<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2059727120931052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
May 16, 2023
4 min read

ATS Buyer's Guide


Does your HR team use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage applicants or a candidate relationship manager (CRM) to find more of them? If you’re using a CRM without an ATS component, your human resources and talent acquisition teams could be missing out on tons of advantages.

Luckily, today’s ATS solutions are often equipped with robust CRM functionality, too. Learn more about the differences between an ATS and a CRM, as well as the benefits of modern hiring platforms that combine all their best features.

Do you know the difference between an #ATS and a #CRM? Find out why recruiters need both to find and hire top talent:

Definition of an ATS

Dig deeper into applicant tracking systems with our guide: What is an ATS?

An applicant tracking system is a software tool that streamlines and automates recruiting and hiring processes. Recruiters and talent acquisition teams use ATS software to help manage job applications, track candidate progress, and facilitate communication with candidates.

The primary purpose of an ATS is to enable recruiters to post jobs, attract more applicants, and handle large volumes of applicant data efficiently. An ATS accepts applications and turns that data, including contact information, qualifications, skills, professional experience, and resume and cover letter files, into searchable candidate profiles.

Applicant tracking systems work to make it easier for recruiters to find applicants and keep track of qualified candidates. As a result, ATS platforms typically include features like:

  • Job board posting
  • Text message and mobile applications
  • Resume parsing
  • Candidate screening and evaluation tools
  • Interview scheduling, guides, and scorecards
  • Candidate texting
  • Employee referral program management
  • Offer letter management
  • Recruiting reports and analytics

“We text with probably 99% of our candidates, which is way faster and so convenient because the messages appear both on our recruiters’ phones and on the ClearCompany platform. As a result, our time-to-hire is around 21 days compared to around 45+ on average across the market.”

- ClearCompany Director of Talent Acquisition Brian Abraham

Definition of a CRM

While an ATS is all about managing open jobs and brand-new applicants, a recruitment candidate relationship management (CRM) system focuses on those who haven’t yet applied and are commonly used for talent acquisition and recruitment marketing purposes.

Recruitment CRM tools are designed for building relationships with potential candidates who may not be active job seekers. They allow recruiters to reach passive candidates, build talent pipelines, and stay in touch with minimal effort. CRM systems’ functionalities include candidate sourcing, email campaigns, and analytics to help recruiters attract, engage, and retain top talent.


The main difference between these two types of recruiting software is which part of the process they handle. An ATS is used for much of the administrative and logistical side of hiring, like posting open jobs, storing data, and candidate communication.

A CRM, on the other hand, concentrates on building relationships with potential candidates, attracting passive talent, and maintaining ongoing communication before and after the application process.

Does your #Recruiting team use an #ATS, #CRM, or both? Learn the difference between an ATS and a CRM:

The Benefits of an ATS

Both systems have lots of benefits for HR professionals, so luckily, some modern platforms offer integrated ATS and CRM functionalities to provide a comprehensive talent management solution. The best ATS software combines traditional ATS features with CRM tools to help you consolidate your HR tech stack and work smarter.

If you’re just using a CRM, your recruiting team is missing out on these valuable benefits of an ATS:

  • An ATS is a one-stop-shop for managing active applicants for talent acquisition teams and hiring managers
  • An ATS allows you to create and store AI-assisted job descriptions and integrates with popular job boards
  • An ATS makes it easy to schedule interviews involving multiple participants, conduct standardized interviews, and evaluate interviewees fairly
  • An ATS allows you to track applicants through every stage of the recruitment process
  • An ATS simplifies communication with email and text message templates and automations
  • An ATS integrates with the software you’re already using, including payroll and benefits administration solutions, calendar and video conferencing providers, and LinkedIn Recruiter
  • A cloud-based ATS ensures every user has access to the most recent applicant data
  • An ATS generates in-depth reports for detailed analysis of your recruitment processes

ClearCompany is your all-in-one ATS + CRM

ClearCompany offers both ATS and CRM functionalities in a single platform for a unified and holistic approach to talent management. You can create a standout candidate experience and cut down time-to-hire while saving tons of time for your recruiters and HR.

ClearCompany's CRM functionality sets it apart from traditional ATS systems:

  • Engage with passive candidates through personalized drip email campaigns and automated job alerts
  • Search Talent Communities by skills, experience, or other criteria to resurface qualified applicants
  • Automate workflows to help recruiters engage as many candidates as possible
  • Drill down into recruiting data to find out how effective your processes really are

The ATS definition alone doesn’t quite cover all that ClearCompany Talent Acquisition has to offer. ClearCompany is a best-in-class ATS software that seamlessly integrates ATS and CRM functionalities. We provide a comprehensive talent management platform that streamlines the hiring process, fosters candidate relationships, and cultivates strong talent pools.

With its user-friendly interface, focus on candidate experience, and robust analytics, our software empowers HR professionals to find and hire top talent effectively for better recruitment outcomes and organizational success.

Get a demo of the ATS + CRM functionality of ClearCompany Talent Acquisition — sign up to speak with an expert.

Applicant Tracking Made Simple

The easiest-to-use ATS software you’ll find, designed to support a remote hiring strategy.

Schedule Your Demo