Human resources has made some tremendous leaps in recent years. Much of this evolution can be attributed to HR tech. Arguably, the types of HR technology with the most significant impact have been applicant tracking systems (ATS), which revolutionized the hiring process, and human resource information systems (HRIS).
These systems have streamlined monotonous, time-consuming tasks and introduced technologies like automation, AI, and machine learning to make HR teams better and faster. Although HR and business leaders agree on the contribution HR Tech has made to organizational success, there are varying opinions on which exact tools do the best job. We asked some experts to share which ATS and HRIS platforms they love and loathe to work with. This article contains their verbatim responses.
HR Leaders Reveal Their Preferred Applicant Tracking Systems
The number of ATS options on the market today makes it difficult to find the one that’s right for you and your team.
Ryan Walker, CEO of Beyond Academy, recommends Greenhouse over other ATS platforms for its user-friendly interface and sleek design.
“I've used a lot of different ATS software, and my favorite by far is Greenhouse. A common problem I've found with using these systems is that they are clunky and outdated-looking, not just on the admin side, but also for applicants.
Greenhouse has a really clear user interface that is easy to customize and also gives a great first impression on the candidates' side. I especially like the dashboard, which makes it so easy to see everything I have in progress in one place rather than navigating through multiple screens.”
Martyna Jasinska, the HR specialist and recruiter at ePassportPhoto, echoes these sentiments.
“Greenhouse is the best ATS I’ve ever tried. It's evident that its creators have invested heavily in UX design.
While the fundamental role of many ATS platforms is to streamline the recruitment process, Greenhouse distinguishes itself by going beyond mere operational excellence. Its design prioritizes the user experience, offering intuitive navigation and reducing unnecessary steps.
This platform is not only efficient, but it's also a pleasure to work with.”
Mark Varnas, Principal SQL server DBA at Red9, is also a consultant. He regularly recommends Greenhouse to his clients for its functionality.
“What I appreciate about this ATS is that they have a strong conception of what the recruiting and hiring process should look like, and share that openly with their clients.
There are a lot of resources and guides on how to achieve 'hiring maturity,' which Greenhouse of course facilitates through their intuitive user-centric design. Greenhouse does more than applicant tracking, but more often than not I've found that clients appreciate having that all-in-one platform as they scale.”
Max Benz, Founder and CEO of BankingGeek, also names Greenhouse as his preferred ATS.
“This ATS has a comprehensive suite of features that streamline the recruitment process from start to end, which explains its popularity among HR professionals.
The interface is easy to navigate, yet offers robust functionality such as job posting distribution, candidate sourcing, resume evaluation, and interview scheduling. It integrates smoothly with other systems and platforms we use daily. Furthermore, its analytics capabilities are top-notch; they facilitate data-driven decision-making in talent acquisition.”
According to Jason Smit, CEO of Contentellect, Lever’s ATS and candidate relationship management (CRM) functions are top-notch.
“With fast resume review and parsing, we can swiftly assess applicants and zero in on best fits.
Screening and assessments filter efficiently at high volumes.
Lever's intelligent fuzzy search adapts to our requirements, identifying qualified candidates even when keywords don't match exactly. Flexibility is crucial in our company, especially when roles keep evolving. Reporting and analytics provide hard data guiding continuous improvements. We now have insights to nurture our remote worker talent pipeline over the long term.”
Corey Donovan, President of Alta Technologies, also recommends Lever.
“We use Lever because the drag-and-drop pipelines are second to none. We've been able to revamp and adjust our hiring strategy to our recruiting team's preferences without any real development time. Staff like the collaboration features and keep ATS-related communications on the platform for better teamwork.“
Alister Wood, Owner of VisitUs, highly recommends BreezyHR’s ATS for its ease of use and communication features.
“Our company's favorite ATS has to be Breezy. It is a wonderful platform with comprehensive features.
