blog Banner

Applicant tracking system (ATS): how to start with one

Posted On Saturday, March 16, 2019

Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

An applicant tracking system, also called a candidate management system, is a software application designed to make recruitment process for enterprises easier and efficient.

An ATS should be able to handle the process of recruitment end to end. It can be used to do job posting, screen and filter job applications or resumes, place an interview request, hire and on-board an employee etc.

In short, an ATS can track an applicant throughout his journey.

All large organizations have adopted applicant tracking system. Even mid-sized companies have started adopting and almost 50% of them are on ATS. Now the trend has picked up in small sized enterprises as well. It is because there are all types of ATS available these days in different budget ranges.

It can be a challenge even knowing where to start when considering applicant tracking systems, comparing different solutions and selecting one.

Here are a few steps that will come handy, if your company is thinking about ATS:

Step 1: Organize

Internally organizing the company is very critical to avoid hassles, hasty decisions and also delays in selecting ATS. This can include numerous things depending on the size of the organization like clear directive or goal, identifying key stakeholders or decision makers, find a means to gather user feedback, set up a selection committee, documenting the hiring process.

Step 2: Simplify

After you have thoroughly defined the hiring process and role of each person involved, then each step should be scrutinized and justified. End goal is to simplify a step or eliminate one if not needed.

Step 3: Define

Step 2 will ensure that you are in a better position to define the requirement of the applicant tracking system. ATS is capable of bringing about drastic changes to the hiring process. It builds better relations between you and applicants (and also hiring managers), streamlines recruitment efforts and improves the quality of hires.

Step 4: Mine and gauge

Once Step 3 is completed, you know clearly what to ask and look for. So, it’s time to start looking at different applicant tracking system options in the market. While they are numerous ATS available, each of them is different in how it is designed, user experience and industry fitment.

Step 5: Shortlist and select

Shortlist a few in the market, on the basis of customer reviews, industry, and price etc. and then, based on the requirements you defined in step 3, rate each shortlisted one and select.  In the selection process, it is important to gauge each shortlisted ATS on the support services offered and ability to customize.

Picking the best suited applicant tracking system (ATS) software is a big decision for your organization and needs to be an informed one. When used effectively, ATS provides transparency and visibility into performance of recruiters. It can enable organizations to make strategic decisions around workforce planning and effective use of recruitment budget.


Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)

10 Years+ experience building software, job boards, and websites for the recruitment industry.

Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation, a technical review of your website, or information regarding the services we offer.

You can reach me at or find me on LinkedIn.