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Greenhouse is an applicant tracking system and recruiting software designed to help businesses find suitable candidates, conduct focused interviews and optimize their recruiting process. Greenhouse is an integrated platform that streamlines... Read More
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Newton Applicant Tracking

Newton Applicant Tracking solution is a cloud-based platform that helps recruiting professionals improve the hiring processes and manage workflows of the different recruiting departments. The tool can be accessed on any tablet, smartphone,... Read More
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JazzHR is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applicant tracking system. Founded in 2009, JazzHR provides recruiting and hiring software accessible to businesses of all sizes. JazzHR’s sourcing tools enable users to post jobs, mirror... Read More
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ApplicantStack, is a cloud-based applicant tracking and onboarding solution specifically designed to suit the needs of small and midsize organizations. Applicant Stack offers tools to help companies generate online employment applications,... Read More
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Workable is a standalone applicant tracking system that helps users find and hire the right people. The program replaces email and spreadsheets with a simple way of advertising jobs, receiving applications, filtering them, setting... Read More
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Jobvite Hire is a cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) that enables users to manage hiring processes including job distribution, screening, interviewing and sending out offers. It’s suitable for midsize and enterprise recruiting... Read More
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Hyrell Online Recruiting and Hiring Manager

Hyrell Online Recruiting and Hiring Manager was created to simplify and automate many of the tasks and processes associated with candidate recruiting and hiring. The system provides a full suite of features to streamline the way recruiters... Read More
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Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit is a web-based recruiting solution for small to mid-sized businesses. The software's comprehensive applicant tracking system (ATS) includes resume parsing, automated job board posting, customized company careers pages,... Read More
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SmartRecruiters is a web-based hiring platform designed with the end user in mind. The solution is suitable for companies with more than 50 employees in almost any vertical, and since it runs in a browser, it works well on all platforms,... Read More
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Big Biller

Big Biller by Top Echelon is a cloud-based recruiting and hiring software that combines the functionality of an applicant tracking system and recruiting CRM solution. The solution helps to automate and organize recruiter's daily workflow... Read More
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The Applicant Manager

The Applicant Manager (TAM) is a cloud-based applicant tracking solution that helps recruiting agencies and teams to streamline their hiring and onboarding process. The solution lets users track job postings and actively engage quality... Read More
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HiringThing organizes and simplifies the entire hiring process. Its intuitive user interface allows you to easily post jobs, receive applications and sort through resumes efficiently, so you can quickly find your ideal candidate.
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myStaffingPro is a web-based Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that offers applicant tracking, candidate recruiting, and on boarding in a scalable, and configurable solution. The application is SaaS based and makes it accessible from... Read More
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JobDiva is a cloud-based human resources (HR) software solution that enables staffing and recruitment enterprises to track applicants, manage talent, construct and organize candidate pipelines, analyze their business dynamics using... Read More
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Deltek Talent Management

Deltek offers a unified SaaS-based talent management solution which helps businesses to hire, develop and retain talented resource. The solution offers complete visibility into the hiring process and helps recruiters fill open positions... Read More
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ApplicantPRO by JobMatch is a web-based Applicant Tracking System. Its interface can be utilized by organizations in any industry - property management, manufacturing, education, food & beverage and more. It's well-suited for small... Read More
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With a speciality in third-party recruiting, PCRecruiter is a Web-based applicant tracking solution. It's highly customizable and offers advanced metrics, an intuitive UI, manager portals, and can integrate with Microsoft Outlook.
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Founded in 2004, JobScore has processed over 1 million job applications for more than 1,000 companies. While this Web-based applicant tracking system is designed with small to mid-sized businesses in mind, it can scale up to meet the... Read More
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Breezy HR

Breezy HR is a recruiting platform for small and midsize businesses. The solution provides functionality for applicant sourcing and tracking, resume parsing, and video interviews and more. The application is cloud-based and features... Read More
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CURA is an applicant tracking and recruiting software that provides on-the-go access, and multi-lingual support. The software focuses on client and candidate interaction. The SMS functionality in the software allows recruiters to send... Read More
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Hirebridge Small Business ATS

Hirebridge Small Business ATS is an applicant tracking system (ATS), designed specifically for small businesses. This Web-based solution is accessible from any device with an Internet connection, so companies don’t need to host the... Read More
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Bullhorn Staffing and Recruiting Software

