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7 Things You Need to Know About Applicant Tracking Systems

Discover the essential insights about applicant tracking systems (ATS). From key features to implementation best practices, learn how ATS can streamline your recruitment process and enhance hiring efficiency.


Every recruitment manager knows how daunting hiring is. From sourcing qualified candidates to follow-ups, tasks are endless. 

On top of that, you have to track applications, screen and choose the best ones, and schedule interviews according to the candidate and recruiter’s availability.  

Some challenges are inevitable between so many moving pieces, no matter how experienced you are in this niche. 

That’s why modern recruitment managers, including 97.4% of Fortune 500 companies, use an applicant tracking system. 

Unfortunately, most ATS solutions are mere record management tools lacking proper automation features and won’t address your hiring challenges.

Solution? Thoroughly assess the software to ensure it offers everything you need for streamlined hiring. 

So, what are the applicant tracking system requirements you must keep an eye on? Let’s find out. 

7 applicant tracking system requirements you must assess

Recruitment software with ATS features can save time and money, improve your employer brand, and make a larger talent pool much more accessible. But that’s possible only when it meets all the requirements for the applicant tracking system

Here are some notable needs you should examine:

1. Automated candidate management

You have created a stellar job description and posted it across all your channels. But once applications start pouring in, would you have enough time and manpower to manage all of them? Even if you do end up handling the applications manually, processing errors are very likely. 

Plus, your recruiting team does grunt work like checking the applicant’s availability, determining interview rounds, finding the right interviewers, sending over assessments, etc. Such repetitive tasks are a common pain point in hiring and must be automated if you want a seamless and error-free recruitment process. 

  • So, look for ATS features offering automated candidate management. You can set up action-based automation triggers — from application screening to the interview stage. 
  • Ensure it has a Chrome extension or integration that automatically stores resumes downloaded from job portals in a repository. Check whether you can set up email sequences so candidates receive timely communication at every stage. 
  • Your recruitment software should automatically assign interview slots and send reminders before the interview. This is one of the most important applicant tracking system requirements as it prevents mix-ups and confusion and reduces instances of no-shows. 

One such recruitment tool offering automated candidate management is Kula. 

You can automate repetitive recruiting tasks like candidate communication and interview scheduling with Kula Flows. You can also set up triggers for email sequences and let your outbound candidate sourcing run without human intervention. 


You can stay connected with a vast pool of talents, have time to focus on strategies instead of repetitive tasks, and ensure engagement at every step. 

2. Efficient resume parsing

Time-to-fill is a critical metric that impacts the candidate’s perception of your company and organizational productivity. 

But when you have to scan individual resumes, it’s impossible to be thorough and quick. Rushing the process may get you unfit candidates. Recruiters may reject deserving candidates due to subconscious biases. 

In short, manual resume screening leaves a lot of room for error. 

Remember, this initial screening phase builds the foundation for who you select for the role eventually. So, efficient resume parsing is one of the primary functional requirements of the applicant tracking system that you must assess. 

Before choosing an ATS, look for an automated resume screening feature. It removes recruiter bias and offers every candidate a fair shot at the role. The system will only judge a resume based on relevant qualifications and experience and rank them according to your requirements.

For example, Kula ATS offers AI-powered resume screening. It parses through hundreds of resumes and matches applicants with your job requirements. Our ATS tool also accounts for your company standards while ruling out candidates as bad fits for your company.

Additionally, you can Quickly find the perfect candidate with advanced search across integrated resume databases.

3. Customizable workflow automation

Every company has unique recruitment needs and standards. Every touchpoint must be personalized enough to keep the candidate engaged across every stage. So, if you can’t customize your ATS system accordingly, candidate sourcing and shortlisting may not serve your requirements. 

  • Start by outlining your recruitment needs and break down the process into small stages. 
  • Then, evaluate how much customization your ATS allows for each stage. Can you tailor the communication templates according to each applicant? 
  • You must personalize ATS software to fit in your existing system seamlessly. So, check whether your recruitment tool integrates with your sourcing channels and communication tools.

For example, you can personalize Kula to every granular detail to fit your recruitment process like a glove. You get message flow blueprints you can customize perfectly according to your vacancy, candidates’ backgrounds, and required skills.

Our platform also integrates with Outlook, Slack, and popular sourcing channels like LinkedIn and Git Hub. 

4. Collaboration tools

Your hiring process must be collaborative to get the best possible person for the job. From department heads to team leaders, you must involve multiple stakeholders. This ensures the chosen candidate fits your organizational culture. 

Collaborative hiring also lets you apply input from diverse people and align recruitment with DE&I policies.

So, make ample collaborative features a priority while vetting the requirements for the applicant tracking system. 

