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Why is using an applicant tracking system important?

Image of applicant climbing up on computer boxes showing important uses of an ats

More and more companies are using an applicant tracking system every day.  Should your company be using an ATS? Let’s explore the benefits and compare some ATS pros and cons.

Why use an ATS?

These systems are becoming increasingly popular among companies of all sizes to manage the recruiting process. Below are the top reasons why employers choose to use one.

Image of stacked layers of boxes showing organized benefits of using an ats

A consistent, organized process

Create a single, repeatable process with all applicant information stored centrally.

Image of candidates balancing on scales to show the importance of insight benefits

Important hiring process insights

Measure hiring performance to identify and remove bottlenecks in your process.

Images of candidates connected by data showing management benefits of an ats

Manage large applicant volumes

Track and communicate with hundreds or thousands of candidates at once.

The benefits of using an ATS

The most important benefit of using an ATS is to increase the quality of hires. By using an ATS you can do this while also reducing both time-to-hire and costs-of-hire. Below are key benefits that lead to those outcomes.

1. Streamline hiring - from start to finish

One of the key employer benefits is a more structured and streamlined process. Workflow automation and centralized data helps teams stay organized. Automation can keep the process moving forward from job requisitions to onboarding while reducing the recruiters’ workload. Ultimately, this software reduces the cost of hiring by being more efficient with time and resources.

A recruiter connecting two processes showing a streamlining advantage of applicant tracking system

2. Eliminate administrative work

An ATS streamlines the hiring process by consolidating all information and communication in one platform, reducing the time and effort required for manual tracking and individual candidate coordination.

Through automation, most systems:

  • Allow applicants to self-schedule interviews based on real-time team availability
  • Automatically advance qualified individuals to the next phase and notify recruiters
  • Send purposeful communications and reminders to applicants and hiring managers
  • Facilitate onboarding with digital offer letter communications and payroll integration

3. Improve candidate screening

Organizations that use a tracking system not only save time screening but also improve their ability to identify top talent. Hiring managers can identify specific skills and qualifications and request recruiters to tag in the profiles.

Some positions may require specific skills, certifications or qualifications. The use of “knock-out” questions in the application form benefits employers by ensuring they only interview applicants that could advance to the next stage.

A spotlight applicant showing candidate identification is a good reason why to have an applicant tracking system

Don’t risk losing top talent once you’ve identified them. Qualified candidates are on the market for as little as 10 days. This is why using an ATS is important- to keep top talent advancing through your process.

4. Widen your talent pool

Do you have trouble finding qualified candidates? Are you hiring for hard-to-fill positions? ATS provides many advantages during candidate sourcing:

  • Manage multiple job board and careers page postings from a single dashboard
  • Facilitate candidate outreach campaigns via email, SMS, and social media
  • Save unsuccessful applicants who may be a better fit for a future open position
  • Search for talent in applicant pools created across your organization
A hiring team collaborating on many devices showing why ats is important

5. Improve collaboration and communication

Every inter-departmental team benefits from improved collaboration. Automating the job requisition process keeps things moving by allowing managers to complete a preset form with an automated approval workflow.

Sharable applicant profiles allow managers and other stakeholders to leave notes on the profiles for others to see. Collaboration keeps flowing without the need to schedule meetings.

Automated notifications can keep processes from getting stuck. Hiring managers are alerted when a candidate’s status has changed or a quick reminder to complete an evaluation.

6. Create an engaged candidate experience

In a competitive market, creating an engaging candidate experience benefits both employers and applicants. In an increasingly competitive market, it’s important to stand out in a good way to reduce drop-offs.


Allow applicants to apply faster and hear back sooner


Let candidates choose when and how they interview

Clock Alarm

Nurture candidate relationships with timed messaging


Incorporate feedback from applicant surveys


Save applicant profiles for future role consideration


Make onboarding easy by staying in touch

A recruiter sending lots of e-mails showing automation is one of the applicant tracking system advantages

Automating communications can help organizations maintain consistent and quality contact with large volumes of candidates. Keeping candidates informed and up-to-date about their process creates a positive perception of the organization to rise above a troubling trend.

7. Maintain data integrity

Applicant tracking platforms are important tools for storing all candidate information in a secure location. Centralized access benefits all team members in that everyone can see where each candidate is.

The system updates an applicant’s profile as they progress through the hiring process. It can add evaluations or interview scores as a stage completes to maintain profile integrity.

A well-integrated system operates as a single source of truth, benefiting the organization by reducing inconsistencies and data loss in manual information transfers.

