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Thu Feb 15 2024

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Applicant Tracking Software: A Complete Guide

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Ever wonder how a hiring manager or an organization deals with so many applications? How do they go through each application? How do they take interviews? So many other questions may have popped into mind. Here is the expert tool behind this mission impossible. ATS stands for  "Applicant Tracking Software”. This tool is the master stroke while identifying the best candidates from the piles of resumes.

The traditional methods of screening can be time-consuming. These methods are also famously known for their error-prone misleading procedure. But, ATS significantly changed the game. Now, companies can collect and manage the data of applicants. The software takes care of the procedure from receiving the applications to sorting them for the finals. This powerful tool also helps in optimizing the recruitment processes.

The topics we will discuss in this article are: 

  • Basics of applicant tracking system
  • Benefits of the tracking software
  • How the tracking system works
  • Points to remember before using ATS

We have a lot to read and discover. Thus, without much delay, let’s start the blog!

What is an applicant tracking software?

ATS is the short form of the tracking software of applicants. It is a special software tool, designed to assist organizations. This tool helps in managing their hiring and recruitment procedures. It serves as the central power for handling job applications. Here candidates are tracked and workflow is streamlined. 

The software has collected millions of USD between 2017 to 2022. In fact, it is estimated that the collection will exceed previous records by 2027. It will also reach a multi-million dollar valuation by 2030. The analysis also mentions the growth spurt in the CAGR (compound annual growth rate). Countries, including the United States, Europe, China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, are the highest software consumers. 

ATS is well known to provide its support to managers, HR, and recruiters. It also provides a range of features and functionalities. These features help to convert various tasks associated with talent acquisition. It also assists the hiring managers in efficiently managing the cycle of recruitment. Here are the best key features commonly found in applicant tracking software :

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Job posting

The software permits companies and organizations to create and publish job listings. They are free to post these jobs on various mediums. It includes job boards, company websites, and social media platforms.

Application management

ATS provides a platform to collect and manage job applications. Job applications from various sources are collected as well. This includes storing resumes, cover letters, and other application materials. These materials are put into an organized and structured format.

Resume analysis

The tracking system is also known for its resume-analyzing capabilities. Companies can collaborate with the ATS System to analyze the resume. The system automatically extracts all the related information from resumes. Further, it fills the corresponding and relevant fields in the software. 

Candidate screening and ranking

The tracking system helps in filtering and screening the applicants in the process. It is based on specified criteria, including their skills, experience, education, and more. It also helps in ranking the candidates in the system. This is based on the match between their qualifications and the job requirements.

Communication and collaboration

The software facilitates communication between both parties of the procedures. Recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates can communicate through various platforms. It includes email templates, interviews, and such relevant platforms. It also permits collaboration among teammates involved in the hiring process.

Candidate database

Applicant tracking software also helps in maintaining a centralized database of candidates. This supports the recruiters to search and retrieve applicant information. This information can be helpful for future positions or postings as well.

Reporting and analytics

The tracking software also provides analytics and reporting features. This helps in offering insights through hiring metrics. These metrics include applicant sources, time-to-fill, and other relevant data. It is also supportive of optimizing the recruitment process.

What are the benefits of the ATS system? 

ATS Benefits

By implementing the ATS system an organization can benefit from various merits. Brands can work with the ATS system in USA to access all these benefits. Their process of hiring also moves with less effort and accuracy. Listed below are some of the top benefits a brand can get from the ATS system:

Improved efficiency

ATS operates various manual tasks involved in recruitment. This includes resume analysis, application management, screening, and interview scheduling. This helps in saving time and effort for the organization. It also permits them to concentrate on more strategic and informative activities. All over, the tracking system helps in improving the efficiency of the organization and procedure. 

Smooth workflow

Applicant tracking software gives a more centralized platform for managing the hiring procedure. It permits the managers to track and check the candidate's progress. Recruiters can also collaborate with team members to maintain the workflow. This workflow consists of the stage of job posting to candidate selection. This smoothens the recruitment procedure for the organization. It also helps in providing a seamless and structured experience for both parties.

Enhanced candidate management

ATS works as a comprehensive database for organizing and storing the candidate's information. It permits recruiters to search, filter, and retrieve applicants' data effortlessly. It makes it easier to identify qualified candidates and manage their talents. It also maintains the profile of talented applicants for future positions. This improves candidate management and helps build strong relationships with potential hires.

Increased candidate quality

ATS enables recruiters to define specific criteria and qualifications for each job opening. The system can screen and rank candidates on its observations. This ranking is based on the criteria of the qualification of the individuals. The more qualified the candidate is, the higher they will be ranked. This enhances the quality of candidates being selected for the available positions.

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Data-driven decision making

Applicant tracking software helps in generating detailed reports on various recruitment metrics. The managers and recruiters can access each data available on the platform. The data includes applicant sources, time-to-fill, diversity statistics, and other key performance indicators. This data also empowers organizations to make informed decisions. They can also optimize their recruitment strategies and identify bottlenecks. This eventually helps in improving their hiring processes.

