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Best Applicant Tracking Systems

The 16 Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in Q1 2024

The best ATS software - tried and tested by our HR experts. Get pricing details and pros & cons, plus perspectives from professionals who use these ATS systems every day.

Phil Strazzulla
Written by
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
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Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023
TOP
ATS Known for Support
Pinpoint
4.6
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
ATS Known for Support
Pinpoint
4.6
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Learn More
TOP
ATS with Powerful Analytics
Ashby
4.0
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
ATS with Powerful Analytics
Ashby
4.0
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.1
Product  Score
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TOP
User-Friendly ATS for SMBs
Recruitee
4.2
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
Visit Website
TOP
User-Friendly ATS for SMBs
Recruitee
4.2
Popularity Score
4.4
User Score
4.5
Product  Score
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Over 3 million HR leaders trust our advice

Introduction to Applicant Tracking Systems

ATS software helps HR and recruiting teams organize recruitment data during the hiring process. Tasks that can be automated or streamlined by ATS systems include managing careers sites, posting jobs, collecting applications, communicating with candidates, collecting interview feedback, and sending offer letters.

Our experts have painstakingly researched the list of top applicant tracking systems below (and regularly updated it since it was first published in 2018). The featured vendors all have something that makes them the "best." For some, it's modern feature sets such as automation, best-in-class APIs, and customization. For others, it's price point or ease of implementation. Whichever it is, you can be sure we've covered it.

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Best Applicant Tracking Systems

Pinpoint

: ATS Known for Support

Ashby

: ATS with Powerful Analytics

Recruitee

: User-Friendly ATS for SMBs

Teamtailor

: ATS & Great Employer Branding

Manatal

: AI-Based ATS for SMBs

ClearCompany

: Talent Management suite & ATS

Greenhouse

: Powerhouse ATS & CRM in One

Rippling

: Intelligent ATS within world-classHRIS

Spark Hire

: Collaboration-focused ATS

Trakstar Hire

: Top ATS for SMBs

Avature

: Customizable ATS & CRM

JazzHR

: Affordable ATS for SMBs

iCIMS

: Enterprise ATS & Talent Cloud

Lever

: Enterprise CRM with ATS

VidCruiter

: ATS & Video Interviewing in One

SmartRecruiters

: Excellent ATS for Enterprise

BambooHR

: Powerful People Management & ATS

Our Criteria: Here's How We Chose The Best Applicant Tracking Systems

To find the best ATS software, we participated in product demos, gathered user and expert feedback, and leveraged in-house knowledge to assess each product's performance on core functions, including candidate screening, job posting, resume parsing, interview scheduling, and analytics/reporting. More broadly, we believe that the most essential components of a top-notch ATS are UX/UI, candidate experience, and integration:

UX/UI: Your TA team and talent pool will spend a lot of time using this tool, so our criteria include a stringent test for a good user interface. For example, posting a job should take less than 30 seconds, syndicating this job to job boards should be a simple push of a button, and viewing applicants should be as intuitive as using Trello.

Candidate Experience: We evaluate for features that enhance the candidate experience, like personalized communication, easy interview scheduling, and self-service portals for application status updates. Your TA team is your public relations team, so it is critical to equip them with tech to ensure your reputation among all candidates, regardless of your hire or no-hire decision, shows up on Glassdoor in a positive light.

Integration and Compatibility: Consider the platform’s ability to integrate with other tools in your HR ecosystem, like HRIS, CRM, background screening, and job boards. Limited integrations can be a massive drag on ROI: manually entering data or downloading CSVs from your candidate assessments tool to be uploaded to your ATS is suboptimal. Seamless data exchange and workflow is the goal.

For more information our methodology, read this article on how we evaluate HR tech vendors.

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Compare the Best Applicant Tracking Systems

Popularity Score
Best for
Key Differentiator
Pricing
Free Trial
Customers
Users Score
Product Score

Pinpoint

Most Popular
4.6
Teams conscious of candidate experience
Transparent pricing and great customer service
Starts at $600/month
Yes
300+ companies
4.4
4.5

Ashby

Most Popular
4.0
SMBs needing a powerful recruiting suite
ATS with CRM sourcing, scheduling, and analytics
Starts at$ 3,600/year
Yes
648+ companies
4.4
4.1

Recruitee

Most Popular
4.2
The best fit is small and medium-sized businesses
Focused on internal referrals
Starts at $269/month
Yes
5000+ customers
4.4
4.5

Teamtailor

Most Popular
4.0
Small companies, up to approximately 400
ATS with great employer branding
Custom Pricing
Yes
7,000+ customers
4.3
4.1

Manatal

Most Popular
4.5
Small and mid-sized teams wanting affordable AI tech
Cost-effective and AI-equipped
Starts at $15/mo
Yes
10,000+ companies
4.8
4.9

ClearCompany

Most Popular
4.0
Enterprise-size with 1,000-10,000 employees
Built for enterprise, favored by healthcare clients
Custom Pricing
No
2,400+ companies
4.5
4.3

Greenhouse

Most Popular
4.5
ATS and end-to-end hiring tool for to large teams
Powerful ATS and recruiting system for large companies
Custom Pricing
No
6,500+ companies
4.4
4.6

Rippling

Most Popular
4.2
Organizations looking for a comprehensive ATS + HR suite
Very scalable solution, well-suited for growing teams
Starts at $8/employee/month
No
2,000+
4.2
4.1

Spark Hire

Most Popular
4.4
Small and mid-sized teams building headcount
Strong on collaboration and automation.
Starts at $225 / mo
Yes
6,000+ companies
4.8
4.8

Trakstar Hire

Most Popular
4.0
Medium-sized companies optimizing for efficiency
Offer management tools, like e-signature, are built in
Custom pricing
Yes
3000+ customers
4.3
4.1

Avature

Most Popular
4.1
Enterprise-scale companies exclusively
Combined ATS and CRM to improve user experience
Custom Pricing
Yes
6,500+ companies
4.4
4.2

JazzHR

Most Popular
4.5
Startups and SMBs hiring frewer than 500 per year
Tailormade for SMBs
Starts at $49/month
Yes
9000+ companies
4.3
4.5

iCIMS

Most Popular
4.0
Global enterprises and recruiting agencies
Extra large scale can manage up to 50k candidates
Custom Pricing
No
4,000+ companies
3.9
4.0

Lever

Most Popular
4.0
Enterprise size companies & recruiting agencies
A single platform for ATS and CRM integration
Custom Pricing
No
5,000+ companies
4.3
4.3

VidCruiter

Most Popular
4.6
Large companies hiring 100+ people annually
Has video interviews, ATS, and Quick Apply
Custom Pricing
No
100,000+ users
4.7
4.8

SmartRecruiters

Most Popular
4.0
Mid to large-sized companies wanting an all-in-one HR tool
Candidate assessment, skill testing, and offer management
Custom Pricing
Yes
5,000+ companies
4.2
4.0

BambooHR

Most Popular
4.6
Hybrid and remote teams with high volume hiring needs
ATS built for volume hiring nested in popular HR suite
Custom Pricing
Yes
30,000+
4.5
4.4
Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

Need Help? Get Custom Recommendations for Best Applicant Tracking Systems

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Detailed Reviews of the Best Applicant Tracking Systems

Pinpoint

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Pinpoint
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.5 / 5

Why we picked Pinpoint

Pinpoint is a sophisticated ATS with a sleek and intuitive user interface that offers numerous integrations. One standout feature is its career site builder, which is built specifically for in-house talent acquisition and HR teams at rapidly expanding companies.

PROS

  • Pinpoint is an agile ATS that is highly customizable and values collaborative hiring.
  • It’s got a simple and transparent pricing structure.
  • Pinpoint offers unlimited jobs and team members in all of its plans.
  • Their customer service team is highly praised by users.
  • The career site builder is very robust, allowing teams to attract and convert the right talent.
  • There are over 100 HR software integrations to choose from, and Pinpoint’s team is adding 3-5 every month.
  • Pinpoint is an agile ATS that is highly customizable and values collaborative hiring.
  • It’s got a simple and transparent pricing structure.
  • Pinpoint offers unlimited jobs and team members in all of its plans.
  • Their customer service team is highly praised by users.
  • The career site builder is very robust, allowing teams to attract and convert the right talent.
  • There are over 100 HR software integrations to choose from, and Pinpoint’s team is adding 3-5 every month.

CONS

  • The employee onboarding module costs extra
  • Cost prohibitive for budget-conscious teams
  • No free version or free trial offer
  • The employee onboarding module does cost extra.
  • It isn’t the best fit if you’re looking for the cheapest ATS.
  • There isn’t a free trial or free version at this time.
Screenshot of Pinpoint Applicant Tracking System Showing Latest Jobs and Candidates by Stage

Pinpoint Review

Pinpoint has been the talk of the town in the applicant tracking system space for having one of the best feature-set an ATS could have built in. We tested the ATS to see that for ourselves, and here is what we found:

We agree with the majority of users that Pinpoint is friendly to both the recruitment team and candidates. The ATS is easy to set up and has a clean UI, with useful automation and a straightforward career site builder. Non-IT users can easily customize career pages. When there are any questions popping up in their heads, there’s a customer support team they can reach out to via live chat, phone, and email and get help quickly.

Another highlight of Pinpoint’s ATS is its employee referral tool. The platform has done a great job of making the referral process simple and transparent to all team members by notifying them of available referral roles, plus links they can share with their network by just copying and pasting. The tool will also keep track of how many candidates they referred and how much they’ve made from referrals in the platform for review.

Pinpoint’s integration capability is quite impressive. It has over 100 pre-built integrations and also offers open API. However, bespoke integration is available exclusively for Enterprise plan users. As for use cases, while ATSs, like Manatal, have lower pricing and are more favored by recruiting agencies, Pinpoint is a favorite for in-house recruitment at mid sized businesses and fast-growing teams.

Pinpoint Customers

CoinShares, Pathways Global, Grant Thornton, Icario, Pivot Energy.

Pinpoint Pricing

  • Pinpoint pricing starts at $600 monthly when billed annually.
  • Teams wanting enterprise features, such as multi-page career sites, multi-lingual support, custom integrations, and help on data migrations, will start at $1,200 per month.
  • Discounts are available for startups with fewer than 50 headcounts.

Best For

Pinpoint is a wonderful ATS for in-house recruitment for growing teams (at least 30 openings per year). It’s also a great choice for businesses looking to increase recruiting team productivity through a better career site, talent CRM, and integrations with their favorite HR Tech.

Pinpoint in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

We use Pinpoint daily, it's an ATS, so it does the typical things an ATS does. This includes, creating career pages on our corporate website that explains some basics about Article, and allows a candidate to decide if they’d they feel they’d be aligned to working with us.

On the career site, all the open jobs are visible for potential candidates to see. They can then decide to apply, upload a resume and fill in some basic info. On our side of the ATS, we create the jobs that are posted - designing the interview flows, application questions, and scorecards, then advertising them to the selected job boards.

We use Pinpoint to evaluate the viability of applicants, referrals, and candidates we source, being a single point of truth. Once candidates are selected to proceed, we use Pinpoint to move through the interview process, giving the hiring manager visibility into the hiring process.

For candidates, we use Pinpoint to schedule and communicate with candidates, who are selected for this process, but also to reject those candidates who are not. There is a lot more of course but this is a basic walk-through, and I’d assume if you’re reading this, you have a good idea of what an ATS does.

What do you like about this tool?

They're an ATS that is ascending, and not coasting on reputation; they've continuing to evolve, with new useful features, and integrations quickly rolling out.
Overall, I’d argue that Pinpoint puts candidates first, with easy applications and great branded communication. Adding to this, candidate-centric design is the built-in self-scheduling for interviews, and including a candidate NPS score - this is key to letting my team and I understand the candidate experience.

The new automation feature they launched where you can create rejection emails based on application questions has saved my team a lot of time by not having to screen candidates who do not meet minimal requirements, currently, this is about 29% of applications. We have been creating custom rejection emails for each automation, this allows the candidate to know specifically why they were rejected, and if they answered the application incorrectly by mistake, allow them to reapply.

I’m also a fan of their pronoun feature, which allows candidates to share their preferred pronouns. Little touches can make a huge difference when building inclusive hiring practices.

They continue to have fantastic support and as a partner, they really care about my team and our success. Adding to this are the people they hire, who are really great and it makes interacting with them so much easier.

With less talk/hype and more substance, you can tell they focus on the product and customers, not on the hype marketing machine jumping on whatever the trendy topic is.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We have used Pinpoint for 2+ years now, with a TA team that was quickly growing (we’d have over 20 users at peak). As an organization, we had just started hyperscaling, and we end up growing over 3x in under 18 months.

As we started on this journey, I quickly found that the ATS we were using, couldn’t keep it up. It was, designed for SMBs and smaller recruitment teams. One of the biggest pain points was it lacked the ability to reject candidates through an anonymous email, instead, when candidates were rejected it came from each recruiter's email - given the volume of applicants, this solution was not feasible and would lead to a poor candidate experience.

Additionally, the previous ATS ecosystem was small and wasn’t growing quickly, and it lacked the ability to build a career site out of the box.

