The 7 Key Features of an Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking Systems and Recruitment Software are becoming vastly used globally due to increasing recognition of the limitless opportunities they create. It’s true, recruitment software has many benefits, such as; increased workplace efficiency, positive candidate experience and employee collaboration… but what features support these benefits? With an array of available software it’s important you do your research and uncover what features your software must entail! 

Today’s your lucky day, because I’m going to run you through the 7 key features your recruitment software MUST HAVE. Otherwise.. I hate to say it, but you may as well be using a paper based recruitment process (gross). I sense your excitement, so let’s get to it! 

Feature #1 – Flow of data

If you’re a recruiter, or work in HR, and utilize a paper based recruitment process you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of having data inaccuracies. Not only this, but the process is soooo long… print, sign, scan, send.. Let’s leave that in the past with brick nokias shall we? 

Dream bigger and better! Digital software collects and stores your data from the beginning to the very end of your recruitment process. 

Let me restate that, YOU NEVER HAVE TO ENTER DATA TWICE! (I’m not yelling.. I’m just excited)

The data that is entered in your requisition stage is carried into your recruitment forms, then into your onboarding forms, then is automatically integrated into your payroll system! MAGIC. 

Of course you can edit the information at any point, but all the data is in one location and on one platform! This makes searching for data, editing data and reviewing data SUPER efficient. You have data integrity, and recruitment efficiency which results in time-to-hire being heavily reduced. 

Feature #2 – Request to Recruit

Working remotely during the global pandemic forced many businesses to update their technology and move to online processes. 

If you tried to conduct paper based approval processes during this time you would have reaally struggled. How are you going to get your executives and managers to sign your paperwork and approve your advertisement if they are working remotely?

You have to send it to them! Via direct mail… probably not. E-mail? Yes this could work… but the process is too lengthy if you have to print, sign, scan and send.

Surely there’s a better way to go about this…

There is! Recruitment software. In seconds a manager or recruiter can build their e-form and submit a request to recruit (even from their mobiles)(brick nokias excluded). 

The executives and managers that are required to approve the process are then notified through email (or notification if they have an app) and approve it in the chronological order required for the request to be completed. 

The best part about this feature?

Once the request is approved, the data from the request-to-recruit form is automatically transferred into the job advertisement so within minutes you can easily post the advertisement on multiple platforms (such as indeed and seek) without re-entering any data! It’s a RECRUITMENT MIRACLE. 

Feature #3 – E-Forms 

E-forms are a game changer. I’m talking about drawing an ‘advance past go’ card in Monopoly. With recruitment software you can customize your e-forms and choose what fields are included for different; departments, positions, and recruitments. 

You can pick any type of field, such as; 

  • Drop down
  • Text field
  • List field 
  • Checkboxes

And so on. 

The best part? You can save the built e-forms as templates so you can reuse them in the future with minimal labour input. 

Okay, I lied. This is the best part. 

The information collected from the custom built e-form is automatically saved to your database and platform! There’s NO chance of your candidate forgetting to fill in a field, and no chance of data inaccuracies from multiple people viewing and entering data. Not only does this ensure data integrity, but it also significantly reduces the admin work regarding data input…which allows them to prioritize tasks of greater importance. 

The data is easily accessible and automatically generates a profile for the candidate for recruiters and HR to review. This tool allows them to create digital notes which all parties with access are able to view and build on.  

Feature #4 – Talent Pools 

What is a talent pool?

When you post an advertisement for a job you’ll receive multiple applications, but you only have one position to fill! Most of the time you’ll have multiple suitable candidates that would be beneficial to your business, however they aren’t quite right for the current job opening. 

Instead of forgetting those candidates, your recruitment software allows you to put tags next to the candidates application that creates talent pools in your database! Tags might look like:

“Accounting University degree” “4 years experience accounting” “great soft skills” 

The tags are customizable and created by you! 

The result of creating tags? You develop internal talent pools! Instead of constantly posting new advertisements when you have a job opening and going through the whole requisition and recruitment process again you can recall your saved candidates and pursue them! 


Save your time and your advertisement money and utilize your resources!

Feature #5 – Video Interviews

I know I know, you’re tired of me telling you, but I’m going to tell you again. 

