applicant tracking system - cover

Applicant Tracking System Design: The Key to a Successful Hiring Process

Design, Product
9 min
Nov 01, 2023

The modern hiring process has nothing to do with submitting a vacancy to a newspaper and waiting for the perfect candidate as it was a decade ago. Companies that effectively fulfill talent needs are now conducting all the processes within an applicant tracking system (ATS).

A suitable candidate with sufficient qualifications and work experience is worth its weight in gold. That is why creating a smooth and seamless hiring procedure can help you win prospective hires more easily. For that matter, ATS software can back you up: the research by LinkedIn showed that with an applicant tracking system, the talent acquisition cycle becomes 60% faster, and 70% of human resources workers agree ATS increases their productivity.

A robust ATS is one that has a well-planned design. So, let’s jump into that theme and discover how to automate the hiring process with an applicant tracking system design.

What Is an Applicant Tracking System?

An applicant tracking system is software that helps automate the recruitment process. It gathers data about the candidates and job postings and makes it quick and easy to find the right information. Along with being a massive source of data, this system also helps with scheduling interviews, conducting them, and filling in the feedback regarding the candidate. Cutting-edge ATSs are empowered with artificial intelligence that can perform research and give the results of top candidates within minutes. This and other functions help to streamline the recruitment procedure and save time for talent acquisition teams.

Why Do Companies Need ATS?

With many job offers and candidates existing, it gets more and more complicated to organize and automate the search for new talent. You might have received tons of resumes, but it doesn’t mean they all suit the position requirements. And for HR to read through hundreds of pages and identify the correct fit costs a lot of time and energy that could be put into other, more important tasks.

Implementing applicant tracking system solutions to the hiring process can cover repetitive tasks such as resume screening or job posting. Well-built ones can accommodate all processes of finding and approving a new employee within one platform.

What Are the Signs Your Company Needs an ATS?

Being a small-sized or a large-sized company, you encounter the need for new talents. To handle that process efficiently, you don’t need to spend months. If you find the following situations familiar, you should already be looking for ATS software solutions.

ATS software solutions

  • Your candidates’ data is stored in different places. The core information every recruitment process is built on is the candidate data. Considering that it comes from various sources, it is difficult to shift through the content of tons of resumes to find the right person. Building an integrated system that would store the information in one place will be a solution.
  • You don’t have proper communication with potential leads. Staying in touch with the candidates and answering their questions is essential in building long-term relationships. But it all can get tricky if you start looking for an email address manually, don’t track the candidates’ responses, and manage communication chaotically. Modern ATS systems offer built-in customer relationship management (CRM) technology that helps to handle communication effectively.
  • Your talent pool is not growing. Yes, you might have successfully hired new people, but when the new search is started you find out that you must do it from scratch. The applicant tracking system can nurture and follow up with interested candidates automatically. So you won’t have to do it manually and set reminders for yourself.

What Are the Benefits of ATS Systems?

An ATS is a winning solution for companies looking to automate and centralize their hiring processes. This software comes with the following advantages.

  • Centralization of recruitment channels. An ATS with a well-thought-out UI/UX design allows talent acquisition teams to post job offerings and receive resumes from different sources in one place. And instead of going from one job board to another, this can be done within one platform.
  • Compliance with data protection regulations. As a company storing candidates’ data, you are responsible for keeping it safe. With a good ATS, this aspect can be easy to handle as the system will be built to comply with such regulations as GDPR for Europe or CCPA for the US-based audience.
  • Easy access to reports and analytics. It is crucial to analyze the recruitment metrics to improve the hiring procedure. An applicant tracking system allows for exporting reports within minutes as it stores all the info in one place.
  • Saved time and money. Investing in the ATS saves your company’s budget in the long run. This is because all essential tools will already be present in the software, and you can make decisions quickly. Not only does ATS save time in finding a perfect fit, but it also increases talent acquisition department productivity.

What Are the Core Functions of the ATS?

When building or searching for a perfect applicant tracking system, ensure it includes these key features.

Core Functions of the ATS

Job Posting

The first and foremost function an ATS should allow you is to post job offerings on different sources. You won’t have to jump from Indeed to LinkedIn as you can create a vacancy description and submit it on multiple job boards from one place — an ATS software.

Resume Parsing and Search

Shifting through the submitted resumes manually is a time-consuming task. It is even unnecessary as the ATS technology can extract the information from the received data. With an advanced application tracking system, you will be able to search for candidates by experience, qualifications, skills, and other keywords.


The communication part of the recruitment process won’t be overlooked by using an ATS system. This is what keeps a candidate interested and eager to attend the interview. Within a good ATS software, there will be a CRM system in which the information will be stored for every applicant separately. Also, with the help of automation tools, you can keep candidates updated on further steps.