We also needed the ATS to be easy to use, not just for the recruiters, but also, for the number of new hiring managers who would quickly need to understand how to use the ATS. This made the case to look replace the old ATS clear, we made a scorecard and started to evaluate our ATS options, ultimately landing on Pinpoint.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • Some of the UI/UX could be improved, particularly when you're screening large volumes of candidates, minor but it would be helpful.
  • Because it lacks a deep integration into LinkedIn, we need to use LinkedIn’s “job wrapping” feature.
  • The newer automation feature is really powerful, however, setting them up requires too many clicks, it’s not a huge deal, but it could be made smoother.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

Much easier application process than most ATSs, making it very candidate friendly. Overall, they nail the mid-market really well, with enough features, integrations, and reporting, but they’re not hard to use and overly cumbersome compared to big ‘enterprisey’ ATSs.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

When selecting an ATS I’m a proponent of using the following ranking:

  1. Candidate experience, regardless of the market, the best talent will always have options, if the application experience and communication experience is poor, they’ll choose to work elsewhere
  2. Recruiter experience since they use the tool the most. If they don’t like it, or it’s overly complex they’re going to work around it, rather than through it
  3. Hiring manager experience, will they log in, and actually use it
  4. Support, if I have an issue will it get resolved?
  5. Ecosystem/ integrations, an ATS should not do everything, rather it’s the hub to connect point solutions with
How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?
  • I'm a huge fan of how they rolled out candidate pronouns, allowing candidates to share their preferred pronouns when applying.
  • Multiple new integrations have been launched.
  • Much faster page loading response times from when we first rolled it out.
What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Mid-sized to enterprise organizations.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I'm not sure. Maybe small companies that don't have a dedicated HR team.

Ashby

Visit Website
Ashby
Learn More
Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Ashby

Ashby offers the entire recruiting tech stack: ATS, CRM/Sourcing, Scheduling, and Analytics—great first ATS for SMBs or those needing to consolidate their HR and TA stacks.

PROS

  • Analytics dashboard with crucial statistics on all aspects of your hiring process.
  • Flexibility and ability to customize across almost all aspects of the platform.
  • Consolidated ATS, CRM, Scheduling, and Analytics.
  • Your TA team can have one system that truly has best-in-class options for ATS, CRM, Scheduling, and Analytics.
  • Flexibility and ability to customize across almost all aspects of the platform
  • Their analytics dashboard is great to understand weaknesses in your hiring process, conducting capacity planning, or determining which teams are running suboptimal hiring processes.

CONS

  • This is a powerful product, and understanding all the different features can take some time.
  • No multi-lingual support.
  • Your company must use G Suite to make the most of Ashby.
  • Your company must use G Suite in order to make the most of Ashby
  • No multi-lingual support
  • This is a powerful product, and it can take a bit of time to understand all the different features

Ashby Review

Ashby makes it easy to re-engage with former applicants: a unique class of primed, familiar, and pre-vetted talent pool members. Some candidates may be silver medalists or applicants who made it to the offer stage, and others may possess a unique skill or trait. Ashby can create custom attributes to filter the talent pool, so you’ll never lose touch with “good fit, bad timing” candidates. Ashby is an outrider in their focus on this function.

Ashby Customers

Ashby has done a great job of signing on fast-growing technology companies as their first cohort of customers. This includes Notion, Deel, Figma, and many more.

Ashby Pricing

If you’re considering buying different ATS, CRM, scheduling, and analytics solutions, your total ownership cost is likely much lower with Ashby than buying these individually.

  • $3,600/year for up to 10 employees
  • $8,600/year for up to 100 employees
  • 100+ employees, as quoted

Best For

While not a fit for super-sized companies (3,000+ employees), this tool is excellent for small and mid-sized teams needing their first ATS or looking to consolidate their HR and TA tech stacks.

Ashby in action
Reviewer's Rating
10/10

I use Ashby for candidate tracking and management, interview set up, feedback collection, and reporting. We use Ashby for all of our open roles. We also manage our job board through Ashby. I use Ashby's email collection tool when sourcing on LinkedIn, and we integrate with Hireflow for sourcing. We also integrate with Rippling for offer letters, background checks, and onboarding new hires.

What do you like about this tool?

I love the easy, intuitive UI. Their customer success team is very quick to respond and helpful. I also like the custom reporting features.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Price, easy UI, 2+ years

What do you dislike about this tool?

I think duplicating jobs and updating interview flows can get a little clunky. Same with integrating with Google Calendar.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Cheaper but does all of the same things, I'm an Ashby convert from Greenhouse!

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Cost, reporting needs, easy UI and integration with other tools are all key features when evaluating any ATS tool. In my opinion, Ashby is a modern, clean, easy to use ATS that won't break the budget.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Since I've started using it, they've added a lot of features, especially with LinkedIn recruiter and importing candidate profiles. Scheduling and reporting have improved as well.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Startups/smaller companies

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I don't know if it wouldn't necessarily be a good fit, but not sure how large of an organization they've ever supported.

Recruitee

Visit Website
Recruitee
Learn More
Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.5 / 5

Why we picked Recruitee

Recruitee is special for bringing features to leverage internal referrals and combat bias. Being a collaborative and user-friendly ATS that supports month-to-month pricing just makes the platform a perfect option for SMBs.

PROS

  • Recruitee is highly rated for its ease of use and customizable recruiting pipeline.
  • Recruitee provides features to combat bias: interviewers cannot see each other’s evaluations.
  • Recruitee just launched an AI-powered tool to help businesses craft job descriptions for specific target candidates.
  • In addition to LinkedIn, the platform can connect and post open positions across 1,500 job boards.
  • Recruitee’s pricing is transparent. A free trial is available without card info required.
  • No limits on the number of users applied to all Recruitee plans.
  • Pro: Recruitee is highly rated by customers for its ease of use. The majority of them are able to implement and get on with the software without much hassle. 
  • Pro: Recruitee features a customizable, kanban-like recruiting pipeline. Companies can add as many stages as needed to the pipeline and move candidates easily as they progress through the stages. 
  • Pro: Recruitee incorporates some measures to reduce hiring bias. For example, you can adjust the permission level for your interviewers and prevent them from seeing the scores each of them are assigning to the same candidate. This way, they won’t be influenced by each other's evaluations.

CONS

  • Recruitee relies on third-party integrations for some essential functions like skill assessments, onboarding, video interviewing, and e-signatures.
  • Our user researchers had trouble with the reporting function, which occasionally did not retrieve data accurately.
  • Some users noted Recruitee’s support team was hard to reach.
  • Its pricing went up from our last review of the software.
  • Con: Several functions that are advertised on Recruitee’s feature list, including skill assessments, onboarding, video interviewing, and e-signatures are not actually built into Recruitee and are only possible through integration with third-party tools, which can be misleading to potential users, especially if it’s their first ATS. 
  • Con: Several users noted that the Recruitee’s reporting function is limited and at times, doesn’t retrieve data accurately. 
  • Con: Several users have complained about Recruitee’s support team being slow in responding, and at times, not able to solve issues. 
  • Con: For a product that’s geared towards SMBs, it lacks a free plan that businesses who are just getting started with ATSs can use for as long as they need, without any time constraints. We list this as a con as several solutions in this space do offer free-forever plans and similar feature sets as Recruitee, which puts it slightly behind the competition to users.
Screenshot of Recruitee ATS Software Showing Active Talent Pool

Recruitee Review

Recruitee is best for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a collaborative and user-friendly ATS. The platform got it right with its interface and user experience, as several users and ourselves do find it super easy to navigate and facilitate collaboration among recruiters and hiring managers. What makes collaboration more efficient through Recruitee is that you can add as many users to the ATS as you’d like, regardless of the plan you purchase, without paying extra.

While we love how effortless it is to get familiar and comfortable with the platform, you won’t find built-in features for video interviews, skill assessments, offer management, and onboarding in Recruitee. Hence, this isn’t a one-stop shop where you can find everything for your recruitment needs. The ATS instead leans toward outsourcing some of the parts by offering Recruitee Marketplace; a collection of third-party tools they know to work great in tandem with their platform. However, not everyone is a big fan of having several vendors for what is arguably the same use case. So we recommend you bear this in mind when doing the software ROI comparison.

Recruitee Customers

Semrush, Mark and Spencer, Transcom, Taco Bell, Toyota, Asus, Livestorm, Rakuten.

Recruitee Pricing

Recruitee offers custom plans based on the number of active jobs and other particular needs. The ATS has three pricing plans:

  • Launch starts at $269 per month
  • Scale starts at $479 per month
  • ‍Lead has custom pricing.

Best For

Though companies of different sizes (outside of large enterprises) can find value in Recruitee’s offering, we feel that it is capable of supporting medium-sized businesses best with its current feature set.

Recruitee in action
Reviewer's Rating
10/10

I use Recruitee every day, the whole day! It's such a great system to track candidates and it's all in one place. I can contact candidates and it's all recorded. Each candidate has a profile, I can upload documents (offer letters, employment applications, etc.) I can text candidates using another system called JustCall, everything in one place! I can create a website through Recruitee! I can directly share open jobs via Rectuitee on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

What do you like about this tool?

I like how easy it is to understand and use the system. I love the live support they use, they are fast to get back to you. I like how modern the UI is and how updated it is in terms of the latest features and functionalities.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Great question, we have been using Recruitee for almost a year now, and it has been the best decision ever. We get to track candidates and offer a smooth hiring process. Before having Recruitee in the house, we were using spreadsheets, which was painful and extremely time-consuming, we couldn't track well without many integrations and automation, and the manual efforts were not productive. This ATS is the best!

What do you dislike about this tool?

Something I hope they can work out better is to get the text messages incorporated faster. They claim to have been working on it for a while, but we don’t really know until it is rolled out. I wish they had more integrations as Paylocity, I believe they are expanding their list. The last thing, I wish they give you more options to change the theme color of the screen and other customization options.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Yes, pricing-wise. Modern and easy to use. I have used other ATSs that are not that easy to use. The integrations at Recruitee are great!

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

They should think about how this ATS offers everything! They are very open to feedback and willing to work on the ideas you might have. This ATS is complete.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Recruitee has helped the company tremendously, it has helped me as a Recruiter and also the Managers. Everyone I know who has used this ATS loves it!

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Recruiting, onboarding, background check. Medium to large-sized organizations can maximize their use cases.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

It wouldn't work for a small company that is not hiring much. This system is only good for a company that is looking to hire constantly, with respect to the costs and advanced functionalities it has.

Teamtailor

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Teamtailor
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Teamtailor

Teamtailor is a great platform for startups and SMBs to build a career page that catches candidates' impressions, do anonymous hiring, run referrals, and nurture campaigns for current and future recruitment needs. Plus, the ATS has been known for its user-friendliness and top-notch customer service.

PROS

  • Teamtailor is easy to use and is accessible via both browsers and mobile devices.
  • Career site builders can be easily customized with a drag and drop mechanism.
  • Features anonymous recruitment and equal employment opportunity (EEO) surveys to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI).
  • Excellent customer service: useful help center and responsive customer support team.
  • Unlimited job postings, candidates, and users for all plans.
  • Offers a free trial.
  • Teamtailor’s ATS comes with a robust career site builder that’s also easy to use. It works with drag and drop - no coding knowledge necessary.
  • Teamtailor backs several features that support diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI), including anonymous hiring, equal employment opportunity (EEO) surveys, etc..
  • ‍Teamtailor is highly rated for their ease-of-use. It’s quite simple to post and promote jobs through their platform.
  • ‍There is really in-depth and intuitive help documentation for this solution

CONS

  • The analytics function is not very customizable.
  • Hyper-focused on ATS and has no offerings for other HR aspects.
  • The customization and video interview features are limited.
  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • Teamtailor’s analytics are good, but enterprise clients need to use BI Connectors to build the reporting they need.  Right now, you can’t sport data from the system.  This is particularly important for companies with 500+ employees, or those who have many different locations or franchises.
  • ‍Analytics doesn’t allow recruiters to see their cost per hire, which is a really impactful metric
  • ‍While they offer integrations with HRIS, onboarding, etc - they have focused on just being a really good ATS now.
  • There are predefined user access levels, but you cannot define your own user access levels which is important, especially for the largest companies.
Screenshot of Teamtailor Applicant Tracking System Showing My Jobs, To Do List and Other Updates.

Teamtailor Review

Teamtailor is a solid option for its affordability and employer branding feature built-in. The cloud-based applicant tracking system has a knack for catering features to help startups and SMBs hire and nurture talent.

Teamtailor puts a heavy focus on helping its users market themselves to candidates. We like the drag-and-drop mechanism built within the career site builder, as it makes it easy for people without a tech background to build attractive career sites for specific talent demographics. There are no limits to the number of users you can add, which is a plus for teams doing collaborative hiring.

We also appreciate that the ATS lets users run referrals and nurture campaigns for current and future recruitment needs. And the fact that the tool has an intuitive UI, a free trial, and support is always easily available makes Teamtailor stand out even more in the ATS space.

