Top 12 Features of Applicant Tracking Systems

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Applicant tracking systems are software tools that help recruiters track and manage all the information about a job applicant. The goal of an ATS is to automate many of the mundane tasks involved in hiring so that HR professionals can focus on higher-value activities, like managing interviews and helping hiring managers make decisions about who should get called back for interviews.

Below, this blog post will go into detail as to what are some of the important features of applicant tracking systems as well as the reason why they are a necessity for recruitment needs.

We will also dive deep into one of the best ATS systems called, The Flatwork, and describe some of the features in depth.

1. Easy input of information, easy to populate and update

  • Easy Input: A good ATS allows for easy input of information, with a clean and intuitive interface.
  • Easy Updating: An ATS should be able to be updated easily as well. The system needs to be able to receive and process new data quickly, so that recruiters don’t have to wait for hours or days before they can receive new applicants.
  • Easy Populating: It is important for an ATS to allow for easy population of information such as keywords, job titles, and skills used by applicants during the application process (like when filling out their resumes). This will help in identifying relevant candidates who fit your job posting needs more easily than if you were using other methods like paper applications or phone calls which can take longer because they require manual inputting by someone at your company each time they are used (which could lead up being inefficient).
  • Accessibility Without Interruption: Another key feature that all good Applicant Tracking Systems should offer is accessibility without interruption! This means users will not lose access while working within this system—this includes being able without losing work since it doesn't crash or disconnect them unexpectedly while trying accessing some information which may have been saved previously..

2. Easy Searching

Job seekers can search for jobs using a variety of criteria. You can search by job title, location, specialty and other criteria.

3. Data Storage - Electronic storage of all resumes and candidate data

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are the backbone of any recruiting process. They provide a much-needed filter for all your resumes, helping you quickly find and select the best candidates for each position. But an ATS is only as good as its data storage, which makes up three major parts:

  • Electronic Storage - All resumes and candidate data will be stored electronically on a central server or cloud system that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, anytime. This enables recruiters to share their database with other departments like HR or Finance, allowing them to access information outside of IT's control.
  • Security - The security of this system should adhere to the highest standards in order to protect confidential information such as social security numbers, addresses and contact details. A secure platform should have advanced authentication processes that require two-factor authentication (such as email verification codes sent by SMS), biometric scanning and encryption techniques such as SSL/TLS encryption protocols used by banks when transmitting sensitive information over the internet (eCommerce).
  • Retrievability & Shareability - Businesses need easy access to all relevant information at any given time so they can make informed decisions quickly without having too much delay between requesting it from someone who may not always be available right away ("I'll call back tomorrow"). This means storing resumes in one place where anyone within the company has access without having too many hoops through which they must jump just because their role doesn't necessarily warrant immediate access privileges."

4. Resume Parsing

Resume parsing is a vital feature that allows you to extract accurate data from resumes and populate the database automatically. Resume parsing can be done manually or automatically. With resume parsing, you can extract information such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Email address
  • Social media accounts (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)

5. Email Integration

  • Email Integration - Can send automated emails in response to particular actions such as when receiving a resume for a specific job title or position.
  • On-Screen Chatting - Allows you to chat with candidates without having to leave the system, which is useful for complex questions that may require more time than typing out can accommodate. For example, if you are interviewing someone who has multiple skills and languages on their resume but doesn't know how they would prioritize them during an interview process, this feature could help facilitate conversations about these priorities so that both parties understand what types of tasks would be prioritized over others; it also allows candidates to ask questions directly rather than having them send an email into your company inbox where you might not necessarily see it right away because there are often hundreds of emails coming in every day!
  • Skills Based Matching - Some software will allow you to set up specific skill sets required for each job position available at your company (e.g., "must have" skills) so that only applicants who meet those requirements will make it onto your shortlist! Once someone applies through the ATS system they'll immediately be screened based on whether or not their qualifications match up with what we're looking for here at Acme Incorporated.

6. Pre-screening Questionnaires

One of the most common features that Applicant Tracking Systems provide is the ability to set up pre-screening questionnaires, which allows you to add custom questions and require answers from candidates before their applications are considered. This can be a useful tool for filtering out unqualified applicants, allowing you to focus on those who have a chance of being successful in the role for which they are applying.

You can also track whether or not candidates have completed their pre-screening questionnaires by setting up an automated system that sends out emails after each submission. This way, if a candidate does not complete their questionnaire or refuses to answer any questions at all, you will know immediately and can take action accordingly.

7. Scheduling Interviews

The ability to coordinate interviews between candidates and hiring managers, including email reminders (to interviews) for those involved.

8. Automated Rejection Letters

Automated Rejection Letters - Ability to create rejection letters to be sent out automatically when someone is not selected after an interview or another step in the recruitment process.

Rejection letters aren’t always necessary, but there are times when they’re appropriate. Automated rejection letters can be sent via email or text message and can include customized messages (such as a job reference letter) depending on what action was taken by your hiring team. For example, if you choose only to send automated rejection letters based on interviews, then those applying for other jobs within the company will not receive them.

9. Reporting Functions

Reporting Functions - Generate detailed reports on participation across all levels of the hiring/recruitment process. Reports can be generated on a specific candidate, position, job and date basis.

10. Simplified Collaboration with Hiring Managers

Hiring managers can provide feedback on each candidate and help ensure that the best applicants are selected for an interview. This will also reduce the time involved in the recruiting process, meaning you can hire more quickly!

11. Custom Workflows

Recruiters and hiring managers can customize and automate the recruitment process by creating custom workflows. The system will automatically handle every step of the process, from receiving resumes to scheduling interviews. Workflows can also be used to streamline repetitive tasks like checking job candidates' references or contacting former employers.

12. What about The Flatwork?

A great tool that encompasses most of these features can be tested out using Flatwork as an ATS. The all-in-one hiring and recruiting tool for startups includes both:

  • Applicant Tracking System: Career pages, hiring pipeline, candidate evaluation, email automation, Zapier integration, easy candidate import & export and more.
  • Recruiting Software: You can create talent pools, set up nurture campaigns, source candidate emails and phone numbers via our free Chrome extension on LinkedIn, Twitter, Github and other sites.

In regards to some of the details of the features The Flatwork houses, here are some additional information:

  • Send emails to multiple candidates with a single click: Select multiple candidates and send blast emails to all of them, Personalize your emails to get higher open rates, Check the status of your emails from the dashboard
  • Create your own hiring pipeline in seconds: Adjust for each job listing: You can change your hiring pipeline for each job listing or keep the standard one. Change the stages easily: You're not sure about the stages you have. You can add, update and delete your hiring stages.
  • Built-in team collaboration to hire
  • AI pre-screening saves you time: Flatwork quickly ranks each candidate to save you time. Using job listing details and the resumes uploaded, this feature aims to speed up your hiring process.
  • Source candidate emails with 1-click: Finding the right candidates and recruiting them is tough. We make finding contact email addresses and phone numbers easy.
  • With our free Chrome extension, you can get an email and phone number information on Linkedin and source candidates from any website you source.


Applicant Tracking Systems are an essential part of a company's recruitment and hiring process. They provide a means for organizations to easily manage candidates, schedule interviews and track all their data in one place. The best ones have powerful features that help streamline the recruiting process while providing hiring managers with valuable tools they need to make informed decisions about whom they want on their teams.

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