Choosing An Ats

What is an ATS? 3 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

What is an ATS? 3 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems
HireHive Team

HireHive Team


An Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, is a software application companies use to streamline and manage their recruitment and hiring processes. It's a centralized database to track and organize job applications and candidate information. An ATS can have a lot of bells and whistles and offer many customized tools that recruiters or companies can use to support their staffing initiatives. 

In 2021, the global market for ATS reached a revenue of 1.45 billion in U.S. dollars. The compound annual growth rate is expected to be 9 05% between 2022 and 2030. With increased reliance on artificial intelligence, companies embracing AI-assisted applicant tracking systems will benefit from the evolution of the technology. 

An ATS such as HireHive can be integrated seamlessly into your company's current tech stack to ensure that all aspects of the business run smoothly and cooperatively. But it can be helpful to know what an ATS can do for you. Here are the three things you should know about applicant tracking systems including:

  • What an ATS can do for your business
  • Artificial intelligence and applicant tracking systems
  • Why the human element is still critical for hiring

What Can an ATS Do for Business? 

An applicant tracking system can do more than organize the candidate pool. It is a complete system that streamlines the hiring process from sourcing to onboarding. Here are some things an ATS can do for your organization. 

Job Posting and Application Management

An ATS allows companies to create and post job openings on various platforms, such as company websites or job boards. Candidates can submit their applications through the system, including resumes, cover letters, and other relevant documents.

Resume Parsing and Keyword Filtering

This software uses parsing technology to extract relevant information from resumes and standardize it for easy database management. Keyword filtering enables the system to automatically screen and rank applicants based on their qualifications and match with job requirements.

Candidate Tracking and Communication

The system also provides a centralized dashboard where recruiters and hiring managers can track the status of each candidate throughout the hiring process. It facilitates candidate communication through automated email templates, interview scheduling, and status updates.

Resume/Candidate Database

An ATS maintains a database of resumes and candidate profiles. Recruiters can search and filter candidates based on various criteria, such as skills, experience, education, and location. This feature helps streamline the candidate sourcing and selection process.

Collaboration and Workflow Management

They enable collaboration among hiring teams by allowing multiple users to access and review candidate profiles, leave comments, and provide feedback. It also provides workflow management tools to track progress and ensure a smooth hiring process.

Reporting and Analytics

The processes will generate reports and analytics to help recruiters and hiring managers evaluate the effectiveness of their recruitment strategies. These reports provide insights into metrics such as time-to-fill, source of candidates, diversity data, and cost per hire.

Compliance and Equal Opportunity

Many ATSs include features that support compliance with equal opportunity employment regulations, such as the ability to anonymize candidate information during the screening process or to track demographic data for reporting purposes.

AI and ATS

Applicant tracking systems can also use artificial intelligence to streamline and enhance the recruitment and hiring process. AI-assisted technology can improve automation and reduce time to hire and time spent on repetitive administrative tasks. 

Resume Parsing

AI-powered systems can parse and extract relevant information from resumes, such as contact details, work history, skills, and education. AI algorithms analyze the structured data and categorize it for easier searching and matching.

Keyword Matching

AI algorithms help these systems match job descriptions with candidate resumes. By identifying keywords and phrases that match the requirements, AI can assess the relevancy and rank candidates accordingly.

Natural Language Processing 

ATS systems leverage NLP or natural language processing techniques to understand and interpret text-based data. This allows them to analyze resumes and job descriptions for contextual understanding, sentiment analysis, and semantic matching.

Candidate Ranking and Scoring

AI algorithms can evaluate and rank candidates based on their qualifications and match to the job requirements. By assigning scores or relevance metrics, ATS systems help recruiters focus on the most suitable candidates and identify potential matches more efficiently.

Automated Screening and Shortlisting

AI-supported systems can automatically screen and shortlist candidates based on predefined criteria, saving recruiters time and effort. They can filter out unqualified candidates, assess experience levels, and identify top candidates based on specific qualifications.

Bias Mitigation

These programs aim to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. By standardizing criteria and focusing on objective qualifications, AI algorithms can help mitigate biases related to gender, race, or other protected characteristics.

Candidate Relationship Management

Some ATS systems use AI to manage and nurture candidate relationships. This includes automated responses, personalized communication, and scheduling interviews, ensuring candidates receive timely updates and enhancing their overall experience.

Predictive Analytics

The software employs predictive analytics to forecast candidate success and retention rates based on historical data. By analyzing patterns and correlations, AI algorithms can provide insights into the likelihood of a candidate's fit within a specific role or organization.

The Human Element

It's also important to note that ATS and AI are best combined with the human element in recruiting. These tools aren't meant to replace or eliminate recruiters but augment their work and provide more automation to reduce the hours spent on repeatable tasks. However, the human element is still a critical factor in choosing candidates. While AI-assisted technology brings numerous benefits to the recruiting process, the human element remains crucial. 

Contextual Understanding

AI algorithms excel at processing and analyzing large amounts of data but may lack contextual understanding and nuanced interpretation. People can understand complex situations, evaluate soft skills, and make subjective judgments beyond what AI can accomplish alone.

Decision Making and Judgment

Final hiring decisions often require human judgment. AI-supported ATS can provide recommendations and insights based on data, but humans can consider multiple factors, weigh trade-offs, and make informed decisions. Hiring involves assessing cultural fit, team dynamics, and intangible qualities that are best evaluated by humans.

Ethical Considerations

AI systems are susceptible to biases in the data they are trained on, which can inadvertently perpetuate discrimination or favor particular groups. Recruiter oversight is crucial to ensure fairness, diversity, and inclusion in recruiting. Humans can spot biases, question the recommendations made by AI, and ensure ethical practices are followed.

Candidate Experience

The recruitment process is not only about evaluating candidates but also about providing a positive candidate experience. While AI can automate specific tasks and improve efficiency, it may lack the empathy and personal touch humans can offer. Interaction, communication, and personalized engagement play a significant role in building trust and rapport with candidates.

Adaptability and Learning

People can adapt and learn from experiences, feedback, and changing circumstances. They can adjust recruitment strategies, refine evaluation criteria, and respond to unexpected situations. Recruiters can continuously improve their methods, whereas applicant tracking systems may require manual intervention to adapt or update algorithms.

Relationship Building

Building relationships with candidates, hiring managers, and other stakeholders is crucial for successful recruitment. Humans are better equipped to establish and nurture these connections through active listening, effective communication, and building rapport. Trust is essential in attracting and retaining top talent.

Enhance Your Recruiting Program 

Specific details of an ATS will differ based on the vendor, so it's a good idea to check with different providers to see which system is right for you. Using an ATS may no longer be optional to stay competitive, so learning more about it now is essential.

You don't have to do it alone. Investing in the right software gives you the structure and framework to manage talent and what you have to offer. Using a system to help you track and hire top talent is the first step in the process. 

With more competition for top talent, it pays for companies to consider all their advantages and the use of tools to assist in the quest to find talent. HireHive helps busy people hire great people. You can post jobs, streamline your online application process, improve the candidate experience, and tap into vast global networks by having your entire recruitment process in one place. 

Set up a free trial account today. Contact HireHive to learn more.

Watch our demo

Hiring Pipeline

Arrange a product tour today and start using
recruiting software that helps you find and hire
the best candidates.

Read also

Company logo for Life Credit Union

“HireHive makes the team a lot more productive. We’d be lost without it. Team Leaders can do it all themselves if needed or jump in at the right time and know exactly where everything is and what’s happening.”

Profile of Hilary Dempsey

Hilary Dempsey Head of HR at Life Credit union

Join over 2,000 companies who streamlined their hiring process with HireHive