Bullhorn is a cloud-based applicant tracking and customer relationship management solution for small and midsize recruiting and staffing agencies. It offers email integrations, social media integration, reporting tools, mobile recruiting... Read More
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This web-based recruiting platform, designed for third party staffing firms, is an ideal solution for sourcing, interviewing, and tracking candidates. Features: access to 1000+ resume databases, strong social media functionality.
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RESUMate's best-of-breed applicant tracking system automatically stores candidate records and allows recruiters to convert Word documents, PDFs and LinkedIn profiles into resumes within RESUMate’s system just by importing them. Once... Read More
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softgarden is a cloud-based human resources (HR) software solution specializing in recruiting. Key features includes applicant tracking, mobile recruiting, job ad designing, job posting and a career site. In softgarden’s applicant... Read More
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AcquireTM Talent Management is a web-based applicant tracking and recruiting solution that is a great fit for small and mid-sized businesses. We like this software because it is affordable, intuitive and gives HR managers the tools... Read More
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Prescreen is a cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS). This system allows users to publish job vacancies on and offline, and candidates can apply to jobs directly through the system. Prescreen includes a website widget that syncs... Read More
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Jobscience Recruiting and Staffing

Jobscience is a cloud-based staffing and recruiting tool suitable for both professional and in-house recruiters. From within the system, users can create job requisitions and automatically post them to their corporate careers page,... Read More
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Emply Hire

Emply Hire is a cloud-based hiring platform designed to provide a complete overview of jobs and talents while helping companies administrate new projects. With Emply Hire, users can collect an unlimited amount of flexible candidate... Read More
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Recruitee is an integrated cloud-based recruitment management and applicant tracking system (ATS) designed to assist small and midsize HR teams in organizing and managing their hiring process. The solution features business branding,... Read More
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Vista is an integrated human resource, benefits, payroll, recruiting and self-service software application that offers tools for administrative HCM and payroll processes.   Functional elements include workflow, tax management, recruitment,... Read More
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Infor HCM

Infor CloudSuite HCM is a suite of human resources applications with several deployment options. Applications in the core suite include benefits management, absence and time entry, budgeting, employee safety, talent acquisition, onboarding,... Read More
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Ascentis offers a web-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed to find, hire and onboard suitable candidates. Built-in features include career portals, social sharing, candidate data analysis, onboarding and more. With... Read More
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Kronos Workforce Central

Kronos Workforce Central is a set of human resource and workforce management applications including Kronos HRMS, payroll, time and attendance, absence management, scheduling and more. The Workforce Central suite of tools has been created... Read More
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iCIMS Talent Platform

iCIMS offers a platform of cloud-based talent acquisition solutions. iCIMS provides tools for recruiters and hiring managers throughout the process, from recruiting talent to onboarding new hires. iCIMS Recruit gives users access... Read More
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RUN powered by ADP

RUN, powered by ADP, is a web-based payroll solution designed for small businesses. The solution can be deployed on either iPhones, iPads or on any touchscreen device. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software... Read More
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ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now is a human capital management solution for companies with more than 50 employees. The core capabilities of the solution include human resources management, payroll, benefits, talent management, compliance, time and... Read More
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BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite

The BirdDogHR Talent Management System offers cloud-based applicant tracking and performance management software for organizations in all industries, especially construction, manufacturing, engineering and skilled trades. The Talent... Read More
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iRecruit offers organizations of all sizes a way to optimize applicant tracking and electronic onboarding. This mobile-friendly solution is easy to configure and use, giving HR departments, recruiters and hiring managers the ability... Read More
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Kronos Workforce Ready

Workforce Ready by Kronos is a human resources (HR) platform that combines workforce management with human capital management (HCM) capabilities and is suitable for businesses of all sizes.  Kronos Workforce Ready is a single cloud-based... Read More
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ClearCompany HRM

ClearCompany is a software system that works for human resources (HR) and recruiting teams across both public and private industries. The ClearCompany Talent Alignment Platform connects recruiting, new employee onboarding and performance... Read More
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PeopleStrategy eHCM

PeopleStrategy eHCM® is an enterprise-level, cloud-based human capital managment (HCM) solution. It features integrated payroll, HRIS, employee and manager self-service, applicant tracking, benefits administration, workforce management,... Read More
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HealthcareSource Quality Talent Suite

Designed exclusively for the healthcare industry, HealthcareSource provides a talent management platform with a variety of features, including applicant tracking, onboarding, learning management, performance management, and more. HealthcareSource's... Read More
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Triton HR

Industry leader Triton HR offers small to mid-sized companies a cutting-edge, end-to-end HR solution that seamlessly integrates payroll services, employee benefits, and core HR applications into a single, user-friendly system. Using... Read More
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PeopleMatter by Snagajob

