Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is a human resources software solution used by recruitment agents or hiring companies to determine whether an applicant meets the requirements for an advertised vacancy. ATS systems can also include a variety of additional features that help the recruitment agency or hiring company to manage the process efficiently.

Why do employers and agents use ATS?

When anyone makes an application for a vacancy, the recruiter will not read the CV sent in, but instead will load it into an ATS system. Employment agents and companies receive high numbers of applications for each role and do not have the resources or time to read all received CVs in full. The solution is to use an Applicant Tracking System so they can cope with the volume and select the most applicable candidates for interview.

ATS systems use keyword searching and try to match the keywords in the job description to the words in the applicants’ CVs. ATS systems are not infallible. For example, if the job description asks for a chef to cook meals and the applicant describes themselves as a cook, the applicant’s CV may be rejected, although the extra keyword “cook” would normally be added to the keywords.

How human resources software systems work

When an applicant sends in their CV to apply for a role, the CV is entered into the ATS system database which converts it into a more searchable format. A keyword search is then carried out based upon the keywords used to describe the vacancy. The ATS system will then bring up a list of the top candidates in order of preference for the recruiter to view. The system can also compare the current CV to past CVs from the same applicant in the ATS system to check if they tally.

Other ATS System features

Many ATS systems have additional features that help recruiters manage the process. In particular, the Chameleon-i system offers email and diary integration so that the recruiter can easily arrange, for example, for rejection emails to be sent to applicable applicants. The system can also put entries into the recruiter’s diary regarding dates and times applicable to the vacancy.

The Chameleon-i system ensures that all forms of data concerning a vacancy or applicant are readily available, so it is clear as to at what stage in the process a candidate’s application has reached in the system, helping to build a relationship with the candidate and improve engagement. Another feature the system includes is the option for vacancies to be posted to selectable job boards. This means that the process from creating a vacancy to appointing the candidate is system-managed.


ATS systems are a boon to the recruitment industry in that they can highlight the best candidates out of the many that apply to save time and resources. In particular, the Chameleon-i system offers additional features, including vacancy posting, email and diary integration.