However, there are a few aspects where the ATS needs to improve. While offering a range of integration options, some users shared that there were a few hick-ups when they connected Teamtailor with their HR tools. The ATS does allow bulk export, but there is no bulk import option to upload candidates' CVs.

Teamtailor Customers

Kry, Goodbye Kansas, Vitamin Well, Ponsse, Daniel Wellington.

Teamtailor Pricing

  • Teamtailor’s pricing is custom based on customer business size and requirements.
  • For teams under 25 employees, the price typically starts at $3,300.

Best For

Teamtailor works best for startups and SMBs (50-400 employees) that require a powerful but straightforward ATS.

Teamtailor in action
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Manatal

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Manatal
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Popularity Score
4.5 / 5
User Score
4.8 / 5
Product Score
4.9 / 5

Why we picked Manatal

Manatal made our top ATS list because it's budget-friendly, AI-equipped, and offers transparent pricing—no need to call a sales rep just for a ballpark figure.

PROS

  • Among the most affordable ATS options in the market.
  • Offers a 14-day free trial.
  • Easy to use with drag-and-drop enabled pipelines.
  • Native AI-based recommendations feature.
  • Web-based, so it works on multiple devices.
  • Free data migration from your existing hiring software.
  • Transparent and flexible pricing.
  • Manatal is quite affordable and offers a 15-day free trial for users to test it out before making commitments.
  • Manatal is fairly easy to use. It features drag-and-drop enabled pipelines for candidate organization.
  • Manatal’s AI-based recommendations feature can save hiring managers quite a bit of time. It’s able to scan job descriptions then search a users talent pool and bring up candidates most suited for the job.

CONS

  • The AI recommendations feature only works well in languages other than English.
  • No free plans.
  • Integrations happen at the API level, making this a relatively technologically complex platform.
  • API and Zapier integrations are restricted to top-tier plans.
  • Boolean Search and Advanced Search cannot be used together.
  • The AI recommendations feature works best with resumes that are in English, and doesn’t work as accurately with other languages according to several users’ feedback. Several users have also complained about Manatal’s interface only being available in English and that career pages cannot be published in languages other than English and Spanish. 
  • Manatal doesn’t offer a free plan. We mention this as a con as several SMB-geared ATSs do offer a free-forever verison, and that puts Manatal slightly behind competition. 
  • Manatal doesn’t offer prebuilt integration modules. They do have an open API that allows users to plug in third-party products and custom tools, but that required a bit more time and technical knowledge to accomplish. It’s also worth mentioning that only Custom plan customers can access Manatal’s API and Zapier integration. Customers on the Professional and Enterprise plan cannot.
  • Users can search for candidates via Boolean Search or Advanced Search, but cannot combine the two search methods together. E.g users cannot use the Boolean search operators (AND, OR and NOT) within Manatal’s Advanced Search tab.
Screenshot of Manatal Applicant Tracking System Showing Candidate Applications Received on Their ATS portal

Manatal Review

Manatal has earned a spot on our top ATS list. As HR professionals, we understand the importance of finding the right talent efficiently, and Manatal has proven to be a valuable tool in this regard.

The first on our thumbs-up list: it’s budget-friendly. We appreciate the transparency in pricing, as there is no need to go through the hassle of contacting a sales just to get a ballpark figure. The platform offers a 14-day free trial.

Using Manatal was straightforward, thanks to its user-friendly interface and the convenience of drag-and-drop-enabled pipelines. We found the AI-based recommendations feature to be a time-saver. By scanning job descriptions (JDs) and comparing them to the user's talent pool, it identifies the most suitable candidates.

Manatal is web-based so it can be compatible with multiple devices. The ability to migrate data from our existing hiring software was also a welcome feature that made for a smooth transition.

We encountered a few limitations during our evaluation. The AI recommendation feature does not operate well in languages other than English, and Manatal lacks a free version. Integration is pretty limited, and API and Zapier integrations are restricted to top-tier plans.

Manatal Customers

Unilever, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, Ogilvy, Toyota.

Manatal Pricing

Manatal has three plans. When billed annually:

  • Professional: This plan costs $15 per user per month for up to 15 jobs per account and 10,000 candidates. Customers on this plan can add unlimited guests.
  • Enterprise: This plan costs $35 per user per month for unlimited jobs per account and unlimited candidates and guests.
  • Custom: Everything in Enterprise plus custom features, integrations, and support.

Best For

Manatal is particularly well-suited for SMBs seeking an effective and affordable applicant tracking system.

Manatal in action
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ClearCompany

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ClearCompany
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked ClearCompany

ClearCompany has been around since 2004, but its product has evolved to remain relevant. It is a solid platform that works well in today’s workplace.

PROS

  • A comprehensive suite of HR solutions that can be purchased individually and work well together.
  • According to several users, the UI is intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • Some customers reported a smooth implementation experience.
  • Speedy and helpful responses from the customer support team.
  • ClearCompany offers a host of HR solutions that work well with another. You can choose the solution you need or combine them all to have a comprehensive talent management platform in your stack. 
  • The majority of users find ClearCompany’s interface to be quite intuitive and easy to navigate. 
  • Many users have highly rated ClearCompany’s support team for speed and quality of response. Several users have also reported a smooth implementation experience.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing, no free trials.
  • Some users noted that the reporting feature could be more extensive in terms of customizations.
  • The candidate search function is reported to be somewhat unreliable.
  • No mobile apps, though the platform is well-optimized for mobile web use both for hiring managers and candidates.
  • ClearCompany’s pricing is not readily available on their website. You also can’t create a trial account on your own from the website and have to go through the sales team for more info. 
  • Some users felt that the reporting feature is limited in customizations.
  • According to a few users, the candidate search function doesn’t always bring up the correct candidate(s) and could use some improvement.
  • ClearCompany doesn’t currently have a mobile app, but the platform is well optimized for mobile use both for hiring managers and candidates.
Screenshot of Clear Company Applicant Tracking System Showing Team Goals and ATS Features

ClearCompany Review

ClearCompany is a one-stop shop when it comes to hiring. Users can purchase the ATS independently or with other features like onboarding, recruiting, and talent management.

The ATS’s UI is aesthetically pleasing, and its dashboard layout is easy to navigate. We’ve also seen positive user feedback on ClearCompany’s onboarding solution. It can send offer letters, collect electronic signatures, and bulk-onboarding candidates.

While they offer almost every core feature a user could ask for, some are less refined than one might hope. For example, users report issues with candidate search, automation, and reporting functions.

ClearCompany Customers

ClearCompany’s customer list includes known names such as Chick-fil-A, Goodwill, Axiom Bank, Bios, FlixBrewHouse, and Halco.

ClearCompany Pricing

The software has custom pricing. Quotes are based on company size and customizations.

Best For

Non-profits, government agencies, and businesses across different industries can benefit from ClearCompany. Yet, medium and large-size organizations will likely make the most out of the ATS.

ClearCompany in action
Reviewer's Rating
10/10

An organization can choose the cadence at which they require employees to set new goals and make progress reports. Whenever I finish a goal, I login and mark my goal complete. Only employees connected to that goal can see my progress, notes I have added regarding that goal, and if that goal has been completed. It is very quick and easy to create a new goal or make an update. I would say I login about once or more a month. But another company may only require employees to login at year end during performance review time. It is up to how the company uses the software.

What do you like about this tool?

Easy to use and navigate for anyone including those technologically challenged. Easy to set up a performance review from the backend perspective. Lastly, I like how an entry level employee can see how their goals are vertically integrated into the top goals/company's strategic plan. I believe this visibility helps all employees understand the end goal better and that they are an important part of a bigger goal.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

I have used ClearCompany for less than a year and am happy with the ease of the product. Our company was looking for a performance review system that was more integrated and connected to our strategic plan. Our company bought ClearCompany because of the many features, advantages, and benefits the product offered over our past performance review provider. One key benefit was the platform provides transparency on the progress of an individual's goal(s) and the team's goals. The organization as a whole can see goals the top executives set for the term and how each contributor's goals vertically connect to supporting those top goals.

What do you dislike about this tool?

I did not care for the performance review builder where they use job descriptions from a prebuilt template. I thought the template was incomplete and lacking in descriptions of job functions/responsibilities. Also, if an organization's goal is to build individual performance reviews for each position, using this software may be very time consuming. This software is better for a standard template review process for groups of employees. Building the review template is not quick because it takes time to learn how to build it first.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

The visibility into a company's goals and others goals is different (and nice). Employees can congratulate others and make comments when their peer's goals are achieved, which is different and a positive employee engagement tool. There is the capability to create more customized performance reviews, if willing to put in the time. There is also the capability to "set it and forget" when creating a performance review. The system will notify an employee/manager when it is time for their review.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

A company should identify their needs first. They might not need this comprehensive performance management tool. They should think about what is currently working and what is not working. I suggest making a list with 1. must haves, 2. would likes, and 3. I wish. This list will guide the buying decision.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

They planned to build out the job description feature more.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

An organization where it is critical to the business that everyone in the organization (from the bottom up) knows and understands the company's goals and who is responsible for each subgoal.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

A business that does not like their strategic plan to be known. Or, a business that does not create a strategic plan.

Greenhouse

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Greenhouse
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Popularity Score
4.5 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.6 / 5

Why we picked Greenhouse

Greenhouse is an ATS with a full feature set best suited for midsize and large enterprises that need advanced scheduling, workflow customization, and numerous, seamless integrations with an established HR tech ecosystem.

PROS

  • Greenhouse gets a straightforward UI that is highly customizable and easy to navigate.
  • Greenhouse’s onboarding module is quite comprehensive, making it easy to transition the new hires.
  • Greenhouse can integrate with over 360 third-party solutions for diverse categories.
  • Greenhouse's onboarding feature is built and executed well. New hires transition smoothly from candidate to employee.
  • iOS and Android apps work well for recruiters on the go. Users can review applications, schedule interviews, view candidates' profiles, and more.
  • 450+ third-party integrations.

CONS

  • Undisclosed prices, no free trial.
  • The reporting feature can be challenging to navigate.
  • The in-person support could take a while to respond, some users noted.
  • Greenhouse’s pricing is undisclosed, and they do not offer a trial version.
  • Some users note that reporting customization is quite limited and difficult to navigate.
  • In-person/live support could be improved.
Screenshot of Greenhouse Applicant Tracking System Showing Jobs and Their Status

Greenhouse Review

Greenhouse has always been highly rated by our editorial team. It’s also consistently praised for its ease of use and time-saving features by the several users we talk to when it’s time for an update on the tool.

The dashboard represents exactly the longstanding ATS’ name — a greenhouse. It is very easy on the eyes and lets us have an overview of the fresh candidates that need our attention. From there, you can look at upcoming interviews, applications to review, task status overviews, and links to guide you on each stage of the recruitment process.

Creating jobs on Greenhouse is a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly pre-built templates. The standout feature we loved during the software demo was the highly customizable hiring workflow. With simple drag-and-drop functionality, we could modify each step, rename stages, and specify interview focus areas. Collaborative hiring is also easy, as multiple team members can contribute with defined roles. This fosters transparency and minimizes communication hurdles among hiring managers, recruiters, and stakeholders. Standard qualification criteria for each stage ensure evaluators follow the guidelines, providing confidence in decision-making and valuable insights for process improvement.

We also love how the ATS takes care of its integrations. Greenhouse is by far one of the most powerful ATS regarding its integration capabilities. It has partnered with over 360 HR tools in various categories. Moreover, the integration process is simple and free of charge.

However, some users said the reporting feature is not very easy to navigate. While the platform doesn’t disclose its pricing, according to our research, the ATS can be a bit pricey to budget-conscious businesses and teams that don’t hire frequently.

Greenhouse Customers

HubSpot, DoorDash, Dropbox, Wayfair.

Greenhouse Pricing

Greenhouse offers three plans, and the pricing is based on the company’s total headcount.

The standard contract is a one-year prepaid subscription, and discounts are available for two and three-year prepaid agreements.

  • Essential: Core features and one event.
  • Advanced: Everything from Essential, plus custom reporting, scalable workflows, and ten events.
  • Expert: Everything from Advanced, plus upgraded CRM, enhanced security, developer sandbox, DEI feature set, and unlimited events.

Best For

Growing teams and midsize to large enterprises are likely to benefit the most from Greenhouse.

Greenhouse in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

Every company is different, but we typically approve the headcount outside of Greenhouse with finance and then use the greenhouse approval system to check that everything is correct before posting. From there, we use it as our central hub to post jobs, most are auto-linked to job boards, but I like that we can create custom links for unique situations like sharing a posting to a specialty board. From there, we can handle all resume reviews, scheduling and conducting interviews, offer approvals, and offer letter creation and sending. What is nice is Greenhouse integrates with our HRIS, so once an offer is accepted, we can export the candidate data directly to the HRIS.

What do you like about this tool?

