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Lever vs. Greenhouse — Which is your next ATS?

BY -

Chris Hatler

June 16, 2021

Do a quick Google search of the best applicant tracking systems on the market. Chances are that every resource, including our shortlist of the best ATS's, features Lever and Greenhouse

Both companies were founded in 2012, a landmark year for HR technology. Big names like Taleo and SuccessFactors were scooped up by Oracle and SAP, respectively. HireVue cultivated a huge Series C funding round to change the way candidates would virtually interview forever. Workday went public, becoming one of the biggest IPOs in HR tech to this day.

However, it's been nearly a decade since then. An ATS in 2021 looks a lot different than an ATS in 2012. In that span of time, HR operations underwent a huge shift to an employee-first ethos. As a result, talent acquisition teams started to put an emphasis on candidate experience, noticing that a great employer brand could influence the best talent to want to work for their companies. 

Lever and Greenhouse have evolved into modern powerhouses in talent acquisition software, partly thanks to this candidate-centric approach. Greenhouse saw a 45% increase in revenue from 2019 to 2020. Lever brought in over $70 million in funding, seeing $30 million in its 2017 Series C alone. 

In this article, we'll break down the ins and outs of both software solutions, comparing and contrasting pricing, features, user experience, and more. Whether you're a recruiter, hiring manager, people operations specialist, or someone just curious about SaaS, you'll find plenty of valuable information to help you make a purchase decision or simply learn more about Lever and Greenhouse.

Lever vs. Greenhouse Features

Feature Lever Greenhouse
Applicant tracking
Job posting and advertising
Career site
Job posting and advertising
Sourcing tools
Referrals and internal mobility
Screening tools
Video interviewing
Reporting and analytics
DEI tools
Email templates
Interview scheduling
Hiring workflows
Virtual events x
Mobile app x

Both Lever and Greenhouse have similar feature sets, all relatively standard for applicant tracking systems. However, both offer more than the standard features when you include add-ons. There are plenty of opportunities for customization on each, from workflows to company branding.

Lever calls itself a “talent acquisition suite,” branding its product as a personalized candidate experience software. Therefore, you have access to candidate relationship management tools like multi-channel sourcing, a talent database, and a dedicated sourcing pipeline. Lever offers additional modules, Advanced Automation, Advanced HR, Advanced Nurture, and Advanced Analytics to further empower its talent acquisition suite.

Greenhouse, on the other hand, directly brands itself as an applicant tracking system and recruiting software. With three product tiers, you can pay for the features you need and upgrade later as your organization grows. Greenhouse also sells an Onboarding software that seamlessly integrates with its ATS.

Greenhouse does benefit from having an iOS and Android app, whereas Lever is simply optimized for your mobile browser. Greenhouse also allows you to host recruiting events, which is another edge over Lever.

Lever vs. Greenhouse Pricing

Lever Pricing

LeverTRM (talent relationship management) is available in a standard and enterprise option. It operates on a cost-per-employee model, billed annually. However, the specific pricing isn’t available online, you must contact a Lever sales rep. 

Lever’s website also mentions an additional implementation fee. The add-ons mentioned in the previous section are available for an additional cost as well.

Greenhouse Pricing

Greenhouse has three pricing tiers. Essential includes the core features and one event. Advanced adds custom reporting, scalable workflows, and 10 events. Expert tops it all off with an upgraded CRM, enhanced security, developer sandbox, DEI feature set, and unlimited events. 

All plans operate on a cost-per-employee basis, billed annually. Specific details are not disclosed online, so you must contact a sales representative.

While Greenhouse’s does not mention an implementation fee explicitly, it is possible they charge one as well. 

Integrations

Greenhouse Integrations

Greenhouse currently has 372 pre-built integrations, including:

  • BambooHR
  • Calendly
  • Appcast
  • Gem
  • Zenefits
  • Glassdoor
  • employeereferrals.com

Greenhouse also has best-in-category APIs that allow customers to take advantage of third-party applications with no upcharge.

Lever Integrations

Lever has a partner ecosystem, which includes integrations with: 

  • ADP
  • LinkedIn
  • Oracle
  • Slack
  • Workday
  • Zoom
  • UKG

And many more. Lever allows customers to request integrations, and also offers APIs & webhooks.

Comparison

Greenhouse and Lever both have an extensive partner marketplace, featuring dozens of easy integrations with top HR tech software, including productivity tools, background check software, communication apps, job boards, and more. 

If your company uses a product that’s not featured in Lever’s marketplace, you can request they build one out for you or have your developer hook Lever into your system through an API.

Greenhouse is widely regarded as the best-in-category when it comes to integration. It currently offers 372 pre-built integrations, as well as fantastic API functionality. Your company can connect any third-party app you want, and Greenhouse won’t upcharge for it.

