How to leverage your applicant tracking system (ATS)



Read time
6 mins

Discover how you can better use the full capabilities of your ATS and its partner apps to manage information and fill your pipeline with a diverse pool of candidates

An applicant tracking system (or ATS) is essential in the realm of recruitment. When you have multiple roles to post, and applications to track, the list of tasks required to manage the entire process grows quickly and that’s where your ATS comes in. Most companies work with an ATS primarily for accountability and compliance purposes. In the spirit of giving equal opportunities to all, the ATS ensures that all candidates go through the same experience when applying.

Here, shares how you can make best use of the full capabilities of your ATS and its network of partner sites to not only manage your candidates, but also fill your ATS pipeline with a diverse pool of candidates from a variety of sources.

Components of an ATS

Organisations often need an ATS to manage the process and flow of every recruitment step, from collecting CVs to hiring, recruitment marketing, background checks and onboarding new employees.

But employers often overlook the role of their ATS in candidate attraction. To help simplify the candidate journey, systems often have a convenient ‘easy apply’, but did you know they often have robust job distribution channel options too? These enable you to tap into a resourceful network of partners directly through your ATS by simultaneously posting jobs to multiple websites.

Discover the job distribution channels of your ATS

A good ATS should enable you to distribute jobs through paid and free channels, but many employers overlook the fact that their jobs can be advertised free of charge through their system’s partners’ organic channels.

Depending on the type of ATS you’re working with, some have job distribution as an automatic part of their setup, while others require you to opt in to the desired traffic channels. It’s important to ask your ATS provider what integrated distribution channels it already has, and which of these options best fit your needs.

You should also feel empowered to bring new partners and sources of traffic to the attention of your ATS provider so it can look into diversifying its channels. For example, if you have many transportation jobs to advertise, and notice that your ATS doesn’t have a lot of transportation distribution channels, it’s time to open a discussion. Don’t be shy to outline your specific needs, because you need to make sure your ATS is distributing vacancies to your industry’s niche sites to find the right candidates.

Increase job visibility through your ATS’s partner network

Once the basics are in place, it’s time to test and maximise the resources at hand. Organic traffic is a nice avenue to explore and a great place to start from a performance standpoint. Then you can begin measuring performance so you can see where you want to allocate funds for advertising.

You can take advantage of all the different job boards your ATS is integrated with by picking a good mix and seeing what they give you through organic traffic. Then you can determine if it’s worth pursuing these channels further at the paid sponsorship level. Depending on the source, organisations can see as much as 15% additional free job views through their organic distribution.

The important thing to remember is to always make an equal comparison, so if you’re going to test different job distribution channels, make sure you’re distributing an even mix of jobs to each. For instance, don’t send all your warehouse jobs to ‘site A’ and all your software development roles to ‘site B’ – distribute an equal mix of roles to each site.

Take advantage of integrations for a seamless candidate experience

An ATS is as much about simplifying the candidate experience as simplifying the process for recruiters. Many ATS’ have an ‘easy apply’ integration with various partners, enabling candidates to apply to jobs in a single environment instead of jumping between sites and potentially getting lost in a detached application flow after they decide they’re ready to send in their CVs.

The best way to ensure a smooth application process and user experience is to go through the steps yourself. How does the experience differ on a desktop computer and a mobile phone? What type of device are the majority of your candidates using? Identify potential hurdles and where improvements can be made.

If your ATS has integrations in place, when candidates click ‘apply’ on the advertising source they can quickly and easily apply for the job in the same environment. This also means that your career site itself is gaining visibility and exposure on new sites that you do not need to pay for or manage yourself. If a candidate is rerouted too many times during the application process, the chance of their CV landing in your ATS is reduced. A seamless user experience not only helps to reduce candidate drop-off and improve your overall cost per application, it also helps with transparency because you can see the entire apply path and source from start to finish within your ATS dashboard. You can track the journey of each candidate because when they submit their CV, that application is then attached to the requisition within your organisation’s career site.


What can you expect from your ATS?

Your ATS should be improving your efficiency throughout the recruitment process, from managing candidates to CV uploads, candidate screening, to final selection. It should also make it easier for you to distribute multiple vacancies at the same time to a variety of job boards and advertisers.

Working closely with your ATS provider, and clearly defining your needs and goals, should help you achieve the best exposure for your jobs using its integrated partners – delivering a higher conversion rate and better return on investment (ROI), which will reduce your overall cost per application (CPA).

Implementing an ATS doesn’t mean you have to reinvent what you do: it’s an opportunity to streamline your processes by handling all aspects of the recruitment flow in one environment – your ATS dashboard – from job distribution to integrated applies and candidate management. What are you waiting for?

Andrea Garvey is the integrations and partnership manager at Feel free to contact her at to discuss your ATS integration needs.