ATS vs CRM: What’s The Difference

Recruiting is undergoing a significant transformation, making it increasingly challenging to find top-quality candidates. Traditional hiring methods are less effective than they used to be, and while many talented individuals are open to new job opportunities, they aren’t actively seeking them out. This shift, combined with the growing influence of machine learning and artificial intelligence on certain recruitment tasks, is complicating the process in today’s economy. 

Recruiters are now proactively reaching out to potential candidates rather than waiting for them to apply. To attract these passive candidates, companies must establish a strong brand, provide competitive job opportunities, and adopt engaging recruitment practices. Advanced recruiting software can facilitate these efforts. 

With so many options available, such as human resource management systems (HRMS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, it can be hard to choose the right one for your organization. Let’s discuss the differences between ATS and CRM systems to help you navigate this decision.

What is an ATS?

If you’ve worked hard to construct your resume and are still not receiving many job interviews, it may be because a person isn’t seeing it. Rather, an application tracking system (ATS) computer program typically reviews it first.

Now, ATS is widely used by businesses to help in hiring process management. An applicant tracking system is essentially a digital resume filing system. It makes it simpler for hiring managers to identify the most qualified applicants by gathering and organizing thousands of resumes. An ATS saves employers money and time too.

An applicant tracking system is comparable to a digital hiring gatekeeper. It assists hiring managers in more effectively managing the hiring process by gathering and sifting through thousands of resumes. This means that the arrangement of your resume must be such that the applicant tracking system (ATS) will understand and identify your qualifications. If it’s not, chances are it will be ignored and you will lose out on opportunities.

It has different features which include resume parsing, advanced search, candidate sourcing, multi-channel sourcing, in-built CRM software, email templates, advanced analytics and reporting, various integrations, scheduling interviews, real-time collaboration, and automation based on specific events and conditions.

Additionally, ATS can connect with various software, such as email marketing, accounting, and CRM systems, ensuring a seamless and efficient hiring process. Overall, ATS is a valuable tool for organizations looking to streamline their recruitment process.

How an ATS works:

These are the four basic steps on how an ATS works:
1. A job opening can be posted and added to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This covers information such as the job title, necessary qualifications, and required experience.

2. The ATS uses this information to create a profile of the perfect candidate for the job.

3. The ATS scans through resumes submitted by candidates, arranges them, and assigns a ranking based on how well they match the profile.

4. The best applicants can then be quickly identified by recruiting managers, who may move them through the hiring process.

What is CRM?

When people discuss CRM, they typically refer to a CRM platform or system except that the program facilitates several tasks such as contact management, sales, productivity, and more.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology used to manage all interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system helps companies keep track of their customers, make processes smoother, and increase profits.

CRM software lets you focus on relationships with individual people, like customers or suppliers, throughout your time working with them. This includes finding new customers, getting their business, and supporting them throughout your relationship.

With a CRM solution, the sales and marketing team can monitor customer interactions with your company. This enhances every interaction and contributes to a better customer experience. 

How CRM works:

These are the six basic processes of a CRM:

1. The CRM process starts with generating customer attention through marketing campaigns, establishing a clear brand image, and setting up a contact list to connect with potential customers.

2. CRM systems involve a plan for reaching out to potential customers and evaluating client information to identify individuals who are most likely to become paying clients, thereby building relationships with clients.

3. CRM helps businesses establish relationships and build loyalty by providing personalized experiences, ensuring quick responses to customer needs, and fostering trust through various channels. 

  1. Utilize CRM software to organize customer groups, offer personalized recommendations, and offer loyalty programs to encourage additional sales and upgrades.
  1. Maintaining a customer relationship management system is crucial for businesses to retain current customers, as it leads to higher returns on investment and encourages repeat visits.
  1. Analyze results from software tools, surveys, or customer data to optimize CRM protocols and plan for future improvements, fostering positive customer interactions based on successful experiences.

ATS Vs. CRM: The Difference  

Here are the key differences between both systems:

Aspects   Application Tracking system   Candidate Relationship Management 
Primary Purpose   Manages and automates the employment procedure.  Focuses on building and maintaining connections with candidates. 
Candidate pool   A group of active candidates in the hiring process.   A group of applicants who are both inactive and active. 
Category of the candidate   Used for finding, selecting, interviewing, and employing applicants.  Used to find potential individuals. 
Hiring Process   Formal hiring process.   Informal hiring procedure. 
Usage   Usually used by full cycle recruiters during the complete hiring process.  Used primarily by sourcing recruiters. 
Engagement of the candidate  Limited ability to evaluate candidate involvement.  Gives resources for evaluating and developing candidate relationships 
ROI metrics   Provides fundamental hiring data, such as time-to-fill.  Keeps track of thorough ROI signs to support data-driven choices. 
Focus on Functionality  Simplifies hiring process administrative work.  Focuses on relationship building and candidate involvement. 
Cost-Effectiveness  Aims to maximize resources while lowering recruiting expenses.  Makes long-term investments to cultivate relationships with candidates. 
Design of the system   Designed to automate and streamline the entire employment process. Intended to find and interact with passive candidates. 
Customer Services   Lacks the ability to manage clients  CRM for recruitment aids in efficient business side management. 
Integration with Other Tools  Might not be very good at integrating.  It often works with a range of communication and sourcing platforms. 


Recruitment requires the use of both ATS and CRM, with ATS handling the hiring process and CRM concentrating on building and maintaining relationships with candidates. Both tools facilitate hiring processes and build applicant relationships, which both help talent acquisition efforts successfully.

Are you ready to improve your hiring procedures and improve your recruitment strategy? 

Reach out to us right now to find out more and advance your hiring. 






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *