Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Updated April 23, 20244 min read

What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

The job market is stacked with many applicants and job seekers jostling for high-quality employment. As such, there is the potential for a multitude of resumes to flock in for every opening and create a recruiting nightmare for companies. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is the corporate solution to this potential problem.

What is Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

How do Applicant Tracking Systems work?

Simply put, they collect, and store resumes. An ATS would run through a resume, extract relevant information and organize them into easily understandable data for recruiters. In addition, many ATS also use "knockout" questions. As the name implies, such questions help the system flag or disqualify candidates. The questions are usually polar or short-answer questions. After storing the resume data, hiring managers can use the ATS to tailor-search specific candidates. For this purpose, ATS usually comes with filter capability. To aid searches, managers can search according to skills, locations, keywords, etc. Since these ATS almost always store the data permanently, a resume submission means the information is now on the company's system. As a result, a job applicant could come under consideration for a later role.

Are Applicant Tracking Systems used often?

Applicant Tracking Systems are a favorite human resources tool for large companies with the reach and popularity to attract too many resumes. So, while many smaller companies may still fancy the old-fashioned method of reading all resumes, almost all large corporations use ATS. Some observers estimate that 99% of Fortune 500 companies used an ATS as recently as 2018. That number is sure to have risen in the years since.

Popular Applicant Tracking Systems to consider

  1. Workday

  2. Taleo recruiting

  3. LinkedIn Recruiter

  4. Jobvite

  5. iCIMS Talent Platform

  6. Greenhouse

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder of, enabling 50+ recruitment businesses build better client and candidate relationships.