A recruiter's tech set up showing data integrity is an applicant tracking system benefit

8. Measure hiring performance across the organization

An ATS allows for easy data collection in the hiring process, helping to identify and remove bottlenecks.  Multiple tools, manual processes and spreadsheets make it difficult for management to eaven measure how much time is spent in each phase.

Accurate data facilitates process optimization, insights into hiring costs, and return on investment.

The best tracking software can help you understand:

  • Which job boards are most productive
  • How long do candidates spend in each phase
  • How long does it take to hire for each position
  • Team progress towards recruiting goals
Background illustration
Enhance Compliance with your Applicant Tracking System

9. Enhance compliance

Staying on top of regulatory requirements is an important aspect of any hiring program. Using a tracking system can benefit an organization by configuring processes and workflows to meet requirements set by EEOC, OFCCP, and GDPR.

Stay ahead of the evolving compliance landscape. The Department of Labor’s compliance assistance toolkits can help your team navigate.

Applicant tracking system pros and cons

There are many advantages these platforms deliver. Be mindful of potential risks as you choose and use the system. Here’s a summary of pros and cons.

ATS advantages

Reduce both time-to-hire and costs
By automating administrative tasks, consolidating candidate data and digitizing previously manual processes, hiring teams can use their time more effectively.
Increase collaboration for better decision-making
Digital records make it easy to collaborate, allowing hiring teams to include more diverse perspectives in the evaluation process.
Accurately measure hiring performance
Accurate reporting can provide valuable insights such as hiring team performance, process stage times, even rater tendencies.

ATS disadvantages

You could accidentally filter out qualified candidates
Narrow search criteria, limited keywords, or uncommon resume wording, can unintentionally filter qualified candidates.
Not all platforms are flexible enough to last
A rigid and cumbersome platform may not be able to adapt to evolving processes and organizational goals.
Applicants may try to manipulate the system
Candidates may manipulate their resumes for ATS, ”trying to beat the system.” A rarely successful and unwanted outcome.

It’s important to weigh the advantages against potential drawbacks and consider what internal measures could help mitigate these risks.

Other helpful resources


What are the different types of ats?


Applicant Tracking System features – by company size and industry

Talent Source

How a candidate tracking system helps manage talent sourcing


What are the best applicant tracking systems for 2023?

Learn more about VidCruiter’s applicant tracking software

Frequently asked questions

What does ATS do?

It automates hiring tasks like job posting, tracking, relationship management, and more so that teams can spend less time on administrative work and more getting to know qualified individuals. One of the other important advantages is that it centralizes all applicant data, allowing teams to work more collaboratively while maintaining data integrity.

A recruiter looking at a dashboard showing some applicant tracking system pros and cons
Two men in suits shaking hands, agreeing about applicant tracking system features and benefits

How do candidates and employees benefit from using one?

There are several advantages for candidates and employees like greater communication and engagement. This is why using an ATS is important, it helps create a faster process and with quicker response time and more agile flexibility when scheduling interviews.

  • Scheduling
  • Resume screening/filtering
  • Candidate advancement
  • Ongoing candidate tracking
  • Timed SMS and email communications and
  • Weighted applicant scoring.

What should I look for in a vendor?

A key consideration should be whether the system supports future growth including evolving strategies and workflows. One of the advantages of finding an applicant tracking system with flexibility and customization is that you can optimize your process over time to achieve greater efficiencies.

A man in a suit standing in a process map figuring out what to look for in an ats
A woman standing in a wrapped monitor examining applicant tracking system dos and don'ts

Applicant tracking system dos and don'ts

The do’s of vendor selection:

Selecting the right vendor and creating an ideal hiring process takes time. Why use an ATS that doesn’t completely work for you? Look for a vendor who will consult with your team to help realize your ideal recruitment journey.

  • Customize the platform to mirror your existing processes or improve them
  • Seek advisory support to identify optimization opportunities
  • Choose a system that can easily include best practices like structured interviewing

The don’ts of vendor selection:

Do your homework and be prepared. Be wary of fads and solutions that claim to improve your hiring process overnight. Does anybody really want to talk to a chatbot? Are you comfortable with an intelligence engine making decisions for you? Its best to be overly skeptical of solutions that make big promises and question features that seem too efficient.

  • Be conscious if selecting a tool that incorporates AI in the evaluation process, some research indicates that AI can unintentionally add bias to the process.
  • An out-of-the-box solution may work today, but will it satisfy future needs?
  • Avoid making platform decisions without involving all the key stakeholders- especially the platform users and the compliance team