What is

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)


ATS software automates the hiring process. Systems post jobs to different sites & perform pre-screening on applications using keyword filtering. Learn more.

Every job posting receives dozens, if not hundreds, of applications. Of these, only a few are from candidates genuinely qualified for the job. But sifting through all the applications can be a daunting and time-consuming task. 

That’s why companies adopt Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems streamline the hiring process by automatically pre-screening applications. There are some drawbacks too. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using an ATS. 

Understanding Applicant Tracking Systems 

An ATS software application helps HR departments sort through job applications and otherwise streamline hiring processes. The system is a centralized database and management system that handles job applications, resumes, and candidate information. 

Here are some key features of an ATS. 

  • Resume Parsing: ATS software automatically extracts relevant information from resumes. This includes contact details, work history, education, and skills. It then populates candidate profiles and creates a searchable database.
  • Job Posting and Application Management: ATS platforms help organizations post job openings across different career websites and social media platforms. They also offer job seekers an easy-to-use interface to submit their applications.  
  • Candidate Screening and Ranking: ATS systems use predefined criteria to screen and rank candidates. The criteria might include qualifications, skills, and experience, usually through automated keyword searches. The system also filters out candidates who do not meet these criteria.
  • Interview Scheduling: Many ATS platforms also send automated interview invitations and otherwise manage interview processes. 
  • Communication and Collaboration: The hiring team can use the ATS to easily access candidate information on a single platform. They can also keep track of notes and share feedback. 
  • Reporting and Analytics: Many ATS platforms offer reporting and analytics, helping organizations gain insights into the recruitment process. They analyze various metrics to help HR streamline recruitment.
  • Compliance and Equal Opportunity: An important feature of ATS software is ensuring legal compliance and following equal opportunity regulations. They help organizations manage data privacy, track affirmative action data, and maintain records of candidate interactions. 

Pros of Applicant Tracking Systems

There are many ways in which an ATS can facilitate hiring for organizations of all sizes. 

Improved Efficiency
One of the primary advantages of an ATS is its ability to automate and streamline various recruitment tasks. It can electronically handle and organize large volumes of resumes, applications, and candidate data. By doing so, it reduces the manual effort and time required to sift through numerous applications, allowing recruiters to focus on evaluating the most suitable candidates.

Enhanced Collaboration and Communication
ATS platforms often come equipped with features that facilitate seamless collaboration and communication among hiring teams. Recruiters, hiring managers, and other stakeholders can easily share candidate profiles, exchange feedback, and communicate internally within the system. This level of collaboration helps expedite the decision-making process and ensures everyone involved has access to the most up-to-date information.

Standardized and Structured Screening
ATS software provides a consistent and standardized approach to screening candidates. Recruiters can define specific criteria and qualifications, allowing the system to filter and rank applicants based on predefined parameters automatically. This feature helps eliminate bias and ensures a fair and objective evaluation of candidates.

Enhanced Candidate Experience
An ATS can enhance the overall experience for candidates by providing a user-friendly interface and streamlined application process. Applicants can easily submit their resumes, track their application status, and receive automated updates on their progress. This transparency and accessibility create a positive image for the organization, even if they are not selected for the position.

Cons of Applicant Tracking Systems

While automation comes with many advantages, there are also some drawbacks to using an ATS in your hiring process. 

Potential for False Negatives
Usually, ATS systems efficiently filter applications. However, there is some risk of false negatives. Using automated filters may result in accidentally overlooking the best candidates, who may not have the same keywords in place. This can lead to a missed opportunity to onboard amazing talent.

Limited Contextual Understanding
ATS platforms primarily rely on keywords and predefined criteria to assess candidates. They may need help to grasp the context, nuances, or exceptional qualities a human recruiter could recognize during the screening process. As a result, the system may overlook a qualified candidate who doesn’t meet the system’s rigid criteria. 

Impersonal Candidate Experience
While automation is crucial, it can also dehumanize the hiring process. Candidates may feel disconnected from the organization due to the lack of human interaction. This can affect the overall candidate experience and potentially discourage highly qualified candidates from pursuing opportunities within the company.

Cost and Implementation Challenges
Implementing an ATS can be a significant investment, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. The initial setup, customization, and integration with existing HR systems can be complex and require technical expertise. Additionally, ongoing maintenance costs, training, and potential subscription fees for ATS software can add to the financial burden.

Borderless Helps You Hire Anywhere with Ease 

Taking on global hiring? Even with an ATS, the process can be daunting. You still need to consider international legislation, regulations, and cultural nuances. Borderless is here to help. 

We have the tools to guide you through global hiring in 170+ countries worldwide. Our platform and team of experts support you throughout the hiring process, from drafting contracts and onboarding to payments and terminations. 

Book a demo today