Live interviews and Video interviews are different. A live interview is conducted through a platform such as Skype or Zoom and is a video chat amongst the candidate and the interviewing recruiter or HR personnel. A video interview is a compilation of video answers that are collected from candidates completing the job application.

The best way to understand the true benefit of this feature is to look at an example.

Let’s say you post a job advertisement and you receive 20 applications. 


Out of this 20, based on the resumes, you think 11 could be suitable. Now the phone screening begins! 

You play tag with your candidates phones and try to learn a bit more about them to uncover who you think is appropriate and who isn’t. From the phone calls you believe 10 are suitable candidates, so you schedule interviews with them. 

Then, you conduct the interview (which is about one hour long) and make notes. Then, after the interviews, you compare and contrast the notes to decide on only ONE candidate. 

But you’re stuck! You can’t decide between two applicants. So you call your colleague and ask their opinion based on your notes. They’re unsure because both candidates are similar and the notes they’re reading don’t resonate with them. 

So, you pick one and rely on the probation period. 

Okay, now let’s look at the same example but implement Video Interviews. 


Same deal, you post a job advertisement and receive 20 applicants. However, included with the application is a video interview. 

Now, you can review the resume, and watch your candidate communicate, therefore revealing their soft skills and unearthing a three dimensional persona. 

The soft skills you discover are their; emotional intelligence, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and personality. From both resources, you decide only 5 have the required soft and hard skills this position requires. 

Now, the phone screening begins! This process is quicker as all you have to do is schedule an interview. Instead of 10 interviews, you only have 5. Once the interviews are conducted, you compare and contrast the notes you took throughout the interview to decide on one employee. 

But you’re stuck! You can’t choose between two applicants. You call your colleague and ask them to log onto their platform and view the Video Interviews of the two candidates you’re set on. Your colleague learns about their soft and hard skills, and offers an educated opinion. Now you can confidently pick your new hire.

I know you see the difference. Not only do you cut the time spent on recruitment in half, you’re able to communicate with your colleagues and work collaboratively to ensure the new hire’s aren’t selected on any grounds of bias because everyone views the same stimuli

Feature #6 – AI Psychometric Assessment 

What is a psychometric assessment? A psychometric assessment is the assessment of your candidates attributes and capabilities! It uncovers who they are, their behaviours, personality traits, capabilities and work ethic! 

A psychometric assessment predicts their performance in your company and determines if they will be a cultural fit for your business. 

Psychometric assessments have been of value since imperial china, however, traditionally were expensive and time consuming! Traditional methods include:

  • A Questionnaire
  • A Written Test
  • Reactor’s Judgement

These three methodologies are outdated and inefficient. 

So how do you reap the benefits of psychometric assessment without the expense and time consumption?

Simple, recruitment software! 

This is where Video Interviews further prove their value! The Video Interview that is submitted by the candidate then is automatically analysed by an AI algorithm that was developed based on behavioural science research. The results reveal the candidates:

  • Openness
  • Consciousness
  • Extroversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism 

Therefore demonstrating who they are and what kind of employee they’re going to be.

This tool results in a refined candidate selection, and increases the quality of your talent pool! You can screen large quantities of candidates quickly and efficiently. 

Infact, the recruiter can specify what soft and hard they want their candidates to have, and the AI technology will automatically place the candidates into separate piles! 


Feature #7 – Integration with payroll 

So we’ve discussed data flow and increased efficiency aligned with implementing recruitment software… but what good is the recruitment software if it doesn’t carry the data all the way into payroll? The purpose of recruitment software is to save and store data, reduce manual labour, increase HR efficiency and reduce time-to-hire…so if the software doesn’t automatically carry the candidate and employee data straight into payroll it’s of no use to you! The data integrity and accuracy that was maintained throughout requisition, recruitment and onboarding would be lost if you had to manually input the data into your payroll system. It would be like dieting all week then eating four pizza’s on Saturday… (don’t judge me). 

Therefore, don’t overlook the importance of your software integrating with your payroll system and automatically inputting correct and reliable data.

There you have it…the key features of ATS and recruitment software!

Now that you know what features are available in the extensive world of technology, you’re able to make a better, more educated choice.  

Work smarter, and not harder.

Until next time!