Applicant Tracking Systems by SmartSearch

Applicant Tracking System

The Benefits & Features of Applicant Tracking System

Harness the power of our intuitive, agile applicant tracking system

Applicant Tracking Software Overview

Historically, Applicant Tracking Systems have been helping companies source job candidates since the mid-to-late 1990s. ATS solutions began as a way to view scanned resumes. Now, they have become an essential tool for businesses hoping to grow their workforce.

In today’s fast-paced world, digital software eliminates the need for manual processes and saves recruiting professionals time. Applicant Tracking Systems are designed to help simplify the challenge of finding the right candidates at the right time. This is done through the use of customizable automation software.

As a business owner, HR professional, or recruiting specialist, it is your responsibility to consider automating your recruitment process to save time and effort for candidates, clients, and other team members.     

This Article Covers:


Who uses Applicant Tracking Systems?

Applicant Tracking Systems are used by both large and small companies. These systems will vary based on the need of the business, but most work to solve one of the following issues:

– Create a faster hiring process.
– Build a better process of posting and advertising open roles.
– Reduce the cost per hire for each position.
– Improve the quality of employees hired.
– Improve the candidate hiring experience.

As a result of providing solutions to these issues, ATS solutions are becoming extremely prevalent in many organizations regardless of size.

How can an applicant tracking system improve the candidate selection process?

While every organization has different requirements, they all need to recruit the right talent to ensure continued success and growth. The challenge is finding that talent.

Applicant Tracking Software works to tackle this challenge. It manages the data for the entire hiring process to deliver necessary information to administrators, management, sales, and recruiting departments. This data can then be used to identify top candidates that meet your organization’s needs.

Applicant-tracking software is used by human resources and staffing professionals. It provides flexibility and adaptability to help with manual tasks, such as finding the best candidates for a job, uploading resumes into the candidate database, and tracking where a candidate is in the hiring process. How much or how little this information is used is based solely on the user’s or users’ goals.

Some ATS solutions are taking automation to the next level. They incorporate Artificial Intelligence to make the process easier for end-users. AI can observe past activities and use this data to improve and make decisions. These can include matching candidates to jobs based on their educational level, work experience, professional skills, or any data field the user or users set. 

How does an applicant tracking system aid corporate recruiters?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) helps hiring professionals in larger corporations by streamlining the hiring process. Each task is assigned and tracked in digital workflows, from publishing job descriptions to managing outside recruiters.

Applicant Tracking Software is used by human resources and hiring professionals who need flexibility and adaptability to help with manual tasks, such as posting to different digital job boards, automatically selecting candidates from the job seekers that apply, and tracking where a candidate is in the selection and hiring process. How much or how little this information is used is based solely on the user’s or users’ goals. 

Some solutions take this automation a step further by connecting to other systems within the HR tech-stack. Automation between different systems, such as HRIS, Accounting, Payroll and Onboarding Software, can be incorporated into an ATS. This helps to start the corporate recruiting process in the correct direction.

ATS systems are becoming so prevalent in larger corporations that as of 2019, 99% of Fortune 500 companies used an ATS in their hiring process.

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How does an applicant tracking system aid professional recruiters?

While every organization has different requirements, they all need to recruit the right talent to ensure continued success and growth. Some recruiting firms use their Applicant Tracking System to run the entirety of their business. 

For recruiting and executive search firms, Applicant Tracking Software solves the issues of sourcing candidate information, selecting the right candidates for the right assignment, and tracking the candidate’s progress from onboarding to the end of their assignment. An ATS can effectively manage the data for the recruiting process to deliver necessary information to administrators, management, sales, and individual recruiters.

By leveraging the data stored in an ATS, recruiters can adapt and automate manual tasks such as uploading resumes, collecting signed RTR letters or other documents, locating candidate records that meet a job description, sending notifications for interviews via email or text, sending contracts to clients and candidates, and event start the onboarding process.

Some ATS solutions are taking their automation to the next level. They incorporate Artificial Intelligence to make the process easier for end-users. AI can observe past activities and use this data to improve and make decisions. These can include matching candidates to jobs based on their educational level, work experience, professional skills, or any data field the user or users set.

How do you choose the right applicant tracking system?

