What an HR Manager Should Know about Applicant Tracking System

Hiring is among the most challenging activities for HR managers. They need to battle a tough labour market, a dearth of the right candidates, or dynamic candidate priorities and demands. Of these, searching for suitable applicants and tracking their profiles is as complex as searching for a needle in a haystack. The hiring managers need to create a fitting description to draw the best-suited candidates, arrange and categorise the applicants per their suitability for the job, and begin the round of interviews.

Many organisations turn to AI for many HR functions, and an Applicant Tracking System is one of them. Here’s a manager’s guide to Applicant Tracking System.

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System, or an ATS, is an HR software hiring managers use for recruitment and hiring. It collects applicant resumes and sorts and ranks them per their suitability for the vacant post.

How does it work?

When an applicant submits their profile through a job portal, company website, or email, their resume is first received by the ATS. The software employs a three-step procedure to shortlist candidates:


The ATS screens candidate profiles before passing them on to the hiring managers. However, the managers can still choose to review the applications on their own through the ATS database.

Keyword search

The ATS looks for specific keywords and phrases the hiring managers mention in the job posting. Moreover, it checks the job profiles previously held, skills, and the range of responsibilities taken up in previous jobs.


The ATS also ranks candidates by comparing their application information to the post requirements. The candidates ranking higher are a better match for the vacancy.

There are several reasons why hiring managers need an ATS. Let’s take a look.

Why do hiring managers need an ATS?

A towering workload and paucity of time are just a few reasons why HR managers need an ATS. They need to uncover the best-suited candidates from hundreds of applicants. This number could be for large enterprises and lucrative job postings in the thousands.

An ATS could be the ultimate solution for these reasons.

1. Streamlining the recruitment process

The software gathers and organises applications from many applicants, thus saving a lot of time for hiring managers.

2. Sourcing applicants

The ATS offers a database that allows managers to access and search for specific candidates. This helps the organisation skip over ATS mechanisms and manually handpick interested candidates deemed fit for a role. This can be done when managers need to hire for a similar profile or capacity.

3. Screening potential candidates

The ATS can set up screening mechanisms like years of experience, previous job titles, achievements, passing out colleges, and specific skills the position demands. BetterPlace’s ATS goes further and offers customised hiring stages for different vacancies.

4. Enhanced applicant tracking

Managers need to know where the best candidates look for job postings so they can direct their search and aim at better results in a shorter time. It could be a widely used job portal, company website, virtual job fairs, or referral programs.

5. Manage multiple portals and vendors

An AI-based ATS like that of BetterPlace enables the HR managers to post the vacancy to multiple job portals with a single listing and manage various vendors from a single dashboard.

A manager’s guide to Applicant Tracking System is incomplete without knowing the features to look for while picking one.
Here are the top features an ATS must have.

Features to look out for in an ATS

1. Applicant sourcing

The ATS should post the job listings on multiple portals and provide an elaborate pipeline of candidates for current and future use.

2. Organising interviews

The ATS should offer tools to set up candidate interviews, aligning with the manager’s and candidate’s calendar for a smooth hiring experience for both parties.

3. Candidate Engagement

A robust ATS optimises the hiring process, improves candidate engagement, and integrates tools for candidate engagement, BGV, onboarding, and assessment. Often the hiring managers want to save a candidate profile that shines but doesn’t fit the current role. The ATS should provide a mechanism to keep the profile for future vacancies through tags, filters, and search options.

4. Reports and analytics

The ATS should be able to generate analysis and reports, including Diversity and Inclusion, and offer actionable insights for managers.

5. Centralised database

All applicant data should be uploaded to a central cloud and be readily available whenever needed.

6. Customisation

The ATS should provide on-demand customisation and a personalised recruitment process.

An ATS is a saviour for hiring managers worldwide. It shares their load and streamlines the otherwise scattered recruitment process. Hiring the best candidates begins with the right software. And BetterPlace’s Hire ATS ensures the hiring managers are just a click away from the suitable candidates.

Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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