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Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

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Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Overview

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of software used to manage recruiting operations. It is generally available as a cloud or web-based service. The hub of the software is a database of candidates. Connected to the hub are job listings on job boards and the company website, which feed candidates’ applications into the hub. Recruiters can post and manage job listings from within the hub. Recruiters can also communicate with candidates from within the hub via email or social networks like LinkedIn.

However, since it’s associated with old-school passive recruitment methods, the term ATS has fallen out of favor somewhat. Many modern vendors now refer to their solutions as recruiting software rather than applicant tracking systems, to indicate a broader feature set and a more active approach to recruiting.

Recruiting software allows recruiters to better manage the recruitment process, from recruitment marketing to job applications and hiring. It typically has three major functions:

  1. Facilitating sourcing of job candidates
  2. Collecting and managing resumes
  3. Managing interaction with job candidates

Today, ‘ATS’ may refer to the whole recruiting platform, or just the piece that stores submitted applications.

Resume Parsing Software

Resume Parsing is a specific activity that falls under the umbrella of application tracking and recruiting operations. Tools designed for resume parsing automate the process of gathering, analyzing and storing resume data.

Generally, there are three types of resume parsing tools:

  • Keyword-based: These tools apply algorithms to the text around keywords, phrases, and simple patterns.

  • Grammar-based: These tools apply grammatical rules to decipher the meaning of each sentence in a resume.

  • Statistical: These tools apply numerical models of text to find structure in a resume.


Some vendors offer recruitment software or ATS suites that include some resume parsing or functionality. However, there are a few resume parsing point solutions available as well.


These include:

Applicant Tracking System Features & Capabilities

ATS and recruiting platforms assist with each stage of finding and hiring new employees. Basic ATS platforms aggregate and manage resumes. More advanced recruiting tools may include additional features, such as:

  • Integrated background checks

  • Experience/education verification

  • Candidate screening tools

  • Video interview capabilities

  • Integration with onboarding/talent management software

  • EOE compliance checking


Today, it’s typical for recruiting software to include features around:

  • Job requisition management

  • Company website posting

  • Social media publishing

  • Job search site posting

  • Customizable applications forms

  • Resume management

  • Duplicate candidate prevention

  • Candidate search

  • Applicant tracking

  • Collaboration

  • Task creation and delegation

  • Email templates for communication with candidates

  • User permissions

  • Notifications and alerts (particularly for interviews

  • Standard reports on key recruiting metrics

Recruiting is a core component of talent management. All the platforms listed in our Buyer’s Guide to Talent Management Software offer recruiting capabilities as part of a broader suite that includes onboarding, performance management, compensation, learning, etc.

Recruitment Management

This is the core functionality that allows users to manage the recruitment process. Common capabilities include:

  • Email and resume parsing

  • Scheduling and calendars

  • Analytics and reporting (to assess which approaches work)

  • Mobile accessibility/mobile apps

  • Referral programs

  • CRM-type features for keeping tabs on passive job candidates


For a higher price, recruiting software vendors can accommodate larger companies’ needs. This includes:

  • More simultaneous users of the system

  • More active job postings

  • More automation

  • More customer support and implementation help

  • Other advanced features

Advanced Analytics & Big Data Insights

Measuring the recruiting process can provide a significant competitive advantage. The hiring success rate is dependent on understanding:

  • Best combinations of experience and education

  • Which sourcing channels provide stellar candidates

  • What kind of approach creates engagement


Recruitment data vendors provide the big data mining solutions to understand these factors. Broadbean and BurningGlass both offer advanced recruiting analytics, for example. HCM and talent management suite vendors also offer more advanced analytics that can tie in later-stage information about employees, such as retention, performance, compensation, etc. to guide recruiting efforts.

ATS vs. Active Recruitment

Taking a customer relationship management approach to recruiting changes the paradigm of hiring. It holds that candidates should be treated much the same way as customers. It’s the job of recruiters to actively market to prospective employees, to get them interested and make sure they have a smooth experience with the company.

Most traditional applicant tracking systems (ATS) simplify the hiring process for the employer. At the same time, some make it more difficult for the applicant. This is where the candidate experience and engagement strategies of modern recruiting software come in. Presenting an attractive brand and proactively reaching out to candidates to build a relationship with them (rather than just waiting for them to apply) helps attract the best talent.

This is a slightly different approach to hiring. Tools designed for an active recruitment strategy focus on searching for and communicating with candidates who might not have applied yet, or even be actively seeking a new job yet. Software solutions like SmashFly act as a kind of recruiting CRM platform, to store candidates’ contact information and a history of past communications. LinkedIn Talent is another major player in this arena. The site can be mined for passive candidates who fit recruitment qualifications, using advanced search criteria. Other sites that recruiters can use to find candidates are Facebook, Twitter, StackOvervflow, Quora, etc. Some vendors specialize in aggregating this information to make it easily searchable, including:

Pricing Information

Pricing for ATS and recruitment software varies depending on the focus of the vendor and the size of the company/candidate pool. Specific pricing is available by a custom quote from most vendors. Costs can range from thousands of dollars per year to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, depending on the number of features, integrations, recruiting users, and applicants you need in the system.

Applicant Tracking Products

Listings (1-25 of 183)

SmartRecruiters<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
151 Ratings

SmartRecruiters’ Talent Acquisition Suite is used by high-performance organizations for making the best hires. It has full functionality for recruitment marketing and collaborative hiring built on a cloud platform with an open marketplace for third party recruitment services. The vendor says, unl...