It simplifies the recruiting process at all levels, but I am most impressed with its applicant communication features. It has really helped us organize communication with applicants for different positions and the platform takes care of any emails that need to be sent. We automate our application updates to applicants and this has saved our HR team so much time.”
The HR Information Systems that HR Pros Love
Modern ATS platforms are great for recruitment, but what about tasks like employee data management, payroll processing, benefits administration, and attendance management? If you want to use technology for operations and workforce management, you’ll need a full-scale HRIS, also referred to as a human resources management system, or HRMS.
The leading vendors in this space offer HRIS solutions packed with features that alleviate HR teams from tedious administrative tasks.
Mark Varnas appreciates the intuitiveness of Workday. He also mentioned the value of HRIS integrations that allow you to automate data transfer between different software platforms.
“My favorite by far is Workday, which is extremely intuitive to use as well as easy to set up.
They have an excellent tutorial and customer support system that I trust to assist my clients accurately and without delay. From the more technical side, their API integrations are relatively seamless, meaning you can connect Workday to your other business functions without much fuss.”
Martyna Jasinska chooses BambooHR over all others.
“Right now, I use BambooHR, and it’s by far the best HRIS software I’ve ever used.
The user-friendly interface makes everyday tasks and processes feel effortless. Plus, the technical support is top-notch. Whenever I encounter an issue, they're not only responsive but also genuinely helpful in resolving it.
BambooHR has streamlined our HR operations and made my job a whole lot easier.”
Aslam Rehan, an HR Specialist at SMS AutoForwarder, also touts the user-friendliness of BambooHR.
“Firstly, BambooHR's user-friendly interface significantly simplifies the management of employee data, making it easily accessible for all HR tasks.
Secondly, the software's robust performance-management tools allow us to effectively monitor and evaluate staff development.
Lastly, BambooHR's comprehensive reporting capabilities enable us to extract valuable insights for strategic HR planning. The system's scalability, customization, and excellent customer support further consolidate our decision.”
Corey Donovan recommends BambooHR for remote teams.
“We recently implemented BambooHR and have been very happy with the results. With more remote workers and staff on the road, having a mobile-oriented solution has been hugely important.
Staff can manage benefits, miles, time off, and other personal details from wherever they are on an intuitive system. Having everything in one place streamlines the work for HR.”
Brett Ungashick, CEO and CHRO of OutSail, recommends Gusto for its seamless integration with third-party software.
“Its modern design and intuitive navigation make HR tasks straightforward for both our HR team and employees.
Additionally, Gusto's seamless integration with financial tools like QuickBooks significantly streamlines our processes, ensuring smooth operations in HR and finance. This integration has been crucial in managing our payroll and financial reporting efficiently, making Gusto an ideal choice for our business needs.”
“I like how Sapling simplifies HR interactions and offers tools for employees as well.
The custom workflow and organizational charts are user-friendly and interactive. With Sapling, it's easy for everyone in the company to see our policies and rules. We can also check out information about the projects or roles of different departments and track their progress.”
Danilo Miranda, Managing Director of Presenteverso, prefers UKG Ready for its ability to support small- and medium-sized businesses.
“What's impressive about UKG Ready is the level of user support it offers. It also has a bunch of HR features that go above and beyond what you typically expect from an HRIS system.
These features are significant for strengthening employee relationships and turning our company culture into something tangible and active. I think this platform is a really good choice for growing small- and medium-sized businesses.”
Amy Tribe, Director of OGLF (Our Good Living Formula), recommends Rippling HR as a fully integrated HR and IT management solution.
“Rippling HR has an entire set of features that make HR tasks easier; like onboarding, handling payroll, sorting out benefits, and keeping up with compliance issues.
It's also got IT management tools, which are super handy for looking after our technology and security.”
Team PeopleSoft (Oracle)
Rex Huxford, Director of Demand Generation at MD Clarity, appreciates the customizability of PeopleSoft.
“PeopleSoft, as part of Oracle, offers a highly customizable HRIS with robust reporting capabilities. It complements our need for tailored HR solutions that cater to our specific requirements.”
