An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that helps organizations manage their recruitment and hiring processes more efficiently. An ATS allows companies to collect, organize, and track job applications in a centralized database. This system streamlines the hiring workflow by automating tasks such as resume parsing, candidate screening, interview scheduling, and communication with applicants.

An ATS also enables recruiters and hiring managers to collaborate efficiently, share feedback on candidates, and ensure compliance with hiring regulations. By using an ATS, businesses can save time and resources, improve the quality of hires, and enhance the overall candidate experience. I once supported a contractor who hadn’t invested in a new ATS since the 80s… yikes. Safe to say even the “newest” version of that software was hindering recruitment, not helping it. An ATS is an invaluable tool for modern HR departments looking to streamline their recruitment efforts and find the best talent for their teams.


An ATS will enable you to manage your recruitment process effectively. There are several important features of an ATS that help streamline the hiring process.

1. Resume Parsing

Whatever ATS you choose should be able to parse resumes automatically, extracting relevant information such as work experience, skills, and qualifications, making it easier for recruiters to review and assess candidates.

2. Job Posting

The system should allow recruiters to post job openings on various job boards and social media platforms directly from the ATS, reaching a wider pool of candidates.

3. Candidate Communication

ATS should facilitate communication with candidates through automated email responses, interview scheduling, and status updates, ensuring a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment journey.

4. Customizable Workflows

It should offer customizable workflows to match the organization’s recruitment process, allowing recruiters to track candidates through different stages of the hiring process efficiently. It should also integrate with other systems like Microsoft 365 or be enable for SMS communication.

5. Reporting and Analytics

An ATS should provide detailed reports and analytics on key recruitment metrics such as time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and source of hire, enabling recruiters to make informed decisions and improve their hiring strategies.

6. Tech Forward

Some ATS software integrate with other programs like social media, payroll, CRMs (for recruitment marketing or employee engagement, and other marketing products like Zapier. Ensure whatever ATS your recruiting team lands on gives you the best functionality, helping not only the recruiting business function, but others as well.

These features are essential for an effective ATS to help organizations attract, engage, and hire top talent successfully.


When it comes to an ATS streamlining your recruitment process, there are several top options to consider. One of the best ATS platforms is Lever, known for its user-friendly interface and customizable features that cater to the specific needs of different companies. Another popular choice is Greenhouse, which offers advanced tools for sourcing, interviewing, and hiring top talent. JazzHR is also a top contender, especially for small to medium-sized businesses, with its easy-to-use system and affordable pricing.

If you’re looking for a more robust ATS, consider iCIMS, a comprehensive platform that covers all aspects of the hiring process from sourcing to onboarding. Lastly, SmartRecruiters is a highly rated ATS known for its AI-driven recruitment capabilities and ability to scale with the needs of growing businesses. Each of these ATS options brings unique features and benefits to the table, so it’s critical to evaluate your specific requirements and budget to determine the best fit for your organization.


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