JobDiva<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
160 Ratings

JobDiva is a global Applicant Tracking System and front-to-back Talent Management solution. The vendor says their solution serves more than 27,000 global staffing professionals who support the Fortune 500. JobDiva combines a CRM, synchronization with all major job boards and VMS providers, BI ana...

Workday Human Capital Management<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
249 Ratings

Workday Human Capital Management is built as a single system with a single source of data, single security model, and single user experience. Workday offers organizations a cloud-based system that evolves to meet changing business needs today and into the future. The user-friendly, global system ...

iCIMS Talent Acquisition Software Suite

98 Ratings

iCIMS is an applicant tracking software for companies of all sizes. The tool's talent recruiting and management functions include a wide range of features such as social recruiting, talent sourcing and onboarding.

Greenhouse<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
82 Ratings

Greenhouse is an applicant tracking and recruiting solution that includes a comprehensive recruiting performance improvement system. Some key features include: Applicant Scorecard, Interview Kits and Robust Analytics.

Jobvite

88 Ratings

Jobvite is a full recruiting platform. It takes businesses through the recruiting funnel - from sourcing candidates and managing workflows to communicating with hiring managers and reporting through custom dashboards and reports.

JazzHR<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
48 Ratings

JazzHR is a powerful, user-friendly and affordable ATS and recruiting software. JazzHR aims to replace antiquated hiring processes like email and spreadsheets with an intuitive applicant tracking system that helps recruiters and hiring managers build a scalable and effective recruiting process th...

SilkRoad Recruiting

42 Ratings

SilkRoad's OpenHire is an applicant tracking system and is a component of the Life Suite platform.

PCRecruiter

Top Rated
42 Ratings

PCRecruiter is a web-based applicant tracking system designed for recruiters, staffing professionals, HR sourcing, RPO, and other sourcing and tracking roles. It offers a complete suite of recruitment CRM functions, including email and job board integrations, as well as telephony and API connecti...

CATS Applicant Tracking System

43 Ratings

CATS is a full-featured, web-based recruiting software that is designed to make it easy to track and hire talent. Accessible from any browser or mobile device, users can manage the entire recruiting process from creating custom job applications to posting jobs to leading job sites to generating ...

Bullhorn Recruitment CRM

Top Rated
77 Ratings

Bullhorn Recruitment CRM is a SaaS based solution that offers a full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems: a user-friendly interface and mobile app, batch or mass communication with potential candidates via multiple channels such as email and commonly used applications (e.g. Ou...

LinkedIn Talent<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

Top Rated
179 Ratings

LinkedIn Talent is a recruiting software solution offered by LinkedIn.

PeopleFluent Mirror Suite for Talent Management

Top Rated
38 Ratings

PeopleFluent provides a cloud-based talent management suite comprised of applications for Recruiting, Performance Management, Compensation, Learning, Succession and Vendor Management as well as Workforce Planning and Diversity. Available as singular products or bundled together as integrated solu...

SmartSearch

30 Ratings

SmartSearch is the flagship web-based talent acquisition and staffing management software from Advanced Personnel Systems Inc, that, while not as broadly used as some other software suites, is capable of delivering all of the features and capabilities (e.g. integration with outside services like ...

Workable<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>Customer Verified: Read more.</a>

33 Ratings

Workable helps companies improve the quality and efficiency of their hiring by simplifying the most time-consuming task: browsing, screening and managing candidates.

HireRight

35 Ratings

HireRight is an application tracking and recruiting software solution offered by HireRight, LLC.

Zoho Recruit

25 Ratings

Zoho Recruit is a cloud-based ATS available from Zoho Corp, formerly AdventNet, based on California.This product offers the full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems: a user-friendly interface and customizable dashboards, batch or mass communication with potential candidates vi...

Snag

Top Rated
19 Ratings

Snag (formerly PeopleMatter + Snagajob) is a recruiting and workforce management platform designed to fit the specific needs of service-industry brands. Users can find applicants, hire employees, train workers, schedule teams, and evaluate performance using the Snag platform.

Hyrell

12 Ratings

Hyrell is a cloud-based recruiting and hiring management solution that helps organizations find, qualify, engage, and hire the best applicants possible to deliver business results that matter.

talentReef

16 Ratings

talentReef is an all-in-one Recruiting and Talent Management System. It is designed to support the nuances and complexities of the hourly and decentralized workforces talentReef’s Social Recruiting and Talent Management platform includes tools to find, hire, train, and manage talent. talentReef a...

iApplicants

11 Ratings

iApplicants is an online application tracking system designed for smaller businesses.

myStaffingPro

18 Ratings

myStaffingPro is a web-based applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers applicant tracking, candidate recruiting, and onboarding in a scalable, configurable solution. It is a SaaS model makes it accessible from anywhere at any time, and offers unlimited integration capabilities. Some key feature...

Entelo

20 Ratings

Entelo is a software-as-a-service recruiting solution built with features such as candidate tracking and searching over 100 million profifles.

ZipRecruiter

37 Ratings

ZipRecruiter is a cloud-based platform developed by Ziprecruiter, Inc in California, billed as a cheap alternative to larger ATS platforms or as an aid to be integrated into existing ATS. However it offers a set of features typical of ATS, though narrowed somewhat. Such features are posting to a ...

Brightmove

9 Ratings

Brightmove is a cloud-based ATS developed by Brightmove, Inc based on Florida.This product offers the full suite of features typical of applicant tracking systems, as well as a few other features: a user-friendly and customizable dashboard, mobile accessibility, SMS messaging from the dashboard, ...