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The Top 11 Applicant Tracking System Features You Need in 2024

Simplify hiring with our Applicant Tracking System! Manage candidates, optimize workflows, and foster collaboration effortlessly


Spending hours sifting through resumes and scheduling interviews, and wondering if you could screen them all and find suitable candidates? 

Well, you are not alone. 

Sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates simultaneously can be overwhelming for any HR team, especially if manual effort is required. This causes critical things to fall through the cracks—great candidates are lost, and process breakdowns multiply.

An automated, AI-driven all-in-one application tracking system (ATS) can revamp your hiring pipeline. However, to choose one that supports your hiring process comprehensively, you must know which are the must-have ATS features. 

In this blog post, let us explore the crucial features of an ATS you’d deploy in your hiring workflow.

Top applicant tracking system features

So, what are these must-have applicant tracking system features and their benefits? Let’s have a look: 

1. Out-of-the-box career page builder

To get access to a wider candidate pool, you must post your vacancy across various relevant channels. But to check your validity as an employer, potential candidates may look for your branded job board.

But to create an appealing career page, you must involve your marketing and design team. This requires a lot of back and forth and takes a significant amount of time.

So, make sure your recruitment tool has features to help you set up customized career pages effortlessly. It should let you add job descriptions and social share buttons to broadcast your openings effectively. 

Kula’s out-of-the-box career page builder helps you create branded job boards that can go live sooner without any dependencies.

Tracking every application submission across external job boards is challenging as well. You may even end up missing out on some good ones.

That’s why you need an ATS that monitors all your job postings and notifies you whenever a candidate sends an application. 

This will also show you which sourcing channels are sending in the maximum applications and adjust your strategies to sustain a rich hiring pipeline

2. Automation for recruiting workflows

Once your job posts are live, applications will start pouring in. You can’t screen them and rank candidates manually if you want to be efficient and accurate. 

Additionally, recruiters handle several repetitive tasks like sending assessments to each candidate and checking the applicant’s availability. They must also find interviewers based on the candidate’s availability and schedule interviews accordingly. 

These manual tasks are a common pain point for most companies. An ATS like Kula lets you automate all this grunt work by setting action-based triggers for each interview stage. Once the candidate enters the recruitment funnel, the automated workflow performs desired actions based on the hiring stages. 

3. Candidate communication 

After shortlisting candidates, your recruiting team must contact them to initiate communication. That’s why your ATS tool should have a candidate portal with an in-built messaging feature. This way, you can contact the candidate through your recruitment software directly and clarify the steps of your recruitment process. 

Some candidate portals also have intelligent chatbots to let you automate screening questions the candidates can answer without waiting for your reps to contact them. 

Ensure you have a scheduling tool in your application tracking system. Besides setting up the interview slots automatically, a reliable ATS also sends reminders to candidates and your team before the interview. This prevents any mix-ups and reduces instances of no-shows. 

However, you can’t possibly take detailed notes for every interview and send feedback manually. So, choose an AI-powered ATS that captures candidate screening conversations and highlights the ups and downs. For example, Kula screens interviews and generates customizable notes with bullet points, highlights, and summaries.

4. Advanced search and AI candidate matching

A resume repository with advanced search and filtering lets you apply more thorough considerations before scheduling interviews. Even if a candidate doesn’t meet the criteria of your current vacancy, they may be a great fit for future positions. 

With this feature, you can identify candidates who may have sent applications for earlier recruitment cycles and consider them for your urgent vacancies. You can easily go through the candidate data repository, find suitable applicants for any additional job roles, and avoid starting the recruitment cycle from scratch. 

Your ATS should offer standard keyword filters for characteristics, qualifications, and experience, such as: 

  • Educational qualification 
  • Location
  • Work experience
  • Soft and hard skills
  • Achievements

You must also be able to apply customized filters to meet your company’s specific requirements. 

Kula also offers AI candidate matching to score the thousands of inbound candidates in your repository and show you the top candidates for the vacancies. The results depend on the candidate’s skills and experience, leading to a more inclusive hiring process.

Meant for modern recruiting teams, Kula offers AI-powered resume screening that matches candidates with your job requirements and company standards and shortlists them accordingly. Such applicant tracking software features automatically rule out candidates whose resumes don’t fit the job qualifications.

5. Seamless integration

Your chosen ATS software should also integrate with your existing HRIS, productivity, and communication tools. This way, you can manage the hiring process from the same platform without switching between multiple tools. 

