The Top 12 Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) - September 2020

The best applicant tracking systems, pricing guidelines, questions to ask on demos, and more

Looking to buy a new applicant tracking system to help with your recruiting and talent acquisition efforts?   We’ve researched hundreds of different vendors to understand which are the best ATS’s, along with everything else you need to know in order to buy the right applicant tracking software (including our organizer spreadsheet complete with sample questions for demos and lots of great resources).

There’s no doubt your team’s recruiting process can be accelerated by the benefits of a modern ATS.  However, we know there is a massive universe of vendors.  So, we’ve done the research.  We talked to HR and recruiting practitioners, vendors, and industry experts to curate the below list of best vendors, along with other useful information to help streamline buying the right platform.  Enjoy!

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  Most of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us, we want to feature the best software for our readers regardless. Learn more

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Top Applicant Tracking Systems

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best ATS’s per our research and expert council as of September 2020

Greenhouse has arguably the best ATS for the mid market, and is aggressively going after the enterprise.  Their partner ecosystem, bolstered by best in category APIs, allow their customers to take advantage of third party applications with no upcharge.  Nearly every HRTech vendor that integrates with the ATS starts with Greenhouse.  

Clients like Air BnB, Pinterest, Hubspot and more rely on this solution to make data driven recruiting decisions and execute on their hiring plans.

Worth Checking Out:

Pinpoint is a relatively new player in the applicant tracking system landscape.  In many ways, this is an advantage as they've been able to build a platform that has the latest in best practices for recruiting teams including talent pipelines, sourcing capabilities, and recruitment marketing.  These features allow talent acquisition to decrease spend on third party recruiters, and build their own talent pools!

In addition, they have incredibly useful employer branding tools to help build beautiful career sites, and social campaigns.  Given they are a newer company, they will also way over deliver on customer service.

Worth Checking Out:

ClearCompany’s ATS has a 99% customer retention rate  across their 2,000+ customers.  This is in part due to amazing customer service (per customers we’ve chatted with), along with a robust feature set: video interviews, scheduling, career site, referrals, etc.

The most interesting thing to us is that their recruiting software is integrated with a robust HCM suite (onboarding, HRIS, performance management, etc) that allows organizations to see insights across the full employee lifecycle.  Imagine using data on where top performers came from to inform your recruiting efforts!

Worth Checking Out:

Recruiterbox's simple-to-use ATS has over 2,000 customers including Olark and Lonely Planet.  This platform comes with many added features like video interviewing, scheduling, and automated reminders.

We also love that employees and hiring managers to collaborate on hiring/interviewing without having to log in to the system. Lastly, Recruiterbox can be setup in as little as 90 minutes for smaller companies.

Worth Checking Out:

SmartRecruiters’ ATS is great for larger companies that want to leverage the functionality of a modern applicant tracking system to attract, engage, and hire the right talent.   We’ve heard from quite a few practitioners that SmartRecruiters is great at taking feedback from their customers, and rapidly integrating that into the product.  

Simply put, if you’re looking for an enterprise level solution that will help you leverage the next generation of ATS (CRM, AI, recruitment marketing), this is a tool worth checking out.

Worth Checking Out:

BreezyHR’s ATS is simple to get started so it’s no surprised they have over 5,000 customers.  Some key features include video interviewing, automated candidate workflows, and talent pools for future hiring needs.  It’s hard to understate how simple and intuitive their interface is, which makes this a great solution for companies looking to adopt their first ATS.

Worth Checking Out:

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Teamtailor takes a unique approach to talent acquisition by focusing on how your organization markets itself to talent.  This means recruiting teams can build beautiful career sites through their platform, market to specific talent demographics through landing pages and talent pools, and utilize features like text recruiting, referrals, nurture campaigns and more.

This ATS was built from the ground up by entrepreneurs who were sick of the broken hiring process at their previous company.  So, it has a lot of common sense functionality that your recruiters will love vs the check the box features that incumbent ATS's are so focused on.

Worth Checking Out:

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Lever was started with a product mindset, which put design first from its inception.  It’s a modern ATS that also has a unique suite of tools such as Lever Nurture, which can make recruiters much more efficient when engaging candidates (similar to how sales automation tech has made Sales Development Reps 10x more efficient in recent years).

Worth Checking Out:

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Avature's ATS is fully customizable to your talent acquisition team's unique process and goals.  To put it another way, you can build your own recruiting workflows for high volume, executive recruiting, and anything in between.  You can customize dashboards, set up automated workflows, and leverage the power of an all in one ATS + CRM.  In addition, you can do this all through a no-code interface that allows non-technical users to modify the system (with lots of permissioning in place).  This may be overkill for smaller organizations, but for mid market and enterprise, Avature is a very strong applicant tracking system that's trusted by companies like Siemens, Cisco, Tesla, L'Oreal, and Nike.

Worth Checking Out:

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iCIMS was one of the original SaaS companies.  They have a feature set that is great for SMB all the way up to the largest companies and are always in the conversation about best ATS.  Despite age, they continue to innovate with the acquisition of TextRecruit in 2018 and a constantly evolving product roadmap.

Worth Checking Out:

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Workable’s applicant tracking system is a great fit for small and large companies alike, so it’s no wonder they have over 20,000 customers worldwide.   The most interesting aspect to Workable’s solution is their AI powered sourcing capability which they have integrated with the rest of the ATS, and that gives you access to over 400 million candidate records!

Worth Checking Out:

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Recruitee offers a robust ATS specifically designed for companies with <1,000 employees who want to build their employer brands, monitor the health of their recruiting function through data, and of course hire through the feature set you'd expect from a best in class applicant tracking system.  Their product has an 18 day free trial so it's very easy to get started with their offering.

The last thing that really caught our eye is that a disproportionate amount of their engineering team is strictly focused on design which results in an intuitive and powerful product built to enable collaboration across recruiters and hiring managers alike.  Some of their marquee customers include Vice, Breitling, and Hotjar.

Worth Checking Out:

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Final Advice for Buying a New ATS

Implementing one of the best applicant tracking systems allows employers to supercharge their recruiting efforts, and these solutions are only getting better with new capabilities (sourcing, CRM, talent re-discovery, better analytics, etc).  That said, it’s a very complicated landscape with literally hundreds of vendors out there.  Many of which you probably already use for some other HR related process (payroll, background, HRIS, etc).

Take some time to figure out what specific goals you are trying to accomplish with a new ATS, and then be disciplined when you start to demo applicant tracking systems.  It’s really important not to sell for anything less than best as this is a recruiting tool that will stick with you for a long time given the high switching costs inherent in long term contracts, data migration problems, and training.  Good luck!

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