7 Features Every Recruiter Expects From a Good ATS


Recently I got an opportunity to check out lots of Application Tracking Systems. Every ATS is designed with specific objective – Automation, Analytics or even Integration. Every recruiter/stakeholder in recruitment process has a specific interest in ATS. As a recruitment professional, I have zeroed down to following 7 features which every recruiter will love to have in any ATS

1. Digital Database

Every organization will love an idea of having own database because of the following major reasons:

  • It will not only ensure quick response but also offer strategic advantage over competitors,
  • Privately owned database will offer recruitment consultancies comparative advantage in the era of cut throat competition.

Secure Database

There is one concern which has been raised by almost every recruiter (and stakeholders) about this database. How secure this database would be? What is the guarantee that this database would not be sacrificed? As a recruiter, I certainly expect an ATS to resolve the security concerns.Cloud-based Database

Cloud-based Database

Cloud-based database is going to be inevitable in the near future. Why I should not use it from tomorrow itself? It will offer easy access to all the stakeholders (Hiring Managers, Recruiters, and Vendors etc.).

2. Automation and AI

As a recruiter, I expect ATS to save my time in redundant routine work so I can be more focused on sourcing, screening and onboarding process. Following are the least minimal expectations I can set for a good ATS.

Automated Tracker

Though tracker is the lifeline for every recruiter, it makes us feel like a data entry operator. I expect a good ATS to parse the resume and prepare the tracker with every available detail.

Customizable Process flow

Every organization has its own process of screening which consists of initial screening, tech interviews, assignments, CEO/CTO interviews, HR interviews and psychometric interviews. Not only number of rounds but also types of screening varies organization to organization. Even in a single organization, screening process varies from profile to profile. Customizable recruitment process flow will help a recruiter to use the same tool for all the processes.

Mailer Templates

Every organization has its own tech stack. A good ATS should offer customized mailer templates along with bare minimum content – Job title, Technology, Experience bracket, JD, Roles and Responsibilities and company profile. Most of the components of JD are static and remain constant with all profiles. A decent ATS should help recruiters by offering customizable templates for mass mailing.

Single-click connect with stakeholders

In the entire selection process, screening and shortlisting are done at each level. Entire or some screening feedback should be available to all the stakeholders. The recruiter can set reasonable expectations from the ATS to sort the stakeholders and appropriate feedback should be shared with every stakeholder.

Example: Hiring manager and Recruiter should have access to the entire screening feedback. However, there should be different sections for ‘Feedback for Tech Panels’ and ‘Feedback for candidate’. Appropriate feedback will automatically be shared with the appropriate stakeholder.

3. Analytics

Recruitment is all about number game. Data analytics is the backbone of every talent acquisition ecosystem. Right kind of analytics and supposition helps the organization to identify the missing ‘x’ factor in the recruitment process. Broadly, the recruitment process can be distributed in following stages:

  • Sourcing,
  • HR Screening,
  • Tech interviews,
  • HR Interview,
  • Negotiation and Offer making,
  • Onboarding.

Right kind of ratio and predictive analysis will help to identify and rectify the challenging phase and make the process more effective.

Example: If more candidates are rejected in the technical round, an organization may need to alter and realigned technical expectations from the candidates. If more candidates are dropped out during onboarding stage, a recruiter should focus more on pre-joining engagement activities.

4. Integration with existing platforms

Almost every existing ATS in the industry is developed as an independent application. emails, calendar invites, feedbacks, spreadsheets can be created, shared or modified through the respective ATS tool itself. However, stakeholders work on different platforms. For example, If an organization is using Google services or own domain, the tool should be capable enough to integrate with existing tools so the process can be streamlined over the common platform.

5. Social Media integration

In the era of globalization, where the entire world has become ‘one global village’, social recruitment skills are inevitable for every recruiter. A comprehensive ATS should offer single click job posting (text, image or AV) over entire social media platforms.

6. Compatibility Matrix

In an era of information explosion, data filtration is the most challenging task. A job portal or even internal database can throw thousands of suitable resumes at you. The challenge is – how to prioritize the best candidates? I expect a collaborative approach from ATS at two different levels:

  • Technical Suitability: Skills and duration of working, employment period and gap, duration and types of project should be screened and best potential candidates should be chosen,
  • HR Suitability: Job Hops, Employment Duration, Educational/employment gaps, distance from current location should be checked and best candidates can be chosen.

I expect an all-inclusive analysis of the entire database and come up with comparative competitive analysis so I could start talking to the most suitable candidates, even before my competitors identify them.

7. Mobile Friendly Platform

  • More than half of the world now uses a smartphone,
  • Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone,
  • More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones,
  • More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now using ‘broadband’.

(Source: http://wearesocial.com/blog/2017/01/digital-in-2017-global-overview)

A good ATS should leverage this platform to make the recruitment process more interactive and agile (feedbacks at regular intervals). Let it be initial screening, interview feedbacks or candidate engagement; such activities should be mobile friendly.


A major chunk of recruitment fraternity is talking that automation and AI are going to replace the Human Recruiters. However, recruitment is a part of ‘Human Resource Management’ and it cannot run smoothly without ‘Human Interaction’. Sourcing, screening, candidate engagement are the most productive tasks for every recruiter. Supportive activities like maintaining trackers, creating database and data analytics processes make recruiter more competitive. A most efficient ATS should focus on reducing recruiter’s engagement in supportive tasks so he/she can add some more time in productive work.


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Saurabh_Profile_PicWith more than 5 years of experience in IT recruitment, Saurabh Karnik is someone who has delivered top notch candidate experience throughout. He is currently working with Webonise Lab and holds the position of a recruitment specialist.

He is passionate about Social Media Hiring and keeps a close watch on cutting edge sourcing techniques. A foodie with an equal interest in Books, Movies and Social Networking.

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