ATS: Definition, Operation, Cost

Wiggli Team
December 11, 2023

ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a recruitment software gaining popularity among HR professionals. Upon reflection, its success seems far from fading. Out of over 3 million recruitment projects conducted in 2023, 61% of companies found them challenging, marking a 4% increase from 2022.

This underscores the increasing difficulty in recruiting. To attract qualified profiles, companies must equip themselves to optimize recruitment management and place human elements back at the core of the processes. This is where ATS comes into play.

What is an ATS? How does it work? What are the benefits of using an ATS? How to choose one? And what is its cost? Find all the answers in this article!

What is an ATS? Definition

ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is more than a mere candidate tracking system. It is a comprehensive recruitment software enabling HR teams to better oversee the entire recruitment process: from sourcing to the new employee's arrival. Its aim is to simplify candidate management by centralizing key recruitment functions and automating time-consuming, low-value-added tasks.

Its primary advantage is time-saving, but that's not its only benefit! Digitizing your recruitment processes through an ATS provides additional advantages we'll explore in this article.

How does an ATS work?

An Applicant Tracking System is a tool comprising modules designed for recruitment, adaptable to a company's needs. It can be used in two ways:

  • Either the ATS is directly integrated with a CRM or an HR software that encompasses all other HR processes (payroll, training, interviews, onboarding, etc.).
  • Or the ATS is a dedicated SaaS software for recruitment. In this case, it requires no installation on employees' workstations.

What are the advantages of using an ATS?

Utilizing an ATS for recruitment processes offers numerous advantages for HR and the company. Here are the main ones:

Save time in the administrative management of applications

Without an ATS, recruiters and HR spend a considerable amount of time posting job ads, sorting CVs, and processing applications. Posting an ad on a job site is estimated to take around 10 to 15 minutes. The more distribution channels, the more time you'll spend. With an ATS, your ad is posted with a single click on the selected job sites using the multidistribution feature.

CV sorting is a tedious task, whether you have ten or a hundred applications to process. With an ATS, you save several hours by centralizing applications and recruitment management. Received applications are stored in a single space. You can quickly view the progress of your recruitments, the latest exchanges with candidates, and your team's comments.

Moreover, some ATS platforms allow you to import a profile in a few clicks from Google or LinkedIn. Simply choose the job offer to associate with the profile and import the CV.

Another time-saving aspect is CV sorting, as the software takes care of it for you. Additionally, it is possible to schedule automatic and personalized responses to candidates.

Attract qualified profiles by enhancing your employer brand

71% of companies find applications unsuitable (Pole Emploi's 2022 Manpower Needs survey). The skills shortage is historic, forcing you to actively seek the right candidates. To attract them rather than chase them, it is necessary to work on your employer brand to make it appealing.

Some recruitment management software allows you to create your career page easily, sharing details and behind-the-scenes insights about your company with candidates: company culture, core values, videos featuring the CEO and team, virtual office tours. This is an excellent way to boost your attractiveness and help talented individuals envision themselves and apply!

Cutting-edge analysis of your recruitment performance

How many applications have you received? Which job board works best for a particular position? On average, how many candidates do you see per recruitment? How long does it take, on average, to complete a recruitment process? All this data is centralized on a single platform. You can thus analyze your recruitment strategy and identify trends to help optimize your campaigns.

How to choose an ATS?

On the market, you'll find various ATS options. Some offer basic features, while others provide more advanced, innovative functionalities. To choose the right recruitment software for you, start by identifying your needs.

Next, benchmark existing ATS providers on the market. Contact the most relevant ones for detailed information on their offerings: product demos, brochures, and personalized quotes. Finally, compare the costs, offerings, and features provided by each ATS relative to your needs.

How much does an ATS cost?

The cost of an ATS varies depending on several factors: company size, number of users, included features, and the provider's reputation. Prices are based on a monthly or annual subscription, and some providers may also charge initial setup fees.

While estimating the average cost of an ATS is challenging, for a company with over 1000 employees seeking a robust, comprehensive, intuitive, and user-friendly recruitment tool, the cost ranges from several thousand to tens of thousands of euros per year. This cost can increase based on advanced features such as career site customization, integration with other HR systems, recruitment data analysis, etc.

In summary, an ATS allows you to track your recruitments, save time by automating time-consuming, low-value-added tasks, and optimize your recruitment campaigns. When comparing the price of an ATS to the average cost of a failed recruitment (between €30,000 and €150,000 (HR Voice and Opensourcing survey), it is evident that the return on investment of an ATS will be positive!

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Wiggli your comprehensive guide to a successful career One platform. Infinite possibilities Request demo
Your data is safe with us

Data protection is our priority, we are GDPR-compliant

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© 2024 Wiggli. All rights reserved.
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