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The Top 5 Applicant Tracking System Features You Need In 2020 & Beyond




From then to now

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in mid-March, we saw an unprecedented increase in applications, especially for retail and blue light service roles. 

Looking at the business landscape now it has gone through a lot of ups and downs but through their adaptability, it now seems that more businesses can recruit again. However, unimaginable high volumes of applicants are still applying for roles which is a major challenge for many recruiters.

One thing is for sure though, recruiters will have to make some important decisions about their hiring strategy and honestly review how their recruitment software can support high volumes of applicants.

It’s going to be next to impossible to sift and select the best candidates from 1,000 applications manually, recruiters are going to need the best Applicant Tracking System Features on the market. 

Here’s our Top 5 Applicant Tracking System Features you need to spot the best talent and recruit effectively


1. Recruitment Automation

Automation is at the top of our list for Applicant Tracking System Features because if you're able to implement it across your entire recruitment process you'll be able to make vast improvements in efficiency and still promote an excellent candidate experience. What’s more, your recruitment team can focus on resourcing and business partnering, rather than spending hours completing administrative tasks. 

The good news is that superior ATS providers have already invested in recruitment automation and have a wide variety of ATS System Features to reduce all of your repetitive manual tasks.

However, don't be tricked by Applicant Tracking System providers that either don't currently have recruitment automation as a part of their offering or don't have a clear roadmap that includes it. Also, remember that recruitment automation should never be a chargeable extra; never pay for what a great ATS provider will provide you for free.

So, if your ATS system doesn’t provide you with the ability to build and run custom automations, definitely look for one that can. 

If you want to know more about recruitment automation read our blog – Three simple words that will transform your recruitment here


2. Basic Candidate Testing

More and more, recruiters are depending on reliable tests to help them find the right people. But there are many different types of tests nowadays, so it's important that your Applicant Tracking System can deliver them seamlessly as part of your process and they can also ensure that tests can be fully integrated, leaving AI to accurately determine your most suitable candidates. 

If any of the following basic tests aren't part of your ATS toolkit, it’s going to be really difficult to spot your best candidates to move to the next stage automatically! 

  1. Minimum Criteria "Killer" Questions
  2. Skills/Behaviour Based Assessments


3. Advanced Testing 

For organisations looking for candidates that align to their values. advanced tests are readily available within an Applicant Tracking System. Again, it should come as standard to reject/move forward automatically, depending on the results and if the candidate achieves a pre-determined pass rate. 

  1. Situation Judgement Testing (SJT’s)
  2. Psychometric Testing


4. CV Parsing

The next important stage is the parsing of data from CV's or application forms - this should, again, save significant time when sifting through a high volume of applications. Parsing enables you to identify keywords for skills, qualifications or experience and when you combine it with automation, leads to serious improvement in shortlisting efficiency. 


For your Head of Marketing, it is essential that candidates will only go up the funnel if they have a CIM Diploma in Marketing. Therefore, you can auto-capture “CIM Diploma in Marketing” either in their CV or Application Form. If they don’t have this qualification, you can kindly auto-reject using automation.


5. Inbuilt Video Screening

There’s no denying that Video Screening is now the new norm in the world of recruitment. It’s going beyond being just a cool tool to use on certain occasions. For companies experiencing a high volume of applications, or those recruiting graduates, it's now a necessity. But if its not built-in to your ATS and we mean, really built-in  – i.e. not a third parties, then you could be facing some bumps in your candidate experience as well as some additional costs, for sure.

With inbuilt Video Screening included in your ATS Features, you can automate communications to your candidate before and after they take their video seamlessly, plus all your data will be stored in one place and all comments and feedback from Hiring Managers can be stored in the candidate information. Why not download The Recruiters Guide to Video Screening here

And Please don’t forget!

Your candidate's experience. 

We all know that a bad candidate experience can make or break a brand. A great one will allow you to become an Employer of Choice, a bad one can impact your ability to hire the best talent and can even impact business revenue. Engagement and clarity across your application process will either turn on or turn off potential hires. Why not read our Recruiters Guide to Turbo Boosting Your Employer Branding here or why not just sit back and watch our On Demand Webinar here


An ATS that can deliver complex automation should be your first port of call as without the power of automation and AI, you could struggle as you need to reduce your resource intensive tasks. Screening questions, assessments, video screening and automated communications will all help tremendously.

But what’s more important is the support available behind the ATS. High volumes of applications means more help required from candidates. We calculated that for every 100,000 applications, 1,000 of them will need to be supported and this could have a major impact on your candidate journey, brand and internal resources.

Remember, if you receive 500 applications for a role and you are still managing to communicate clearly and effectively with each and every one; then we think you're doing a great job. 

We’re interested in hearing how recruiters have adapted to high volume applications and would love to hear your feedback on our blog, so please feel to contact us to share your story at

Or if you're ready to take your recruiting to the next level with a superior Applicant Tracking System, book a demo with Vacancy Filler here


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