  • Check whether the concerned team leaders and managers can access candidate profiles and view their movements across the recruitment stages. 
  • Look for a tool that offers a centralized repository for easy viewing of individual applicants. This will reduce back and forth between recruiting panel members and allow informed decision-making. 
  • Your ATS system should also let the stakeholders submit their final input, deciphering the candidate’s suitability for their department. 
  • Ensure it detects the stakeholder’s availability and schedule interviews accordingly. 

Want to boost collaboration, transparency, and efficiency in your hiring process? Use Kula’s newly launched project reviews feature. Here, you can centralize all interactions, providing clear visibility into the funnel for all stakeholders.

All relevant team members can track the candidate’s progress, mark candidates as “Good Fit” or “Not A Good Fit”, and even add detailed feedback for context. Kula keeps all these inputs organized under each project and accessible to everyone involved, leading to better decision-making. 

5. Compliance and reporting

Labor laws, data compliance, and employment regulations are becoming stricter. Since your ATS will be recording contact details, background check results, and other sensitive and confidential information on applicants, you can’t afford lackluster security. 

If private information gets leaked, you may land in legal trouble and risk your employer brand. 

While signing up, don’t just click on “I agree” under terms and regulations. Instead, review the ATS vendor’s privacy policy and terms of service. Find answers to the following questions: 

  • How does the platform handle user data? 
  • What security measures do they have in place to protect data security? 
  • Do they share the information with any third parties? 
  • Do they comply with GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA regulations and other relevant data protection laws?

Stay updated with recent changes in data regulations and review your ATS system to ensure compliance with current standards. 

Another essential addition to your applicant tracking system requirements is accurate and real-time candidate reporting. That way, you can stay on top of your recruitment KPIs and ensure only the best applicants move ahead. 

Here are some metrics your chosen ATS must track: 

  • Time-to-hire
  • Time to fill
  • ROI from application sources 
  • Recruiting team’s performance
  • Application completion rate
  • Selection ratio
  • Offer acceptance rate and retention
  • Cost per hire
  • Number of open positions

Besides ensuring the quality of hire, ATS reporting features will also pinpoint areas of improvement. Such functions let you eliminate roadblocks before they affect candidate engagement.

Kula introduced Analytics 2.0, which generates insightful reports such as Flow Health, Diversity Distribution, Team, Individual KPIs, etc. You also get team productivity reports that track your recruiting team’s performance. 

6. AI and machine learning capabilities

An ATS optimized with AI and ML could be a game changer. It can streamline your inbound applicant screening, enhance passive candidate sourcing, and enable data-driven recruitment. 

Include AI candidate matching features to your list of applicant tracking system requirements. It will score the thousands of inbound candidates in your repository and show you the top candidates for the vacancies. As the AI-integrated system relies solely on the candidate’s skills and experience, your hiring process will be highly inclusive. 

A conversational analytics feature is another highly useful AI integration in ATS systems. Using NLP and ML capabilities, it monitors your interactions with the applicants and quantifies the candidate’s suitability. 

For example, Kula offers AI candidate matching and conversational analytics. It matches your old and new candidate profiles with your current requirements and comes up with the most suitable applicants in minutes. Powered with industry-best ML features, our tool evaluates cultural fit by tracking candidate interactions. 

7. Scalability and flexibility

As your business grows, so will your recruitment needs. You don’t want to invest a hefty amount and get stuck with a recruitment tool that may not be as effective in the future. That’s why scalability and flexibility are crucial to the functional requirements of the applicant tracking system.

Before choosing a tool: 

  • Opt for a free version or a trial period to check its agility. 
  • Find out how many users the ATS can handle simultaneously. 
  • Can it accommodate your current applicant tracking system requirements and potential future growth? 
  • Evaluate how flexible the subscription models are. Would the platform let you upgrade user numbers as per your requirements? 
  • Engage with the platform’s customer support to discuss your current hiring needs and future expectations. 
  • You should also check third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra. Use filters to see what the existing customers think about the tool’s scalability, ease of use, and customization.

Such assessments should give you a fair idea about the ATS’s ability to support your growth. 


Let’s quickly recap today’s discussion: 

  • An ATS should have automated candidate management, letting your team focus on strategies instead of grunt work
  • It should parse resumes and match candidates to the position automatically, enabling unbiased screening
  • The automated workflows should be customizable enough to fit your company’s needs 
  • The tool must offer efficient collaboration features and keep all stakeholders on the same page
  • Ensure your chosen ATS offers accurate reporting and complies with data regulations
  • Evaluate how well it integrates AI and ML in its features
  • Your ATS software should also be scalable and agile to accommodate growing recruitment needs

Wondering which ATS software offers all of these under one platform? Kula does. 

Our end-to-end solution simplifies the otherwise chaotic hiring process, whether you are running an elaborate recruitment cycle or filling urgent vacancies.  

So what are you waiting for? Try Kula for free and meet all your applicant tracking system requirements today!

Sandra Rachel Oommen

Content Marketer

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