Greenhouse is very customizable; I like that we can adjust our rejection reasons, scorecards, email templates, etc. I appreciate that it is very self-contained, meaning with the right integrations, you can pretty much do everything from within Greenhouse itself; you don't need to switch from different apps much. I also like their support; they have a robust self-help and self-guided support platform and very quick and helpful live support.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We had previously been using another ATS that did not allow for much customization of stages, rejection reasons, scorecards, etc. and did not have very robust reporting features. I like that Greenhouse has lots of integration partners, full customization options, and great pre-made reports with custom reporting options. I have been using it for over 5 years and have to say it is my favorite ATS.

What do you dislike about this tool?

There is not a lot I don't like about Greenhouse; I think it's a great ATS. One area I do prefer about some other ATS is the resume disposition flow; with Greenhouse, there is a pop-up every time you want to disposition a resume, and you have to select the reason every time from a dropdown, with some others, you can choose a reason for the first person and from there it just saves and stays the say unless you change it. While they do have a lot of integration partners, you are somewhat limited as well, for example with signatures, you only really have Docusign as a natural integration, so if you use anyone else then you are going to have to do offer letters manually outside the system.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Greenhouse is much more customizable. Some competitors don't allow you to make custom reports, custom rejection reasons, custom interview flows, custom approvals, etc. So for that reason, I much prefer Greenhouse whenever I enter a new Greenhouse environment. At the same time, it looks similar; it is entirely bespoke to the needs of that individual company.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Do you need an ATS yet? It is expensive, so I would consider how much hiring you are doing. Who will manage this and implement it? The implementation can be lengthy and requires a significant time investment; even afterward, you will need someone internally to work the system. Otherwise, it will quickly lose all order. Do I need all these features and customizations? If you don't, going for a cheaper alternative may make sense.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

They have added a nice self-scheduling feature; it replaces the need to integrate Calendly for interviews. They often send feedback requests and surveys, so it is nice to know they always look for ways to improve. They send newsletters out to update any changes.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Someone who wants a customizable ATS with lots of features. You likely need to be rather comfortable with using different software to be comfortable in Greenhouse, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of things you can do with it.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

If you do not have any dedicated recruiters or if you don't need lots of features or customization, then you likely don't need Greenhouse.

Rippling

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Rippling
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Popularity Score
4.2 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Rippling

Rippling is known for their uniformly solid platform, so after test-driving their newly updated ATS module, we weren’t surprised to discover it’s intuitive to use, intelligently built, and succinctly integrated with their HRIS environment.

PROS

  • The transition from candidate to employee is nearly seamless, with minimal manual data transfer.
  • Mobile app for recruiters on the move
  • Candidate friendly with no account creation required
  • Intuitive UI and intelligent workflows
  • Job board integration
  • All-in-one platform for employee management + PEO services offered, and even a suite of other IT products 
  • With 500 integrations, it’s very likely that they integrate with other key tools from your tech stack.
  • Operates globally with any currency
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics opportunities
  • Provides a holistic view of company outflows—headcount costs included

CONS

  • Not offered as a standalone product
  • US-centric, but globally focused-updates are in the pipeline
  • Users report occasional issues with the mobile app
  • Some users report that customization options are limited
  • Total buy-in to Rippling is essential 
  • Very SMB-oriented, in case you’re a larger company. 
  • New features tend to be buggy in ways that tech teams are not accustomed to fixing

Rippling Review

Ripplings ATS offers intelligent, intuitive workflows built into dozens of features and automation.

Typically, when an HRIS adds an ATS to their suite, it’s a half-hearted afterthought. Many are perfunctory, underpowered, and can easily be out-classed, even by mediocre standalone ATS platforms.

Rippling has built a reputation based on solid product choices, and this one is no exception.

Their ATS is fully built out and offers a feature set that would be a viable standalone product if it weren’t so nicely intertwined with the rest of the Rippling platform.

Based on what’s included, it is clear that they’ve considered the candidate's experience. Little touches, like including text messages to connect with candidates, show that they are aware that personal preferences matter. Another nod to the candidate experience (and what you can learn from it) is the abundant, customizable, anonymous surveys. Rippling clearly sees the connection between their public reputation and their candidate experience.

Even with all these candidate-focused features, Rippling hasn’t lost touch with the needs of the people who will use their product most: busy TA/HR teams hiring for SMBs and startups. 

Though demand generation is still on the roadmap, elements of their recruiting feature are laudable. It automatically integrates job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, and Zip Recruiter.

Finally, mobile access is a nice touch for busy recruiters, and their open API partnerships with vendors outside their platform leave little to be desired.

For years, companies have had to choose between the superior performance of standalone ATS solutions and the efficiency and security of all-in-one platforms. With Rippling’s ATS, companies who chose the all-in-one solution no longer have to rely on an external ATS.

Rippling Customers

Bank of America, Motorola, Citigroup, Inc., Dwell, Superhuman, Expensify, Checkr

Rippling Pricing

Rippling pricing starts at $8 per user per month for HR Unity, but the ATS is made available on a higher tier plan (HR Cloud) with undisclosed pricing.

Best For

Though the platform itself and the ATS module is used most by companies with 25 to 150 employees, it can support the needs of much larger teams.

Rippling in action
Reviewer's Rating
10/10

I help with recruiting and other HR stuff here at Tatem. While I am no longer a part of this as my role has expanded into marketing, I formerly used Rippling to manage employee payments, write, edit, and send employee contracts, get employee signatures on legal documents, make approved changes to employee and company profiles, and more. Now I just use it as a non-administrator employee and it's equally great. I also loved using the apps for insurance for Tatem.

What do you like about this tool?

It's incredibly easy to use and has a great customer experience. The customer support is excellent, always very responsive, and helpful. They have so many functionalities and features available, from insurance to legal documents.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Our founder used Rippling in his former company and had had a good experience with it. We tried Gusto due to all the hype, but it was a bit hard to use at first. We ultimately returned to Rippling due to its excellent user experience, customer support, and ease of use. It also just seemed to have more features and functionalities available.

What do you dislike about this tool?

Honestly, nothing. Maybe if I had to choose something, I'd say that their design could be a bit more modern or updated, and it'd be great if they had an easy to use mobile app.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Compared to Gusto, Rippling is much more straightforward. Gusto had very poor user experience for first-time users, but with Rippling, I didn't have to wonder what's next. I was able to hop on and begin using it as both an admin and employee.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Rippling is a tool that's comprehensive enough that it will cover every possible HR scenario imaginable. It works for teams of all sizes. It has a responsive support team which you’ll need.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

I feel like they've made product updates along the way to enhance their user experience and ensure there are no glitches. They really focus on creating an excellent, no-fuss UX.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

We're in technology (SaaS), but it could really be good for anything.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

A solopreneur or a one-person team.

Spark Hire

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Spark Hire
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Popularity Score
4.4 / 5
User Score
4.8 / 5
Product Score
4.8 / 5

Why we picked Spark Hire

Spark Hire has packed a massive framework for analytics into a program that looks very simple. The product is easy to navigate and appeals to hiring managers with scarce time and attention.

PROS

  • The user interface is exceptional
  • Data analysis is made to be manageable for any team member
  • Focus on empowering TA teams demonstrated hands-on understanding of users
  • Dedicated support for the entire implementation process

CONS

  • No scaled-down version built for small teams
  • Some candidates dislike working with the AI that services the initial steps of the pipeline, but there’s no AI evaluation involved in the video features.

Spark Hire Review

Spark Hire enables truly collaborative hiring, and that's no easy task. All top-tier ATSs are equal parts powerful and pleasant to use. Spark Hire goes beyond that by providing features that appeal to the entire hiring team, encouraging collaboration across roles, and, ultimately, better hires.

One feature that demonstrates this is the interviewing interface, which provides an impressive amount of context at a glance. Without shuffling papers or trying to manage a dozen open tabs, the candidate’s info, including their position in the pipeline, is organized thoughtfully in a single dashboard. The interviewers can add their thoughts and impressions in real-time directly into the platform.

Another favorite feature is the analytics dashboard. In 2024, the analytics dashboard is a must-have for an ATS. Spark Hire outshines others with notable strengths in both the quantity and quality of data. For example, if a candidate withdraws from the process, it records the point on the pipeline at which they dropped out. This may seem like an obvious feature, but it’s a rare find.

Recruiting Empowerment was also emphasized during our demo. Our writers are all familiar with the relentless dedication it takes for TA teams to keep their heads above water, so we know the value of seamless automation. This ATS knows where digital assistance can help and where a human touch is needed.    Those of us who’ve been part of tiny teams (hello, startup people!) know the frustrations of the lack of good software that works on a miniature scale. Spark Hire isn’t bucking any trends by not offering a price break or a version that can serve startups, but they are missing an opportunity to get close to the next unicorn.

Recruiting Empowerment was also emphasized during our demo. Our writers are all familiar with the relentless dedication it takes for TA teams to keep their heads above water, so we know the value of seamless automation. This ATS knows where digital assistance can help and where a human touch is needed.

Those of us who’ve been part of tiny teams (hello, startup people!) know the frustrations of the lack of good software that works on a miniature scale. Spark Hire isn’t bucking any trends by not offering a price break or a version that can serve startups, but they are missing an opportunity to get close to the next unicorn.

Spark Hire Customers

6000+ including Fiverr, Monday.com, Sodastream, Vimeo, KPMG

Spark Hire Pricing

Spark Hire’s ATS pricing starts at $250/month.

Best For

Spark Hire is the right tool for small and medium-sized companies. The platform is made to grow alongside scaling companies, but small teams holding steady with a minimal headcount are likely to pay for features they don’t use.

Spark Hire in action
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Trakstar Hire

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Trakstar Hire
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.1 / 5

Why we picked Trakstar Hire

Trakstar Hire is highly customizable. The ATS provides a single plan that includes all its features without limits, making it an excellent choice for mid-sized businesses.

PROS

  • Highly customizable workflows that make navigating the hiring process easy.
  • Unlimited job posts.
  • Management must-haves are built-in, letting users create offer letters and collect e-signatures without integrating with other tools.
  • Trakstar Hire’s recruitment workflows are highly customizable. You can edit them as needed to reflect your company’s hiring process. 
  • You can post as many jobs as needed with Trakstar Hire without any limitation. 
  • Trakstar Hire has offer management tools built-in. Users can create offer letters and collect e-signatures within Trakstar Hire without needing to integrate it with third-party tools.

CONS

  • Limited integration options with third-party HRIS and payroll solutions.
  • Several users have noted the sort function did not perform well.
  • All-or-none plan: customers may pay for features they don’t use.
  • No free trials. Undisclosed pricing.
  • Trakstar Hire has limited integration options with third-party HRIS and payroll solutions. 
  • Several users have complained about being unable to sort candidates and search results in an order other than displayed.
  • Trakstar Hire isn’t a scalable platform; they have a single plan, all features included, which means customers may end up paying for features that they don’t need. 
  • Trakstar doesn’t publically list their pricing nor allows visitors to create trial accounts directly from the website, which is unusual for a software solution aimed at mid-market companies.
Screenshot of Trackstar Hire (one of the best Applicant Tracking System) Showing Tasks on ATS Dashboard

Trakstar Hire Review

Trakstar Hire (formally RecruiterBox) is an online ATS for midsize companies. Our experience navigating the platform was quite positive. The platform let us post jobs (unlimited jobs!) on multiple job boards and social media sites, sponsor those listings for maximum visibility, and receive resumes through customizable application forms.

We especially liked that customizing the workflow takes just a few clicks. They’ve done a great job balancing ease of navigation with numerous features and configurations available.

We think you will agree that Trakstar Hire’s automation deserves mention. Once resumes are in, the platform’s resume parser automatically extracts candidates’ details and creates profiles.

The offer management feature is well-made. We especially liked the offer letter templates that were ready to send after just a few tweaks for personalization. The platform also lets us collect e-signatures without third-party integration.

However, when the need arises to connect to a third party, Trakstar Hire’s integration abilities leave much to be desired.

They have covered the basics with the following apps: Namely, BambooHR, Slack, Checkr, QuickBooks, PandaDoc, G Suite, and Outlook/Office 365 Calendar. We hope there are more integrations in the works!

Trakstar Hire Customers

Makita, Couchsurfing, Lonely Planet, Untappd, Quality Ironworks.

Trakstar Hire Pricing

Trakstar Hire has one plan that includes all of its features without any limits. The pricing is custom depending on headcount.

Best For

Trakstar Hire’s current feature set and pricing structure make it best suited for medium-sized businesses who hire regularly.

Trakstar Hire in action
Reviewer's Rating
8/10

We use Trakstar Hire for tracking applicants, compliance, job postings, record keeping of applicants, central database for info sharing internally with hiring managers and hiring teams. HR staff can also easily communicate with employees.

What do you like about this tool?

I like that it is intuitive and easy to use. The fact that it's an all-in-one database that houses compliance, record keeping, communication internally and externally, is a real winner and very helpful.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We were looking for a tool that solves recruiting related compliance. It also needed to include storage capability. Sharing internally was a factor. Another was intuitiveness and ease of use. Compatibility with our performance appraisals was a plus as well.

What do you dislike about this tool?

I dislike that you have to download documents when you only need to view them. It would be nice to be able to just have it open in a new window. There are a few other glitches like this that I wish the company would address.

