Invest Now, Save Later: Why a “Free ATS” Isn’t Always Free

Free ATS system

We’re taught from an early age that shortcuts don’t pay off—an investment of time or resources early on will benefit you in the long run. But that doesn’t make the advice any easier to follow. Have you ever broken a pair of headphones? You can pay a steep cost for a good replacement, or drop five bucks on a cheap pair. But if you buy the five-dollar headphones, chances are you’ll be shopping for a new pair in a week.

The same is true for your recruitment agency. A free applicant tracking system or a spreadsheet solution may fill an immediate need at a minimal cost, but it can severely hinder your ability to grow and become profitable in the future. Here are three benefits of investing in a top-notch applicant tracking system (ATS) that will set you up for success down the road.

Good Applicant Tracking Systems Lead to More Placements

An ATS is a powerful tool for producing more productive employees. Productive employees help boost the profitability of your agency, and applicant tracking systems excel in eliminating inefficiencies from your recruitment operation.

How much of your recruiters’ time is spent on tasks you could automate? An ATS will automate otherwise manual tasks for you, giving your recruiters more time to focus on your candidates.

Want your B and C players to perform like your A-team? An applicant tracking system makes it possible to identify and reproduce the habits of your top performers.

Here are some of the reported benefits of agencies that switched to an ATS:


Agencies that use an ATS make more placements, take less time to fill a position, and are generally more productive. These incremental improvements can have a significant impact on your ROI on a quarterly and yearly basis.

You’ll Deliver a Better Candidate Experience

Candidates have never had more leverage in the job market than they do now. And delivering a bad candidate experience can be deadly for your agency.

Want happier candidates? Eliminate the steps that lead to hassle and frustration. An excellent ATS and its integrations can help simplify every step of the candidate lifecycle, from streamlining the application process to eliminating timely paperwork during the onboarding process. 

But it’s the human touches that truly make for a great candidate experience. The best applicant tracking systems will provide your recruiters with the insights they need to better manage their candidate relationships. And by eliminating the need for entering data, they’ll have more time to devote to them.

You Can Train Productive Recruiters More Quickly

It’s no secret that the recruitment industry is impacted by turnover. Making matters worse, a third of recruitment agencies take at least four months until their recruiters are ready to perform at an optimal level.

An ATS is a great tool for getting your new recruiters and salespeople up to speed more effectively. A good ATS will also track all of your recruiters’ activities so you can provide custom feedback based on the performance of each recruiter. An ATS can also help recruiters to quickly perform at a seasoned level. An ATS with predictive intelligence (something that free applicant tracking systems won’t offer) will automatically analyse your interactions with a client so your recruiters can identify costly mistakes before they happen.

Want to learn more about the benefits of an applicant tracking system? Check out the ATS Buyer’s Guide for everything you need to know to make a worthwhile investment in your recruitment agency’s future.

what is an applicant tracking system

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