10 ways applicant tracking systems help employers

A good applicant tracking system (ATS) has the potential to transform your hiring process—increasing productivity, lowering costs, and streamlining your activities. In fact, 94% of recruiters and hiring managers report that using an ATS does just that, according to Capterra.

Before you can enjoy the benefits of an ATS, you'll need to secure approval from leadership to purchase the tool. Gain organizational buy-in for an ATS by explaining to senior leaders exactly how the tool will benefit your company as a whole and help achieve cross-functional goals.

To help you make a case for this recruiting software, we've broken down the ten most powerful benefits you can expect from an applicant tracking system. Persuasively communicate these key advantages to senior leadership, and you'll encourage them to invest in an applicant tracking system.

1. Keeps recruitment activity in one location

Without an ATS, your hiring tasks are divided between siloed tools. You have to open a word processor to view resumes and cover letters, a calendar application to schedule interviews, send emails to communicate with applicants, just to name a few.

Switching back and forth between these tools is not just time-consuming, it's risky. Working among multiple applications means you're more likely to make errors as you copy and paste information from one to the other, resulting in incorrect data entry.

An ATS is the central location for all of your recruitment processes. Each applicant tracking system provides a dashboard with candidate profiles, your schedule, job postings, reporting, and more—all in one place.

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By centralizing your recruitment activity, an ATS helps you work more efficiently and improve data accuracy. You can quickly move from task to task in the dashboard, and your records stay consistent since you don't need to manually transfer them.

2. Speeds up your time-to-hire

Assessing and hiring applicants quickly (without compromising the quality of your process) helps you keep qualified candidates engaged and allows you to save money.

Job seekers are eager to move forward with the hiring process. If you move them through each hiring stage quickly, they're less likely to drop off and pursue other job opportunities with competitors.

A quick time-to-hire also saves your organization money. The less time you spend searching for candidates, the smaller your recruitment costs, like job board fees.

An applicant tracking system speeds up time-to-hire by automating many hiring tasks. The tool can schedule interviews, email job candidates, and more on its own, so recruiters have more time to focus on complex activities.

Applicant tracking systems also help recruiters save time by keeping hiring data organized. The tool clearly categorizes information, so recruiters can quickly find hiring records.

3. Enables collaboration between hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers

Hiring is a team effort—hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers each have distinct tasks that collectively make it possible to hire a great candidate.

To do their job well, these team members must be able to communicate easily about candidates. For example, a recruiter can't review candidates unless they speak with the hiring manager and learn which qualifications are most desired in applicants. Likewise, a hiring manager can't fully evaluate an applicant unless they get feedback from interviewers.

Applicant tracking systems capture applicant data in one place, so the entire team can stay synced throughout the entire process. They can stay updated on candidate interviewing—scheduling, feedback—and even chat with each other inside the recruitment software.

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With these collaboration features, an ATS enables your team to sync on job applicants and move top candidates through the pipeline quickly.

4. Consistently communicates with candidates

Regularly communicating with applicants strengthens your employer reputation. Promptly responding to candidates' messages and updating them on their application status shows that your company respects their time and recognizes the effort required in the application process. With this good impression, they're more likely to accept a job offer, or speak highly of your company, even if they're not hired.

Applicant tracking systems enable consistent candidate communication with built-in email templates.

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Customize a template for every stage of the hiring process, whether it's scheduling an interview or sending a rejection letter. Because an ATS already has the candidate's information stored, you can fire off these emails with just one click.

5. Integrates with the tools you already use

HR teams use a number of tools to successfully hire and onboard candidates. Calendar programs and human resource management systems (HRIS) are just a couple examples. Without the benefit of integration, you must manually move data between the programs. This data entry isn't just time-consuming—it also means hiring records are more likely to be incorrect due to human error.

Integration makes administrative HR tasks easier and faster.

  • Human resource management systems (HRIS): Transition a candidate's data from your ATS to your HRIS once they're hired and automatically build a profile for the new hire.

  • Job boards: Post jobs to popular boards directly from your ATS.

  • Calendar systems: Schedule interviews and other appointments without having to switch between your calendar and the ATS.

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By integrating with other HR tools, an ATS helps hiring teams save time and maintain accurate records.

6. Helps sort through candidate records intuitively

If you don't use an ATS, reviewing candidate records is a cumbersome process. Whether you’d like to sort candidates by source (job board, employee referral), location, years of experience, etc., you likely will have separate filing system for each category.