Customer Support and Success

Lever Customer Support and Success

  • Detailed help center
  • Online support requests, 24/7 live chat, and phone support
  • Training and implementation tune-ups

Greenhouse Customer Support and Success

  • Detailed help center
  • 24/7 email and live-chat support Monday through Friday
  • Virtual coaching and events

Comparison

Both Lever and Greenhouse have solid customer support initiatives, with help centers, real-time support via chat or phone, and training/coaching offerings.

Major Customers

Lever Major Customers

  • Atlassian
  • KPMG
  • McGraw Hill
  • Netflix
  • Fiix

Greenhouse Major Customers

  • AirBNB
  • Pinterest
  • Hubspot
  • Squarespace
  • Wayfair

Comparison

While Greenhouse has Lever beat with 4,000 to 3,000 total customers, both companies have a who’s-who list of buyers. From tech to online retailers to recruiting firms to publishers, they are industry agnostic. However, Greenhouse has definitely carved a niche in the mid-market, despite having some enterprise customers under its belt.

User Experience

Lever Screenshot

Greenhouse Screenshot

Lever and Greenhouse are leaders in the ATS space for a reason. Both user interfaces are clean and intuitive. To learn a little more about ease-of-use and in-the-trenches experiences, we unearthed a few user reviews from People people in various online communities.

u/RPJ_NY on Reddit

When it comes to ATS’s, I prefer Greenhouse. I’ve used Greenhouse, Lever, Avature, [and] Salesforce-JobScience. Love the email and offer templates, job and offer approval process, scorecards, take-home tests, etc. My opinion is that reporting is lacking and would prefer that the candidate survey be customizable. But in comparison to the others, the user experience is seamless and very user-friendly.

Melissa Crosby on SSR PeopleTech

I have used Greenhouse in the past, but I am seriously thinking about Lever. I’m at a startup, and Lever seems more open to negotiating terms to make it as easy as possible for me to start with them. Greenhouse was not willing to negotiate at all. As a tool I loved it, but other recruiter friends felt that Lever is stronger in the data department.  

In another chat, someone mentioned general concern about seeing other interviewers’ feedback before submitting their own, which could sway decisions. I know Greenhouse is very good about permissions, and who can see what and when. I don't know if Lever has anything along those lines. But for the most part, they seem to both be pretty good options.”

Zachary Ledford on SSR People Tech

“I've used both and evaluated each at different points over the last several years. I've found them to be similar in many respects, and both are definitely solid pieces of tech. That said, if you want high-fidelity, formally structured interview processes I think the Greenhouse interview kits model is definitely something to seriously consider. Combined with the API capability in Greenhouse, you can get some great data and evaluations from interview through hire, which can help with workforce planning WAY down the line (looking at skills, professional development, etc. captured during the recruiting process). 

It also seems like Greenhouse has put a little more time into deliberately cultivating some turnkey integration capabilities for common use cases. That said, the Lever API is pretty awesome so there's a lot you can do with that too if you have the resources and skills organic to your team to take advantage of it all.

One last thing I'll call out that might seem silly (but I think is worth considering) is that Lever is a west coast company out of San Francisco and Greenhouse is east coast out of New York City. The business and relationship philosophies reflect those regional differences, and there's the practical (although certainly not insurmountable) time zone differences to keep in mind too as you're looking at support needs.

All-in-all though, I'd say either one of these platforms is a solid choice, and I always look at these as part of the top 5 contenders for an ATS RFP.”

Every testimonial had something nice to say about each product. User experience, API capabilities, and general functionality are great across both platforms. However, Zachary’s west coast/east coast observation just might reinforce Melissa’s experience with negotiations. Therefore, it’s important to think about what you value in a tech partner before signing any deal.

Bottom Line?

You can’t go wrong with either solution. Lever and Greenhouse have great feature sets, solid customer service, easy-to-use interfaces, and a wide range of integrations. That being said, when it comes to market share, Greenhouse is clearly ahead. 

According to Ongig, Greenhouse ate up 7.81% of the enterprise and mid-market in 2020, sitting right behind big names Workday, Taleo, SAP SuccessFactors, and iCIMS. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Ongig’s 2018 metrics showed that Greenhouse grew in market share by 2.58% over the previous year, much more than second-place Workday at 1.25%. Since then, Greenhouse has continued to grow in popularity.

That’s not to say Lever customers don’t see success. Lever is still one of the most popular ATS’s for enterprise and mid-market customers, with Ongig reporting a 2.92% market share in 2020. That sits well above familiar players such as UKG Pro, Jobvite, and ADP.

It’s going to come down to personal preference. Be sure to consider additional factors, such as the east coast vs. west coast business operations of Greenhouse vs. Lever. In the end, you can demo each product comfortably knowing that whichever you use, you'll have one of the best ATS's on the market. 

For more options, check out our detailed landscape of the best applicant tracking software, including pricing information, FAQs, use cases, and more.

For more information, visit the Lever and Greenhouse websites.

Lever and Greenhouse Alternatives:

If you buy HR Tech and want to be a part of our community, you can learn more here.

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