Compliance and equal opportunity

The tracing system is highly beneficial in providing equal opportunities. It also helps organizations to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. These requirements are needed in the recruitment process of the company. The software stores applicant data and provides tools to secure the profiles as well. The recruiting software in the USA provides the best support to the brands in the hiring process. It also helps in promoting fair and unbiased hiring procedures and practices.

Time and cost savings

By operating various tasks, ATS helps in saving valuable time for recruiters and hiring teams. It also accelerates the screening and shortlisting process. Eventually reducing the time consumed on manual resume and application management. It also helps in optimizing the hiring process, while reducing the cost per hire limit. Overall, ATS speeds up the recruitment cycle of the organization. 

How does applicant tracking software in the USA work?

ATS systems use several labor-intensive tasks that are involved in the recruitment procedure. Listed below are the points that help in understanding how it works: 

Imitates the human brain

The system is known for its design to replicate human cognitive processes. This process happens when it comes to evaluating and assessing the applicant's qualifications. Algorithms and artificial intelligence are used to analyze resumes and other materials. The system would imitate the way a human recruiter would review. It also mimics the pattern to consider the candidate's information.

Scanning of relevant keywords

Further, it's time to scan the relevant keywords from the collected resumes. The applicant tracking software uses a process named resume parsing. This is done to extract information from resumes submitted by applicants. In this step, the software works on identifying and capturing the relevant keywords to the job requirements. These keywords may include specific details related to the job and applicant. For example, skills, qualifications, certifications, or industry-specific terms.

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Sources for fit candidates for the job

The software has integration capabilities with various sourcing channels. These channels include job boards, career websites, media platforms, and internal talent pools. The software works on posing job openings on these sites. Further, it also works on collecting applications from potential candidates. This sourcing functionality helps enlarge the candidate options while finding suitable candidates. 

Sorting and tracking applicants

Once applications are received, the software starts sorting and tracking. ATS software works efficiently with managers to track information about the applications. This includes resume analysis, extracting relevant data, and comparing it with the criteria. Further, they also track the progress and status of each applicant. For example, "application is under review," "hired", and so on. The system helps the recruiter to categorize or score applicants based on their level of qualification and fit for the job. It also helps in facilitating efficient workflow management.

What to remember before selecting an applicant tracking system?


When selecting the tracking system, make sure to check some factors beforehand. These factors play an important role in deciding the needs and goals of the organization. Here are points to remember, while choosing the applicant tracking system in the USA :

Define the organization's requirements

Start by clearly identifying the needs and goals of the organization. See what the team faces and needs relating to the hiring process. Before identifying, try to consider factors to make the decision. Determine the size of the organization, the number of hires it makes, and the complexity of the process. Also, check if the brand needs any specific features or integrations. This will help the team to assess whether an ATS meets the specific needs or not.

Determine the budget

Before beginning the research, it's important to understand the brand's budget. The tracking systems can cost between the range of $25 to $250 per user per month. While the subscription fee is important, there are extra costs to consider. These may include data migration fees, customer support fees, onboarding charges, and more. The cost of software implementation charges is also included in the applicant tracking software.

Evaluate features

Make sure to evaluate the features beforehand. The features required in an ATS depend on the size of the search firm and the type of clients as well. For example, independent recruiters can use resume parsing, integrated emails, and invoice management. Whereas, recruitment agencies may need reports, analytics, and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). Assess the requirements and then choose the features that align with the business.

Determine the time to install

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Installing a new tracking system can differ in complexity and time requirements. While others may be more difficult and may involve extra costs. Some applicant tracking software can be set up and customized easily. Consider the time required for the installation of the software. Also think about customizing the system, importing data, and inviting team members. Moreover, factor in the time needed for data migration if the brand has a large volume of data.

Assess candidate sourcing capabilities

An ATS can help in finding the right applicants by providing search and sourcing tools. Look for a system that offers powerful search functionalities. Such as Boolean search, as it allows searching for candidates from the existing database. Also, consider if the ATS provides integration with social media platforms or not. The brand should be able to access platforms like LinkedIn to search for more candidates. The ATS should be able to source new candidates and expand the talent pool of the organization.

Evaluate customer support

Adequate customer support is crucial when using an applicant tracking system. Inquire about the level of customer support provided by the applicant tracking software. Ask the vendor and the channels to provide their insight and help. Prompt and helpful customer support can save time for the brand. It can also help in resolving any issues that may arise. Also, consider using the free trial period to check the necessary points of the software. 


In the end, we can conclude that the software is a revolutionary help for hiring procedures. An organization can smoothen the tension of the recruitment process. The HRs and managers can not only select the best candidates but can work efficiently. The tracking software also benefits in saving the time and currency of the brands. They can access an ample amount of talent pool with less effort.  If you are a brand and hiring candidates, join hands with applicant tracking software like Pitch N Hire today. From job posting to final selection, the team can set your hiring journey apart. Also, the ATS software makes it easy for businesses to get in touch with job candidates in no time.