SmartSearch - Good entry level, but limited capabilities and spotty tech support.
December 06, 2019

SmartSearch - Good entry level, but limited capabilities and spotty tech support.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SmartSearch

We use SmartSearch as our primary applicant, job and client tracking system.
  • SmartSearch is affordable. Most other systems like this cost more.
  • SmartSearch has great staff, knowledgeable and long-term.
  • SmartSearch automated tasks are very helpful.
  • SmartSearch has a steep learning curve if you want to extensively use the features like automated tasks and the report writer
  • Technical support is spotty and sometimes very frustrating, they don't respond for weeks at a time.
  • SmartSearch user interface is old and has far less ability to customize the interface than other tracking systems
  • SmartSearch has virtually no ability to connect directly with other software and allows now other software to connect in - so no Microsoft Flow, no Zapier, no mail parser, etc. and since Smart Search capabilities are limited, not being able to integrate it with other platforms easily is unfortunate.
  • Initially it was great by providing the capability to work with candidates on line but this year in particular SmartSearch has demonstrably hurt our business because the job postings don't work as intended. As an example, we have currently waited eleven weeks for a fix to the job postings not going out to Zip Recruiter and we are still waiting.
  • The cost of learning and developing reports has also been high. The built in reports are very limited and the report writer is difficult to learn and use.
We initially selected SmartSearch because it was more affordable than other options. Now, because we have invested so much in getting the reports and work flows to work, it is difficult to leave for another product. And yet, because SmartSearch is old and does not have all the tech features of new applications, we probably need to make a switch. They came out with a new user interface this year and we had been waiting for that for a couple years. But the new interface still does not have the current tech capabilities that other similar apps do.

We worked with another system, Tracker RMS, briefly last year as a trial and while it had lots of capabilities we were after, their technical support was lacking so we did not make the switch. We have also reviewed TempWorks, Avionte, AkkenCloud, ABD UltraStaff and Coats. All of them have more overall capability and more current tech capability than SmartSearch. If we did not have such a big investment in SmartSearch, we would make a change. And, if the level of their tech support responsiveness continues to decline, we will just have to deal with it and make a switch.
We are currently still waiting for a fix to why our jobs are not getting posted out to Zip Recruiter, it has been eleven weeks. While SmartSearch will respond to many things quickly and I am really appreciative of their tech support people who are lovely and talented, SmartSearch overall responsiveness can be spotty and as a small business that can really hurt. This current example is only one of several times where for some reason out of the blue they just don't respond.

Do you think SmartSearch ATS delivers good value for the price?

Not sure

Are you happy with SmartSearch ATS's feature set?


Did SmartSearch ATS live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of SmartSearch ATS go as expected?


Would you buy SmartSearch ATS again?


SmartSearch is suitable as a mechanism for collecting candidate information online and managing job orders. The fees are low and reasonable for this limited functionality and, at this low level of use, the system works well.

SmartSearch is less suited for an environment in which robust reporting or tracking is required - the built-in reports are limited, the report writer is difficult to use and there are no real capabilities to interface directly with other applications like Microsoft Flow, Zapier, mailparser, etc. Consequently, one cannot take advantage of external tech capabilities to make up for the lack of capabilities in SmartSearch.

The responsiveness of tech support is spotty. Currently, we have been waiting almost three months to receive a resolution on the integration of Zip Recruiter, our job postings are not getting out to Zip Recruiter which, as a recruiting agency, is a death blow. (Their tech support people are great and most have been there a long time, it is the responsiveness that is the weak link.) Sometimes they respond very quickly and then out of the blue you get nothing.

