ATS vs CRM? Do you need both?

An ATS and a CRM are both valuable tools to grow a successful business but in very different ways.

SaaS, API, EMR, IaaS, HRIS, ATS, CRM… the list goes on. If you’re hunting for software to simplify and streamline your business, you’ve probably come across a number of acronyms. The whole thing can get a bit confusing. In this blog post, we’re going to explore and compare two of them: ATS vs CRM.

We’ll take a look at the differences and help you work out which one you need. In short, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) deals with applicants and the hiring process, while a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) handles the relationship with customers. They’re both excellent tools for managing and growing your business, but they focus on different areas.

Applicant Tracking Systems

We’ll start by explaining the details and the purpose of an ATS. In essence, it’s designed to manage your job postings and the applications you receive. An ATS is especially helpful if you’re dealing with a significant volume of applications. That said, companies of all sizes are reaping the benefits of an ATS, so it’s not solely for larger enterprises.

So, how does it work? An ATS tracks the applicants through the hiring process. Among other things, this means unqualified candidates can be filtered out based on the criteria important to you. The result is that you’re left with fewer and more qualified candidates to consider for an interview. Essentially, it can cut the hiring process time considerably. Since drawn-out hiring processes can mean that top talent can get hired by the competition, this software provides a positive impact on the business as a whole.

An ATS will also allow you to manage important paperwork digitally, saving you time and making your job easier. By bringing automation to the process, you can manage multiple job ads and applications without getting too overwhelmed. These days, with a lot of people working remotely, a cloud-based system is almost a necessity. You can access an ATS from anywhere with an internet connection.

Subsequent to an ATS is usually an Onboarding platform, which comes into play once a person has been hired. The onboarding platform helps HR implement a smooth transition for new hires. It gives new employees the information they need to become an integral part of the company, and gives employers an easy way to complete all necessary paperwork.

How an ATS differs from a CRM

So, now that we’ve covered ATS – let’s move on to the CRM, short for Customer Relationship Manager. The principle of this software is kind of self-explanatory; it focuses on the relationship between a company and its customers. It’s miles apart from an ATS in terms of usage and functions. If we’re getting down to the finer details, what does a CRM do?

It can be used to store vital information about current and prospective customers, such as company name, contact information, contact history, etc. The purpose of a CRM is to help nurture those relationships by keeping track of when you need to contact customers or leads.

In terms of staffing solutions, a CRM can be used by recruiters trying to build and maintain a pool of competent candidates. For example, if a recruiter has a client looking for a receptionist, they can use their CRM to filter and find all suitable candidates. It’s an excellent tool for managing multiple relationships at once, helping you keep track of the information and keeping everything in one place.

Some CRM’s are more in-depth and complex than others. But some of the common features are:

  • supporting sales management.
  • working as a marketing tool.
  • giving valuable insights.
  • handling team communication.
  • integrating with social media

The bottom line is that it improves business relationships to help grow your business by staying connected to your customers and leads.

Still not sure which one you need?

If you’re still wondering which software is best for your business, take a step back and look at what problems you’re trying to solve. An ATS and a CRM are both valuable tools to grow a successful business but in very different ways.

Are you looking for an easier and more streamlined way to handle the application process? Do you get overwhelmed and buried in paperwork every time you’re starting a new hiring process? In that case, an ATS like HigherMe will take the load off your shoulders.

If your main problem has to do with handling all your customer relationships, keeping track of everyone’s details, and remembering to contact leads, a CRM is probably your best solution. Being two very different products, the choice should be straightforward – as long as you know what you need to focus on.

If you’re a recruiter, chances are you need both. A CRM would be used to build and maintain your candidate pool, while an ATS can manage multiple job ads and potentially thousands of job applications.