The Ultimate Guide to Candidate Application Tracking Template: Streamline Your Hiring Process

Hiring the right candidate is crucial for the success of any organization. However, managing a large number of job applications can be overwhelming and time-consuming. That’s where a candidate application tracking template comes in handy. It allows recruiters to keep track of all the applications in one place and streamline the hiring process. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need about candidate application tracking templates, including samples, excel sheets, and spreadsheets.

What is a Candidate Application Tracking Template?

Recruiters and hiring managers use a tool called a Candidate Application Tracking Template (CATT) to actively keep track of job applications and candidates during the hiring process. However, it is a spreadsheet or document that lists all the job positions, the candidates who have applied for those positions, and their current status in the hiring process.

The CATT typically contains columns for the job title, candidate name, resume or application submission date, contact information, interview date(s), interview outcome, feedback, and next steps. In short, this template provides a centralized location for recruiters to manage and organize candidate information, track their progress in the hiring process, and ensure that they are efficiently evaluated and processed.

Importance of Candidate Applicant Tracking System

The importance of using a Candidate Application Tracking Template (CATT) is to streamline the recruitment process and improve the efficiency of hiring. Additionally, the template enables recruiters to manage and track large volumes of job applications and candidates, making it easier to assess candidate suitability and move them through the recruitment process in a timely manner.

By keeping all the information in one place, recruiters can easily refer to the CATT during candidate evaluations and decision-making, ensuring that all aspects of the hiring process are documented and communicated effectively.

A CATT also helps to maintain consistency in the hiring process, ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly and equally. Therefore, it allows recruiters to monitor the progress of candidates and identify any potential bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the recruitment process, allowing them to adjust and improve the process for future hiring efforts.

Benefits of Using a Candidate Application Tracking Template

Using a Candidate Application Tracking (CAT) template can be a game-changer in the recruitment process. A CAT template is a tool used by recruiters to streamline and optimize the hiring process by keeping track of applications received for a specific job opening. So, here are some of the benefits of using a CAT template:

  1. Time-saving: Recruiters can save a significant amount of time by using a CAT template. Instead of manually sorting through hundreds of resumes and applications, a CAT template allows you to easily filter, categorize and prioritize candidates, making it easier to identify the most qualified candidates in a shorter period of time.
  2. Easy to use: CAT templates are simple and user-friendly. Once you have identified the key attributes you’re looking for in a candidate, it’s easy to create a template that allows you to easily sort through resumes and track progress.
  3. Efficient communication: A CAT template allows for efficient communication between recruiters and candidates. You can easily send and receive emails, schedule interviews and send reminders. This makes it easier to keep track of candidate progress and ensures that everyone is on the same page throughout the recruitment process.
  4. Better candidate experience: Using a CAT template can improve the candidate experience. By keeping track of every stage of the recruitment process, you can provide candidates with timely updates and feedback. This can help build a positive reputation for your company and increase the likelihood of attracting top talent.
  5. Data-driven decision making: A CAT template allows you to collect and analyze data about your recruitment process, including the number of applications received, the time taken to hire, the source of the applications, and the success rate of hires. This data can help you identify areas for improvement, refine your recruitment process and make data-driven decisions that can lead to more successful hires.

 How to Create a Candidate Application Tracking Template?

Creating a candidate application tracking template can be a daunting task, but it’s a necessary one to manage the recruitment process effectively. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create a candidate application tracking template.

