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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 often associated with old-school passive recruitment methods, the term "ATS" has been phasing out in favor of "recruiting software." The shift in language indicates a market trend towards software allowing recruiters to better manage the recruitment process, from recruitment marketing to job applications and hiring. It typically has four major functions:

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

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. There are three common types of resume parsing tools: Keywork-based for simple keyword and phrase recognition, grammar-based for deciphering each sentence, and statistical for leveraging numerical models of text in the entire 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. 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


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

Recruiting is a core component of talent management. Most of the products listed in the talent management category 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 storing candidate information


ATS vs. Active Recruitment

Taking a candidate relationship management approach to recruiting changes the paradigm of hiring. It holds that candidates should be treated much the same way as customers, and emphasizes providing a good experience for candidates. It’s the job of recruiters to actively market to prospective employees, to get them interested in the company and job opening, 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.

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. Some vendors specialize in aggregating this information to make it easily searchable, including:

Applicant Tracking Systems Comparison

To compare different ATS products, you likely want to consider evaluating these aspects of the software:

  1. Recruiting agency vs. In-house recruiting focus: Some applicant tracking systems focus on servicing recruiting agencies and firms, with scaling for high volume and white labelling for recruiting clients. Other ATS products are designed more for in-house recruiting, including more personalization and automated processes. While most ATS offer capabilities for both groups, trends in which user groups prefer a given product are usually identifiable in reviewer demographic information.
  2. Support for Candidate Relationship Management: With an increasing focus on attracting talent that isn’t actively job-seeking, Candidate Relationship Management features are an essential component of inbound recruiting. CRM capabilities enable long-term candidate tracking to build out your talent pool, as well as recruiting campaign management. Determine how you want to go about establishing relationships with passive candidates, and what specific CRM features support that kind of relationship, be it email communications, advertising/job marketing content, social media content, etc.
  3. Core applicant tracking vs. full recruiting cycle support: There are still some ATS products that focus solely on tracking candidates’ application materials, but most have expanded to support other aspects of the recruiting process, up to the full recruiting lifecycle. Common differentiation points in feature lists include support for interviews, note taking, document signing and management, scheduling, and integration with onboarding systems.

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 (126-150 of 191)

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Simplicant is a recruiting software solution offered by Simplicant Inc.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Tamago DB is a recruiting software solution offered by Tamago DB.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

AppVault is a recruiting software solution offered by AppVault.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

NetHire is an applicant tracking and recruitment management software solution.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Recruitics is an applicant management and recruiting software solution built specifically around marketing to potential employees.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

Talemetry is an applicant tracking and recruiting management software solution built specifically to provide users with recruitment marketing through built-in features such as customer relationship management (CRM) and candidate sourcing.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

WePow is an applicant tracking and recruiting management software solution built around customized video interviews.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

SignalHire is a recruiting, HR analytics and benchmarking platform that accumulates Big Data from multiple public sources to provide real-time and historical trends on workforce flows, company climate and industry players' hiring activity. SignalHire gives full access without any limits to a data...

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TribePad is an ATS used by brands such as the BBC, Tesco, KFC, Bupa and Pizza Hut. Additionally, Tribepad offers their own Video Interviewing Platform which can be fully integrated into any ATS or used as a stand-alone platform. The vendor aims to continuously develop new apps and features which...

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HealthcareSource Staff Assessment is behavioral science-based assessment software designed to assist with selecting and developing staff. HealthcareSource Leadership Assessment measures critical reasoning and the assessments measure key healthcare competencies for an individual and compares them ...

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RECRUITview™ is a strategic, cloud-based applicant tracking system that is designed to automate, optimize and centralize recruitment efforts and provide hiring managers with an easy-to-use solution to help them source, screen, score and select the best quality candidates. This solution includes a...

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RecruitiFi says it has created a unique new category of recruiting known as the Expert Referral System (ERS), which allows companies to leverage a crowd of expert recruiters in a targeted and confidential manner. The ERS streamlines agency interaction, allowing employers to manage their existing ...

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Basis ATS is an applicant tracking and recruiting tool from UK-headquartered Basis Media .

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MightBe is cloud-based software that is specialized for recruitment companies. It is designed to automate business processes such as CV/resume searches, employer management, reports and more. The software is customizable and can be adapted to meet the user’s business requirements. The vendor’s va...

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jobFig in San Francisco offers employee assessment testing of use for pre-hire evaluation.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

ResumeGrabber is a software that enables users to find and send emails to qualified passive candidates on search engines, social networks & job boards within hours of receiving a job order. ResumeGrabber's patented email finding technology lets users find email addresses and phone numbers of ...

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Work for Us allows companies to post jobs on their Facebook Page, produce advertisements targeted to specific candidates, broadcast jobs across different social media sites, and recommend jobs to connections on LinkedIn. The app is used by more than 17,000 companies.

We don't have enough ratings and reviews to provide an overall score.

ProSky is a talent management platform focused on talent acquisition, with company branding, collaboration, projects and challenges, scheduling, and onboarding functionality. It allows users to evaluate job candidates real-time, and is built around the goal of recruiting and hiring the best diver...

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Paññã from mroads, is a hiring platform that leverages artificial intelligence to effectively measure the skill sets of candidates. The vendor’s mission is to help organizations make data-driven hiring decisions so they can identify and employ the best candidates in the shortest amount of time. A...

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Hello Talent is a free sourcing and recruiting tool that aims to help organizations move away from clunky spreadsheets and ATS tools and instead work in collaborative talent pools to build and manage your talent pipelines. Hello Talent allows users to: Create talent pools based on jobs, skill set...

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CareerPlug's talent management software is designed to help business owners, HR leaders and hiring managers attract, evaluate, hire, and onboard top talent. The vendor’s value proposition is that CareerPlug's platform is easy for hiring managers to use from any device and gives leaders the tools ...

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows a business to track the records of candidates for positions in their business. ATS’s at their core should store and organize candidates’ application materials, such as resumes and references, but frequently support other aspects of the application process, such as skills assessments and interview notes.

What’s the difference between inbound and outbound recruiting?

Outbound recruiting is a method of recruiting conducted in response to specific, immediate hiring needs, including posting the opening on job boards and other job marketplaces. In contrast, inbound recruiting is a more long-term strategy that emphasizes building your company’s brand and image among candidates. The target audience in inbound recruiting also includes potential candidates who are not currently job-seeking but would still be a desirable hire.

How do ATS’s read resumes?

Applicant Tracking Systems use variations of Resume Parsing technology to read resumes. The sophistication of this technology can range from simply scanning resumes and application materials for various keywords, to employing Natural Language Processing to measure the quality of a candidate’s application and how close a match a candidate is to the job description.

What’s the difference between Applicant Tracking Software and Recruiting software?

Applicant Tracking Software is a subset of Recruiting software. While historically, ATS’s were clearly distinct from other recruiting software, such as video interview, background checking, and resume parsing products, these functions have been consolidating into unified products for managing the full applicant lifecycle, with ATS as the foundation for the rest of the processes.

How much do ATS’s cost?

ATS’s prices are impacted primarily by whether it is a standalone product or part of a larger HR suite, which would increase the overall cost but could be more efficient for your broader HR functions. Standalone ATS’s rarely advertising exact pricing on the front end, but the price frequently scales by the range of processes supported, the number of candidates’ data are stored, or the number of job postings being managed.