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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.

More Resources

Applicant Tracking Products

Listings (151-175 of 191)

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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 diverse …

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QuodeIt is designed to help software companies filter out the incompetent and irrelevant programmers from the recruitment pipeline through coding tests. The vendor says that rather than judging candidates based on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, QuodeIt's automated coding tests allows users to …

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JobsPikr is a job data delivery platform that extracts data directly from the company websites. It runs on top of automated crawlers powered by machine learning techniques to extract latest job listings directly from the career pages of company websites and delivers the data feed in the form of pre-…

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CleverStaff is recruitment and application tracking software. According to the vendor, key benefits and features include: Grow your database: Resume parsing technology, Email sync & CV uploads, Bulk database import, LinkedIn & local job boards integration.ATS: Customizable recruiting workflo…

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WorkConnect by SAP aims to reduce the stress of the hiring process with easy job posting and candidate management. This solution is designed to enable recruiters to post job listings to multiple industry-leading job boards in the US, Canada, UK, and France. Recruiters are notified when an applicati…

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Peoplise's cloud HR services provides an integrated and video-enabled digital platform for all recruitment needs. The vendor says their platform is designed to help HR practitioners to utilize digital and analytical technologies in all steps of the talent acquisition process including:Socialize: Tar…

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RippleMatch is a campus recruiting solution for full-time positions and internships that allows college student applicants to upload their resumes, and then uses algorithms to match candidates to roles, based on employer requirements. For employers, the vendor's value proposition is that Ripple can …

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Attest360 replaces manual processes with a completely automated verification process that helps achieve quick turnaround time and cost savings with high accuracy.

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IntelyCare is a healthcare staffing company. The company provides an online platform to match nursing needs with a contingent nursing workforce.

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TalentLyft is a recruitment software that helps companies find, attract and hire the best talent. ➡️ Try TalentLyft for free! 🙂 TalentLyft is a full stack recruitment software which integrates Applicant Tracking System, Recruitment Marketing Platform, Sourcing and Talent CRM solution under one po…

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Frrole DeepSense aims to help recruiters: - Automate candidate evaluation at the top of the funnel by analyzing candidates using just their email address - Increase recruiter productivity - Shorten time to fill - Hire the right candidates Rather than conventional skills matching or assessment test…

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According to the vendor, Talentnow is a technology leader in recruitment software and has helped several leading organizations seamlessly manage quality manpower recruitment. Our continued commitment to deploying cutting edge technology is helping clients manage recruitments with higher predictabili…

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Enduring companies are built by great people. Eddy promises to help you recruit, hire and retain the best. The vendor says Eddy is built for small business owners, and offers simple to use online software designed to keep your HR organized and your business growing. HR features include employee prof…

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Teamtailor is an Applicant Tracking system, career site and analytics dashboard combined, mobile friendly, all-in-one recruitment platform that is used by over 1300 companies all around the world. The vendor promises ease of use and seamless connection to all of your company's social media pages. T…

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Ascendify, headquartered in San Francisco, offers their talent recruitment system, featuring ATS, referral system, onboarding guidance and pulse surveys, talent matching, career website, and other features.

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Rakuna Recruit is a campus recruiting solution for recruiters who have trouble handling stacks of paper resumes and managing candidates’ information amidst the constant travel between campus recruiting events. With Rakuna Recruit, recruiters can capture resumes and evaluate prospects instantly, quic…

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Korn Ferry Direct (KF Direct) is a platform to support automating candidate sourcing, assessment, hiring and recruiting.

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Amazing Hiring offers their candidate search engine and candidate profiles to prospective hirers and hirees, providing means of reviewing, contacting, and interacting with job prospects in data science, engineering, UX/UI, and other technical specialities.

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Indivizo offers an AI-powered hiring platform with automated recruitment tools. It aims to help HR-professionals hire top talent faster. Indivizo solutions fit different hiring needs. The platform is available as: a fully customizable end-to-end ATS platform, a ready-to-use plug&play hiring pro…

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Recruit CRM is an Applicant Tracking System which is designed to help recruitment agencies, executive search firms, headhunters, and independent recruiters perform better. Recruit CRM helps you manage candidates, clients, contacts, resumes, and emails in one place. Source candidates, clients, and …

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Recruitive offers a wide variety of end to end Recruitment Solutions, including ATS Software, Cloud Based Recruitment Software, Onboarding Software, and Careers Websites.The vendor says they provide HR Professionals, Recruiters and Hiring teams with innovative cloud based technology aimed at streaml…

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FirstScreen headquartered in Silver Spring provides a recruiting platform supplying self-serve phone interviews, interview response grading, as well as integration with HR platforms and analytics.

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Bullhorn Connexys is designed to allow the user to make better decisions, improve sales and recruiter productivity, and manage the entire recruitment and applicant management process from a single, easy-to-use interface built on the Salesforce platform.

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Manatal is a cloud-based ATS software designed to transform recruitment. Manatal covers the basic functionalities of every traditional recruitment software and beyond. Add candidates in a variety of different ways (from LinkedIn, by parsing CVs or filling out a form), manage their journey through th…

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2019

2019 Top Rated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

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.