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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. 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 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:

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 (51-75 of 197)

4 Ratings

Sage People (formerly Fairsail) is an HR solution that is designed to enable mid-sized multinational companies to manage workforces through its comprehensive global cloud HRMS; transform how organizations acquire, engage, manage and develop their people. According to the vendor, Sage People is q...

4 Ratings

iSmartRecruit is a customizable ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and Staffing Software solution designed for use by corporate recruiters or recruiting business owners. iSmartRecruit aims to be an affordable staffing software for small and mid-sized Corporate HR and staffing Agencies. The vendor sa...

4 Ratings

Avatar CRM is a candidate relationship management platform that enables businesses to build talent networks by sourcing and importing passive candidate profiles from job boards, databases and the web. Users can fulfill workforce objectives through engagement workflows and communication automation...

2 Ratings

Lanteria HR is a SharePoint solution for Human Resources and Talent Management. This solution facilitates and automates the entire HR management cycle in a company. It allows for a central storage of all HR information and guides and supports various HRM processes. Talent Management Features O...

4 Ratings

Montage is an interviewing technology platform that offers live and on-demand functionality for video, voice, text and in-person interviewing. For use from sourcing through onboarding, the platform can support all types of interviews for all job types. It is mobile-friendly and includes self-sche...

3 Ratings

Smashfly is a recruiting solution built around features such as search engine optimization to attract more candidates, engagement tools such as career sites and referrals, and lead nurturing features such as customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing.

3 Ratings

Freshteam aims to help growing businesses attract, hire and onboard new hires, off-board exiting employees, manage employee information and time off in one place. According to the vendor key business benefits include: Freshteam helps attract top talent through various channels - a quickly creat...

Insight is an HR solution that automates the entire hiring and selection process from requisition to hire and is tailored for the unique needs of public sector organizations. Some key functions include position requisition approval, automatic minimum qualification screening, test statistics and a...