How is this tool different than their competitors?
What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

For people that are trying to solve many things with an applicant tracking tool, an all-in-one system like Trakstar is a really nice perk to hav

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

They do facelifts to their interface pretty regularly.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

HR people will love this tool, and organizations that hire in teams would find it very helpful

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I don't think anyone would hate this tool but it probably would be less broadly used if only HR people use it and not anyone else in the company

Avature

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Avature
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Popularity Score
4.1 / 5
User Score
4.4 / 5
Product Score
4.2 / 5

Why we picked Avature

With customized workflows for their customer and the candidate, Avature blends the best of ATS and CRM. We love this level of attention to user experience.

PROS

  • A full-fledged ATS with built-in video interviewing, management features, and onboarding solutions.
  • It also has a CRM, allowing TA teams to increase candidate engagement and plan for future hiring.
  • Avature leverages AI with talent matching and candidate ranking.
  • The recruiter mobile app supports offline use.
  • Avature’s solution is quite comprehensive. They have a full-fledged ATS with built-in video interviewing, offer management and onboarding solutions. They also have a CRM, allowing TA teams to amp up candidate engagement and plan for future hiring. 
  • Avature leverages artificial intelligence with features of automatic talent matching and candidate ranking. 
  • Avature comes with a recruiter mobile app that allows key stakeholders to perform several recruiting tasks while on the go. The app also supports offline use, and syncs with the system the next time it’s connected to the Internet.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing. No free trials.
  • The UI can be confusing and takes some time to get used to.
  • The assessment feature is quite elemental compared to other similar platforms.
  • It lacks a built-in reference-checking feature, so users must pay for and integrate third-party solutions.
  • Avature’s pricing is not readily available on their website. They also do not offer a free trial.
  • Several users noted that the UI isn’t intuitive and takes some time to get used to.
  • Avature’s assessment feature is quite basic and isn’t built out enough compared to point solutions in that space. So if you want to test the skills and cultural fitness of candidates, you’d need a third-party solution.
  • Avature doesn’t have an automated reference checking feature built-in. The platform does integrate with third-party solutions that facilitate reference checking, but you’ll have to purchase those solutions too separately.
Screenshot of Avanture Applicant Tracking System Dashboard Showing Active Jobs and New Candidates

Avature Review

The Avature platform allows users to customize dashboards, set up automated workflows, and leverage the power of an all-in-one ATS + CRM.

It is fully customizable to your company’s processes and goals. It allows users to build unique recruiting workflows to suit hiring needs for individual roles or entire departments.

The platform operates through a no-code interface that allows non-technical users to modify the system (with lots of permissions in place). While this level of detail may be overkill for smaller organizations with simple needs, Avature is a solid applicant tracking system for mid-market and enterprises.

Avature Customers

More than 6,500 companies use Avature. This includes Shell, Cisco, L'Oréal, Mondelez, Siemens, and KPMG.

Avature Pricing

Avature pricing is custom, so contact their team for a quote.

Best For

Avature serves enterprise-scale companies best.

Avature in action
Reviewer's Rating
6/10

I use Avature quite frequently. We use the recruiting data and connect it to Tableau to report our recruiting effectiveness. I also use it in preparation of our federal and statutory reporting requirements. As a hiring manager, my use is limited due to when I have an open position. I don't use it as a recruiter.

What do you like about this tool?
  1. It is user friendly, especially for the hiring manager and internal posting process.
  2. The standard reporting capabilities are pretty good.
  3. The option to keep all pre-boarding forms in one place.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

My organization transitioned from Taleo to Avature about 4 years ago. The decision was made due to the reputation of the tool and the pipelining capabilities. I have used this tool for the last 2 years in my role. Taleo is user friendly and is full of options for recruiting. The tool also has some decent reporting functionality.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  1. Custom reporting is difficult to navigate.
  2. The workflow of a job req can be difficult to understand.
  3. The search capability is lacking. 4) The req-number is hard to find in the application.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

I've used Taleo and iCIMS for talent acquisition and above all I preferred the ease of iCIMS. Avature's difficult custom reporting and navigation of job req folders is a turn off for me. iCIMS was highly customizable and worked great for my previous organization..

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

The size of your organization should be considered. I don't think that the cost would outweigh the benefits. Also, if you want to highly customize the tool, it's not worth it.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Somewhat, a recent release showed some improvement in reporting, but overall, it's remained the same over the time period I've used the tool.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

I think if you are a full time recruiter for a large global company, it's a good fit.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

I don't see Avature being that useful for a small market company.

JazzHR

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JazzHR
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Popularity Score
4.5 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.5 / 5

Why we picked JazzHR

JazzHR is great because it’s not trying to be what it’s not: a one-size-fits-all product. This platform is tailor-made for the needs of SMB customers.

PROS

  • JazzHR offers affordable pricing without limitations on the number of users, and it provides free 21-day trials for anyone to try.
  • The platform includes built-in features for offer management, allowing users to choose from existing offer letter templates or create custom ones to share with successful candidates.
  • You can set up triggers for candidates to receive automatic email notifications as they progress through the hiring process.
  • JazzHR is quite affordable and doesn’t place any limits on the number of users added. It also offers free, 21-day trials that anyone can sign up for. 
  • JazzHR has built-in features for offer management. You can choose from existing offer letter templates or create your own and share them with successful candidates
  • You can automate triggers for candidates to be automatically notified via email when their application has moved a stage further in the hiring process. Several other email responses can be automated.

CONS

  • Some users thought the UI wasn’t intuitive, requiring time to become used to it.
  • Despite being aimed at SMBs, JazzHR lacks a free plan, unlike some competing SMB-focused recruiting products that offer free versions.
  • A few users thought reports could be more customizable and easier to create.
  • There currently isn’t a mobile app, and its browser version isn’t well-optimized for mobile use.
  • Some users reported a learning curve with JazzHR's UI and that it took them some time to get used to it
  • For a product geared towards SMBs, it lacks a free plan. We mention this as a con since other SMB-geared recruiting products do offer free-forever versions, which puts JazzHR slightly behind the competition.
  • Several users have mentioned that the reporting feature is difficult to use with very little room for report customizations. 
  • JazzHR currently lacks a mobile app, and the browser version isn’t well-optimized for mobile use.
Screenshot of JazzHR ATS Showing Candidates on Their ATS dashboard

JazzHR Review

JazzHR is an SMB-geared ATS that offers unlimited users across plans, making things easier for businesses to deploy and streamline communicative hiring.

We like how simple it is to sync job posts across portals, and we love the upfront pricing on the website. Many customers start with JazzHR’s lowest-cost plan, and as their needs expand beyond basic features, they often upgrade incrementally. Being able to select features as needed keeps spending under control.

The least expensive plan (Hero) lets users post three jobs— making it suitable for small teams with a few dozen openings yearly. The other two plans (Plus and Pro) have more advanced features to automate, customize, and analyze the hiring process.

JazzHR Customers

JazzHR is used by over 6,500 businesses, including the Seattle Seahawks, L'Occitane En Provence, TED Conferences LLC, and Chick-fil-A.

JazzHR Pricing

JazzHR has three plans. When paid annually:

  • Hero costs $49 per month.
  • Plus costs $239 per month.
  • Pro costs $359 per month.

Best For

JazzHR is specifically built for organizations with 5 to 500 employees. Product users range from the HR expert to HR employees with little to no prior experience in the space.

JazzHR in action
Reviewer's Rating
10/10

I use JazzHR as my interview guide and to share my feedback with other key parties. When I launch the interview guide it will guide me through great questions to ask and allow me to type in their responses and rate what I thought about their response. When you interview dozens of people, your feedback begins to run together after a while. I like that the guide also gives me some direction and consistency in the interview process. I don't have to try to guess what questions to ask and ensure I'm being fair. I also use JazzHR to send offer letters and allow the applicants to e-sign. This makes tracking the hiring process so much easier than completing it manually.

What do you like about this tool?

I like how user friendly it is. I like that you can make offers within the software and track the status of them (have they opened it, have they signed it etc). I like that you are able to see the history of applicants so you know if they have applied previously or at other properties of your organization.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

We bought JazzHR as a means to streamline our hiring process. We had so many hands in the pot, without solid communication and it was a mess! JazzHR is a one stop shop for the hiring process. The interview guide allows you to view questions to ask, and actually provide the answer you were given so that when you are meeting to discuss applicants you can simply pull up the interview notes in a seamless way. You no longer have to wonder who the candidate spoke to, what the feedback was, or even if they've applied previously. You can vote on applicants as a team to get the consensus of who the ideal candidate will be. I have personally used JazzHR for 2 years.

What do you dislike about this tool?

I truly do not have any cons for JazzHR.

How is this tool different than their competitors?
What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Ideal criteria would be ease of access, workflow logistics, is it ideal for my organization size\type. You want your software program to be able to sustain the task at hand. Can you reach someone for support when needed? Do you have 24 hour support? If not, how long do you wait? How long would my ROI take? How quickly can a user complete the process from start to finish? These are all things to consider when buying these types of products.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

They have sped up the hiring process via JazzHR. Now you can post to dozens of job boards in one click just like that! They have replaced the outdated system of hiring that once existed.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Property Management is the area I have used it. We have to hire for over 200 apartment communities. Corporate offices for sure. Large Businesses, Mid size businesses, small businesses.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

None really. Even small offices could benefit from JazzHR because it is cost effective. They have plans as low as $49\month, which would likely be affordable for even the smallest businesses. Even if you are a one man operation, you can use JazzHR to keep up with your notes on applicants.

iCIMS

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iCIMS
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
3.9 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked iCIMS

Unsurprisingly, iCIMS, a massive, global presence serving large companies with high-volume talent management needs, is available in 70+ languages. We're still super-impressed.

PROS

  • A powerful recruiting solution that can handle high-volume hiring of up to 50,000 candidates.
  • Constantly evolving through developments and acquisitions, giving users more features.
  • The reporting feature is robust and retrieves data accurately.
  • iCIMS is constantly expanding its roster of integrations with third-party products. Currently, 300+ and rising.
  • Integrations with most HCM or payroll providers, including Workday, SAP, SuccessFactors, ADP, Oracle, and UKG.
  • iCIMS is a powerful recruiting solution that can handle high volume hiring of up to 50,000 candidates.
  • The platform is constantly evolving through developments and acquisitions, giving users more features.
  • The reporting feature is robust and retrieves data accurately. 
  • iCIMS has a growing marketplace of over 300 integrations with third-party products.

CONS

  • The UI is complex and dated compared to other cloud-based recruiting products.
  • Customer support is sometimes slow and only available by phone or ticket—no live chat support.
  • Though packing many features, it lacks automated reference checking.
  • No transparent pricing and no free trial.
  • The cost of implementation and integration is relatively high compared to other recruiting solutions.
  • A significant number of users complained about the UI’s complexity and that it looks dated compared to other cloud-based recruiting products.
  • Customer support is slow at times and only available through phone and by creating a support ticket online - no live chat support yet 
  • The platform packs an overwhelming amount of features yet still lacks some useful capabilities such as automated reference checking.
  • No transparent pricing or free trials, and according to several users, the cost of implementation as well as integrations is high compared to other recruiting solutions.  
Screenshot of iCIMS Applicant Tracking System Showing Candidate Scores, Hiring Manager Feedback and Job Report

iCIMS Review

iCIMS ATS is feature-rich and well-suited for large, multilingual organizations and high-volume agencies. Users can create custom-branded career sites, employee-generated testimonial videos, and personalized email or text campaigns through the platform.

iCIMS facilitates users in promoting existing employees through internal mobility programs.

iCIMS Customers

iCIMS has over 4,000 customers, including Ulta, Target, Microsoft, PwC, Uber, and UPS.

iCIMS Pricing

Pricing is undisclosed – custom quotes only.

Best For

iCIMS is especially helpful for global enterprises and recruiting agencies with frequent hiring needs.

iCIMS in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

Our HR team uses iCIMS daily. Hiring managers regularly use iCIMS within our organization as well when they have an open role they are recruiting  and screening applicants for. We use iCIMS for posting our roles, screening applicants, processing pre-employment checks, offers, onboarding and more. We also heavily use the functionality to create recruitment campaigns right from iCIMS. Reporting another feature we use frequently and there is a lot of customization in that area.

What do you like about this tool?
  • Moving from a 100% paper process, iCIMS allowed my team to collect applicant information and respond to them (advancing/declining) efficiently and fully electronically.
  • The user experience for our HR team and other staff has been great. It’s very easy to navigate.
  • The continuous improvements done to their offering.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

Our organization bought iCIMS to move from a paper-based process to one that is electronic and all online. We did not have an ATS until iCIMS. When looking at vendors, we were seeking a robust offering that could help us elevate our recruiting efforts. We loved the ability to customize the business processes to our company’s needs and that we can do outreach campaigns right from the software.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • It can be difficult to create custom reports and find them easily when trying to quickly pull information. You have to know very specific prompts and is not very intuitive.
  • The cost of the iCIMS offering.
  • When creating targeted recruitment campaigns, we wish we could incorporate more of our own branding and formatting.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

Overall, it’s an offering that will easily support most organizations recruiting efforts from start to finish. iCIMS focuses on recruiting and onboarding as its primary focus rather than trying to support all areas of HR like many of its competitors. They specialize instead and do it very well!

