Need help choosing an ATS?

the importance of an Applicant Tracking System.

The importance of an applicant tracking system cannot be overstated. Learn why this kind of system is so integral for HR departments in all industries.

(why choosing an ATS is the most important recruitment decision you will make this year)

We can’t overstate the importance of an applicant tracking system (ATS) . Any tool that helps you find and nurture the best applicants is worth your investment. Learn the advantages of an ATS and the relevant features to look for when integrating recruitment software for HR use.

the importance of an applicant tracking system: a look at the facts.

What makes an ATS so integral for hiring? The purpose of a recruitment tracking system is to pinpoint the best candidates for your job openings. With applicant trackers, you can view a candidate’s CV and their answers to their application questions all in one view. It gives a bird’s-eye view of the candidate. This makes for an efficient (fast) and robust screening process. This is vital as screening applications is the part of the ATS where you will spend the most time.  

why does this matter? here’s some food for thought:

Apart from poor performance, a bad hire can lead to a premature turnover. In 2021, UK companies reported a turnover rate of 14.4%, and an all-time high of 18.1% in the non-profit sector. Turnovers cost companies an average of £11,000 per turnover.

Our research at hireful has also shown the importance of being able to recruit fast. We reviewed the speed of the recruiters from the almost 400 organisations using our ATS and we saw that in 2022 they were significantly faster in reviewing applicants and getting them to interview.

the benefits and best features of an applicant tracking system.

A good applicant tracking system provides numerous advantages for HR departments that utilise the software’s full suite of features. Consider some of these potential benefits and the features to aim for.


Most applicant tracking systems allow you to automate many everyday hiring tasks. This includes:

  • Rejecting candidates who fail your pre-screening questions
  • Emailing candidates as you process them to new statuses within the ATS
  • Allowing selected applicants to choose the most convenient interview time/date
  • Forwarding relevant candidates directly to hiring managers
  • Publishing vacancies to multiple job boards, your career site, and intranet and social media

Automation eliminates much of the work that would otherwise be subject to manual input. Reducing errors, speeding up the recruitment process, and allowing recruiters to stop doing admin and focus their time on higher-value tasks.

Before selecting an ATS, make sure you understand intimately how it will complete your key tasks where you spend most of your time. A few clicks here and there can add up to a huge overall time saving when multiplied by thousands of applicants.

job board postings.

To find the best candidates, you need to diversify your outreach by posting job openings on multiple channels. This includes your own website, your intranet, job search sites, and social media. With an ATS, write your job ad description once and submit it to multiple channels with a single click. This is a huge time-saver, as you don’t have to manually submit the post to each channel individually. The same goes if you need to update the job description or remove it. Just update once and click.

Publishing to job boards is only half of the solution though. You should also concern yourself with the application processes that are available to you when publishing the job as this can seriously affect your applicant numbers.

centralising data.

Without an ATS, you’ll probably find each recruiter and hiring manager has their own process for storing candidate data. Some will use email folders, some will create their own tracker spreadsheet, some will devise an elaborate folder system. All of these are efforts to bring some order to chaos. The problem is that each person is doing their own thing and most of these solutions are creating extra unnecessary admin. 

The beauty of most software is that it centralises your data and provides easy access to authorised users. This reduces admin and also helps you comply with GDPR. 

By having all candidate data in one place, you can build processes to ensure that only authorised users have access. You can also respond much easier to the types of requests to view their data (subject access requests) or delete their data that candidates can freely request of you. 

simplified onboarding and training.

Hiring employees is just the first step. With the hiring comes an onboarding phase that can vary in length and recruitment cost depending on the position and industry. According to Statista, it takes UK companies an average of 3.8 days to train a small group of two to four new employees. An ATS can shorten this phase or dramatically reduce manual processes for HR. A reliable applicant tracking system should have comprehensive onboarding features, such as:

  • Document processing (including e-signature)
  • Notifications and auto-reminders
  • Metrics for checking employee engagement and scores
  • Survey and quiz templates

make hireful your ATS of choice.

Hiring isn’t merely reviewing applicants and holding interviews. The process has become a job of its own. This is why knowing the importance of an applicant tracking system is critical when evaluating your hiring processes. At hireful, we make recruitment in the modern workforce more manageable. Schedule a 15-minute intro call today to find out how we can help you hire better.

read our other blogs


creating an inclusive interview process: tips and best practices

Annie Snyman
Partner and Product Marketing Assistant
Read more
Purple arrow

nine ways to write more inclusive job adverts

Annie Snyman
Partner and Product Marketing
Read more
Purple arrow

transforming your recruitment process: practical tips for fostering diversity and inclusion

Annie Snyman
Product and Partner Marketing Assistant
Read more
Purple arrow

start to see the benefits of using hireful today.

book a demo15 min intro call
Call to action ATS