SmartSearch ATS Feature Ratings

Job Requisition Management
Company Website Posting
Publish to Social Media
Job Search Site Posting
Customized Application Form
Resume Management
Duplicate Candidate Prevention
Candidate Search
Applicant Tracking
Not Rated
Task Creation and Delegation
Email Templates
User Permissions
Notifications and Alerts

Using SmartSearch

6 - Recruiting and placement, limited payroll and accounting.
1 - To do basic online candidate applications and basic job posting and job management, SmartSearch is easy to use and does not require much in the way of technical skills. To make full use of the automated tasks and report writer requires more tech savvy and, in the case of the report writer, requires SQL skills. SmartSearch has tried to increase their support resources over the past few years but it is choppy and incoherent -- to figure out the best way to use SmartSearch for your organization or type of organization is pretty much up to you to figure out through trial and error.
  • Basic online candidate application acquisition
  • Basic job and client/contact management
  • Basic hours or labor tracking
  • We recently figured out that we can send emails out of SmartSearch into Zapier which has enabled us to take advantage of tech capabilities that Smart Search does not have.
  • After a steep learning curve, we have been able to create some good reporting capabilities to make up for the lack of built in reporting.
  • I understand they have a new email campaign feature coming, that will be helpful.
This is based on the past year of really, really, trying hard to make use of the capabilities SmartSearch does have but running in to constant road blocks in terms of capability and in tech support responsiveness.

Evaluating SmartSearch and Competitors

Yes - Replaced an old dBase system. We wanted to replace the old system because it was a very old in-house system and we thought a system like SmartSearch would be a better option than writing our own system again in an updated database.
  • Price
At the time, several years ago, SmartSearch was considerably less expensive than other systems yet still offered the core functionality we were looking for. Their pricing has increased and today their pricing is similar to other applications that have much new interfaces and more capability.
I would learn more about the underlying technology and the vendor's commitment to staying current, constantly innovating and consistently providing responsive tech support. I also have a better understanding of the ways that this level of commitment outweighs cost considerations and would give more weight to these commitments than I would to price.

SmartSearch Implementation

Using the basic functions of SmartSearch is an easy implementation. But consider carefully what your organization needs to really drive placements. Because we only did a basic implementation first, we were caught off guard when later trying to implement more functions and realizing that the capabilities were limited or were difficult to learn and implement and realizing that tech support was not going to be consistent.
Yes - Kind of. We initially only wanted/needed the basic functions of SmartSearch like applicant and job tracking. This implementation was simple and easy. As we progressed and wanted to start using the advanced functions we found that implementing them had a steep learning curve and that lots of things we expected to be possible were not. The training provided by SmartSearch was helpful but did not provide a road map for how to best use the application to drive staffing results.
  • None - initial implementation with limited features and capabilities was easy.

SmartSearch Support

Knowledgeable team
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Escalation required
Yes - Tech support responsiveness is spotty. Sometimes, they respond at lightning speed, within minutes. Then, out of the blue, it can days, weeks or even months. We are currently waiting on resolution to a glitch in getting our jobs to post out to Zip Recruiter -- it has been eleven weeks and nothing has been done. As a staffing agency, this really hurts our business.
Absolutely - they have great staff and they have come to my aid many times. In particular, their report writer guru has helped me learn and navigate the report writer.

Using SmartSearch

Unnecessarily complex
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Lots to learn
  • The new re-designed search function works well, fast and easy.
  • Automated tasks on job tracks or candidates tracks are great once you figure them out.
  • Texting out to candidates works well.
  • Basic candidate and job tracking are solid and reliable.
  • Built in reports are limited and report writer, using SQL, was really hard to learn and use.
  • Interface is rigid, users can't create a work space to their liking.
  • Email campaign function is in development, current bulk email is easy but limited.
  • Full database information like database names, fields, and relationships, is minimal and not complete so figuring out reports take a lot of time.
Yes - The mobile interface is just a fraction of the full product, very limited capability.
I give this rating of 4 primarily because SmartSearch does not have the technical capabilities that other products do and we have had to spend lots of time figuring out how to work around that, because the built-in reports and functions are limited and the advanced functions and report writer are difficult to learn and use, and because the documentation does not include a road map of best practices or case studies or anything else to aide in figuring out how to get the most out of the system. They have tried to improve this over the years but it is still lacking.