4 Reasons Why You Need An ATS

Why you need a system to keep track of candidates.

After setting up our Hiring Plan, I needed to choose an ATS for our hiring process.

With this article, I want to show you the process I went through when choosing an Applicant Tracking System.

I'll answer questions such as: what is an ATS, why is it important to have one and how I decided on a suitable ATS for our company.

Nowadays, having an ATS is the difference between finding the right talent on time and not being able to properly answer a company's needs, which makes this extremely important.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

An ATS (short for Application Tracking System) is a tool used to support the recruitment process.

It helps your team screen CVs, contact candidates and schedule interviews.

The ATS can be a real databases of candidates, where you organize and filter information about each candidate - whether or not you already interviewed them.

Why should I have an ATS?

Thinking about this issue, it was important to find the why and what I wanted to solve by implementing an ATS. In reality, I’ve found 4 fundamental reasons to start this journey:

  1. Prevent time waste
  2. Up-to-date pipeline of candidates
  3. Better candidate search
  4. Lower time-to-hire

Let’s take a look at each one of these points:

1. Prevent time waste

An ATS allows us to focus on important matters. Data entry tasks become easier, communication is cleaner and this leads to a better candidate experience.

All recruiters know that a good candidate experience has a tremendous impact on our rate of hiring successfully, but that’s a good topic for another article.

2. Up-to-date pipeline of candidates

I use an ATS in 2 ways: (1) I can source and interview candidates and then keep them in our pipeline; or (2) I can post job ads and candidates can apply directly.

In both situations, I can use our ATS to access a talent pool, where I can find detailed information about each candidate.

All recruiters have repeatedly said, “We'll get in touch with you when another project appears”. Well, this is only possible if I have an ATS implemented and available in our Hiring Process.

3. Better candidate search

When I’m using just Linkedin Recruiterto source candidates, it’s not easy to keep up with all of them.

At some point, it becomes hard to keep all the information current:

  • Whom have I interviewed?
  • How many steps has this person completed?
  • What skills does this person have?
  • Have they worked with React (for example)? For how many years?

With an ATS, I can easily find the answer to all these questions. Having all these details about each candidate lets me be more accurate when trying to contact them.

I can use filters that can look for specific skills, countries, salary expecations and so on. This makes a huge difference because I know that in this IT world, engineers are spammed every day with irrelevant opportunities.

With this information and the right approach, 50% of my job is done.

4. Deliver hires on time

If I’m hiring internally or even for a client, I know that our ability to answer and present a solution fast is the most important thing because a project depends on us to start or to go to the next level.

When I didn’t have an ATS, I needed to open a job ad and start from the beginning

  1. Analyze what’s mandatory and “nice to have”
  2. Create projects on Linkedin or any other tools
  3. Start sourcing and outreach candidates
  4. Schedule interviews and give feedback to those not so aligned with what I’m looking for
  5. Keep track of these candidates in an excel
  6. Decide which ones are going to the next stage
  7. Communicate with each one and schedule the next meetings
  8. Send a challenge over email
  9. Decide whether or not to hire
  10. Present offer

Since I have an ATS the process is really different:

  1. Analyze what’s mandatory and “nice to have”
  2. Login to the ATS and filter those skills
  3. Contact the candidate, explaining the project and salary
  4. Sent their profile to the team manager
  5. Decide whether or not to hire
  6. Present offer

When I can present fast and good solutions to our company or clients, they see us as good professionals and reliable partners.

How can I decide which ATS is suitable for my company?

Now that I’m aware that an ATS is crucial, the question that naturally popped up is “How can I decide which ATS is proper for me?”. That’s a really good and important question because nowadays you have so many options, it’s hard to decide.

I don’t have the answer for you, but I’ll give some food for thought on how I decided and some Applicant Tracking Systems I'm familiar with, for you to do some informed research.

I went through 4 steps to choose an ATS:

  1. I wrote down what features were really mandatory to answer our company’s needs
  2. I involved our recruitment team, managers and C-Level in this decision
  3. I researched several options and looked for reviews for each one
  4. I scheduled demos - they're free and useful to see each tool's potential

Implementing an ATS to improve our Hiring Process impacts everyone from recruiters to team managers and C-Level. Involving everyone or at least a representation of each one is going to be crucial to the ATS decision and implementation.

After knowing exactly what type of features are expected to solve your current problems, you can start your research focused on those points primarily identified. Here are a few of my suggestions, depending on the stage of your company:

Recommended ATS for Small Companies (up to 2-5 hires simultaneously):

Recommended ATS for Mid-sized Companies (5-15 hires simultaneously):

Recommended ATS for Larger / Scaling Companies (over 10 hires simultaneously, better features):

Recommended ATS for Recruitment Agencies:

Now that you have a short list with your top ATSs, you want to clarify 3 important points:

  • Customer Support
  • How adaptable is the ATS to your company’s reality
  • Pricing (and how it scales)

It’s also important to show C-Level the business case for adopting this tool - what the company stands to gain. That’s the only way you will convince them to green light this decision.

By this time, you should have a better idea of what to consider before choosing and implementing an ATS.


Nobody said it would be easy to choose an ATS for your company, but it is certainly one of the best decisions you can make.

A Hiring Process it’s by far a process with so many steps that sometimes you can get lost in the middle, and that will impact the quality of your job and the quality of the talent you are finding.

So, let’s keep in mind what you have to benefit from choosing the right ATS:

  • You will prevent time wasting on tasks that can be automated
  • You will have a pipeline of available candidates
  • You will only contact profiles that you know for sure that are 100% aligned with what you need

By delivering the best candidates on time, you become a reliable partner (either for internal or external positions).

Keep in mind that this decision impacts your company across several different departments, so this is a team choice, you don’t have to assume this responsibility just for yourself. This will facilitate the new ATS implementation, everyone will be interested in this new tool, knowing that will improve everyone's job.

Mariana Magalhães
Written by Mariana Magalhães

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