9 April 2021

5 signs that indicate it’s time to start using an ATS

This a guest blog of our partner TeamTailor.



Certain companies may have cracked the code on recruiting without an Applicant Tracking System, but ultimately its evolution in the last few decades has enabled recruiters to hire significantly better talent.

With 75% of recruiters and hiring professionals claiming that they use an ATS, users are able to collect and store key candidate information in one place. This way eliminating endless paperwork and streamlining the entire hiring process.

So when could it be time to concede to using an ATS?

These are the 5 signs that indicate it might be time to consider using an ATS:

  1. System failure
  2. A career site that lacks personality
  3. High dependence on outsourcing
  4. Large number of unsuitable applicants
  5. Lack of internal communication


System failure

Having an insufficient system that is unable to manage the data involved in a recruitment process is pretty significant. Particularly when it comes to recruitment. For instance, your system might not have enough storage. Perhaps you’re using multiple systems to manage the flow of applications in a job posting. You might even be recording everything manually in a spreadsheet. Whatever the scenario, if your data is accessible and GDPR compliant through a single platform such as an ATS, you not only streamline your candidates’ progress, but you ensure legal compliance and instill team collaboration with every single job application.

In a similar vein regarding data, a question worth asking is – whether your system has facilitated reporting capabilities that provide key statistics such as applicant drop-off rate and time to hire. These can act as useful indicators to improve your recruitment. An ATS will monitor every one of your job applications with the necessary recruiting metrics to make data-driven decisions and implement as efficient a process as possible.

A career site that lacks personality

Employer branding nowadays is as important as corporate branding and is a vital cog in the recruitment process. The modern nature of the job market has determined that employees are very rarely in a job for their lifetime. This is why it’s more crucial than ever that organizations advertise themselves as desirable places to work. This means providing your candidates a flavor of the journey they are embarking on with your company, whether that involves revealing your best office dog photos, or a charity bake your team took part in.

An ATS that provides a career site builder function can generate a serious competitive advantage. You can synchronize workflows by:

  • automatically posting jobs from your ATS to your careers site
  • track their progress
  • convert potential candidates that are already on your site.

Nailing the employer brand helps companies make the most out of candidates hopping from one job to the next every few years. 

Overly dependent on outsourcing

Seeking assistance from external recruiters can be a great way to hire for roles that are more difficult to fill – such as senior management and C-suite positions. However, using these external recruiters can be very expensive, especially on a regular basis. If you find that you’re spending a lot of budget on external recruiters for lower-level positions in particular, it may be time to consider investing in an ATS. Using a dedicated system that has the whole hiring process built in will allow you to easily recruit for these types of roles yourself, saving you valuable time and money in the process.

Overwhelmed by unsuitable candidates

Receiving large numbers of applications for a role is never a bad thing. But if the majority of these candidates are unqualified or unsuitable then sifting through them can be an exhausting task. Using an ATS allows you to customize your application forms with screening questions that can immediately determine candidates suitability. For example, the job in question may require a driver’s license or the right to work in a certain country. Candidates who don’t meet these requirements can be rejected straight away and then categorized in the system rather than deleted outright (they may be suitable for other roles you have in the future!).

You may also find that you are losing out on some of the top candidates due to lack of communication. Candidates will often apply to multiple roles simultaneously – keeping them informed throughout the recruitment process could make the difference between them wanting to join your company or accepting another job. An ATS can enable you to tailor the candidate’s journey and make them feel valued throughout the process. Automating messages to keep applicants updated on their progress can make a real impact on reducing your applicant drop-off rate.

Lack of internal communication

Similarly, it’s not just candidates who need to be kept in the loop, but also the people you work with. When hiring for a role there will almost certainly be multiple stakeholders who need to be kept informed of progress and updates. This can be incredibly difficult to manage when using disparate systems in a business. It only takes one person to be excluded from an email chain for things to be missed and communication to break down. Using an ATS allows all members associated with a role to easily access the information they require and stay up to date. Coordinating interviews, sharing candidates for review and assigning tasks can all be seamlessly achieved in one efficient system.



We hope these points have provided some clarity on how an ATS can benefit your business. If any of the above applies to your current process or if you’d just like to know more about Applicant Tracking Systems, please visit Teamtailor.