Review and audit your current processes for candidate sourcing, reviewing candidate profiles, submitting offers, hiring, and onboarding new employees.

It is essential that you complete this first step before considering any ATS software solution.

It does not matter if the process is manual or digital, when auditing your recruiting, onboarding, and retention processes, keep the following elements in mind:  

  • Growth Capabilities 
  • Team Member Connectivity 
  • Education and Support 
  • Compliance & Reporting 

Growth Capabilities: We may set goals from current metrics, but change is inevitable. Growth Capabilities allow us to adjust to these changes.  When assessing your current situation and goals for your chosen ATS, ensuring that the solution is committed to consistent improvement is vital, with a track record that supports this commitment.   

Team Member Connectivity: An Applicant Tracking System is not meant to manage every aspect of your business.  It will need to connect to other software and communicate with other departments outside of human resources.  When auditing your current process, be sure to account for all departments involved with recruiting, payroll, onboarding, and employee retention, regardless of whether the requirements are as simple as email communications or more complicated tech integrations.  

Education & Support:  When evaluating new hire retention, you must understand how they are being educated and supported, whether it is their first day or the anniversary of their decade of employment with your company.  When evaluating ATS solutions, ensure that those considered provide the necessary training on all system functionalities.   

Compliance & Reporting: To determine how well a tech solution can improve your current process, it is essential to ensure that the system has the right capabilities when it comes to reporting and compliance.  The proper reporting functionality visually represents whether goals are being met or exceeded.  The appropriate compliance functionality ensures that all communications remain within company standards.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Better System

What are the 3 essential functions of a top ATS?

Thousands of different ATS Systems are available throughout the global market, making selecting the right solution even more difficult.  Luckily, there are industry leaders that provide essential functions which separate them from other competitors.   

Candidate Engagement

From the first moment when a job seeker submits their resume for on of your current job openings to the day that they sign the paperwork for starting their new position, recruiters and hiring managers need to engage with candidates.  The best ATS systems either have an existing candidate engagement system or they integrate well with this software. 

The best ATS systems ensure that all information obtained during any engagement with the candidate is effectively tracked and stored within the candidates record.    


An Applicant Tracking System is only one component of an top hiring tech stack.  This means that the best ATS solutions rely on connectivity with accounting, engagement, and applicant-sourcing solutions to help source the best candidates.

By connecting with these different software systems, your ATS can trigger automation in different software saving users time and effort when working with multiple candidates at once.    

Data Collection & Reporting:

Accurate data produces better results.  Data is an important part of the recruiting and staffing process. An top ATS system should gather information from the application process, resume review, and interview process to collet data points associated with the ideal candidate.

Once acquired, the information will need to become a part of your companies reporting process.  This can help to ensure all team members within our organization have a clear picture for every job candidate and every placement.  

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Which systems should you integrate with your ATS?

Most Applicant Tracking Systems are built to track applicants and only track applicants. While other ATS systems like SmartSearch can do much more, no system can completely solve all the problems faced by talent acquisition professionals.  

But this isn’t a disadvantage. One of the best features of any software is its ability to connect with other software systems to create a customized tech stack. In contrast, one system cannot fix all your problems. Many systems working together can get close.
The effectiveness of these different systems will require you to consider the following:

  1. What will be the system of record?
    Your system of record is the database that will be seen as the source of truth for your data. This system must feed information into the other software in your tech stack to trigger automation and coordinate reporting.
  2. What issue does the software address?
    Whether an HRIS system or social listening platform, you need to understand what problem the solution is solving and whether it earns its space within your hiring tech stack.
  3. Is there any overlapping functions between systems?
    Certain system functionality is duplicated across different platforms. An example is if your accounting software has payroll processing and timekeeping functionality. In this instance, no separate payroll processing or timekeeping software is necessary. The accounting software already has the required features.

Below are just some of the options different companies use within their own hiring tech stacks. While there is some overlap between these systems, it is important to understand the different services each of these software provides.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

A Customer Relationship Management System is a software solution that manages all the interactions and communications between your recruiters and hiring managers.  These systems are designed to help develop, track, and automate all communications to nurture these relationships and drive business.  CRM systems can also help recruiters engage with hiring managers through different social channels.      