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

First, evaluate when your organization needs are for a vendor. If you need a vendor to support your recruitment efforts, iCIMS is a wonderful offering! If your company needs a more complex system that provides a full HRIS offering, you may then want to consider alternatives.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

One of the biggest benefits of iCIMS is that they are always looking for ways to innovate and be better. For example, after we partnered with iCIMS they launched a feature to be able to text candidates, which really elevated our experience working with candidates.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Medium and large organizations needing a solution to support recruitment and onboarding efforts.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Smaller organizations or those looking for a more complete solution for a full HRIS.

Lever

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Lever
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.3 / 5
Product Score
4.3 / 5

Why we picked Lever

Lever is a significant player with a distinction earned precisely how one would hope: it works well—a solid choice and a safe bet likely to inspire buy-in across departments.

PROS

  • Lever's UI is very intuitive and easy to learn.
  • With ATS and CRM in a single platform, users can use Lever to fill current positions and nurture prospective candidates.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) surveys help users ensure equal opportunity recruitment.
  • The role-based visual analytics have over 20 key TA metrics.
  • According to most users, Lever's UI is very intuitive and easy to learn.  
  • Lever combines the capabilities of an ATS and a CRM into a single platform that not only supports your current hiring needs but allows you to actively engage and nurture prospective qualified candidates for future roles.
  • Lever takes diversity hiring into consideration with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) surveys that help you collect diversity data from applicants, sourced candidates, and referrals regardless of whether they applied to an open position or not.
  • Lever provides role-based visual analytics with over 20 key TA metrics in its basic TRM package.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • No free plans or free trials.
  • Users must contract with third-party vendors for features like background and reference checks.
  • No mobile app, though their mobile web function works well.
  • Lever doesn't disclose their pricing on their website. Interested users are also not able to create trial accounts on their own. 
  • The platform doesn’t have features for background or reference checking but they do integrate with third-party solutions that specialize in those checks. 
  • Lever currently lacks a mobile app, but the platform is optimized for mobile use.
Screenshot of Lever Applicant Tracking System Showing Job Applications Received in Customer Success Department

Lever Review

Lever does an excellent job of tracking candidates and keeping the hiring process moving. Through the ATS, users can source candidates from multiple channels, including career sites, job posts, automated multi-touch email campaigns, and internally within the company. With Lever's Zoom integration, users can efficiently screen candidates using either structured or live video interviews.

Lever creates a candidate database by keeping track of applicants throughout the pipeline. The database works like a CRM, enabling users to search for and nurture qualified candidates. However, we could have been more impressed with features like sourcing from the ATS database, parsing resumes and generating reports.

Lever offers a good product for the money. Other ATSs may have more and better features, but no other ATS can beat Lever's price.

Lever Customers

Lever is used by over 5,000 companies, including Netflix, Spotify, KPMG, Atlassian, McGraw Hill, and FullStack Labs.

Lever Pricing

Lever offers custom pricing, so users must contact Lever for quotes.

Best For

Lever suits large companies, enterprises, and recruiting agencies with frequent or volume hiring needs.

Lever in action
Reviewer's Rating
9/10

Lever is the best Applicant tracking system which is very user-friendly and systematic. We use Lever to get the applications from candidates. According to the responses we get from candidates, Lever automatically scores the candidates and filters them using the search tool. We can post job descriptions universally, track candidates, and schedule interviews for candidates and panelists via the calendar feature on Lever. There are customizable templates and dashboards available for easy reference of analytics which can help track the entire funnel of the interview stages.

What do you like about this tool?
  • The UI is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and very candidate-centric.
  • The system is so systematic that we can track where the applicant is in which interview stage at one glance.
  • The features help to make faster & better decisions with good quality hires.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

My organization wanted to switch to another ATS from the current one for a better recruiting experience, hence, we bought the Lever tool. My organization wanted to bring out a structured way of interviewing candidates and get an easy overview to understand which stage the candidate is in and the progress of the interview process. We have used it for 4 years and we’re happy with how it helped both our org and the potential candidates with an elevated experience of hiring. The UI of the tool is also very good with easy navigation.

What do you dislike about this tool?
  • Many times Lever cannot detect duplicate candidates, which is annoying.
  • The initial setup on Lever is hard.
  • The tool is a little pricey compared to its competitors in the market.
How is this tool different than their competitors?

Yes I have used Zoho ATS in the past and Zoho is also a very good all-in-one tool. Lever can be integrated with other tools as well. It has great reporting & analytics features which sets it apart.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

People should keep in mind that Lever is an effective tool for candidate experience while applying and also for recruiters to track candidates, capture feedback and create structured interviews and enhance the experiences of users.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Lever now has an additional CRM tool feature which adds another feather to the advantage cap. The candidate surveys and dashboards have also been improvised.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Lever is good to use for organizations with a large employee base where too many stages of interviews are there and a large pool of candidates need to be evaluated, filtered, and shortlisted.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Lever is not that good to use for organizations with less employees, they can opt for other simple ATS where hiring is less frequent.

VidCruiter

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VidCruiter
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Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4.7 / 5
Product Score
4.8 / 5

Why we picked VidCruiter

VidCruiter is known chiefly for video interviews, but the platform also offers a solid ATS solution and Quick Apply, a hit feature with both TA teams and candidates.

PROS

  • VidCruiter can be fully customized for specific recruiting needs.
  • Easy to use for both job seekers and recruiters.
  • Works on all devices. No app installation is needed.
  • Quick Apply feature lets candidates apply directly from Indeed and LinkedIn and auto-syncs the candidate's info to the user’s existing ATS.
  • Dedicated client success manager, 24/7 applicant support,  phone, email, and live chat.
  • Scalable and customizable — users pay for what they need and can purchase more features as they grow.
  • Robust pre-recorded and live video interviewing with advanced automation.
  • Browser-based, so it works across devices without installing apps.
  • Available for recruiters in eight languages and supports job seekers in dozens more.
  • 24/7 live agent support, assigned account manager, and on-demand training.

CONS

  • Some users reported that implementation was time-consuming
  • Advanced search and technical skills testing features within the assessment module leave room for improvement.
  • No trial version, and no price is listed on their site.
  • Because the product is feature-rich and highly customizable, the implementation phase can be time-consuming.
  • Advanced search and technical skills testing features within the assessment module leave room for improvement.
  • No free or trial version.
  • Undisclosed pricing.
Screenshots of VidCruiter (one of the best ATS software) Showing Different Features of their ATS

VidCruiter Review

VidCruiter has been a significant player in the video interviewing software market for years, but the platform is less well-known for its ATS. However, from our research, the ATS proves it is robust enough to be listed among other top vendors in the space.

The platform balances the needs of those on both sides of the interview pipeline. TA teams are well-equipped with highly customizable features like job posting, pre-screening, interview scheduling, and real-time reports, and applicants are met with a user experience that was clearly designed with them in mind.

For a glimpse of team culture, vision, and values, users can build a custom career site that delivers a branded digital experience to candidates. The site editor is simple to use, and in our in-house testing, we managed to set everything up without help from the IT or VidCruiter support team. One feature of note: when a candidate accesses a career page supported by VidCruiter, the platform automatically generates recommendations for jobs available near them.

Quick Apply benefits both employers and candidates. With this feature, TA teams can rev up the hiring process without implementing a new ATS, so it’s perfect for teams on a budget. It is also useful for those counting down the hours left on an ATS contract they don’t plan to renew. For job seekers, the platform offers the convenience of applying directly from portals such as LinkedIn and Indeed.

VidCruiter Customers

VidCruiter is used by over 100,000 recruiters, including Lowe’s, Lionsgate, Samsung, Bears, US Foods, and the United Nations.

VidCruiter Pricing

The price varies based on company specifications, so contacting the vendor directly for a quote is best.

Best For

VidCruiter is a perfect ATS for large companies (U.S. based and otherwise) hiring 100+ people annually, while the VidCruiter Quick Apply tool is an excellent pick for smaller companies that want to streamline their hiring process without going separate ways with their current ATS.

VidCruiter in action
Reviewer's Rating
8/10

Our team uses the software for both live and pre-recorded interviews with candidates. For the most part, we use the pre-recorded function with candidates, allowing them to record themselves answering questions that we have predetermined for their interview. Following their interview, our team spends one day a week, going through all of the applicants that had recorded an interview to be able to quickly make decisions on who we would advance to the next round.

Additionally, within the system, we leveraged a custom rating scale to provide a consistent experience when reading candidates. This really helped our team when considering applicants and measuring them all against the same criteria.

What do you like about this tool?

1. Overall, the ability to offer both live and recorded interviews.

2. The cost of the offering was very reasonable compared to its competitors.

3. The customer service you are able to receive from them when needed on demand is wonderful. They’re very responsive usually within a matter of just a couple of minutes.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

My organization was looking for a way to screen applicants for an initial interview in an effective and efficient manner. Knowing that, we started exploring options for video interviewing both pre-recorded and live.

Through our research, we identified VidCruiter as an option and ultimately was the one that we implemented. We added their software during the pandemic and have used it since. It’s been a great help, and really reduced our screening times through recorded interviews as we have been doing a large amount of hiring.

What do you dislike about this tool?

1. The company is based out of the country, which was not a preference of our organization for security and compliance reasons.

2. Overall, the functionality of the system, as a whole, was a bit more limited than some of its competitor's offerings.

3. The branding of the offering was a little outdated, and wasn’t as modern as some of the alternative options we considered.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

Overall, their offering is reasonably priced software that can be used to accomplish the goal of conducting live or recorded interviews with candidates. 

Many of the other offerings were much more expensive than what we were able to pay. It’s easy to use and the responsiveness of the customer service team is exactly what we needed. Some of the alternatives had much longer wait times in comparison, which we didn’t want to deal with.

It allows us to accomplish exactly what we need without paying a high price and without making our process super complicated for candidates, which we appreciate.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Overall, really determine at the start what you need a software for to help your process. If you are only needing it for basic functions, like conducting a live or recorded interview with candidates, you may find that there are some vendors that offer functionality way beyond that, which may be more than you need.

As a result, this means the price tag of those offerings could be significantly higher, more than you can justify, or are willing to pay. Once you’ve identified what you need and can pay, it really helps narrow down the list of vendors that you can move forward with.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

One of the biggest improvements our organization has experienced in working with them is that they built integrations with other systems that now make our process really smooth.

For example, we utilize Workday for our HRIS and their software integrates smoothly. This wasn’t something we had at the beginning of our experience as a customer, but now have it and it’s really helped become a seamless transition from one software to the next.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Great for an organization that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but that needs an offering that can do basic functionality like live and recorded interviews with candidates. So ideally, the best fit would be for a small or medium size organization.

If you are a large organization, you likely want more personalized branding, a modern look and feel, and a more robust offering than what they can offer.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Very large organizations that want robust functionality, customization, and all the bells and whistles of a product offering. Their product has all the standard functionality that you may want out of an offering, but it is pretty foundational rather than an offering that goes over and above what you would normally need.

SmartRecruiters

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SmartRecruiters
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Popularity Score
4 / 5
User Score
4.2 / 5
Product Score
4 / 5

Why we picked SmartRecruiters

Encompassing solutions beyond the standard candidate sourcing, assessment, and engagement features, SmartRecruiter is an enterprise-grade talent acquisition suite that provides native collaboration and AI-driven functionality.

PROS

  • Candidate assessment, skill testing, and offer management are incorporated within the ATS. No add-ons or integrations are required.
  • Pretty helpful in posting jobs on multiple job boards, integrating social media tools, and facilitating internal recruits.
  • Pre-built integrations with over 500 HR solutions and job boards.
  • Friendly with mobile devices.
  • SmartRecruiters has a built-in candidate assessment and skill testing module that allows you to predict cultural fit, future performance and retention, without needing to integrate third-party solutions. 
  • SmartRecruiters provides features for offer management. You can create offer letter templates, share them with successful applicants, and collect their e-signatures from any device using SmartRecruiters’ DocuSign integration.
  • Speaking of integrations, SmartRecruiters has pre-built integrations with over 500 HR solutions and job boards. You can also ask SmartRecruiters’ team to build additional integrations for you if it doesn’t integrate with products in your tech stack.

CONS

  • Undisclosed pricing.
  • No free trials.
  • Users have reported a steep learning curve and that the UI takes time to get used to.
  • The reporting feature doesn’t always retrieve data accurately.
  • Features like candidate filtering, report customizations, and KPI tracking are limited.
  • SmartRecruiters’ pricing isn’t transparent. Interested users have to go through the sales team to receive a quote. Users are also not able to create trial accounts on their own. 
  • Users have reported a steep learning curve and that the UI takes time to get used to. Some users have also reported that the system can be slow and glitches at times.
  • The reporting feature doesn’t always retrieve data accurately. Some users have also complained that report customizations and KPI tracking capabilities are limited.
  • Candidate filtering is quite limited. As it stands, only basic options such as degree, location, gender etc are provided.
Screenshot of SmartRecruiters Applicant Tracking System Showing Candidate Applications and Their Status

SmartRecruiters Review

SmartRecruiters ATS is built to serve mid-size and large businesses. The platform allows you to cast a wide net with customizable career pages, targeted ad campaigns, and job post distribution to multiple job boards. It also provides features for candidate assessment and offer management.

