Recruiting 101: What Is An ATS?

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What is an ATS?

What is an ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application used by organizations to track, manage and optimize their recruiting process.

Features vary product to product, but most ATS applications offer basic functionality to manage job requisitions, job postings, candidates, resumes, and interview information through the steps of a defined recruitment process. Task automation is another common, time-saving feature.

You might consider the ATS to be a CRM (customer relationship management application) for hiring instead of sales.

Available ATS products include …

… Though many others exist, including paid, freemium, free, open source, cloud-based and self-hosted options.

How do you choose an ATS?

Good question. Factors to consider include:

  • The size of your organization
  • The pace at which you are hiring
  • The size of your recruiting team
  • The types of roles your hire
  • The difficulty of filling the roles you hire
  • Other business applications in use, and potential integration
  • Your budget

Many contemporary ATS packages offer functionality or add-ons far beyond basic applicant tracking. Social media marketing, career website management, talent community management, new hire onboarding, employee referral generation, and human resources management are just some of the options.

Perhaps the simplest advice is the best advice:

“Define your most basic recruiting needs. Consider what might be nice to have, but not necessary. Identify the limits of what you can spend. Go from there.”

Chad MacRae, Founder, Recruiting Social

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