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What is an applicant tracking system and how does it work?

Written by Dieter

What is an applicant tracking system and how does it work?

Applicant tracking system, also abbreviated as ATS. It is a term that keeps popping up on our computer screen. An ATS has many advantages that ensure that your competition is in checkmate. But what does ATS mean and how does it work? And why is it a must-have in recruitment? Discover in this blog post how the recruiter can take the recruitment process to a higher level via an ATS!

What is an ATS?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software solution that will manage the recruitment and selection process efficiently and effectively. This is because the entire recruitment process is automated. Indeed, it is a boon to headhunters. As a recruiter, you can focus on talent acquisition and often tedious repetitive tasks are performed automatically. ATS is therefore a great added value for companies that often go through the application process. It also doesn't seem like the popularity of an ATS will wane anytime soon. Technavio's latest market research expects annual growth of more than 3% between 2021 and 2025.


There are also several synonyms for an applicant tracking system. It is often popularly referred to as a candidate tracking system. Other terms that are regularly used are recruitment software, recruitment & selection software and recruitment system. Often there is also confusion because of the many terms, but they all refer to ATS. Voilà, that's cleared up 😉.


Objective of an ATS

The search for the perfect candidate can be very time-consuming and costly. Because of the many applications, you can no longer see the wood for the tree. It is often a frustrating process. With an ATS, you ensure that the recruitment process is optimized. You manage the data of candidates in a fast and clear manner. Based on this information and collected data, the ideal candidate is linked to the open vacancy. This will find the most suitable applicant. Furthermore, job interviews are also planned, talent pools are compiled, interesting statistics are displayed and e-mails are sent in one click. This saves you time and money to do what is really important, selecting the best candidates.


But that's not all. A recruitment system not only has a positive effect on the recruiter, but also on the candidate. An applicant tracking system contributes to creating a positive candidate experience. Many processes are automated and personalized for the candidate. This leaves more time to delve into the skills and data of the applicant. As a result, the applicant is central and there is the opportunity to build a personal relationship. This allows you to know the candidate better so that no top candidate slips through your fingers.


What should a good ATS platform offer?

It must contribute to smooth internal and external communication. The following specifications are highly recommended:

  • Creating personal e-mail templates with variables.
  • Ability to mention colleagues in the candidate's timeline.
  • Full in-app email integration, so communication with candidates runs entirely within the app.
  • Sending automatic confirmation emails after the application of candidates.
  • Receive notifications from your team, new candidates or scheduled interviews.


A good ATS platform also offers the possibility to centralise data in clear candidate sheets. The following applications, therefore, provide great added value for recruitment software:

  • Working with scorecards, this is how you set the desired competencies per job profile and give candidates a score.
  • Display of clear candidate files. This allows you to view all useful information such as personal data, documents, scores, interviews,… in one overview.
  • Displaying a timeline. This way you have the option to view the history of a candidate and see all actions of you and your colleagues.
  • Register in-app interviews. Preparing for an interview and registering answers are all done in the app. No more searching for the right files. 😉


The last thing a good ATS platform should support you with: efficiently managing your candidates. Make sure that your ATS platform offers the following options:

  • Carrying out bulk actions. It saves you a lot of time because several candidates are e-mailed, rejected, dragged, ... at the same time.
  • Compiling a talent pool.
  • Overview of your recruitment process. View the position of candidates for the open vacancy at a glance.
  • Add colleagues and determine their user rights within the app.
  • Display interesting statistics about your recruitment process. From the average turnaround time to the total intake per chosen period.


How can we help you?

Jobtoolz offers you a tailor-made applicant tracking platform. This way you get rid of endless folder structures and the many Excel files. Besides, we are also strongly committed to employer branding. Create a beautiful employer brand site from scratch using the intuitive live editor. Showcase yourself as a top employer & place a vacancy online in your corporate identity in a few clicks. Our last asset? Recruitment marketing! We help you search for talent through job videos. This will increase your reach and attract more talent.


Have you become interested in our all-in-one recruitment platform? Completely free of charge, we make an example of your employer brand site for your company! Schedule your demo below, then we'll go over that example in a short video call. :-)