We've heard from several practitioners that SmartRecruiters are great at taking feedback from their customers and rapidly integrating that into the product.

If you're looking for an enterprise-grade solution that covers applicant tracking needs and then some (CRM, AI screening, recruitment marketing), SmartRecruiters is worth checking out.

SmartRecruiters Customers

Thousands of companies, including Ikea, Visa, LinkedIn, Equinox, and Skechers use SmartRecruiters.

SmartRecruiters Pricing

SmartRecruiters ATS has custom pricing, and so do the other products of the system.

Best For

SmartRecruiters works best for medium and large-sized businesses.

SmartRecruiters in action
Reviewer's Rating
6/10

We used SmartRecruiters every day. The key workflows are as follows,

1) Managing pipeline (reviewing applications, etc.)

2) Interview scheduling (self-scheduling and automatically booking recruiters’ and candidates’ calendars)

3) Candidate scorecards (create forms to put the evaluations of the interviewers more standard, however, that slows down the process and Hiring Managers are late with leaving feedback)

4) Simple data analysis, customized (for example: which sourcing platforms lead to the quickest hiring for some jobs)

5) Job posting and advertising are not really used every day and depend on the hiring needs.

What do you like about this tool?
  • Integration with Office 365 gives an opportunity to connect to Outlook Calendar, which is useful for quickly scheduling the interviews.
  • You can see upcoming interviews on your ATS home page! Quite neat.
  • It is quite easy to build the hiring team of other recruiters and hiring managers that will be involved in the recruitment.
Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

For many years my organization has been using another ATS. However, it has been significantly increasing the price every year. The new goal was to reduce yearly subscriptions by at least 30%. The main benefit that attracted my organization was the possibility to integrate a lot of other business software with ATS. More precisely, having the option to generate a unique link that candidates can use to self-schedule interview time slots, connected with MS Teams link for that call, plus automatically booking Recruiters' Outlook calendars and making it visible on SmartRecruiters candidates' profiles.

At first glance, it seemed that SmartRecruiters offered more features for less price. Unfortunately, the data migration we performed later added a lot to the price.

What do you dislike about this tool?

The price of data migration from other ATS is tremendously high (some scripts had to be written by internal software engineers). It also might take a few months and be incomplete.

To post the job you need to fill in two separate fields: the name of the brand and the name of the company, plus it’s a must to enter the address of the workplace. This I find sometimes inconvenient, especially if a company has many brands, and the position has responsibilities for more than one brand, plus if there are multiple locations for that position.

How is this tool different than their competitors?
  • It is less user-friendly than Recruitee, for example.
  • However, SmartRecruiters automatically generates useful data analytics and visualization.
What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

Will you need to migrate a lot of data from previous ATS? (better not)

Will you need the package that allows many jobs to be posted at the same time (100+?) (in that case, yes)

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

Creating jobs was relatively slow and had many steps; it was simplified after some time.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

It might be better for startups than for corporations.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

If the organization doesn’t have a team of backend software engineers who will support data migration, or hires a lot, SmartRecruiters isn’t a good option.

BambooHR

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BambooHR
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Popularity Score
4.6 / 5
User Score
4.5 / 5
Product Score
4.4 / 5

Why we picked BambooHR

We love BambooHR's ATS because it's truly built to scale. The platform will support your team's HR needs, no matter the pace or direction of your growth.

PROS

  • Offers tailored pricing with the option to scale up in features as needed
  • Free 7-day trials are available.
  • The mobile app works well and offers built-in application review, communication, and collaboration features.
  • Relatively easy to navigate with a clean user interface.
  • Flexible packaging and custom pricing is the way they roll. You can pick out one or two packages and pick other modules as add-ons based on your needs. 
  • Very simple and straightforward tool, easy to use.

CONS

  • Payroll functionality is exclusively limited to U.S.-based employees, which may pose challenges for companies with a global workforce.
  • Customer support availability is restricted to U.S. business hours, potentially causing delays in addressing urgent concerns for international users.
  • Certain modules like time tracking, performance management, and surveys are only accessible as add-ons, requiring additional investment if you’re looking for more HR functionality.
  • Payroll is only available for US-based employees 
  • Customer support is only offered during US business hours.
  • Some modules like time tracking, performance management, and surveys are only available as add-ons.
Screenshot of BambooHR Applicant Tracking System Showing Onboarding Task, Monthly Headcount, Vacation

BambooHR Review

BambooHR’s ATS lets you customize application forms and share job postings across popular job boards and social media sites. Candidate applications are organized for easy reference through every stage of your hiring process. From formal offers to final e-signatures, BambooHR covers it all.

Users can create new hire packets for a smooth onboarding process. With a custom packet, a person’s first day can include a heads-up on what to expect, who to meet, and which tasks to tackle.

One of the outstanding features of BambooHR is its designated mobile app for hiring. This app allows you to post jobs, check resumes, communicate with candidates, coordinate with other hiring team members, and more.

BambooHR Customers

Among the 20,000+ companies who use BambooHR are names like Quora, Universal Group, Reddit, Asana, Change.org, University of Maryland, Grammarly, Stance, Postmates, Wistia, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and ZipRecruiter.

BambooHR Pricing

BambooHR pricing is custom, but they offer a free trial. Before coming up with a quote, they are also likely to extend your free trial upon request or give you a free demo of the advanced features.

Best For

BambooHR can be an excellent choice for organizations seeking a highly-customizable HR product that aligns with their unique requirements, with pricing options that are tailored to their specific needs. It’s also remarkably popular among distributed workforces.

BambooHR in action
Reviewer's Rating
8/10

We typically use BambooHR to pull reports and analyze data. We also use it as a platform for employees to submit time off requests. Apart from that, we use the documents section to create fillable documents which are later on stored in employees' profiles. Additionally, BambooHR gives us an opportunity to have easy access to other employees' information, such as who someone's supervisor is, so anyone in the company can search for those details. Sending communication out has been a new feature for us and we use it by creating a banner on the main page which helps us send easy and quick reminders to employees. We also use it for easy access to other platforms as we store all the links for our training, benefits, etc. platforms so employees can have the information in one place.

What do you like about this tool?

It's user-friendly. It's capabilities to manage different HR processes. The fillable documents tool.

Why did your organization buy this tool, and how long have you used it for?

BambooHR was bought in order to store employees' information in one place. The objective was to better organize information and create automated workflows. I started at the company about 14 months ago and it was already in use but I estimate that it has been used for the past 5 years or more. One of the main benefits it provides is that job information as well documents and time off can be in one place. This allows the HR team to easily pull reports and access the data. Another benefit is that it is very user friendly, for employers and employees.

What do you dislike about this tool?

It takes a long time to add additional features (sometimes suggested by customers). It has different restrictions when it comes to reporting, in terms of editing some reports to add/delete fields. The performance management tab is very basic and it doesn't allow customers to tailor it to our needs.

How is this tool different than their competitors?

I guess the main difference is the simplicity when it comes to managing different processes. Other systems are more complex and have too many additional steps or fields which make it harder to navigate the platforms. I really prefer it because it does not require a lot of training for anyone to learn how to use it and it has a lower price compared to other systems.

What Instructions should people think about when buying this type of tool?

The first one would be the number of employees. If you are a large company, BambooHR may not fit your needs as it has some limitations. Secondly, what they are really trying to get out of the system. If it's only being used for what we use it (storing information, submitting time off requests, pulling basic reports) then it would work great. If they are trying to have all the information in one place, such as benefits and performance management, the fact that it has limitations, mostly related to updates and customized fields, then it would probably not be the best option.

How has this tool changed or evolved over time to meet users needs?

They have evolved quite a bit. Their customer service has improved. Some fields have become customizable over time or they have been added by the BambooHR team. Reporting has also improved with the addition of a few different reports which provide further information and can be combined with others, such as turnover rate with reason for termination, etc.

What specific type of user or organization is this tool very good for?

Mid size companies that have payroll and performance management already in use. It is also good for organizations that do not want to spend a lot of money on an HRIS or that have a limited budget.

What specific type of user or organization would this tool not be a good fit for?

Companies with over 500 employees or big size ones. Users who would like to have all processes and information in one place.

What are the Benefits of an Applicant Tracking system?

An ATS's primary benefit is optimizing your hiring process by building and maintaining a talent pipeline. Applicant tracking system statistics show that 94% of recruiters believe using ATS software has positively impacted their company's hiring processes.

Features like employer branding, analytics, customized workflows, and many others play a part in the optimization process.

Employer Branding: A top ATS will help your organization create and manage a custom career site to help your company stand out. Whether you work from a template or create your own from scratch, your career site can attract top talent by showcasing your best features, and with integrations with networks like LinkedIn, reaching an audience is easy.  A custom career site offers an unparalleled employer branding opportunity, whether it’s culture, job perks, company mission, or core values.

Talent Pools: The best ATS software can save you time and money by maintaining already-sourced candidates. If you maintain occasional contact with a pool of qualified candidates, your recruiting process doesn’t start from zero each time you open a new role.

Hiring Managers and Employees: Rather than relying exclusively on your HR/TA teams for recruiting, the best ATS software will also include your hiring managers and employees to be part of the process. Referrals, feedback on job candidates, and social media can all be leveraged to fill open positions.

Hiring and Onboarding: An ATS can do more than streamline recruiting; it can work wonders for onboarding. A good first impression sets the stage for employee engagement and, ultimately, retention, so it’s critical to make the onboarding process onboarding employee-focused, timely, and effective.

Analytics: An effective hiring process is data-driven. Your ATS dashboard can make your team more effective, process-focused, and efficient. With good ATS software, recruiter productivity, cost per hire, cost for job boards, cost for paid media, time to hire, and numerous other points of interest will be available at your fingertips.

Cloud-Based Solution: As shocking it it seems, some HR teams still aren't taking advantage of cloud-based architecture. Generally speaking, a cloud-based platform's cost and product benefits outweigh the edge case uses for on-site hosting.

Customized Workflows: With the right ATS, your TA team can custom-build a recruiting process that perfectly fits your needs. Bespoke workflows can result in highly efficient and effective hiring, so look for an ATS that can customize and automate tasks like application processing, screening, and collecting feedback.

Customized workflows are especially helpful for companies who hire from very different candidate pools. If, for example, your team is hiring both truck drivers and software engineers, you can bet these workflows won’t be interchangeable.

If you’ve come this far, you're clearly serious about buying a new ATS. Let’s keep that momentum going!

Check out our ATS buying organizer spreadsheet, made in-house with Google Sheets and hard-won HR know-how. It offers a basic framework, and numerous resources, including our popular sample demo questions. You can simply download it or use it in Google Sheets. We hope it’s helpful!

If you're a small business looking to streamline your hiring process, our guide on the best ATS for small businesses is an essential read.

Pro Tips on Applicant Tracking Systems

Advice for Buying the Best ATS Systems

This article mostly covers product specifics, but the advice in this section takes on big-picture considerations.

Buy More than Applicant Tracking: Look for applicant tracking software with as many features as you can afford and will use. An ATS that can schedule interviews, manage employee referrals, and parse resumes will lighten the load on your HR team, which will lead to increased efficiency and possibly more.

According to Zach Larson, “The ATS should make it simple for the HR team to identify trends and be a strategic partner for the business.” The value of a strategic perspective from your HR team is well worth the cost of a feature-rich ATS.

Get the Inside Scoop on Your Hiring Process: Talk to your hiring managers, employees, and recruiters to understand what weaknesses they see in your hiring process. Buying a new ATS should involve all of the stakeholders across a given employer.

Think Long Term: This is a tool you’ll use for several years, so consider possible futures. While investing in a system to meet your current needs is important, trying to anticipate the future is critical.

Beyond the capacity for the platform to scale up as you grow, Tracie Marie suggests buyers should pay attention to the company’s “continued efforts for improved resume parsing, integration capabilities, and enhanced video interviewing capabilities”. Many platforms offer each of these features to some extent, but be sure to assess their commitment to developing them.

Understand the Roadmap: It’s important to understand a company’s product roadmap, how impactful those features will be, and the company’s track record of delivering on that roadmap. Ask the sales rep specific questions relevant to your business needs.

Focus on Individual Features: Understanding the intricacies of one ATS can be daunting, but trying to compare and contrast dozens of features offered by products on your shortlist can be totally overwhelming.

We advise taking a step back to evaluate exactly what you need. Once you have created a list of ten or so, pick three to five must-have features to refine your choices.

Look at ROI: Historically, ATSs were thought to manage only two functions: workflow management and legal compliance. But modern applicant tracking systems do much more. They can drive ROI through sourcing and recruitment marketing capabilities, they often integrate seamlessly with other HR Tech, and they lighten the load for your HR/TA teams.