Snagajob is a cloud-based solution that focuses on connecting hourly workers with employers. Snagajob offers end-to-end hiring solutions with an employer software platform called PeopleMatter. Users of the system have access to a... Read More
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Criterion HCM

Criterion HCM was originally developed in 1984 and continues to provide an integrated HRIS system with Payroll, HCM, and suite of essential HR features. The system uses a modular approach to make sure that each client has the applications... Read More
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SyncHR is a single-source core human resources (HR), payroll and benefits solution with one data model to support the entire system. The cloud-based design allows SyncHR to provide a real-time solution across functional areas within... Read More
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iManage by Corporate Business Solutions

iManage by Corporate Business Solutions is a full-featured HR solution that was designed to improve the organization of a human resources department. The software is best suited for mid-sized to enterprise-level businesses looking... Read More
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Vibe HCM

Vibe HCM is a human resources platform that combines core HR, payroll and benefits, onboarding, communications, talent management, analytics and real-time AskHR functionality. Vibe HCM has been deployed for midsize to large companies... Read More
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DATIS has been developing human capital management solutions since 1996. While focusing on primarily non-profit health and human services organizations, their client base also has a mix of for-profit customers in distribution, hospitality,... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

ATS Quick Summary

With applicant tracking system (ATS) software, recruiters and other hiring personnel can use features such as customized hiring workflows, resume management and applicant scoring to lower recruiting costs and hire better employees, faster.

Benefits of ATS Software

ATS software provides businesses with a number of benefits over other methods, including:

  • Customized hiring workflows. No two companies evaluate and hire workers the same way. With an ATS, you can customize the hiring workflow for every role in your organization to standardize the steps in your recruiting process, including interviews and applicant assessments. Task lists, shared calendars and automated alerts ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

  • Automated job posting. Many ATS platforms allow users to post job openings to their company careers page, social media accounts and popular job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn to be seen by interested job seekers. The ability to reuse job posting templates and schedule posts in advance can save users valuable time.

  • Candidate data management. As applicants from various sources submit their resumes to be considered for positions, ATS software can automatically import them into a secure database for safekeeping. Comprehensive candidate profiles can be created, searched through and filtered by a number of criteria (e.g., location, role, skills) to easily hone in on what you're looking for.

  • Applicant scoring and ranking. ATS software provides a centralized hub where recruiters, hiring managers and more can collaborate on evaluating job applicants. Standardized rubrics ensure everyone uses the same criteria for every candidate. Some systems can even rank candidates automatically based on what you value most in an employee at your organization for a given role.

  • Recruiting analytics and reporting. Where are candidates falling out in your recruiting process? Which online source sends your company the best job candidates? Embedded recruiting analytics in an ATS can answer these questions and highlight areas where your organization can improve. ATSs can also generate standardized reports for compliance purposes or to keep stakeholders up-to-date.

Competitive Advantages of Using ATS Software

Every business needs an edge over competitors when it comes to finding, attracting, evaluating and hiring the best workers. ATS software can give you that edge by helping you:

  • Hire people faster. A 2016 study by employment insight firm DHI Group found the average job vacancy in the U.S. is 29.2 days. The longer it takes for you to find and hire a qualified candidate, the longer it will take for them to become a productive employee. ATS software can help you diagnose bottlenecks in your hiring workflow to cut down the time it takes to fill your vacancies.

  • Lower cost per hire. It's not always easy to understand where your recruiting spend isn't providing the best return without the proper software to crunch the numbers. Using historical information and data visualization tools housed in an ATS platform, you can better streamline hiring processes and identify new areas for optimization to lower recruiting costs.

  • Identify top talent. Sometimes the unlikeliest of traits can predict worker success. With ATS software, you and your team can more consistently evaluate and rank applicants. After someone's hired, you can look at their performance metrics to better understand what job applicant qualities are most likely to translate well to specific roles within your organization.

  • Scale your business. You can get by by keeping track of applicants with manual methods like pen and paper or spreadsheets when you're really small or in the middle of a hiring drought, but that won't always be the case. Investing early is wise, because ATS software is a vital component to growing and optimizing your business.

Businesses Sizes Using ATS Software

ATS software buyers come from a wide variety of industries and sizes, and are generally categorized by how many employees they have in their organization:

  • Small business buyer. These buyers have anywhere from 1-50 employees and don't have a department dedicated to HR and recruiting initiatives.