Interview Scheduling

To provide an excellent experience for applicants, proper interview scheduling is essential. By doing it manually, there is a risk of overlapping other meetings or simply forgetting to put calls in a calendar, which will make a wrong impression of you as a hiring company. An ATS can help you by synchronizing with your calendar, sending invitations, confirming candidates’ attendance, and gathering feedback after the meeting.

Analytics and Reporting

Even a minimum viable product (MVP) version of the ATS will allow you to overview the quality of the recruitment process. With a few clicks, analytics and reporting can bring you real data that will help you to analyze it and improve in the future. The data covers all the essential metrics like time to close the position, cost for hire, quality of new employees, source they have come from, and many other aspects.

Security and Confidentiality

The security and confidentiality part of the hiring process is always neglected. However, this is your company that is responsible for collecting candidates’ data and storing it in a safe place. A robust applicant tracking system meets data security standards, provides terms and conditions under which the data is stored and shared, and can stand data breaches.

The Main Steps for ATS Creation

You can choose a ready-made ATS or build it from scratch to implement the ATS system into your human resource management. And the latter way is more effective as it will provide you with custom-made solutions. So here are the steps that lead to the applicant tracking system construction.

The Main Steps for ATS Creation

Identifying System Requirements

The most significant advantage of creating your own ATS is that you can add any features you want. And this is where you must decide what you want to see in this technology. Along with basic features like centralization, custom workflows, job posting, candidate relationship management, and interview planning, do you want any advanced functions? How scalable should your platform be? All these questions should be answered before the ATS development.

The Main Steps for ATS Creation - 2


As well as SaaS design or any other platform model design, the design of the ATS is a crucial aspect. Even if you add the latest functions but don’t make it user-friendly, the whole purpose will be lost. The designing step covers many tasks. A good design will help the talent acquisition team use smart filters for candidate search, see the primary information prioritized by colors and fonts, and easily access the needed functions without looking for them.


When the requirements are set, there comes the development part. The development team builds the applicant tracking system at this stage, implementing those features you circled out in the first stage. The importance of such a step order is that the developers will create the features according to the design guidelines to fit each other.


Another essential part of the ATS creation process is testing. And it should be done with an MVP version that is much easier to create than the final product. During testing, you can ask your human resources team to spot all the challenges that prevent them from using the ATS at a maximum. After gathering the feedback, you will be able to improve the current version of the platform.

Implementation and Maintenance

A well-tested product is ready to be implemented for use by your company. But even with a finished ATS, transferring from previous instruments to a new centralized platform will take time. Your further steps will also cover the maintenance of the system. You must improve it, add new features, and maintain it throughout the working cycle.

Why Is UI/UX Design Crucial for Creating an Effective and Usable ATS?

A good applicant tracking system is the one that has a high usability level. And this can be achieved only by a well-planned design. This is why you should carefully consider the UI/UX design part in your ATS creation.

  • It boosts user experience. Not only the HR department will use the platform, but the candidates will interact with it while planning interviews or tracking the updates. That is why it has to be easy to manage.
  • It increases productivity. When all instruments are at hand, and some workflows are already automated, it leaves more time for human resources workers for other important tasks.
  • It reduces the time for closing the position. The ATS platform that is easy to use can save you time for successfully hiring a new employee as it will streamline all the processes within this cycle.


An applicant tracking system is a technology used by talent acquisition teams to manage the recruitment process. This platform covers all the essential steps of hiring a new employee, from posting a vacancy on job boards to tracking a new hire’s progress within the company.An aspect that defines the success and usability of the ATS is its design. A user-friendly and easy-to-manage platform will streamline the hiring processes and bring benefits like saved time and costs.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop


What is an application tracking system?

An application tracking system is a program that helps to operate with the hiring processes. It stores candidates’ data in one place and allows recruiting agents to manage it effectively. Modern ATS systems also include advanced features supported by AI for better search matches and analysis.

Why do businesses need ATS?

For businesses, ATS provides custom solutions in the recruitment sphere. It can serve for job posting, resume parsing, communication with candidates, interview planning, and getting analytics. And while those core processes can be handled by ATS, the HR team can dedicate time to more complicated tasks.

What is needed to build an ATS?

Building an applicant tracking system consists of several stages: identifying the requirements, designing, developing, testing, implementing, and maintaining. At every step, it is crucial to set a clear vision of the final product to get the desired result.

Why design is essential in ATS development?

The design of the ATS is a decisive element of the platform. Depending on how convenient and easy it will be to use your system, it will serve the goals you are pursuing. Let professional UI/UX designers turn your applicant tracking system into a helpful tool, and your HR team will perform their duties more productively.

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