6 key advantages to using an Applicant Tracking System


Jun 4, 2021

Hiring the perfect candidate can be integral to your company’s success, but the recruiting process is time-consuming and resource-heavy. With an applicant tracking system, many of the headaches associated with the hiring process are streamlined to create a more efficient and effective experience, so you can focus on hiring the best. 

What is an applicant tracking system? It’s a centralized space for all the information pertaining to sourcing and tracking your candidate pipeline. Basically, it helps you organize and analyze large numbers of applicants at once. From one-click job postings, to interview scheduling tools, approval flows, onboarding employees, and document management, an applicant tracking system is with you from the moment talent applies, to beyond their first day of work. 

The average cost-per-hire in the U.S. is $4,000 and 24 days per worker, and depending on the size of your business, those costs and hours add up. By reducing repetitive tasks, and digitizing your recruitment workflow, an applicant tracking system makes candidate experience a priority, and makes everyone’s job easier.

Let’s dig in a little to learn more about the benefits of this kind of system and how it can save you and your organization time and money.

Save time and resources

Setting up and tracking your candidate pipeline can be messy and drawn-out, between searching through inboxes for the right attachment, and scheduling multiple stakeholders at once. An ATS takes the busywork out of recruiting by providing easy-to-use tools that remove unnecessary steps and provide support you didn’t know you needed. 

From the ability to create templated custom hiring workflows that can be applied to different departments or interview stages, to incorporating approval flows into the system itself, the framework an applicant tracking system provides saves time at every stage. As well, integrated calendars allow you to view everyone’s availability at a glance which makes scheduling a one-step task.

With support on the digital side, a small internal team can underpin a much larger work environment to get the job done right—and on time.

Manage candidates in one place

When recruiting, especially for multiple positions at once, it can be hard to keep track of your talent pool. There’s a reason over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS. Having one centralized space for all your candidate information keeps your hiring process organized. Filters that group candidates by categories, like by hiring stage, enable you to change your view to suit your needs, and an ATS allows you to generate reports for things like candidate feedback you can share with key decision-makers. 

Being able to see all of your candidates at a glance does more than just save your sanity—it can help you see patterns that will make future recruiting efforts even more effective. With this kind of tool you’ll be able to see where your best talent is coming from, and which job postings are getting the most attention.

Easily post jobs

Casting a wide net doesn’t need to mean writing and rewriting job posts. The right applicant tracking system will enable you to publish job openings to multiple platforms at once, saving you time and providing you with key insights into which platforms yield the best talent so you can invest your marketing dollars where it makes the most sense.

With the time and effort you’ll save creating and managing your postings, you can focus on writing the most effective job descriptions possible to attract the right people for your business.

Streamline onboarding

Once the right candidates are hired, it’s time to welcome them with a great onboarding experience. According to statistics gathered by SHRM and partnered companies in the HR space, “69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.” In fact, most successful companies start the onboarding process before day one. 

From the offer letter, to payroll set up, and then to their introduction to the company systems, so much of an employee’s first week at work is about receiving the right information to enable them to integrate into your team. Automating people operations shows you’re organized, and takes weight off your shoulders while giving a new employee purpose and structure from day one.

Reduce paperwork stress

It’s not the cost of paper that can swell your recruitment budget—it’s the administrative time that paperwork takes up. Digitizing onboarding paperwork, for instance, can save you time, which ultimately saves you money. 

HR managers spend the majority of their time—33%—on payroll and administration, leaving less time for strategy, training, and engaging with employees. With an applicant tracking system, document management tools for digitally signing and storing paperwork, or e-verifying crucial documents like background checks, all live in an employee’s central profile, along with information like their benefits.

Unnecessary routine tasks can be a cause of job stress, the effects of which can result in negative physical and mental reactions. Streamlining tasks like paperwork, making it easy for you and your new employees to get documents signed and squared away, will let you both get back to more pressing tasks.

Improve hiring compliance

Once an employee is onboarded and all the paperwork is settled, company compliance is the last major administrative hurdle—and a very important one. Being compliant with all forms, laws, and regulations can be an entire job in itself, so automating the work ensures you’re never lagging behind on your legal requirements.

An ATS can help with corporate and hiring compliance in the following ways:

  • Payroll and labor law: Staying up to code is an absolute necessity. ACA and COBRA compliance work, like sending notices and handling payments, is automated, and policies are kept up to date based on your federal, state, and local policies.
  • Taxes: Automatic tax filing sounds almost too good to be true, but an ATS can calculate your payroll taxes and file them with the IRS automatically and on time. Even complications, like employees who move to another state, are considered for you. 
  • Avoiding fines: Not being compliant with the many different laws that apply to a business can result in hefty fees, and that’s not where you want to spend your budget. An ATS takes into account federal, state, and local laws based on your location and automatically enforces policies like overtime so you’re never out of step with what’s required of you. 
  • Training: Sessions regarding your workplace’s health and safety policies, diversity and inclusion, sexual harassment, and cyber security are all full of important information you need to ensure new employees have absorbed. And compliance policies often change or require updating, which could make keeping staff up to date on company compliance a chore. With an applicant tracking system, since it evolves with an employee over time, enforcing and tracking training throughout your organization is easy to implement and follow up on.

Viewable from a centralized dashboard, you can see all your areas of compliance, from completed forms to training enrollment and completion, ensuring you hit your company-wide targets and that your company is in good standing.

Learn more about how an ATS can help your business

Incorporating productivity tools, like an applicant tracking system, into your workplace will improve your business in many ways. First, it will reduce the chance of employee burnout by keeping tasks clear and organized and eliminating time-wasting busywork that can clog up your day. Happy, energized employees are more productive so not only will they feel more satisfied at work, their hours will be more valuable. 

Second, internal communication is a funnel—one that’s easily congested by unclear workflows and too many demands on those with the least amount of time. Making tasks like approvals or scheduling simple and clear, will save everyone time and trouble. 

Finally, the right tools can help your team reduce the types of human error that often come along with repetitive tasks. Streamlining candidate information and the hiring process using an ATS will ensure that no information gets lost in the shuffle, that tasks are completed on time, and that you end up achieving your ultimate goal—finding the exact right person for the job.

If you’re looking for an HR solution to help you recruit and develop the best talent, learn more about Rippling’s applicant tracking and talent management systems.

last edited: March 26, 2024

The Author

The Rippling Team

Global HR, IT, and Finance know-how directly from the Rippling team.