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It only takes one lousy hiring experience to convince you that your applicant tracking system (ATS) needs to improve. However, many organizations overlook that using an ATS optimized for your company can help you streamline your recruiting efforts and maintain a positive candidate experience at every step of the recruitment process. Here are seven ways to improve your ATS:


Read More About: How do Applicant Tracking Systems Work?


Optimize Your Career Site.

  • Job seekers are increasingly turning to their mobile phones during the job search, with 73 per cent of candidates saying they use a mobile job app while searching for employment. A great way to ensure that your career site is optimized for desktop and mobile users is by using responsive design techniques that resize the page based on whatever device it's being viewed on (i.e., if you view your website on your smartphone, the layout will adjust accordingly).

  • Provide an easy way for candidates to apply on your career site. The easier it is for potential hires to apply for positions with you—and the more people can find those positions—the better! Ensure there's no confusion about how a candidate should use it (e.g., do not require applicants to finish an entire questionnaire before allowing them access to a contact form). If possible, enable candidates outside the United States or Canada to apply online through third-party tools like LinkedIn Recruiter Lite or GoHire.


Choose an ATS That Integrates with Your Existing Recruitment Tools.

You'll find an ATS that integrates with your existing recruitment tools, HRIS system and applicant tracking system to be critical to a successful implementation.


Redesign the Candidate Experience.

  • Redesign the Candidate Experience.
  • Make it easy for candidates to apply by crafting an application form that is as intuitive and simple as possible.
  • Use a responsive design, so it works on all devices.
  • Make sure you have a clear call to action (e.g., “Apply now”).
  • Have a clear career path that helps candidates understand where they fit in at your company and whether or not they will be able to grow with you over time


Prioritize Mobile Optimization.

Your ATS is crucial for attracting and hiring top talent, but it's also a giant time-suck. You probably have better things to do than spend hours on the phone with candidates or poring over resumes. Mobile optimization can help eliminate some of that hassle by making your ATS easier to use on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

By allowing users to search your database while they're on the go, mobile optimization can speed up the process of finding new hires—cutting back on red tape, eliminating inefficiency, and saving everyone valuable time.


Filter Candidates Based on Keywords

One of the biggest challenges of hiring is finding the best candidates. An ATS helps you filter through a large applicant pool, making it easier for your hiring team to find qualified people.

As you start your ATS, consider how to use keywords to narrow down the candidate pool. For example, keywords will help you sort by industry, location, skill sets, and experience level!


Add a Company-Specific Test to Your Hiring Process.

If you want to get the most out of your ATS, consider adding a company-specific test. These tests are designed specifically for applicants in your organization and can be used as part of an interview process or as a screening tool.

  • Why? A company-specific test will help you hire better employees faster because it allows you to focus on the skills and qualities that matter most for the job.
  • What? The questions should be geared towards understanding what makes someone successful in your industry or field (i.e., technology).

  • How? To create one that works for your organization, start by sitting down with people who have been working at your company for at least six months and ask them what makes someone good at their work or what things they've had trouble with before joining the team—this will give you insights into which qualities matter most based on previous experiences inside this particular group environment!

Alternatives built in screening questionnaires include options like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms and Typeform.


Use a Social Recruiting Tool to Source Quality Candidates.

  • Use social media to find and recruit candidates.
  • Use the right social media platforms for your business and industry.
  • Use a tool that helps you manage your social recruiting efforts.
  • Social recruiting is a great way to find passive candidates.


Make Diversity and Inclusion a Central Part of Your Recruiting Process.

You may think of diversity and inclusion as part of your company culture, but it can also be a central part of recruiting. Diversity and inclusion can help you attract more candidates, retain employees already at your company, and grow.

The applicant tracking system remains one of the most potent tools a talent acquisition team can use to streamline their strategy and keep it efficient, but only if you take the time to optimize it.



At least 98% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems. If your ATS is not working, it's time to change. Then, you can optimize the system and improve its usability for recruiters and candidates. 

There is specific recruitment software for startups, like GoHire, Workable, Recrutiee with features and service offerings built to meet the needs of small to medium businesses.




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