Result? A smooth recruitment ecosystem from application sourcing to onboarding and beyond.

While looking for an ATS tool, list your tech stack and check the platform’s integration page thoroughly. Even if the whole set of integrations is out of your budget, choose the one that integrates with all major recruitment networks and your communication tools. 

For example, Kula offers a Chrome extension that lets you attract ideal candidates from LinkedIn and GitHub. You can use the Gmail integration to automate sequences and schedule them for different channels, times, days, and time zones.

6. Analytics and reporting

Sourcing a wave of resumes and hiring the best ones from them isn’t enough to ensure recruitment efficiency. For that, you must track key recruitment metrics and streamline your processes frequently. This enables constant improvement of your hiring strategy, ensures that you attract the top talents, and reduces drop-offs. 

That’s why one of the most crucial ATS features you must look for is real-time recruitment analytics and reporting. Your application tracking system must monitor real-time metrics and forecast your hiring ROI. 

Check whether the platform tracks these KPIs: 

  • Source of applications
  • Time-to-hire
  • Time-to-fill
  • Attrition 
  • Cost-per-hire 
  • Selection ratio
  • Percentage of open positions
  • Application completion rate and drop-offs
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Recruiting team’s performance

Your chosen ATS software should also deliver actionable insights along with the reports. Look for ATS features with conversational analytics. It uses ML and NLP to assess your interactions with the candidate, quantifies the candidate’s suitability, and makes your recruitment more data-driven. Some even let you monitor conversations across social media, professional networks, and online forums, identify individuals with desirable skills, and engage with them before your recruitment begins.

7. Collaboration tools for the hiring manager

The hiring process involves multiple stakeholders, from team leaders to department heads. Having multiple people on your recruitment panel lets you assess the candidate’s skills from several perspectives and assess their cultural fit more rigorously. 

That’s why your chosen application tracking software must enable collaboration between internal parties to help them stay informed about feedback, candidate ratings, etc.

Team heads can view the candidate profile and submit their final input on a candidate’s suitability with the concerned departments through the platform. 

The stakeholders can also participate in the questionnaire creation process to customize it to the role and the company culture. Plus, you can track stakeholder availability and schedule interviews accordingly. 

In addition, having a centralized repository of profiles and interview assignments ensures your team can make an informed decision together.

8. Compliance and security

Your application tracking system will store heaps of confidential information on job applicants, including contact details and sensitive background check results. Therefore, you must ensure optimum data security so no private information gets leaked. Such privacy measures protect your candidate’s trust and employer brand. 

With data compliance and regulations becoming more stringent, one little slip in data security can land you in major legal trouble. So, data security and compliance should be one of your top priorities while seeking the key features of applicant tracking systems.

You should also have robust control over the data storage so only the relevant officials can access the candidate’s information. It prevents potential data breaches, ensuring optimum security.

Your ATS should also comply with data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These regulations have strict requirements for personal data collection, storage, and processing. 

Additionally, an ATS that maintains SOC2 (Service Organization Control Type 2) standards set by AICPA ensures high security, confidentiality, and privacy. This mitigates the risk of legal consequences, builds candidates’ trust, and strengthens your employer brand. Such compliance also minimizes the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive candidate information.

9. Customization

Every business’s recruitment needs are unique, and if your ATS features are rigid, they won’t accommodate your company-specific needs. That’s why you need highly customizable applicant tracking system features. 

Start by checking whether the report templates on your ATS are customizable enough to fit your brand. The system should let you tailor the automated workflows, including email sequences and candidate screening, according to your requirements. 

10. Support

Once you’ve bought a new tool, efficient implementation requires dedicated support. Your team may need help to overcome technical difficulties while integrating an application tracking system with your tech stack and onboarding users. Plus, your team may also have questions about specific ATS features. 

That’s why you must choose a tool that offers prompt customer support. You can go live sooner and set your team up for success. Thus, check if they have clear support channels, like customer care number, email, and on-site chatbots. Go through customer reviews to assess the customer service experience. 

Get the all-in-one ATS for modern recruiting teams

With Kula, you get every necessary ATS feature, from job distribution to holistic customization. 

Kula ATS helps you glean meaningful insights, point out roadblocks, and optimize your hiring process. Besides automated resume screening, you can centralize your candidate data, add relevant tags, and apply advanced and customizable filters to fill urgent vacancies easily. 

Want to source and hire the best candidates without the chaos of the manual recruitment process? Sign up for your free trial with Kula today!

Sandra Rachel Oommen

Content Marketer

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