Clever RX
10 min read

What to look for in an Applicant Tracking System?

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What is an ATS?
Simply put, an Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, is a type of HR software that helps businesses find, organize, and hire candidates.

If you are still manually tracking candidates with Excel sheets, sending emails from your inbox, and sifting through every resume by hand, you are in for a treat. An ATS can automate day-to-day tasks and streamline your hiring into a repeatable and scalable process.

Why is this important?  Saving time on things that can be automated gives you back the time to do the fun part of hiring—spending more time engaging with and getting to know your candidates.

An ATS will hold all your candidate’s information, including communications from everyone on the hiring team all in one place, making searching for emails, resumes and contact information a thing of the past. When you are hiring for dozens (or hundreds) of roles at a time, having everything you need right in front of you gives you back more time.

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate to fill your role, you can send out offer letters right from your ATS, and once the offer letter is signed electronically, you can seamlessly move your new hires information right into your onboarding process.  

What basic features should an ATS include?
ATS software has gotten a major overhaul in the last few years with many platforms adding new capabilities to keep up with the ever-changing workforce. Companies are running to ATS's to better their candidate experience in this season of mass talent shortages.

Candidates prefer to communicate on-the-go and with the device they use most often. This has fast-tracked features like video interviews, texting, and simple calendar-based scheduling.

Since there are literally hundred’s of ATS's to choose from, some with features varying drastically from the next, you’ll want to know your baseline.

Here are a few basic features an ATS should have right out of the box:

    • Customizable career pages
    • Automatic job board posting
    • Resume parsing
    • Video interviewing capabilities
    • Analytics to track applications, time to fill, source of hire, etc.
    • Automated emailing and texting
    • Pre-screening questionnaires
    • Calendar-based interview scheduling
    • Customizable automations
    • Searchable candidate database
    • Candidate ratings
    • Complementary background checks

How to pick the best ATS for your company
With so many ATS tools on the market, how do you know which one to choose for the specific needs of your company?

It is all about what your hiring process looks like today and what you want it to look like moving forward. Top talent won’t wait around if your process has holes in communication, automation, and personalization.

Here are a few things to ask yourself:

1. Should the ATS already be a feature of your HCM software or do I prefer an integrated software?

2. Do you want your ATS to connect seamlessly and automatically with your Onboarding process?

3. Do each of your departments have a hiring process and does it fit with the values of the company as a whole or will you need to build a scalable process to deliver company-wide?

4. Do you need a place to keep track of conversations and documents for candidates so the entire hiring team can be in the know?

5. Are you filling hundreds of roles within your organization?

6. How important is candidate experience and the communications your candidates receive?

ROI of an ATS
Now that you know the ins-and-outs of an ATS, you are going to want to know the return on investment the ATS of your choice is going to bring to your department, and better yet, to your entire organization.

A quality ATS will save you money on time, recruiting costs, candidate sourcing, and with an improved candidate experience, it can even save you on retention and turnover costs. Depending on what the most important factors are to your organization, you may want to start your calculations with these and add in the revenue per employee.

Once you have calculated these costs and compared them to what you will pay for your ATS, the numbers won’t lie— your company will be saving huge amounts of cash.

What makes AAP's ATS different?
AAP's ATS, isolved Attract & Hire, is a customizable solution built to help you optimize every stage of your recruiting process.  Whether you want to scale your team quickly, source remote candidates or reach diverse talent, isolved Attract & Hire gives you the technology to find the best-fit candidates for your open roles.

You can dive head-first into tasks that need a human touch and automate the manual tasks that don’t. Automatically post your open positions to best-in-class job boards, pre-screen candidates with questionnaires, and schedule interviews easily with integrated calendars without all the back and forth. Save time for the things that matter the most while making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Know what is really going on with actionable insights and reports that inform and improve your hiring. Pre-built reporting means you can make better decisions in less time.

No matter which you choose, make sure the ATS is built to meet the needs of your organization and has the features you need to for your hiring to be a success.

Hiring Software Checklist
Managing an effective hiring process requires more than just a simple Applicant Tracking System. The software needs to adjust to your unique hiring approach, be backed up by a team of experts to support you, and be designed to maximize your results. This checklist will help you make an informed decision:

Essential criteria for an ats:



Great Job Ads Get Results
Your team’s strength is compliance, not marketing. Does the provider have experts available to help you write job ads that will make the best applicants want to apply?


Free & Paid Job Boards
Applicant flow is vital to a successful hiring process. Does the platform post to over 500 free and paid job boards without using a third party that charges additional monthly fees?


Employee Referral Portal & Tracking

Employee referrals are one of the best sources of qualified applicants.  Does the provider have a system that proactively pushes employees to share your jobs via email and social media?


Mobile Optimized Career Site & Apply Process
Over 89 percent of job seekers use their mobile phone to search for jobs.  Does the platform provide a career site and application process that works on mobile?


Job Seeker Support
From answering questions to uploading resumes, people applying to jobs ask a lot of questions. Does the company provide technical support to the applicants as they apply?


Application Completion Optimization
Getting job seekers to your career site doesn’t guarantee that they will apply.  Does the company help you maximize the number of people completing applications?


2-Stage Application
Qualified applicants dislike filling out long initial applications. Can the platform allow for a short application initially, and gather the rest of the application at the point of interview?


Applicant Communication via Email & Text
Communicating with job seekers is a vital part of the hiring process. Does the system allow you to correspond with job seekers via email as well as text message?


Manager Collaboration & Tracking
Hiring is a team effort. Does the system have access controls, notes, ratings, sharing and other tools to enable collaboration throughout the process?


Unlimited Logins
It isn’t just HR managers who use hiring software. Are additional logins for your HR team and hiring managers included at no additional cost?


Personalized Support & Hands-On Training
You will need help and advice to get a platform to work with your unique hiring process.  Is support and training for your team provided for free with the system?


End-to-End Hiring Solution
Applicant tracking is the core of a good hiring process, but can the platform manage your other add-ons such as background checks, assessments, onboarding, etc.?


A Better Process Will Improve Your Reputation.

The first impression that your organization makes is when candidates visit your career site and apply for a job.

  • What does your current process tell people about your company?
  • Does it say that you value the applicant’s experience?
  • Does it tell them that you communicate effectively?
  • Does it say that you embrace new technology?
  • What if these job seekers are also customers?

In today’s hiring market, you’ve got to be on your toes from the first words you
write in your job description to the moment you send an offer letter. The candidate’s experience with your company and the communications they receive along the way are vital in showcasing your appreciation for their time. And with hiring recovering, candidates have choices. Having an established hiring process, time-saving tools and quick follow through are all key to finding (and keeping!) your next great employee.

For more information on how our Applicant Tracking System, Attract and Hire, can improve your recruiting process contact

Attract & Hire