  • Midsize business buyer. These buyers have anywhere from 51-500 employees and are experiencing rapid growth, prompting them to hire an internal recruiter.

  • Enterprise business buyer. These buyers have more than 500 employees, multiple recruiting personnel and a dedicated IT department.

When you choose to purchase ATS software will depend entirely on your hiring needs, but Software Advice sees peak adoption at 1,001 to 5,000 employees:

Buyers Requesting Applicant Tracking Software, by Number of Employees

Software Related to ATS

Here are some other types of software related to ATS platforms that can improve your recruiting efforts or your workforce as a whole:

  • Recruiting software: Extends beyond applicant tracking needs to help recruiters manage employer branding initiatives, improve the candidate experience, perform background checks and more.

  • Staffing agency software: Specializes in helping external recruiting and staffing agencies better manage clients and quickly fill roles with high-quality talent with features like time and expense tracking, back office management and email/calendar integration.

  • Onboarding software: Helps businesses automate processes to turn new hires into full-fledged employees. Features include new hire task assignment, digital signature capabilities and onboarding form management.

  • Talent management software: Allows HR personnel to manage the entire employee lifecycle, from attraction and hiring to management and development, with applications for applicant tracking, performance management and more.

  • HR apps: Gives HR personnel, managers, recruiters and employees the flexibility to complete important personnel tasks on their smartphone or tablet with features like mobile clock-in and out and one-click payroll runs.

Features Guide

A List of Common ATS Features

ATS software vendors can include a wide variety of features in their systems, but here are some of the most common ones to look out for:

Applicant tracking
Track the progress of all applicants for open roles, from start to finish.
Candidate profiles
Upload resumes and manage candidate details and interactions in a searchable database.
Job posting
Post job openings to company careers pages, social network accounts and job boards.
Applicant scoring and ranking
Grade applicants based on preset criteria and rank the remaining candidates in the running for a position.

Feature Details and Examples

Applicant tracking: Allows you to track where all of your applicants are in the hiring process (e.g., first interview, background screening) for a given role. As applicants are evaluated and pushed through to the next stage in your workflow or dropped from the running, the software automatically updates that person's status in your database.

Overview of candidates in Recruiterbox

Candidate profiles: This feature allows you to maintain comprehensive profiles of all of your organization's job candidates, including resumes, contact information, social media profiles, assessment scores, manager feedback, interview notes and more. Users can then search and filter for candidate profiles based on a number of criteria (e.g., location, role, experience, keywords etc.).

Candidate profile in Lever

Job posting: This feature allows you to create online job listings for your vacancies and post them to your company's careers page, social media profiles and job boards. You can often schedule posts in advance, optimize postings to appear on Google and purchase job board ads from services that partner with ATS vendors.

Job board posting in Newton

Applicant scoring and ranking: This feature allows you and your team to score job applicants based on a variety of customizable criteria related to skills, experience and personality. Once all scores are in, hiring managers can rank the remaining candidates for a position manually, or in some cases the software can do it automatically.

Candidate scorecard summary in Greenhouse

ATS Buyers' Top Requested Features

Unsurprisingly, the most common ATS software features also tend to be the most requested by buyers. According to internal Software Advice data, job posting, resume management and parsing, applicant scoring and ranking and a searchable applicant database are the top requested ATS software features among small and midsize businesses (i.e., SMBs, defined as those with $50 million or less in annual revenue).

Top Requested ATS Software Features

The ATS Software Features You Really Need

When evaluating ATS software systems, it's important to prioritize certain features over others depending on your needs. With that in mind, here are the most crucial ATS software features for different business sizes (see the "Business Sizes Using ATS Software" section of this guide for business size definitions):

Small business buyer
Applicant database: Track all of your applicants in a secure, centralized hub to eliminate the need for complex spreadsheets or paper files.
Midsize business buyer
Resume parsing: Automatically look for important words and phrases in submitted resumes to create a shortlist of top prospects and eliminate unqualified candidates.
Enterprise business buyer
Recruiting analytics: Allows you and your team to do a deeper dive into your recruiting processes to discover areas for improvement and optimization.


What Are the Key Functions of ATS Software?

As we covered in the Features Guide, ATSs provide a number of key functions for your business, including:

  • Applicant tracking. Track the progress of all applicants for open roles, from start to finish.

  • Candidate profiles. Upload resumes and manage candidate details and interactions in a searchable database.

  • Job posting. Post job openings to company careers pages, social network accounts and job boards.