With an ATS, your entire candidate database is searchable.

With an ATS, your entire candidate database is searchable. Many tools offer a number of unique search filters, such as interview scores or applicants who declined offers, along with basic criteria, such as previous roles or degrees, to discover strong candidates. Some tools even utilize AI-driven keyword search functions, so users can find candidate profiles, even if there isn't an exact keyword match. For example, searching for a “front end engineer” could bring up a candidate with synonyms listed in their resume, such as JavaScript, HTML, or CSS, rather than exclusively surfacing candidates with the keyword “front end engineer.”

With these robust search features, an ATS simplifies talent acquisition. The tool can find candidates who match whatever qualifications you're looking for in a matter of seconds.

7. Builds reports to help you improve

To improve your recruiting process over time, you must consistently measure your hiring activities. Monitoring your performance provides insights on the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your recruitment, so you know where to make adjustments.

Manually creating these reports takes hours and may result in errors. Applicant tracking systems, on the other hand, can instantly generate reports based on the metrics you choose. The data in these reports is pulled from your most current hiring activity, so it's always accurate.

The reports that applicant tracking systems create offer powerful insights for recruiting teams. For example, many systems offer interactive reports that allow you to see variations of data, so you can dig deep and understand the details and trends behind your hiring metrics.

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Using an ATS to pull reports simplifies the process of assessing data. Just by clicking “export,” you're able to evaluate a number of critical metrics—recruitment source quality, time-to-hire, team productivity—and determine how to improve your hiring process.

8. Increases visibility on job boards and social media

Today's job market is competitive, so employers can't rely on a single job board to promote their openings. Instead, they must post roles on multiple job boards to maximize role visibility.

Posting openings through each separate site is a time suck for recruiters. Uploading the job description, company details, and payment information (to cover job board fees) takes at least 15 minutes for every opening. Tracking the performance of your openings on each job board is also tedious—you have to log into each site, copy the data from your account, and paste it into a reporting spreadsheet.

An ATS eases the process of sharing job openings with automatic posting flows. Most tools are integrated with major job boards, such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed, so you don't have to exit your ATS to post to these sites.

Today’s job market is competitive, so employers can't rely on a single job board to promote their openings.

Even better, the integration automatically tracks the performance of your postings for you. Don't think one of your favorite niche job boards can integrate with an ATS? Use an ATS-generated trackable link in your job posting instead. The ATS will track the effectiveness of the job board in its reports, too.

9. Standardizes the interview process

Using similar interview questions and assessment rubrics both reduces hiring biases and improves the candidate experience. All applicants are measured according to the same standards, rather than interviewers' individual preferences, and the interview process runs smoothly.

To standardize the hiring process, create a consistent interview evaluation form through your ATS. Rather than sharing feedback through their own unique styles, team members will be required to evaluate candidates using the form fields and rating system that appear in the tool.

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With this formatting, you ensure that hiring members are assessing applicants according to the same criteria for fairness across the interview process.

10. Sends reminders to help you stay on track

Recruiters are busy promoting job openings, reviewing applications, and meeting with hiring managers. Unfortunately, their less-urgent to-do list items are easily forgotten, no matter how necessary their completion is to moving the hiring process forward.

Notifications from an applicant tracking system can keep you and your hiring team on track. For example, receiving automated interview-feedback reminder emails and notifications may be just the nudge you and other interviewers need to leave notes about applicants you recently met.

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You can set custom reminders in the ATS, too. For example, reminding yourself to reconnect with a rejected candidate in six months after they've gained more experience.

With reminders and notifications, your hiring team will find it easy to stay productive and hire top candidates.

Make recruitment faster and simpler with an ATS

Applicant tracking systems help employers by organizing the hiring process, streamlining administrative tasks, and enabling collaboration—every company could benefit. It's time to take the next step and invest in an ATS. Communicate the advantages of an ATS to senior leadership, so they're encouraged to invest in one. Once your company is on board with the tool, your recruitment team will be able to hire top talent more quickly and seamlessly.

About Hire by Google

Hire is a recruiting app by Google that uses AI to make the hiring process faster and simpler. Because it is designed specifically for G Suite users, with Gmail, Google Calendar and other G Suite integrations, Hire streamlines administrative tasks so that your team can hire the best people, faster.

Request a Demo to learn more about how you can hire smarter, together, faster, with the recruiting app for G Suite.