Candidate Engagement System:

A Candidate Engagement System (CES) is a tool used by recruiters. It helps them stay connected with the most talented job seekers in their talent pool, also known as the A-Players.  This can be through different social media platforms, email, or text messaging.  Building integrations between a CES and ATS systems allows recruiters to easily source candidates in their current database.  


Payroll software automates the process of managing employee wages and tax deductions.  It is also used for tracking time off and benefits, creating an accessible portal for employees to manage their information.  Integrating payroll software with your ATS optimizes the onboarding process.


Accounting software is one of the primary pillars of any business’s tech stack, tracking cash flow, purchase orders, budgets, and other financial statements.  Integrating these systems with your ATS helps automate financial management by eliminating the transfer of paper statements.  

LMS Software:

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are designed to support your employees in their learning and development of different skills and subjects.  Integrating Learning Management Systems with your Applicant Tracking System helps build a better candidate experience.  By building learning management into your hiring process, you increase employee retention.  

VMS Software:  

Vendor Management Systems help organizations manage their relationships with third-party contractors.  These solutions facilitate the contracting and management of these third-party relationships to deliver proper evaluations.  Integrating VMS software with ATS solutions helps create a better system for evaluating and tracking the performance of temporary and contract employees.  

Skills Testing:

Skill testing is essential in today’s competitive job market. Skill testing software enables recruiters to accurately evaluate and assess the skills of potential candidates. These systems have a natural need to integrate with your ATS as it ensures that you can correctly match the right candidates with the best positions.  

SMS Texting:

SMS Messaging or Texting software sends bulk or single automated communications to a contact’s cell phone.  By integrating this software solution with your ATS, recruiters can schedule message delivery, analyze response rates, and maintain their contact database.  

Background & Reference Checks:

Background and Reference Checking Software help recruiters and HR professionals manage the process of requesting and collecting background checks and references for candidates.  These tools work well with Applicant Tracking Systems as long as the ATS features customizable hiring and onboarding automation that can store the results of the completed background and reference checks.   

HR/Workforce Management:

Human Resources Software is designed to help businesses manage their workforce in a way that is efficient and compliant with business, state, and federal guidelines.  These systems are often designed to streamline the payroll, employee L&D (Learning & Development), and communications which naturally integrate with ATS solutions.

E-Signature & Document Management:

Digital Signature Software or E-Signature Software provides a secure portal for capturing signatures through cryptography, helping verify signatures throughout the document-singing process.  Building this integration with your Applicating Tracking Software and document management software helps speed up the hiring process.  

Ready to build the recruiting tech stack of your dreams?  

Who are the top 5 global ATS software providers?

The systems featured in our top 5 applicant tracking systems providers list have been selected based on the different services that they provide, their candidate reviews, their commitment to customer service, and their connectivity with other systems that recruiting and hiring professionals need to be successful.

SmartSearch-Applicant Tracking System


SmartSearch has been a world leader in ATS solutions for over 35 years.
It offers a comprehensive solution, combining ATS, CRM, Data Management, VMS, Candidate Engagement, E-Signature, and Onboarding software into one powerful platform.
This platform is designed for corporate hiring professionals, recruiting firms, and executive search teams who want to create a better hiring process for all.  


PCRecruiter by Main Sequence Technology is a web-based solution for recruitment, HR sourcing, RPO, and staffing. Featuring Outlook integration, integrated job posting, candidate screening, and automated resume import. The Main Sequence team has 20 years of service to the recruitment industry and thousands of customers worldwide.


JobDiva is a Software as a Service (SaaS) technology for staffing enterprises.  It includes a recruiting engine and a full suite of features.  These features help to streamline the hiring process, for the initial engagement to hire and onboarding. 


Avionté is an enterprise staffing and recruiting software offering a full suite of staffing solutions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Avionté provides customized solutions tailored to the needs of clerical, light industrial, IT, professional, and healthcare staffing firms.


Greenhouse delivers a complete solution to help companies hire for what’s next. As the fastest-growing hiring platform in the industry, thousands of leading companies like DoorDash and Dropbox use Greenhouse’s intelligent guidance to design and automate all aspects of hiring.