tracking system (ATS) is and a good majority may already have one in place at their company. Yet, for various reasons, some have not quite bought in to the need for an ATS. Criticisms include ATS systems create a less personal process for interacting with candidates and resumes/applications become more standard and robotic. Others argue that by requiring certain information fields, ATS's makes it easier to discriminate.

ATS's definitely have their pros and cons, but all-in-all, they are an absolute best practice for organizations looking to streamline processes and limit liability. For those that don't yet have an ATS or even those that do but don't fully understand why they are necessary, let's take a look at the benefits an ATS systems brings to any organization.

Tim's Strategy offers various factors to account for when considering implementing an ATS:

    1. Number of Applicants. The sheer volume of applicants can be overwhelming for any recruiter. In order to screen and process a high-volume of candidates, an ATS system may be needed to review applicants more efficiently.
    1. Government Reporting Requirements and Discrimination. Throughout the years, government reporting requirements have continually changed. ATS systems can easily aid companies with compliance to EEO requirements and discrimination liability.
    1. Applicant Tracking. Including the time-consuming process of reviewing and reporting all candidates that apply, tracking the steps of a hiring process and each applicant can be easily streamlined with an ATS system. Tracking applicants electronically reduces errors, saves time and allows for easy recall in the event of a claim made or suit filed against the organization
    1. Government Reporting Requirements and Discrimination. Throughout the years, government reporting requirements have continually changed. ATS systems can easily aid companies with compliance to EEO requirements and discrimination liability.

According to Beyond, a recent study by software consulting company, Software Advice, found that

"While the number of companies utilizing manual methods has declined since last year, 61 percent of their customers were managing their applicants with spreadsheets and email. Most of the companies surveyed were in the small business sector (76 percent). As companies grow out of traditional methods, they seek the time-saving and streamlining capabilities of an Applicant Tracking System."

The need to increase efficiency and organization was still the top reason buyers provided for purchasing a new ATS--although fewer buyers gave this as their primary reason for seeking software in 2014 (37 percent of buyers) as compared to 2013 (45 percent).

However, the percentage of buyers seeking software due to company growth almost doubled in 2014. In 2013, only 11 percent of buyers noted they were looking to purchase software because their current system was unable to support the growth of their business. In 2014, 18 percent of buyers said this was the case."

While there will always be negative aspects of implementing any new system, the advantages of an ATS far outweigh the disadvantages. Streamline hiring processes by saving time and energy with an ATS. In the end you will have more time to focus on the more personalized pieces of the recruitment process, such as interviewing and networking.


What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software used by recruiters and employers to manage the recruitment process, from advertising job openings to tracking resumes and applications

What are the benefits of using an ATS?

An ATS can help streamline the hiring process, save time and energy, and reduce errors and potential discrimination liabilities. It can also help organizations comply with government reporting requirements. 

What are the drawbacks of using an ATS?

One of the drawbacks of using an ATS is that the process may become less personal for applicants due to the standardization of the system. Additionally, some people argue that requiring certain information fields can make it easier to discriminate. 

How can an ATS help with discrimination liability?

An ATS can help reduce discrimination liability by standardizing the application process and making it easier to track and report applicants. 

How can an ATS help streamline the hiring process?

An ATS can help streamline the hiring process by allowing recruiters and employers to quickly and easily review applicants, track applicants throughout the hiring process, and easily recall information in the event of a claim or suit. 

What is the best way to evaluate an ATS system?

The best way to evaluate an ATS system is to consider factors such as the number of applicants, government reporting requirements and discrimination, applicant tracking, and company growth. Additionally, it is important to understand the features of the system and how they can be used to streamline the hiring process.

About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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