Nine Signs You May Need an Applicant Tracking System

Posted: April 16, 2020

Do you need an applicant tracking system?

When is it time to investigate an ATS (Applicant Tracking System)?

lThe principal function of an ATS is to provide a central location and database for a company’s recruitment efforts. Applicant Tracking Systems are built to better assist management of resumes and applicant information. Data is either collected from internal applications via the ATS front-end, located on the company website, or is extracted from applicants on job boards. Most job and resume boards (,, Hotjobs, CareerBuilder, have partnerships with ATS software providers to provide parsing support and easy data migration from one system to another.

When exploring Applicant Tracking Systems: The Good, the Bad, and the Unnecessary, a common question is “Do I really need one?” Companies consider ATS for many different reasons, but here are nine telltale signs that it may be time for you to evaluate an ATS as part of the hiring technology stack for your organization.

  1. There’s nowhere to store contact information once you’ve uncovered a good candidate.
  2. On any given day, you have several applications open at once for hiring-related reasons: your email, calendar, social media, and internal communication tools.
  3. Candidates have given you feedback that your application is difficult to navigate.
  4. You constantly miss out on great candidates because you take too long to communicate and they accept another offer.
  5. Hiring managers can’t see candidates’ progress through the interview process, and it’s difficult to convince team members to immediately submit feedback.
  6. You spend too much time repeating the same logistical details in emails to candidates. If you have to write your office address in an email one more time, you may collapse.
  7. Once you decide not to move forward with a candidate, you feel like you’ll never be able to find their profile later on.
  8. You wish you didn’t have to input your candidate’s information from a spreadsheet into your Human Resources Information System (HRIS) once you hire them.
  9. You don’t know how to improve your recruiting process, because there’s no record of what has worked in the past.

When should companies consider an ATS?

A good, and easy-to-remember, rule of thumb is our 25/250 rule. If you are hiring more than 25 people a year, or receive more than 250 applications per posting, it may be time for you to adopt an ATS. Another key factor is based on how much you’ve streamlined your process without technology. Do you have a strong sense of what makes a good candidate for your roles? Do you have preferred methods for sourcing new candidates? Do you have a process that moves along efficiently? Do you feel strongly that you can successfully evaluate candidates and be decisive? Are you able to complete your process, and make offers, without losing out on good candidates to more efficient companies? If you’ve already exhausted these other avenues for improving your hiring process, a high- tech solution like an ATS very well may be the next frontier for your organization. There are many instances when companies simply don’t need an ATS. We will explore ATS alternatives in a future post.

For more information on Applicant Tracking Systems, please contact us at 877.360.4636.