In today's candidate-centric job market, it is essential to give candidates a good experience during the hiring process. Knowing how to track job candidates gives you a pulse of your candidate pipeline, schedule interviews with them, get rid of the grunt work, and communicate effectively. 

Attempting to track job candidates manually can be a huge challenge. Managing paper or email resumes is time-consuming and error-prone, to say the least. Fortunately, there are tools to help you track your job candidates better:

  • Spreadsheets

  • Hiring tracker templates

  • Applicant tracking system

how to track job candidates how to track job candidates


1. Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets or excel sheets are ingrained into every department’s day-to-day work. From office administration and leave tracking to project management and performance reporting, excel sheets find a use case everywhere. 

Similarly, excel sheets have been a recruiter’s best friend for ages. They are used to keep track of the sourced candidates, move candidates across the hiring funnel, hire, and make offers. Together with emails, they are used to handle internal communications with hiring managers as well as external communications with candidates. However, spreadsheets belong to the stone age of recruitment. 

Disadvantages of tracking candidates using spreadsheets 

Here are some of the reasons why spreadsheets are outdated and cannot solve for the needs of a modern recruiter:


2. Hiring tracker templates

Hiring tracker templates are ready-made spreadsheets designed to help recruiters and HR Teams track job applicants, interviews, candidate contact information, and much more. You can customize it to suit your organization’s hiring requirements. It’s a step up from manually creating and tracking everything in a spreadsheet. 

Disadvantages of tracking candidates using hiring tracker templates

How to track job candidates with Tools - Infographic How to track job candidates with Tools - Infographic


3. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System is a solution that brings the entire hiring process together. You can source candidates, screen and evaluate them, schedule interviews, collect feedback, manage communication, make offers, and nurture a talent pool - all from a single platform. 

The biggest difference between using excel sheets/hiring trackers and an Applicant Tracking System is that you have everything in one place. You don’t have to juggle multiple tools, thus helping you stay more organized. 

The benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System over spreadsheets

A quality Applicant Tracking System comes with built-in reports and pulls in real-time data to help you understand hiring performance and make tweaks accordingly.