The quality of a company’s hires are the single best predictor of its future success. This is widely understood but little acted upon. Hiring is still seen as frustrating and messy by the many business owners, HR Directors, hiring managers and recruiters who grapple with it. Now, for the first time, better software is righting this wrong.

Human Resources has been poorly served by technology for too long, when compared with the pioneers in sales, but we are seeing a renaissance in HR software, thanks in large part to the potential unleashed by cloud-based computing. At the heart of all of this is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

What is an ATS?

What is an applicant tracking system? In its simplest form, it offers relief to these commonly acknowledged pain points in recruitment:

Pain: Submitting the same job ad to multiple job boards costs time and money.
Relief: An ATS integrated with these listings sites can post to a wide range of free and paid job boards with a single submission.

Pain: Building and maintaining a careers site takes up valuable developer time.
Relief: An ATS can make managing a careers page as simple as changing your background image and bio on Twitter.

Pain: Recruiting triggers an avalanche of PDFs and emails.
Relief: ATS recruiting means you collect, organize and show job candidates in the same way LinkedIn or Facebook show your contacts or friends.

Pain: Resume styles are nearly as various as the people sending them.
Relief: Recruiting software can parse these resumes , break them down and present the data they contain in a standardized format where it can be quickly reviewed.

Pain: The absence of standardized information like “how many years of work experience has she got?” add to the time burden.
Relief: Applicant tracking software mines the resumes you receive and presents candidate data in a way that makes comparisons fast and simple.

Pain: Precious time is routinely wasted on irrelevant applications.
Relief: ATS recruiting offers the facility to automatically filter dud applications from job candidates or highlight 3-4 priorities on the application form that enable human judgement to be swifter.

Pain: Using email and spreadsheets to track candidates with a hiring team quickly becomes overwhelming.
Relief: An ATS can enable you to add notes to candidates just like you put comments on Facebook.

Pain: External recruiters remain a great resource for high value hires, they shouldn’t be a necessity for mid-level hires.
Relief: An ATS can provide recruiting tools that let you fill a talent pool and save your recruiting dollars for the tougher hires.

This kind of pain relief is only part of an applicant tracking system definition but it points to what you can achieve with ATS recruiting. The right applicant tracking software is a major step towards creating a repeatable, systematic hiring process, from posting a job to having an offer letter accepted.

Laura Ballam, Director of Marketing at
Laura Ballam
Director of Marketing at

This is my first experience with Workable and it has performed beyond my expectations! We are a rapidly growing tech company and as such have increased our hiring needs. We are trying to streamline our hiring process and increase efficiency for those involved. With no training and just a brief overview from my HR dept I was able to quickly and easily access my job posting, review applications and weed out the next level applicants. Whether passing to the next step (which is customizable by the way) or declining the applicant it is very simple to organize the hiring process. The mass email feature is also extremely helpful for contacting applicants about the next steps, or form "thank you" letter. This is a really intuitive system, they've done a great job!