With this blog post, we’re going back to basics and looking at some of the essential features of an ATS.

Applicant Tracking Systems offer so many great tools to help streamline your recruitment processes, but today, we’re focusing on just 5:

  1. Application Forms

It’s important to offer candidates a sleek and professional application experience. This starts with your application forms. With an ATS, you can create configurable forms, and tailor them to specific roles. These can be mobile optimised, allowing on-the-move candidates to apply then and there.

With some Applicant Tracking Systems you can set ‘Killer Questions’, which only allow candidates to progress through the application if specified criteria are met. For example you might ask, ‘Do you have a valid driver’s licence?’, for a certain role. This ensures only the candidates who meet this essential requirement progress to the next stage.

  1. Screening Tools

An ATS can transform your candidate screening processes. Picture this: quickly finding an application or application documents in your secure, online database, and easily sharing them with colleagues, without the need for reams of emails and endless attachments.

You can also share feedback with colleagues in the system. Some ATSs also allow you to score candidates with a simple star rating system, further streamlining your screening process.

It’s also worth finding out whether an ATS can integrate with video interviewing technology or psychometric testing, for an even more efficient and connected screening process.

  1. Interview Scheduling

An ATS can also help you master your interview schedule. You should be able to set specified interview times and dates for candidates to choose from through their own online portal – replacing the need for back and forth emails and phone calls.

This process also means that candidates can choose a time to suit them, therefore minimising candidate no-shows and reducing your time spent arranging interviews that never materialise.

  1. Reporting

With a range of standard reports, online applicant tracking software helps you monitor your entire recruitment process and spend. Standard reports should let you pull data on cost per hire, time to hire, candidate demographics, sourcing channels and more.

From identifying problems in your recruitment process to assessing your recruitment spend and ROI, with an ATS you have a wealth of data at your fingertips.

For more detail on reporting with an ATS, take a look at our handy blog on the three ATS reports that you need to be using.



  1. Agency Portals

Some Applicant Tracking Systems offer an agency portal. This allows agencies to submit candidates via your ATS, reducing the admin involved in working with agencies.

An ATS can also help you report on your agencies’ activity. It’s easier for you to measure costs and the number of candidates an agency has placed, allowing you to stay on top of your Preferred Supplier List (PSL).


So there it is; our 5 great features of an ATS. And the overall difference to your recruitment? Less admin, faster processes, and more control over every area.

Find out more

How else can an ATS can help streamline your recruitment? Download our guide to simpler, better recruitment

Find out more about reporting in Hireserve ATS

Our definition of an outstanding ATS? Find out from Anton, Hireserve’s Front End Team Leader

About the author

Tristan Potter

From candidate experience to flexible working, and from supporting graduates to ATS reports; Hannah's written it all over the years! Hannah has contributed to publications as diverse as The Guardian, UK Recruiter and University Business. She is also the wordsmith behind our whitepapers and guides, from GDPR to Employee Volunteering.