How does an applicant tracking system work?


An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool that helps streamline your entire recruitment process. In other words, it is your quiet but smart assistant that takes care of routine recruitment tasks so that you can use most of your time on strategy and improving the quality of your hiring process.

Here are the steps involved in the working of an applicant tracking system:

1. Create a job posting

Identify the job responsibilities and post your requirements on the career site. Many ATS tools also let you post jobs on multiple job boards in a single click, taking away the hassle of jumping between tabs or remembering multiple login credentials.

2. Source candidates

You can use the ATS to get source candidates by posting on job boards, social media channels, career sites and by running referral programs (this is relatively easier with a good tool). You can also use the talent pool of previous applicants built over a period of time in addition to figuring out the number of candidates you are able to source from a particular channel.

3. Screening candidates

A lot of ATS tools have this feature where you can set up pre-assessments to screen candidates to gather unbiased information about their skills or abilities. You can automate the sending of assessments and tests to candidates, the scores for which are also calculated for you. This helps in saving a lot of the interviewers’ time and cuts down time spent on face-to-face-interviews of ineligible candidates.

4. Interview scheduling 

With a good ATS, you can schedule interviews with candidates based on the availability of each member on the hiring panel thus avoiding any meeting clashes. You can notify the candidate from the same screen with a single click. You should also be able to create and customize interview scorecards which are evaluation templates listing out all the qualities and skills expected out of a particular role. Using the workflow integration feature, a candidate can be automatically moved to the next stage based on certain pre-set criteria.

5. Feedback: Real time collaboration on the tool itself

You can collect objective, structured feedback from all hiring team members thereby doing away with the need for physical debriefings and wasting time gathering each person’s assessment of a particular candidate.

6. Automate hiring workflow

A good ATS tool should allow you to automate all the routine tasks and workflows thus managing all your hiring housekeeping in the background. This feature enables all relevant stakeholders to look for any information about the candidates and the entire hiring process in one place anytime. You can also have everyone involved in the hiring process to be on the same page by sending them notifications as soon as there is any development or update.

7. Roll out the offer

If you’ve signed up for a great ATS, you should be able to manage all the steps in rolling out offers with ease. This includes managing different offer templates for different roles, customizing an offer letter, getting the relevant people to approve the offer, ensuring the offer is rolled out on time and following up on how many candidates accepted your offer in comparison to the number of offers you rolled out.

8. Pre-boarding and onboarding 

It is now accepted that pre-boarding and onboarding are not just an extension of the hiring process but an intrinsic part of it as employee retention and growth have a direct impact on an organization’s recruitment process. With a great ATS, you can automate all emails to be sent to the candidate from the time they accept the offer till they are onboarded, have a ChatBot tool to answer all their questions, send welcome kits, enable e-signatures, have a centrally accessible onboarding checklist for all stakeholders, a platform to store all relevant employee information and much more.

Why should you use an applicant tracking system

Ask yourself this question: “Am I struggling to keep a tab on my applicants and my entire hiring process?” If you answered ‘yes’, then read on. You’re most likely finding it difficult because you need to manually enter all details regarding your candidates on something like an Excel sheet, keep updating it, move them from one stage to another, get the interview panelists to share their feedback and try to align them before sending out the offer letters.

The information is all over the place and you’re spending most of your work hours on just the operational tasks. If you find yourself nodding your head in the affirmative, then all you need to do is invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Benefits of using Applicant tracking system in hiring

Freshteam comes with a host of benefits. Do check them out!

Features of Applicant tracking system

There are 10 essential features of an ATS that will make hiring automation a breeze thereby enabling you to save time, effort and money.

Top 5 Applicant tracking systems to consider


1. Freshteam

Freshteam is a smart applicant tracking system by Freshworks for growing teams. It’s intuitive, runs on powerful automation, is self-customizable with flexible workflows and affordable (you can pay as you grow). It is much beyond an ATS and includes paperless onboarding, employee information system, time-off management in addition to serving you insightful, customized HR reports. You can perform all these activities on-the-go as well as it has a user-friendly mobile app as well. Trusted by over 8,000 growing businesses like yours, you can never go wrong with Freshteam!


2. Bullhorn

Bullhorn is a software company for the staffing industry. It caters to startups, small- to mid-sized companies and the enterprise segment. Over 10,000 companies use Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform for their staffing processes.

3. Jobiak

Jobiak is an AI-powered recruitment marketing platform that lets you publish postings to Google for Jobs. It caters to small- and medium-sized businesses, enterprises and recruitment agencies.

4. Hello Astra

Hello Astra is an AI-powered talent management platform that works with small-scale, growing and mid-sized companies in addition to providing customized solutions for enterprise users.

5. is a data-driven hiring process management tool that is built for companies of all sizes and customizes its offerings on a need-basis for startups, corporates and non-profit organizations.


Is ATS worth the investment?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is absolutely worth it if you want to streamline your hiring process and save time and money on it. With an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can automate all repetitive, mundane hiring tasks and dedicate your time to strategy and improving the quality of your overall hiring process. You will be able to streamline your recruiting process, can post jobs on different platforms with ease, get an overview of all your candidates in one place, make quick decisions as it makes collaboration easy and can build a stellar talent pool over a period of time. 

Which ATS gives the best features at an affordable cost?

Freshteam, an intelligent HR software by Freshworks, provides you with the best features and great pricing options. With the award-winning platform, you can reduce recruiter workload by as much as 75%, cut down on your hiring costs by up to 50% and close a position 20% faster. It is trusted by over 8,000 businesses all over the world and counting. It has a ‘Free Forever’ plan and you can upgrade your plans in line with your company’s growth.