Top 10 Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Applicant Tracking

Applicant tracking systems are a must-have for every HR department. They help manage the entire hiring process in one place, making screening and tracking candidates easier. Recruiters can schedule interviews and stay on top of which candidates are moving forward or falling behind.

A sound applicant tracking system can save you a lot of time. It will collect and organize information about candidates. But no matter how good your system is, there are still ways for you to get more out of it. This article summarizes different ideas for improving some of these features.

How to Get the Most Out of Applicant Tracking Systems

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are the backbone of the modern recruiting process. These powerful tools help candidates apply for different job postings. The software funnels them into your talent acquisition process while keeping you organized and on track.

But what is applicant tracking system? It’s an automated software that helps recruit and screen candidates for a job position. It is a handy tool that eliminates the need for human resources to go through vast piles of resumes and applications.

The applicant tracking system analyzes each resume and then matches it with the job description. It uses keywords to find out whether any candidate fits the criteria listed in the job description or not.

But there’s a big difference between having an ATS and using it to its full potential. Many recruiters don’t know all the features available or how to leverage them well. To help you get the most out of your ATS, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 tips and tricks:

  1. Use the Right ATS for Your Business

Many ATS solutions are available today, but not all are created equal. Before investing in one, ensure it fits your organization’s needs.

For example, a basic system may be all you need if you don’t have a lot of hiring volume or need complex candidate screening. Suppose your company is increasing or needs more sophisticated functionality. In that case, you should consider investing in a more robust solution that will support your needs for years.

  1. Understand Its Functionality

Many recruiters think that an ATS is only for storing resumes, but it’s much more. It can be used for; 

  • Applicant tracking
  • Job posting management
  • Recruiting workflow management
  • Reporting and analytics 

You should also understand how each feature works to get the most out of it. For example, some systems allow you to post jobs from the system. Others want you to post them externally and import them into the system later.

  1. Have a Clear Goal

Before you even think about installing applicant tracking system software in your office, you must envision what you want to do. This will help guide your decision on which software package is right for your organization. You can then determine what functionality should be included in each module.

For example, suppose your goal is to streamline HR processes. In that case, there’s no point in implementing a feature that allows applicants to fill out their profiles. That type of functionality would add more steps to the recruitment process.

  1. Ensure a Mobile-Friendly Candidate Experience

The candidate experience is essential for any business but more for those using applicant tracking software. Candidates are looking for a smooth and easy process that allows them to apply, upload their resume and cover letter and submit it fast.

Suppose your ATS has a complicated interface or is challenging to navigate on mobile devices. In that case, applicants will choose one that does not need jumping through hoops to apply.

  1. Use Applicant Tracking for Sourcing

One of the main benefits of using an ATS is that it can help you find candidates faster than other methods. It’s also easier to keep track of candidates who’ve applied to your job postings. This enables you to learn about who’s interested in your company.

When sourcing applicants through job boards or social media, they easily fall through the cracks. This happens if they don’t apply for a specific role or respond to your advertisement. An ATS helps you stay organized by automating this process and keeping track of all applicants so that you don’t miss any good ones!

  1. Automate Your Recruitment Marketing Process

One of the best ways to ensure your candidates get a consistent message is to use automated messages. These are triggered by specific actions taken by applicants on your website or other online channels.

These messages can guide candidates through the application process by providing personalized instructions. They are told which documents they need to upload or how they should complete an application form. Automating these messages can also help reduce data entry errors. It ensures that every candidate receives a consistent experience. This is regardless of which employee referred them or how far along in the process they are.

  1. Use Social Media Recruiting Tools

Many companies are now using ATS software as an applicant tracking system. It’s like a job board but proprietary to your company. One benefit is that it allows you to control who sees what jobs. If you have a marketing opening and want a marketing candidate, you can ensure that only marketing candidates see the job.

You can also use keywords in your ATS so that when someone applies for a job, there will be specific keywords they need to include in their application. This helps avoid spam applications and ensures that only qualified applicants see your job postings.

  1. Optimize Your Candidate Experience

Candidates expect a pleasant experience when applying for jobs online. They don’t want to be forced to fill out lengthy forms or take time-consuming tests. Create an applicant tracking form that’s easy for candidates to complete. Include instructions on how to apply and upload resumes or cover letters. You may also want to ask applicants if they’re willing to provide references before they’ve been hired. This way, you can contact them later if needed.

  1. Integrate Your ATS With Other Systems

Hiring managers should have all the information they need when they review applications. This is possible when you integrate your ATS with other systems like payroll, ERP, or HRIS. The applicant tracking system software will populate data from these other systems into the applicant profile. This eliminates the need for hiring managers to manually update information in several different places. This reduces errors and saves time!

  1. Keep It Simple

Don’t get too carried away with adding lots of functionality to your ATS or overloading it with too much data. Your ATS is designed to help you manage your recruitment process to focus on finding and hiring great people. If you add extra features, all this functionality might become another source of frustration for you and your team. 

Remember that an ATS is still software – if it gets too complicated, people won’t use it well because there’s no point in doing so!


Applicant tracking systems are already a vital part of the modern recruiting process. Most, if not all, of the significant players use applicant tracking software when placing candidates in new jobs, and for a good reason.

It simplifies hiring managers with hundreds of applicants to sift through daily. It also plays a vital role in streamlining the entire hiring process. A sound applicant tracking system will make your whole business run more smoothly.

These tips and tricks should give you an insight into how to get the most out of your ATS. This makes you more efficient, your day-to-day life easier, and improves your recruitment process.