HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Applicant Tracking Software

What is Applicant Tracking Software?

Applicant tracking software—also commonly referred to as ATS—is software that helps an organization manage, streamline, and track all components of the recruiting process. These systems can be purchased and accessed as separate technology or as functions in a human resources information system (HRIS).

For a more comprehensive resource regarding applicant tracking software and systems, check out BerniePortal’s guide to ATS platforms.

What Are Common Applicant Tracking Software Functions?

Applicant tracking software was created to automate the entire recruitment process by tracking and organizing applicants in one single database. As a result, these platforms help level the playing field for smaller employers, meaning they can better compete for top talent against big businesses.

Common applicant tracking software functions and features often include career page integrations, email capabilities, internal communications, integrations with onboarding software, and more. 

What Are the Benefits of Applicant Tracking Software?

By streamlining the recruiting process, applicant tracking software allows HR and hiring managers to improve the organization’s time-to-hire and its quality of hire. Likewise, applicant tracking software automates time-consuming tasks, which frees up time for HR to dedicate towards building relationships and selecting top talent.

With this in mind, the best applicant tracking systems offer all or some of the following features:

  1. Job Post Creation: Users no longer need to post natively to each individual job board site.
  2. Job Post Sharing: From the same system, users can share the newly created post on various channels.
  3. Central Candidate Repository: All candidate information is found in one place, regardless of where they applied (via a post on Indeed, the company website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
  4. Collaborative Candidate Review: When someone applies for a job, an ATS allows all relevant decision-makers to easily collaborate when reviewing candidates.
  5. Applicant Communication: Similarly, hiring managers can communicate directly with job applicants using the same system—keeping everything in-house.
  6. Job Offering Tools: Once a company has decided to offer a role to a candidate, they can extend an offer using the ATS.
  7. Onboarding: With built-in functionality, onboarding can begin as soon as a candidate accepts the new job—even before their first day.

Related Terms: Recruitment

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