ATS vs CRM: Things You Should Know

Owing to the growing demand for quality candidates in today’s employment market, human resources professionals worldwide are perpetually striving to identify the right talent for filling vacant posts. With the arrival of new recruitment technologies in the HR software market, implementing digital solutions has become a necessity, especially for companies looking to outperform their business competitors and win the battle for top industry talent without undergoing hardships. Moreover, two of the most widely used hiring tools in the modern era are none other than recruitment CRMs and applicant tracking systems (ATS). The prime purpose of these tools might appear to be the same to a layman. But the truth is that these two new-age technological solutions are not at all identical and they both play a very specific role in enhancing the recruitment process. This article seeks to cover all the essential points about ATS versus CRM and explain how the integration of these tools can be advantageous.

What is an ATS and its benefits?


An applicant tracking system (ATS) can be defined as a workflow automation solution that streamlines the entire recruitment process from start to finish. It allows recruiters and hiring managers to automate monotonous manual talent acquisition tasks like screening potential applicants, organizing candidates’ applications, publishing job openings etc., so that they can free up their schedules and dedicate more time to fulfilling important business objectives. Above all, an ATS solution gathers applicant-related data from a variety of sources such as social media networks, offline adverts, official career pages, and popular job boards.


Human resources personnel can make use of this valuable data to recruit more effectively in the present-day job market which is mainly driven by candidates. Applicant tracking systems also help recruiters to increase the speed of hire as inadequately qualified candidates are eliminated during the preliminary screening process. Since applicant records are automatically created and maintained by the ATS, hiring managers do not have to indulge in complex paperwork for the same. Most ATS software solutions are GDPR-compliant, and hence, this allows companies to ensure that their hiring practices do not go against the recruitment laws of the country.

Also Read: Evolution of Applicant Tracking System

What is a CRM and its benefits?


Abbreviated as CRM, candidate relationship management systems are designed to help HR professionals strengthen their recruitment marketing strategy. They help recruiters to build quality talent pools that can be utilized to source skillful applicants for filling job openings in the future whenever such a need arises. Candidate relationship management systems make it simpler for the new breed of recruiters to build professional bonds with top-tier candidates who can help the business reach great heights in a short timespan.


Talent acquisition leaders can leverage a CRM software to extract core insights for tweaking outdated recruitment strategies and improving the organization’s brand image across the internet. CRM platforms are known to boost collaboration as they can be accessed by all the authorized stakeholders who can give their feedback on applicants. Other than this, AI-powered candidate relationship management tools like virtual chatbots can be used by recruiters to improve candidate communication. They can answer queries posed by prospective applicants and provide them with outstanding solutions to their problems 24*7.

What are the key differences between an ATS and CRM?


Contrary to popular belief, ATS and CRM solutions have different recruiting functions. Applicant tracking systems are designed to automate tedious administrative tasks, reduce hiring costs, and accelerate the recruitment process, thereby preventing the wastage of valuable time. Since most repetitive recruitment activities are streamlined by ATS solutions, recruiters are left with ample time in hand which they can use to formulate strategic hiring plans for producing phenomenal business outcomes in an instant.


On the other hand, a candidate relationship management platform is more like a pool comprising both passive and active job applicants who can be approached at short notice whenever there is an open job position within the organization that needs to be filled at the earliest. CRM solutions are chiefly focused on boosting the candidate sourcing efforts of recruiters to help them stand out in the current hot labor market. Apart from all this, new-age CRM technology also possesses the potential to supercharge the overall candidate engagement to a great extent.

Importance of ATS and CRM integration


Without a doubt, simplifying the talent acquisition process and delivering a stellar candidate experience is of great importance for organizations that want to drive excellent recruiting results. Although it is true that an ATS solution can come in handy for effectively tracking prospective job applicants, recruiters need an advanced CRM system as well for increasing candidate engagement across the different stages of the recruitment process. The only way hiring managers can make this happen is by opting for a recruitment solution that paves the path for the seamless integration of an ATS with CRM and facilitates the maintenance of talent pipelines around the clock.


Recruiters can speed up the hiring process in one go by leveraging the ATS database to shortlist and organize the most skilled applicants, thereby making more informed recruiting decisions with ease. Whereas a CRM system can provide human resources professionals with detailed performance reports of their marketing efforts. This way they can put these actionable insights to use to spot major inefficiencies and improve their recruitment campaigns for reaching out to a large number of quality candidates with minimal effort. The best part about ATS and CRM integration is that it can enable modern-day recruiters to foster long-lasting relations with exceptionally talented candidates.


With rapid advancements taking place in today’s fast-evolving recruitment technology landscape, HR leaders are working towards transforming their talent acquisition strategies in order to source high-quality job candidates in the current hiring market. But it is extremely important for companies to rely on the right combination of recruiting technologies to save recruiters’ precious time and eliminate extraneous hiring expenses. This is why applicant tracking systems and candidate relationship management tools are both crucial for ensuring the long-term success of modern recruiting teams. Therefore, make certain that you purchase a sophisticated all-in-one recruitment software that features both an ATS and CRM to fulfill the unique hiring requirements of your organization in less time with the utmost efficiency.