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What you need to know about an online applicant tracking system

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Cloud-based technology has become common and offers improved accessibility, security, and uptime compared to traditional on-premise solutions. These same benefits apply to recruiting teams when looking to automate their hiring process with an applicant tracking system.

How does an online applicant tracking system differ from an on-premise system?

An online system - also referred to as a web-based ATS - is accessed via the internet rather than being housed on a company’s servers.

The system vendor is responsible for storing data securely and pushing version and feature updates to users. They can also help to implement the system and provide training for users.

HR, hiring managers, and applicants can access the system on any device connected to the internet. For example, a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

In 2023 global spending on public cloud computing services could reach $600 billion.

Applicant profile layout using cloud computing

Benefits of using an online applicant tracking system

Employers are increasingly adopting online systems to reduce maintenance, costs and ensure greater flexibility for employers and applicants.

1. Centralized data for remote and hybrid work environments

Staying connected with other team members and applicants is more important than ever in remote and hybrid environments. A web-based ATS provides hiring team members with access to applicant data at all times.

Maintaining a single data set ensures a “single source of truth” for all applicant information. This means internal team members can view and collaborate on up-to-date applicant profiles at every hiring stage.

Centralized access also means that hiring managers can quickly evaluate applicants and send communications on their laptops while working remotely or from their mobile devices when off-site.

The majority of job seekers, over 90%, prefer to use their mobile devices when applying for jobs, giving a mobile-friendly system a significant advantage to attract top talent.

Mobile friendly online applicant tracking system

2. Faster system implementation and fewer costs

HR team member using an applicant tracking system on different devices

An online system can be implemented almost immediately. Most web-based systems allow HR teams to easily brand the platform with their logo, colors, and employee testimonials. The top vendors also offer onboarding support and user training.

With that in mind, even a one-time set-up fee is a significant improvement from the high initial investment cost and IT resources required during on-premise software installation.

3. Integration with other HR tech tools

Using a web-based ATS opens up opportunities for employers to easily add other HR tech tools to the hiring process.

Rather than relying on your IT team to install tools, a web-based applicant tracking system can plug in HR tech tools, apps, and job boards through an API. As a result, HR can easily swap tools in and out depending on their needs, while maintaining data integrity.

Two plugs connected illustrating ease of integration for an ats with your hr tools

4. Scaling hiring initiatives

Hiring needs evolve over time as companies grow. Additionally, seasonal hiring peaks can result in ebbs and flows. An online system makes it easy to scale hiring initiatives up or down.

Add or remove users

Easily add or remove users, including whole departments

Increase capacity

Upgrade to easily increase capacity for high-volume usage

Hiring templates create repeatable processes

Save hiring templates to create repeatable processes

70% of the global workforce is made up of passive talent who aren’t actively looking for a job. Is your hiring program targeting passive candidates?

People who are passively looking for a job

5. Stronger data security

The top online systems provide advanced data security and encryption standards and often store data online on cloud servers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and IBM for additional peace of mind.

When evaluating vendors, make sure to ask about their security certifications. Additionally, look for government or public sector providers who have experience in meeting strict security requirements.

Data security is important for online applicant tracking systems

6. New feature releases and guaranteed uptime

Applicant tracking systems automatically update new features

Rather than relying on internal IT staff to keep technology up to date, an online system provides ongoing security updates and new feature releases.

As with security measures, the top web-based systems have strict data recovery procedures in place to ensure maximum uptime for your users and applicants.

VidCruiter’s applicant tracking system

VidCruiter’s platform is designed to streamline the recruitment process for both hiring teams and applicants:

Blue Circle Check

Mobile friendly, browser-based platform

Blue Circle Check

200+ integrations with leading HR tech tools

Blue Circle Check

Compliant with the highest security standards

Learn more about VidCruiter’s applicant tracking software

Frequently asked questions

Why is an ATS important?

Applicant tracking systems are important because they help reduce time-to-hire by automating manual hiring tasks. Advanced applicant screening capabilities help employers identify qualified applicants faster and facilitate greater collaboration during decision-making.

From a data security and integrity standpoint, a web-based ATS reduces risks inherent in using multiple applications or manual processes.

Man explaining the importance of an ATS
Applicant tracking system features and benefits

What are typical system features and benefits?

ATS features such as automated interview scheduling, resume screening, and candidate advancement help to reduce the time HR teams spend on administrative tasks. Custom career sites and one-click job board posting can increase your applicant intake reach.

Additionally, automated notifications and reminders can help stay in touch with applicants and ensure hiring team members stay on track.

What should I look for in a system?

Look for systems that offer enough flexibility to meet your hiring needs now and as they evolve. Platform customization is equally important to help you realize your ideal hiring processes and optimize them as time goes on.

Consider vendors who support recruiting compliance and provide advisory support in tailoring system workflows based on recruiting best practices.

What to look for in an ATS
Top applicant tracking system illustration

What are the top systems?

The best applicant tracking systems for larger organizations include VidCruiter, Greenhouse, and iCIMS. For smaller businesses and start-ups, VidCruiter, Workable, and Lever are among the top systems. System capabilities, data security and candidate experience are key factors in determining the top-rated platforms.