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Why an ATS is the perfect companion to your HRIS.  

HR software. There’s a lot of it about.  Choosing the right combination for your business is really important. 

Here’s what we’ll be talking about: 

What is a HRIS?
What you need to know about HRIS 
What is an ATS? 

The benefits of an ATS
Reduces cost per hire
Decreases time to hire
Enhanced quality of hire
Improved candidate experience
Grow employer reputation
Foster collaborative hiring
Data insight

Is it complimentary to use HRIS and ATS together?
Why an ATS is the perfect partner for your HRIS.

If you’re running a HRIS without an ATS, then it’s time to consider the many benefits this specialist software can supply. We’re talking dedicated functionality, such as automatic job board posting and candidate attraction expertise. 

Want to know more? Of course you do!  

An ATS offers a nuanced recruitment process that a HRIS can’t. Why? Because it’s a specialist piece of software that has been devised by experts in talent attraction. It’s been made to refine the hiring process, to engage candidates and to increase collaboration across your business. 

Talking about the difference between a HRIS and an ATS for recruitment, is like comparing a GP with a world-renowned cardiac surgeon. If you’re undergoing heart surgery, you’ll want the expert, right? So, when you’re looking for the right people to work for your business, why aren’t you using expert software to find them?  

So, what is a HRIS? 

HRIS, or Human Resource Information System is a software system that maintains and manages detailed information on your employees, your HR policies, and procedures. 

HRIS tracking systems can have a range of functions varying from something as simple as payroll and employee management, to a comprehensive system that also manages recruitment, employee benefits, training, and pensions. 

Give me the lowdown 

Ultimately, a HRIS is an efficient piece of digital operational software to automate and digitise your standard HR functions. 

Although it is quite generalist, HRIS software is a really useful tool, and one that is widely used. Data can be easily integrated for analysis or audit and it’s a really great option for smaller companies without regular recruitment needs. 

When it comes to hiring, a HRIS may contain a simple ATS capability or have the option to purchase a scaled back ATS module*. This means it can: 

  • Offer simple conversion of candidate data to employee data 
  • Benefit internal candidates who know how to use the software to apply for roles and track job applications

* Don’t you love an asterisk. This one is here to tell you that, whilst initially it might seem more cost effective to buy a HRIS rather than a range of more specialist software, you might find that the HRIS ATS module lacks the functionality you require and isn’t scalable as your company grows. 

What is an ATS? 

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is specialist software dedicated to the recruitment and onboarding process. It’s used by your HR team and also by Hiring Managers across your company. 

A good quality ATS manages your hiring process from job requisition to onboarding. It automates and streamlines recruitment. It’s considered by many to be a vital part of the HR toolkit.  

In a recent survey, 94% of recruiter users agreed that their ATS has had a positive impact on their organisation’s hiring process.

ATS functions include posting to different job boards, screening and sorting applications, storing & securing data. With candidate scoring, self-serve interview scheduling, contract signing, and onboarding tools too, it really is a comprehensive hiring tool. 

What are the benefits of an ATS? 

ATS are intuitive, specialised systems. A good quality ATS isn’t an ‘off the shelf’ purchase. It’s one that can be customised to your hiring needs and workflows, a valuable asset to your business. A good ATS provider will include regular updates in their package and offer ongoing training and support. With software anyone can use, the whole company can benefit from this smart recruitment solution. Here’s how: 

  • Reduced cost per hire

As with any specialist software there is, of course, an initial investment. But that investment quickly pays dividends with an ATS. By automating the multiple manual tasks that can consume your HR admin team, an ATS streamlines workflows. Reducing admin cost per hire and freeing up your team to find the right people for your business. Or, as we like to say, putting the human back into HR. 

  • Enhanced quality of hire

A drawn-out, lengthy hiring process can put off a candidate, they can lose interest in the vacancy or, if they’re kept waiting for a response from you, you may even lose them to a more responsive competitor. By speeding up the hiring process and providing a more engaging process, you’re gaining an advantage on your competitors. 

According to, 52% of candidates have to wait 3 months or longer to receive a response from a job application.

  • Improved candidate experience

With an ATS, automated messaging keeps your candidates abreast of their progress throughout the application process. Whilst at face value this may seem a little… robotic or unfriendly, it’s quite the opposite. Company branded and templated emails are personalised to the candidate, they nudge them to finish applications and keep them involved. Even if things don’t work out, you’ve shown yourself to be a friendly and responsive employer. 

  • Grow employer reputation

We’ve already touched on this, but by keeping candidates engaged and informed you’re showing your applicants what a great employer you are. According to Standout-CVS’ 2024 survey, a positive candidate experience makes a candidate 38% more likely to accept a job offer from a company. The flip side of that is that a bad job application experience meant that over 50% of applicants would not buy goods or services from that company in the future… 

A swift and engaging experience, where the candidate feels acknowledged really is an easy way to help improve or grow your reputation as an employer. 

  • Foster collaborative hiring

Hiring involves people across your entire business. And an ATS does too. Rather than being the purview of the HR Team, an ATS encourages coworking across the business. By offering Hiring Managers direct access to the software, you eradicate the time consuming, and often frustrating, email tag and phone tennis the recruitment process often incurs. 

Hiring Managers have their own bespoke portal within the ATS which allows them to:

  • receive alerts on tasks ready for their attention, 
  • review applicants 
  • schedule interview slots  
  • view scores from multi-panel interview boards
  • Data insight

An ATS offers advanced data insights on your workforce. With analytics at a glance on all live hires, as well standard and custom reporting, an ATS is a brilliant strategic tool for any HR team, allowing them to identify skills gaps and predict where best to allocate budget and resource. 

Is it complimentary to use HRIS and ATS systems together? 

Absolutely. Whilst you may have a HRIS that offers recruitment solutions as part of its functionality, a specialist ATS system will work alongside your existing HRIS to provide a dedicated, specialist approach to your recruitment. 

With effortless data transfer to your HRIS as your applicant becomes your employee, it will also happily integrate with your existing recruitment checks, such as DBS and Right-to-Work, providing a more holistic and personalised approach to hiring. 

Why an ATS is the perfect partner for your HRIS. 

An ATS is a nuanced, specialist recruitment tool that works alongside your existing HRIS. It elevates your recruitment process, enabling you to refine and streamline all aspects of your hiring. And, if you have Reach ATS, it also comes with wealth of candidate attraction expertise whenever you need it. 

Ready to take your recruitment to the next level? Then add an ATS to your HR software stack. You’ll quickly see the difference a dedicated hiring platform makes. And if you’ve already got an ATS then ask yourself this: Is this the best ATS for me? Is it customisable, is it able to provide the workflows I need? Can I transfer data easily? Am I able to use its data insights for my strategic planning? And if the answer to any of those questions is a no…or even a pause to think… then get in touch and let us show you what our Reach ATS can do!