  • Applicant scoring and ranking. Grade applicants on a variety of criteria and rank the remaining candidates for a role from best to worst.

  • Recruiting analytics and reporting. Analyze your historical data to discover deficiencies in your recruiting processes, and generate standardized reports for stakeholders.

What Questions Should I Ask Vendors When Evaluating ATS Products?

It can be easy for conversations with ATS software vendors to become one-sided. After all, they're trying to sell you on their system over the competition. It's important, though, to ask questions and understand everything before signing on the dotted line.

As we wrote about in "5 Questions To Answer Before Buying an Applicant Tracking System," some important questions to ask vendors are:

How is your system priced?

As we mentioned in the pricing section, ATS vendors use a lot of different methods to price their software. Know this information well ahead of time so you can budget accordingly.

Does this system work with our recruiting strategy?

If you rely on employee referrals for quality job candidates but your ATS focuses on sourcing from social media, that's a mismatch. Make sure you find software that conforms with your recruiting strategy—not the other way around.

Do I really need this feature?

It's common for buyers to purchase a popular ATS system that's way too big for their needs and pay a lot of money for functionality they don't use. Don't get distracted by bells and whistles.

Do you offer local, high-quality support?

No ATS product is perfect. Ask questions about support options so when you encounter a problem, you can be certain that you'll be able reach someone who can help you immediately.

Should I Purchase Standalone ATS Software or an Integrated Suite?

You can purchase ATS software by itself (e.g., Jobvite) or as part of an integrated HR suite with other applications for things like personnel tracking, payroll and time and attendance (e.g., BambooHR). According to internal Software Advice data, 56 percent of ATS software buyers choose the former while 43 percent choose the latter.

SMB ATS Buyer Integration Preferences

Which way you go will depend entirely on your needs. If your focus is on advanced recruiting functionality, choose a standalone product. If you have additional needs besides applicant tracking or value tight integration between your various HR processes, choose a suite.

Do ATS Software Vendors Update Their Products Often?

Because the ATS software market is highly competitive, and because the labor market and what employers value in their workforce are constantly in flux, ATS software vendors are constantly adding features to their flagship products to gain an edge and attract attention.

Stay on top of the latest functions to look out for with our article, "5 Recruiting Trends in 2017 (and the 9 ATS Features You Need to Capitalize on Them)."

What Are Some Drawbacks I Should Watch Out For?

Don't expect ATS software to be the cure-all for your hiring woes. While these systems can help you organize, streamline and scale your recruiting operation, they can't fix bad hiring strategies or an inferior employer brand.

Also keep in mind that a poorly chosen or implemented ATS can do significant damage to your online candidate experience—which can cause talented applicants to drop out of your hiring funnel. Take time to ensure this transition for job seekers into your system to apply for positions is seamless, regardless of device or web browser.

Tips & Tools

Build a Business Case for ATS Software

It can be tough to convince executives to invest in new software. When making your business case for ATS software, focus on these three ROI drivers:

  • Lower your cost per hire. Using embedded analytics, you can identify areas to refocus your recruiting budget and save your company money.

  • Hire people faster. Being able to discover bottlenecks in your hiring process can allow you and your team to evaluate and hire talent quicker, and fill empty seats faster.

  • Retain better talent. ATS software can help your team uncover which traits truly translate to role success, increasing worker productivity.

Relevant Articles

Here are some recent articles about ATS software you should check out:

Popular ATS Software Comparisons

Check out some recent articles comparing ATS software products:

Recent Events in the ATS Software Market

Here are some important recent events concerning ATS vendors and the ATS software market:

  • Google debuts Google Hire. In April 2017, a website went live for what's predicted to be Google's entry in the ATS software market: Google Hire. Details about the product are scarce, but Google is expected to reveal more information soon.

  • Microsoft debuts Dynamics 365 for Talent. In April 2017, Microsoft announced a new recruiter-focused offering in their popular Dynamics suite called Dynamics 365 for Talent. The platform integrates with LinkedIn, which Microsoft acquired in 2016.

  • Saba Software acquires Halogen Software. In February 2017, Saba Software announced that they had acquired ATS vendor Halogen Software, makers of Halogen Talent Acquisition.

Top Products - August 2017 FrontRunners

Our FrontRunners™ Quadrant

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 315 ATS products. Only the top 25 to 30 products made the quadrant because they scored highest in capability (x axis) and value (y axis). Those scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have). You can download the full FrontRunners for Applicant Tracking report here.

Small businesses should use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about which software is right for them. See our About FrontRunners page for more information.