ATS is short for Applicant Tracking System. It's a software solution that brings your whole hiring process together. You can source candidates from it, manage them through the evaluation process, schedule interviews, manage emails, collect interview feedback, make offers and nurture a talent pool - all from one recruitment system.

Great recruiters know how to find great candidates. But once they find these great candidates - the process of managing them through the hiring process takes them through a number of tools. Their inbox contains emails with the candidate, Hangouts has chats with the hiring team, interviews are on Google Calendar, feedback is on a piece of paper somewhere, and the actual list of candidates is in an Excel on someone's computer and so on. So, instead of spending time focusing on recruiting and engaging with people, they spend a lot of time searching multiple sources to piece together information.

Enter ATS.

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) brings the hiring process together into one software so that recruiters don't have to waste time, switching between tabs. They can set up career sites, create jobs, publish jobs to job boards and social media, set up an employee referral portal, manage vendors, manage candidates, scheduled interviews, make offers, and grow a candidate database - in one interface. It's a one-shop stop for the whole company also because your interviewers can use it to view and keep track of candidates and employees can use it to keep track of their referrals. When everyone invested is on board, collaboration becomes contextual and providing great hiring experiences becomes less pipe-dream and more reality.

The technical specs:

Software as a service

An ATS on a subscription means you won’t have to worry about setting up and maintaining servers to run your applicant tracking system; you can get started in a matter of minutes.

For your desk and on the go

ATS are mainly web-based applications. They’re still developed primarily for desktops and laptops, but now they’re also optimized for mobile. Most applicant tracking systems are available as mobile apps on Android and iOS.

A tool that supports integrations

You can integrate your ATS with a variety of applications like assessment providers like HackerRank and interview software like Skype Interviews and Google Hangouts, to simplify your hiring process.

Choosing the right Applicant Tracking System for your business


Easy to set up, easy to learn and get started with: those are the core tenents against which you should rank all applicant tracking software.


Find an ATS you can rely on; ask for references and find out what other customers think of the ATS from review sites like G2Crowd or Capterra.


What You See Is What You Get - no hidden costs or surprise invoices. The pricing is clear, simple and easy on the wallet.

Who can use an Applicant Tracking System?


Adding candidates, advertising jobs, managing them through the hiring process, communicating with the hiring team, storing and searching hiring related information - just some of the many ways in which recruiters use an applicant tracking system. Recruiters stand to gain the most from using an ATS because it cuts down on time spent searching for information and operations.


ATS can help talent acquisition managers pull up reports and monitor their hiring pipeline. Whether it's pipeline movement or candidate inflow by source, TA managers can generate reports and dig deep to draw actionable insights.


The team that hires together, stays together. An applicant tracking system can help the hiring team stay in sync through the hiring process. They can check in on the candidate pipeline and share their thoughts, without the recruiter having to take the trouble of keeping everyone on the same page.


Most applicant tracking systems come with a referral portal. This means, employees can view open job postings and refer any interested friends and family to them, without having to personally connect with a recruiter and leaving open a chance that the resume will get lost in a mailbox. A referral portal also helps employees stay updated on the status of their referral, without having to personally check up with the recruiter.

Benefits of using an Applicant Tracking System

Complete candidate history

From applicant to candidate to hire, their entire history is captured in the ATS. This means, you never have to turn anywhere other than your ATS for info.

Contextual collaboration

When everyone invested in the hiring process is onboard, everyone has access to all the information necessary to make quick, informed decisions.

Get work done

Automate your manual tasks so that you spend time focusing on recruiting and not on on operations like sending updates and scheduling interviews.

Essential features of an Applicant Tracking System

Every business has its own needs so what works for you might not work for your neighboring startup but the features described below are what we view as applicant tracking software essentials, features that help simplify recruiting as a process

Multi-channel candidate sourcing

With an applicant tracking system, you should be able to attract candidates to your jobs and handle applicants who come your way as well. For the former, you need the ability to post jobs on job boards, add sourcing partners, share jobs on social media, and set up an employee referral portal. For the latter, a customisable career site complete with application form to gather information from candidates. The ability to manage your email inside your ATS is cherry on top of the cake.

Manage candidates across hiring process

The ideal ATS gives you a visual representation of your candidates across various stages of your hiring process. One look at this screen and you'd know your hiring pipeline in a nutshell. You can also look at your candidate view in a list view but...why would you? Additional cake toppers include bulk actions like update stage, reject or archive to talent pool to help you save time.

Schedule and manage interviews

An applicant tracking system that allows you to schedule interviews is an applicant tracking system that you can use to keep your entire hiring team on the same page. You can set up a Google Calendar or Office 365 integration to make sure that there's no conflict while scheduling an interview. You can also set up online interviews using Skype Interviews, HackerRank CodePair or Google Hangouts for a seamless interview experience.

Keep everyone in sync

A lot of a recruiter's time is wasted sending and receiving updates from different members of the hiring team. And then, there's the physical debriefing - which is sometimes the only way you can get all the interviewers to give you their feedback, listen to each other and come to a consensus. An applicant tracking system makes the job much easier. Automatic email notifications when events like new feedback response, new interview scheduled etc. Inbuilt conversations to make sure that hiring team communication is captured inside the ATS and is visible to everyone involved. You can also use interview feedback forms to gather structured feedback and share with the team.

Draw insights from reports

Improve your hiring strategy by measuring your performance and then, generating reports to understand it. You can create different types of reports in your applicant tracking system —pipeline movement, interview success, candidates by source, and so on. It’s important to choose an ATS that offers all the right metrics, else you'll be elbows deep in Excel, trying to figure out how vLookup works.

Make Autopilot do it

The life of a recruiter involves a lot of routine tasks. Tasks that have everything to do with operations and nothing to do with their recruiting skills. Like archiving overqualified candidates to the talent pool. Or rejecting a candidate based on a job requirement specified by a custom application form question. Set up automations in Freshteam to perform actions based on certain events and conditions.