The Pros and Cons of an Applicant Tracking System

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A recruiting system can be an essential tool for any company that has a lot of candidates to process and a lot of employees to hire. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you automate the hiring process by centralizing all candidate information in one place, automating tedious tasks like resume scanning and emailing, and providing you with data about who's been applying for what roles so that you can make informed decisions about where to invest your time and resources.

Let’s list the benefits, shall we?


  • This is a huge benefit as it saves your team time and money. You can filter out candidates who are not a fit for the job, saving both your time and theirs. It also means that only those who meet all of your criteria will be able to apply, which helps ensure that you have fewer applications to sort through overall, saving time as well as money in hiring fees and/or other associated costs such as medical insurance or background checks.

Sourcing and tracking

  • Sourcing and tracking go hand in hand. When you're sourcing, you're looking for candidates who fit the job description and will enjoy working with your company. As soon as you find someone who's worth tracking, it's important to keep tabs on them so they don't slip through the cracks.
  • An ATS can be used to source candidates, track candidates and communicate with both of those groups—allowing companies to use one tool for all three processes. If a company only wants to use an ATS for sourcing or only wants to use it for tracking (or even just one part of either), that's also possible—just make sure that whatever decision is made makes sense based on your needs (and stick with it)!

Automated job postings

  • Job postings are more likely to be viewed and clicked on.
  • Job postings are more likely to get applications.
  • The applicant tracking system is more likely to filter out the unqualified applicants (i.e., those with no experience or skills).
  • A great feature of an applicant tracking system is that it gives you access to all this information, allowing you to see which job listings are doing well and which ones aren't. You can also see how many applications each one has received, so that you can determine whether or not it's worth putting up additional ads for the same position in different locations or if there's been enough interest already without having to spend too much money on advertising again right away.

Data Collection

  • A good applicant tracking system will allow you to collect data on candidates and their applications. This data can be used in a variety of ways:
  • To make better decisions. When you have an effective way of collecting information about your applicants, this makes it easier for recruiters to make better decisions about which applicants are most likely to succeed at a particular job.
  • To improve your process. The data that you collect from ATSs has many different uses, including helping recruiters improve their processes so that they can find more qualified candidates faster and more effectively.

Communication channels between recruiters and candidates

  • The communication channels between recruiters and hiring managers are a crucial part of the candidate search process.  Communication channels between recruiters and candidates are also improved when recruiters have access to the data provided by ATSs. This means that candidates are more likely to receive responses quickly and accurately, which can improve the overall experience for both parties.

Ultimately, any hiring process can benefit from the use of an applicant tracking system. Not only does it save time and resources for both parties involved, but it also allows candidates to feel as though their information is safe and secure. Recruiters can easily filter through hundreds of applicants with ease, while still maintaining a personal connection with each individual being considered for a position at their company.

What are the downsides to this perfect ecosystem of automized recruitment then? Let’s take a look.

Applicant tracking systems are an essential component of a modern hiring process, but they aren't without their flaws. This article shed light on the benefits of an ATS, but there's also a downside to using them. Here are some ways that applicant tracking systems can work against job seekers:

Candidates can feel like a number

  • If a candidate is applying for a job, this can be very frustrating. They may feel like their application is being treated as just another piece of data in the system, and that they are being processed instead of considered as an individual. This can cause them to feel unimportant or insignificant to your recruiting process. In turn, this could make them lose interest in applying to your organization in the future because they have lost trust in the way you handle applicants.

They can become disenchanted with the process

  • An applicant tracking system can make candidates feel like they're just another cog in the machine. You know how it feels when you talk to a customer service representative for any length of time and it starts to feel like you're being treated like a number? An applicant tracking system is essentially the same thing: it treats applicants as data points rather than human beings.
  • Candidates may also be disenchanted with the whole process if they find that they don't receive any personal attention from employers during their job search, or even once they've been hired. When candidates have different questions about your company or product, are you going to handle those questions yourself? This can be one of the biggest reasons why employers lose many good candidates who might otherwise have been willing to take on jobs at your organization.

You're searching for talent in an automated way, which means you might not fit the mold

  • When you're searching for talent in an automated way, it can be difficult to determine if you'll fit the mold. You don't have a chance to meet potential candidates in person before hiring them. Instead, you have to rely on their resumes and cover letters—which may not be as accurate as they seem.
  • Resumes often contain old information or even lies that applicants use to get their foot in the door at companies that might not be right for them. A good applicant tracking system will help filter out these types of applications so that you can focus on more promising ones from people who are actually interested in working with your company.

It's hard to get visibility on your candidacy

  • Another disadvantage of an applicant tracking system is that it can be difficult to get visibility on your candidacy. You might not know what the next step in the process is, how to get in touch with a hiring manager and whether or not your application is complete.

The algorithms make it harder to showcase your creativity

  • The problem with hiring software is that it's not designed to find the best fit for your company. It's designed to find a candidate who matches what you're looking for on paper, no matter how far from reality that may be.
  • According to The Atlantic: "The ATS assumes we want employees who are 'good'. It is difficult to define ‘good’ in any context other than an industrial one; yet even there, ‘good’ means something different depending on your perspective."
  • You might think that because your company wants people with great communication skills, communication skills would be a major factor in finding good candidates. But if someone says they have those skills but never actually uses them at work (or never has), an applicant tracking system will still mark them as "good", since their resume tells the computer they do have those skills.

These systems create additional hurdles for job seekers, but they are increasingly a part of the hiring process

  • While you may use an ATS as a tool to filter out candidates who are not qualified for the open position, be aware that it is not a replacement for human interaction. An applicant tracking system is only as good as the information you feed it and how well you have trained it to identify candidates with skills matching your needs.
  • They create additional hurdles for job seekers applying to jobs listed on their platforms—or they can make doing so difficult.
  • The applicant tracking system cannot always detect experience or skills that may not have been listed in a candidate's resume or cover letter.

In conclusion, ATS is creating a new standard for the talent acquisition process, and that means changing how we think about job seekers. We can’t afford to keep funneling candidates through systems that create barriers and frustration—and we know it would be better if our hiring were more transparent.

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