Simply put, a good ATS comes with good ROI and the ability to drive value from the entire employee lifecycle. This is an especially critical point (and investment opportunity!) for companies that want a competitive edge in tight labor markets.

What is the ROI of a Top ATS system?

Build a case for your new purchase. Our ROI guide will help you to build a robust business case to get the budget you need.

It covers:

  • Subscription fees and one-off costs
  • Increases in recruiter productivity
  • Changes in the hiring funnel
  • Decreases in time to fill

We highly recommend you watch the video to best understand how to use this spreadsheet! It's a bit complex and the video will help you understand it.

ATS Pricing Models

Here's a simplified overview of the most common pricing models. Each establishes a price based on a “per unit of X” model.

For a more in-depth look, check out this guide to ATS pricing.

Per hires, job postings, or applicants: We like this “use more, pay more” model because it’s straightforward with a 1:1 ratio between use and cost. The value you get from an ATS system is clearly greater when you hire more, so a company that hires 200 people each year should pay less than one that hires 2,000.

Per number of employees: Some ATS software charges are based on your headcount. In this case, “use more, pay more” applies to employees who can be engaged to take part in the recruiting and hiring process. The premise is that candidates hired from referrals (often via social shares) tend to close quickly and have low rates of attrition.

Per seat: Some ATS platforms charge based on the number of people who use the software, which can make the choice a bit tricky because admin access needs tend to change over time. This model is often chosen by small teams who are hiring slowly.

Per features: When an ATS offers features that exceed the typical functionality of an ATS, they often base the cost on those features. Products like these straddle the line between ATS and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM software (not to be confused with a CEM) is built to handle much more than hiring. Far more robust than a typical ATS, a CRM includes features like a large-scale analytics package.

Pro Tips:

  1. Beware of hidden costs! ATSs sometimes charge for integrations with the HRIS software you already use. This kind of unexpected expense could drastically increase your annual spending.
  2. Prices are negotiable! Ask for a startup discount, or find the wiggle room in a multi-year contract. Learn how to navigate this space: get a legal perspective on multi year contract negotiation from upcouncel, or check out our guide on how to get the best possible price on HR tech.

How Much Do Applicant Tracking Systems Cost?

Here are some guidelines on pricing based on company headcount. This information is intended to help you get a general sense of ATS pricing. Keep in mind that ATSs come in all shapes and budget sizes. Here we provide mid-range samples for reference.

Where did we get this data? It was (partially) from people like you! To help HR teams better understand their options, we crowdsource data on ATS pricing.

Our short, anonymous survey only takes about two minutes to complete, and anyone who participates will be given access to the entire data set. Click here to help out the community!

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES ESTIMATED ANNUAL COST
0-100 $2,500
100-250 $10,000
250-500 $15,000
500-1,000 $22,500
1,000-5,000 $50,000
>5,000 $125,00+

What Are the Key Features of a Top ATS?

  • Open API: Almost without exception, the top ATSs are built with robust, open APIs and a substantial network in their “partner ecosystem”.

An open API (Application Programming Interface for the over-achievers among us) connects the ATS platform to the software you’re already using. You should aim for seamless integration, which means the ATS should be ready to interface (connect to, plug in to, play nice with) with whatever software you are already using for hiring.

Because it’s a major selling point, “open API” should be easy to find on their site. Look for “partner ecosystem” to get a sense of how easy your integration (connection process) will be. In this case, partners refers to two products made by different companies that can partner because of their open APIs.

For the tech-averse whose comfort level is not quite at the “let’s discuss APIs” level, a piece of advice: keep asking questions. If a vendor doesn’t have time to help you understand their product from the ground up, they are probably the wrong vendor.

  • Video interviews: Virtual meetings save time and can substantially increase the number of candidates you assess.  Look for platforms with built-in video interview modules or those that can integrate with one of the top video interview platforms.
  • Sourcing: The top ATSs include dynamic features like Google Chrome extensions that allow you to source candidates directly from the web. You’ll also find databases of job seekers that you can query for specific skills and outreach tools that will enable you to build sequences that engage candidates through email and texting.
  • CRM (Candidate Relationship Management): Because it’s an essential feature of talent management, CRM is both a popular type of software that’s available as a stand-alone system and a feature you’ll find included in many ATS platforms.

The CRM feature nurtures your relationship with your entire job-seeker ecosystem, whether active or passive. It helps your TA keep leads warm by setting reminders to ping individual candidates (“silver medalists”) or to check in periodically with larger candidate pools. Structured communications and automated workflows help maintain good relationships and free up your TA team’s time.

  • Blind Screening: This is an effective method used to control for hiring bias, which is a foundational element of all D&I initiatives. ATSs with a blind screening feature obscure the candidates' names, photos, addresses, and other demographic identifiers to prevent assessments based on non-relevant characteristics.
  • Employer Branding and Career Site: Modern applicant tracking systems are built with the candidate's experience in mind. Making a good first impression is critical, so top ATSs include features to build and maintain a bespoke career site. With a little help from your marketing team, your ATS can create a distinctive, bespoke, on-brand career site.
  • Data and Analytics: Any ATS worth its salt has a basic analytics dashboard. The best (and often the most expensive)  ATSs also incorporate a powerful analytics engine to make light work of your heaviest statistical loads. Before you buy, be sure your needs can be met with what the tool can do.
    Consider your relationship with internal and external stakeholders as you evaluate this feature. When called upon to demonstrate the efficacy of your hiring process, your ATS can be your source of truth.
  • Interview Scheduling: ATS software that is focused on recruitment automation will include scheduling for everything from phone screens to final-round interviews. This can save your HR coordinators a ton of time (and endless scheduling errors!) and may even mean you can redeploy talent towards more strategic roles such as full-cycle recruiting.
  • Offer Letters: Automated distribution of offer letters is a standard ATS feature. Most platforms offer templates that can easily be customized for each offer presented to each potential hire.
  • Onboarding:  An onboarding feature helps ensure that the transition from candidate to colleague is as smooth as possible. Few ATSs offer onboarding features because this process is so dissimilar to the core functions of the platform. That said, if the ATS you’re looking at doesn’t offer one, it should at least integrate with software that can handle the onboarding process.

The features listed above are highly specific and intended to help buyers and decision-makers make swift, categorical decisions. However, some critical aspects of ATS performance and functionality can’t be summed up so easily.

Our guest expert Zach Larson suggests buyers keep in mind the following three basic elements. First, consider how well the product will respond to market challenges. Second, estimate the quality of candidates based on the ATSs sourcing methods, and, last but not least, involve your TA team in the process. Your internal stakeholders must be on board with your choice.

ATS System Vendor Demo Questions

Essential questions for vendors:

  • Is there a bi-directional API to share information between this system and my HRIS?
  • How does this ATS help my recruiting efforts beyond capturing candidate information? For example, will it allow me to pipeline candidates, source, boost referrals, etc.?
  • How does this system improve the candidate experience?
  • What is your partner strategy, and do I have to pay to integrate my other recruiting tools?
  • What metrics do you focus on to prove the effectiveness of this solution, and where can I see these in my analytics dashboard?
  • Can I speak to my future customer service rep about implementation and how exactly your organization will be involved?
  • Walk me through the candidate experience.
  • Can I store candidate profiles in this system in a way that is searchable for future candidate sourcing?
  • Walk me through how recruiters post jobs, vet applicants, and leave feedback.
  • How do employees outside of HR interact with this ATS?
  • Do you have social recruiting capabilities?
  • We use {{XYZ indispensable recruiting tool}},do you integrate with it? If yes, how?
  • What is the onboarding process after we buy this solution? Ask for specific steps and who in your org needs to be involved.

If this isn’t enough, we have compiled more than 300 questions to ask vendors while shopping for an ATS.

This sizable collection is the result of approaching the buying process from many angles. This cross-functional array includes questions recruiters should ask, questions for hiring managers, questions for accounting, and more.

300+ is obviously too many questions, but we recommend you use the list for its educational value: it will help you get your bearings, and you can take a handful with you on your first few product demonstrations.

Checkout our Free ATS Buying Course - All Done Via Email

For the next two weeks, you’ll get easy to digest emails related to:

  • Staying organized when looking at applicant tracking systems
  • Budgeting and ROI
  • Key features of the best ATS’s
  • Questions to ask on demos
  • Security concerns
  • Negotiating price

Sign up here:

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About ATSs

How do I buy the best applicant tracking system?

  • Understand your business: Identify the specific needs your ATS needs to meet. For example, a Global Fortune 500 company requires a hefty enterprise solution supporting multiple languages, transcontinental jurisdictions, global payroll, etc. These features would be a waste of money for a U.S.-based SMB wanting to bump up its headcount by 30 people by the end of Q2. The right solution for the SMB (there are ATSs that cater to SMBs) would be wrong for a 5 person startup whose needs can be met with the least expensive, most bare-bones tool available, like a free ATS.
  • Create a shortlist: You can use our reviews or other sites like G2 or Capterra to determine which ATS vendors you want to look at. You may also want to ask peers at similar companies what solutions they're using.
  • Ask for live demonstrations: When you have narrowed your list down to five or so options, make a date with their sales team for a live product demonstration.
  • Come prepared: Show up with questions and be ready to take excellent notes. Ask them to describe the implementation process. Ask for details about integrations between the software they’re selling and your current HR tech stack.

Be sure you get an end-to-end demonstration of key workflows that your team will use frequently, like posting jobs, scheduling interviews, etc.

  • Get internal stakeholder buy-in: The obvious benefit of cross-department input is matching your ATS tool with your hiring needs. But there’s more: those involved in the selection will be more invested in the ATS implementation process, and, most importantly, your budget will only be approved if you have achieved buy-in from those who oversee spending.

In general, HR teams focus on skills that do not involve presenting a business case to a CFO. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, use this simple formula to prepare a short presentation.

Be sure to cover three core points:

  1. Why this is an important purchase 
  2. How it will impact their lives 
  3. How it will impact your organization

Include examples specific to your business and be ready to provide some numbers.

  • Finalize your vendor: After you've done all the demos and seen your shortlist in action, it’s time to narrow down your list down to one.

Before you move forward, ask yourself if the people you interacted with are people you want to work with. Human factors and checklist items are equally important, so think back on how you were treated throughout the process. You should feel you can trust the person on the other side of this transaction. If you have doubts, consider reevaluating.

  • Negotiate the price: Any price can be negotiated. When settling on a price, hold the position that you should always get compensated for giving something up. For example, if you give up flexibility by signing a longer contract, you should get a price break.

Pro Tip: Buy software at the end of the month or quarter as you can get good deals at this time.

  • Implement like a pro: Follow your account manager's advice. They are economically incentivized to help you succeed. In fact, their bonus depends on it!
  • Reflect: After a big project like this, set aside time to evaluate your process and outcomes. What surprised you? What went well? What could be improved? Take it all in, document it, and try to do it better next time.

What is the difference between an ATS and an HRIS?

An ATS (applicant tracking system) is the core operating software for your recruiting team that deals with hiring records, whereas your HRIS (Human Resource Information System) is the core operating system of your human resources team and deals with employee records.

Why is an ATS used in recruitment?‍

An ATS is used in recruitment to make the end-to-end process of hiring easier. ATSs were originally designed for large corporations managing thousands of job applications every week. The use of software dedicated to specific purposes has become part of our everyday lives, and so has the ubiquity of the ATS in small and medium businesses. Teams of all sizes, with any variety of hiring needs, can benefit from a tool that increases efficiency by streamlining tasks.

How do applicant tracking systems work?‍

Applicant tracking systems work by acting as a liaison between an employer and an applicant. Once an application is submitted, the ATS extracts and stores the candidate’s work experience, education, and contact information in a database. HR teams use the database to review applications, communicate with applicants, schedule interviews, and sometimes administer skills tests.

Final Advice for Buying a New ATS

Know your needs: Get clear on the specific needs your ATS must satisfy. Meet with vendors and watch demos only after you are absolutely sure of your current ATS requirements, and confident of your future forecast. Don’t agree to anything less (or more) than exactly what you need.

An ATS is a long-term commitment, so take your time to avoid getting stuck in a long-term contract with the wrong tool.

Two-for-one ROI analysis: Anyone who’s ever fallen flat in the CFO’s office knows this type of analysis is crucial for getting buy-in from internal stakeholders. However, the process of being CFO-ready with an ROI report offers some additional assets you may not have considered.

First, the process will refine your thoughts on why and how an ATS is an important purchase for your team, which will lead to more clarity on which features to prioritize.

Second, your model can become something of a journal. If you revisit your analysis periodically, it can serve as a record of where you were right and wrong, and this reflection will help refine how you think about allocating a budget for future decisions.

Consider the context: Modern ATSs come with standard features that were once unimaginable, or at least completely out of reach for all but the biggest and most successful companies. The evolution of the ATS has a paradoxical twist: as the sophistication of ATS platforms has gone up, the cost has gone down.

This means that capabilities like sourcing, CRM, talent re-discovery, and even  top-rate analytics capabilities are readily available to most.

The catch? It’s a complicated landscape with hundreds of vendors and thousands of feature options.

Another twist? After reading this article you’re essentially an expert now!

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