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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

What is the function of an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System is software used by organizations to manage and streamline the recruitment process. It helps them save time and money when managing applicants and job openings by automating tasks, reducing administrative costs, and ensuring compliance. ATSs can also shorten the time it takes to fill roles by streamlining resume screening, reducing the need for paper application processing, and providing real-time updates that highlight bottlenecks.

Most applicant tracking systems include features for receiving and organizing applications, storing candidate details, posting job openings, and tracking candidate progress. Recruiters can add notes at each stage of the candidate’s application and collaborate more easily on hiring decisions. ATSs may also include reporting functionality which gives insights into diversity metrics, job board success, and more as well as tools for communicating with candidates such as automated email responses and interview scheduling.

Prospective employees have a better experience when companies use applicant tracking systems because the application process is straightforward, they can track their progress in real time, and they generally get faster responses. By using an ATS, recruiters can nurture candidates through the process of becoming employed at their companies.

Applicant tracking systems are designed to protect applicant data. This means organizations can stay compliant with labor laws and regulations by documenting candidate interactions.

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