  1. Identify Your Needs: Before you start designing your candidate application tracking template, it’s important to identify your needs. What information do you want to track and what metrics are important to you? For example, you might want to track the candidate’s name, contact information, resume, cover letter, job title, date of application, status of the application, and the stage in the recruitment process. You may also want to include any notes you have about the candidate and any feedback from the hiring team.
  2. Choose the Right Tool: There are many tools available that you can use to create your candidate application tracking template. Some popular options include Excel, Google Sheets, and specialized applicant tracking systems (ATS). Consider your budget, the size of your team, and the complexity of your recruitment process when selecting a tool.
  3. Design the Template: When designing the template, keep in mind that it should be easy to use and understand. Use clear and concise language and avoid jargon or technical terms. Consider the overall layout of the template, including font size, color, and spacing. You may also want to include your company logo and branding.
  4. Customize the Fields: Customize the fields in your template to match your recruitment process. For example, if you have multiple rounds of interviews, you may want to include a field for each round. You can also add fields for screening questions, assessments, and reference checks. Make sure the fields are labeled clearly and consistently so that everyone on your team can understand them.
  5. Test the Template: Before using the template to track candidates, test it to ensure that it meets your needs. Add some sample data and check that it’s easy to navigate and that the fields and metrics are clear. You may also want to get feedback from your team to see if there are any improvements you can make.

Candidate Application Tracking Template Samples

There are different types of application tracking templates that you can use to manage your recruitment process. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the main types of templates you can use and their features.

Simple Application Tracking Template

A simple application tracking template is a basic template that you can use to track your job applicants. This template typically includes fields for the candidate’s name, contact information, resume, cover letter, job title, date of application, status of the application, and notes about the candidate. A simple application tracking template is ideal for small teams or for organizations with a straightforward recruitment process.

Comprehensive Application Tracking Template

A comprehensive application tracking template is a more detailed template that includes additional fields and metrics to track your job applicants. In addition to the fields mentioned in a simple template, a comprehensive template may include fields for screening questions, assessments, reference checks, diversity metrics, and feedback from the hiring team. This type of template is suitable for larger teams or organizations with a more complex recruitment process.

Applicant Tracking System Template

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application designed to help you manage your recruitment process. An ATS template includes all the features of a comprehensive application tracking template, but with the added functionality of automation and integration. Therefore, with an ATS template, you can automate repetitive tasks, such as sending emails to candidates and scheduling interviews. Additionally, you can also integrate the ATS with other recruitment tools, such as job boards, social media, and background screening services.

Recruitment Tracker Template

A recruitment tracker template is a type of template that allows you to track your recruitment metrics and performance. Additionally, the template has fields for applications received, candidates screened, interviews conducted, and offers extended. So, a recruitment tracker helps identify bottlenecks and measure recruitment effectiveness.

Candidate Application Tracking Excel Sheets

Candidate application tracking can be a complex process, but using Excel sheets can help you manage your recruitment process more effectively. In this guide, we will explore the advantages of using Excel sheets for applicant tracking, best practices for using excel sheets, and provide a candidate application tracking Excel sheet sample.

Advantages of Using Excel Sheets for Applicant Tracking

Excel sheets are a popular tool for managing recruitment processes due to their flexibility and accessibility. Some of the key advantages of using Excel sheets for applicant tracking include:

  1. Cost-effective: Excel sheets are a low-cost option compared to specialized applicant tracking systems.
  2. Easy to use: Excel sheets are easy to use and require minimal training, making them accessible to all members of the hiring team.
  3. Customizable: You can customize Excel sheets to match your recruitment process and specific needs.
  4. Efficient: Excel sheets allow you to track and manage your candidates in real-time, reducing the risk of errors and speeding up the recruitment process.
  5. Easy to share: You can easily share Excel sheets with other members of the hiring team or external stakeholders, improving collaboration and communication.

Best Practices for Using Excel Sheets for Applicant Tracking

To get the most out of your Excel sheet for applicant tracking, it’s important to follow best practices. Some best practices to consider include:

  1. Keep it simple: Only include the fields and metrics that are essential for your recruitment process to avoid overwhelming the sheet.
  2. Consistent formatting: Use consistent formatting and labeling for fields to avoid confusion.
  3. Regular backups: Regularly backup your Excel sheet to prevent data loss.
  4. Access controls: Limit access to the Excel sheet to ensure data security and privacy.
  5. Regular updates: Regularly update the Excel sheet to keep it relevant and reflective of your recruitment process.

