Applicant Tracking System (ATS) definition

HR software that allows companies to collate, analyse and sift job applicant data. Applicants are typically loaded onto the system by an HR assistant and can be broken down by any number of metrics including whether or not they have a degree, how many years’ experience they have and whether they have particular key skills the company is looking for.

Applicant Tracking Systems are different from Talent Management Systems, which manage the full lifecycle of the employee, but in recent years the terms have become used interchangeably.

The main benefits of applicant tracking systems are efficiency and time saving – sorting applicant data is a resource-intensive task and automating it frees up time that can be spent elsewhere. Computing power also allows much faster sifting of applications that would traditionally have been performed by hand.


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