New Report on Applicant Tracking Systems Reveals Strengths and Weaknesses


Applicant tracking systems (ATS) have become essential tools in the recruiting process, quickly and easily managing applications and completing tasks that, when done manually, once took hours. Today many applicant tracking systems automate, simplify, and track the entire recruiting process, and have a demonstrably positive impact on three of HR’s most important hiring metrics: time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and quality-of-hire.

Industry resource’s Research Institute surveyed HR professionals for its recent report, “The State of Applicant Tracking Systems,” to understand the impact of the ATS on an organization’s recruiting process and the value it adds to an organization’s talent strategy.

According to the report, over 79 percent of today’s organizations are now using an ATS as part of their recruiting process. But of the HR professionals surveyed, only 53 percent said they use all or most of their ATS functionality. Why?

Where your ATS might be failing you

Some of the biggest challenges these professionals revealed about today’s ATS technology centered around limited reporting capabilities and lack of interconnectivity with other HR technologies. More than half of the survey participants were disappointed in their platform’s ability to provide data in a meaningful way, unify data sets, or track key performance indicators. Further, over 60 percent of respondents said their current ATS was unable to connect with workforce planning software and other HR tools, when its data could be used as a resource for understanding their hiring cycles, cost base on vacancies, and developing TA strategies and budgets.

You’ll find a high-level summary of the report findings below. You can also download the full report here.


rate the ATS-1


Too many open positions to staff? Learn how Powersourcing can fill your recruiter's pipeline fast.How will the ATS evolve to it HR’s changing needs? If we’re on the same page as the HR leaders in this study, improved analytics and data integration capabilities should be at the top of the features “in development.” And I must say that I agree.

When HR leaders have a clear picture of the talent acquisition lifecycle — from sourcing to hiring and beyond — and it becomes part of their strategic workforce plan, creating a data story that can help the recruiting team function more proactively, and make communication with other leaders more productive. Simply stated, it will paint a fuller picture of the steps you take to build the workforce your organization needs to reach its goals.


Do you know what it takes to drive better engagement with your candidates and employees? Talk with the experts at Newton Talent and learn how we can help you build and implement the right strategy for your company. Connect with us.

Written by Patty Silbert

President of Newton Talent since 2018, Patty Silbert has over 30 years of experience developing the innovative solutions that help HR professionals just like you meet their most pressing recruitment challenges and their companies achieve their talent acquisition goals. She is a regular writer and speaker on the subjects of recruitment strategy, employment branding, HR technology, and leadership.