Candidate Application Tracking Excel Sheet Sample

A candidate application tracking Excel sheet typically includes fields for candidate information, job information, application status, and notes. Here’s an example of what an Excel sheet might look like:

  1. Column A: Write Your Name
  2. Column B: Add Contact Details
  3. Column C: Resume
  4. Column D: Cover Letter
  5. Column E: Job Title
  6. Column F: Date of Application
  7. Column G: Application Status (New, Reviewing, Interviewing, Offer, Rejected)
  8. Column H: Interview Dates
  9. Column I: Notes

Candidate Application Tracking Spreadsheets

Advantages of using spreadsheets for applicant tracking:

  1. Organization: Spreadsheets allow for easy organization and sorting of applicant data, making it simple to find and manage candidate information.
  2. Customization: Spreadsheets can be customized to meet specific tracking needs, with fields that can be tailored to specific job requirements.
  3. Collaboration: Multiple team members can collaborate and contribute to the same spreadsheet, allowing for shared access to candidate information.
  4. Accessibility: Spreadsheets are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy to update and access information on the go.
  5. Cost-effective: Spreadsheets are a cost-effective alternative to expensive applicant tracking software.

Best practices for using spreadsheets for applicant tracking:

  1. Define the fields: Before creating a spreadsheet, define the fields that are required to track candidate information.
  2. Keep it simple: Too many fields or complex formulas can make the spreadsheet difficult to use and maintain. Keep the design simple and easy to use.
  3. Use consistent naming conventions: Use consistent naming conventions for fields to avoid confusion and ensure data accuracy.
  4. Regularly update the spreadsheet: Regularly update the spreadsheet with new candidate information and ensure that all data is accurate and up-to-date.
  5. Secure the data: Keep candidate data secure by restricting access to the spreadsheet to only authorized team members.

Candidate Application Tracking Spreadsheet Sample:

Here is a sample candidate application tracking spreadsheet that follows the best practices outlined above:

Candidate Name Position Applied For Resume Cover Letter Phone Screen In-person Interview Offer
John Smith Marketing Manager Link Link Yes Yes Yes
Jane Doe Sales Associate Link Link No Yes No
Alex Johnson Software Developer Link N/A Yes Yes Yes


In this example, the spreadsheet includes fields for the candidate’s name, the position applied for, links to their resume and cover letter, and the status of their phone screen, in-person interview, and offer. This simple and easy-to-use format allows for quick access to candidate information and easy updates as the hiring process progresses.


In conclusion, the candidate application tracking template can significantly streamline your hiring process and improve your overall recruitment efforts. It can help you organize and manage candidate information efficiently. You can track their progress through the hiring process and make informed hiring decisions. Additionally, the ability to customize the template to fit your specific needs and requirements provides added flexibility and ensures that you’re capturing the information that’s most important to your organization.

Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large HR team, incorporating a candidate application tracking template into your recruitment process is a smart and effective way to save time, reduce errors, and ultimately find the right candidates for your organization. So why not give it a try? With so many templates available, it’s easy to find one that works for you and start reaping the benefits today.


Q: Can I use a candidate application tracking template for multiple job positions?

A: Yes, you can customize a candidate application tracking template to fit the requirements of multiple job positions.

Q: What is the difference between an applicant tracking system and a candidate application tracking template?

A: An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software tool used by employers to manage the hiring process, from receiving applications to selecting candidates for interviews. The system tracks resume, cover letters, and other candidate documents, as well as communication between the employer and the candidate.

On the other hand, a candidate application tracking template is a spreadsheet or document that candidates can use to keep track of the jobs they’ve applied for and the status of their applications. So, it’s a useful tool for candidates to organize their job search process and stay on top of their applications.

Q: How do I manage confidential information on a candidate application tracking template?

A:It’s important to be careful with confidential information in your job application tracking template. Examples include your social security number or other sensitive personal information. Keep it simple and straightforward. To protect this information, make sure to keep your template secure and password-protected. Only share it with trusted individuals, such as a recruiter or hiring manager. Likewise, you can also consider using a cloud-based service that provides secure storage and password protection.

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