Andrew Johnson, Digital Strategist at Giveaways, chose Deel as his all-in-one HRIS and highly recommends it for global teams.
“One of the best HRIS systems is Deel. It is an all-in-one HRIS for international teams. It offers a free demo and flat-rate pricing, with a free version available for businesses with up to 200 people.
Deel's unique features include integrated financial wellness programs for employees. These programs include resources for financial planning, budgeting, and other financial aspects. It handles the complexities of managing an international workforce, making it a valuable option for companies with a global presence.”
Prasad Dhandapani, an HRIS specialist, recommends ADP Workforce Now.
“Our organization relies on ADP Workforce Now, a strategic choice propelled by its exceptional versatility and performance.
The integrated platform streamlines payroll, benefits, and time tracking, boosting operational efficiency. ADP's firm commitment to compliance aligns with our emphasis on ethical HR practices, ensuring regulatory adherence.
Beyond its renowned payroll capabilities, ADP excels in diverse HR modules, including performance management, recruitment, and onboarding.”
Experts Reveal Their Least Favorite HR Technologies
With so many ATS and HRIS options on the market today, there are bound to be some that perform better than others. While some of the platforms mentioned below might work well for you and your team, these experts didn’t achieve the success they were after.
Ryan Walker warns against using legacy systems beyond 2023.
“I don't want to be too harsh to any single system as most modern ATS software does have its pros as well as its cons.
However, I would say that in 2024, no forward-thinking business should still be hanging onto its legacy recruitment systems. Unfortunately, a lot of companies don't seem to have accepted the need to modernize in this area. These companies still carry out their recruitment using outdated systems that require candidates to navigate confusing interfaces and complete long-winded applications by copying and pasting information into different text boxes.”
Despite its popularity, Max Benz dislikes Taleo for its complexity.
“Taleo would be at the bottom of my list. Despite being a legacy player in the field with an extensive feature list that covers most aspects of recruiting workflow management, several factors contribute to its low favorability.
I don't like Taleo's intimidating interface - it's not exactly user-friendly or intuitive compared with more modern solutions like Greenhouse or BambooHR.”
Mark Varnas isn’t a fan of Taleo’s ATS either.
“Taleo is widely used across industries, especially in large companies, but it's beginning to show its age.
Customizations are becoming increasingly complicated as Taleo lacks the API integrations of other systems. If you must use it, Taleo eventually becomes second nature, but the longer training times can be a chore.”
He is also not fond of PeopleSoft, for similar reasons.
“Good HRIS software is frequently updated to meet new changes, such as the AI revolution that began last year. Unfortunately, Oracle's PeopleSoft just doesn't get the support it needs for modern businesses. While this tool was popular in previous years and still has some bright spots, it's simply more outdated and harder to learn than Workday or most other HRIS software.”
Martyna Jasinska is wary of Workday’s ATS.
“I remember that the interface was a clicky mess, slowing me down with my work. Moreover, some candidates are skeptical about applying through Workday, which is certainly a concern for any recruiter.”
She also doesn’t like SAP Success Factors because of its clunky interface.
“It’s a hot take, but I really don’t like SAP Success Factors. I used to work on it in my previous job. It’s clunky and not intuitive at all. Navigating through it was like taking a trip back in time to the early 2000s. Simple tasks often require multiple steps and an unnecessary amount of clicking around.
It felt like the software was designed to make things more complicated than they needed to be.”
Corey Donovan doesn’t like the user interface of Kronos Workforce Central.
“I'd avoid Kronos Workforce Central if you can. The software reminds me of something you'd see in an industrial factory and so does the name. It does fine for time and attendance tracking, but modern systems provide services in a much more intuitive way.”
The perfect ATS or HRIS doesn’t always have to be the most popular solution on the market.
As long as it covers your organizational needs, nearly any platform will suffice. However, the expert opinions expressed here come from their real-world experience. If you’re currently searching for the best solution available today, their advice is a great place to start.