What are applicant tracking systems?
An applicant tracking system is software for managing the recruiting and hiring process. ATS users have different functionality available to them based on their role in the recruitment process. For example, a recruiter will use the ATS to post a job, review applications, communicate with candidates and offer the job to the top candidate. Candidates will use the ATS to review an organization's job openings and apply to the ones that match their education and experience. Candidates may also use the ATS to communicate with hiring teams and sign offers of employment. Managers will typically review resumes and add notes based on their interactions with candidates.
The market for applicant tracking systems is large, with some vendors focused on providing best-in-class standalone ATSes and others including the ATS as part of a talent management suite. Standalone systems often have a greater depth of functionality, whereas suites provide a consistent look and feel across the ATS and the other modules and keep all of the HR data in one system.
Originally developed to automate the many steps in the recruitment process, today, applicant tracking systems may also provide advanced branding options, diversity and inclusion features. Increasingly, they use AI to parse resumes and identify top candidates for open positions. Reporting and dashboards have also come a long way and offer advanced users an opportunity to dive into the details of their data in real time.
What are the top applicant tracking systems?
The list below consists primarily of companies that focus on the ATS market and is presented in alphabetical order. It includes systems that are widely known in the ATS market, and those that I've personally used.
Avature. With an early focus on sourcing passive candidates and candidate engagement, this platform provides the necessary tools to automate the hiring process, engage hiring managers early in the process and customize the system to meet your company's unique needs. In addition, the software includes functions for managing a contingent workforce, which is growing in popularity. Avature was founded in 2005 by the co-founder of HotJobs.com.
Breezy. According to the website, Breezy has more than 17,000 companies using its software to automate their recruiting processes. The vendor includes a database with millions of candidates and a search tool to help narrow down the list. Breezy also offers over 800 HR and talent acquisition templates to help you get started. Additionally, the system integrates with leading diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) job sites to help attract a diverse candidate base.
ClearCompany. ClearCompany offers a talent management suite that includes an ATS, onboarding, performance management and employee engagement. The system makes it easy to brand offer letters, even when your company has multiple locations. The entire candidate experience can be provided in English, French or Spanish. ClearCompany was founded in 2004 as HRM Direct.
Greenhouse. This ATS has reporting and dashboards to help track the recruitment process, scorecards to help avoid bias in interviews, a mobile app for using the system on the go, and over 400 pre-built integrations to connect to your HRIS, onboarding applications and more. The software also comes with access to over 1,000 job boards to increase the reach of your job postings.
iCIMS. This vendor offers a comprehensive talent acquisition system that can meet the needs of local or global companies. In addition, iCIMS has integrated AI into its platform to help identify potential candidates who already exist in your data and interact with candidates through a chatbot, and has recently added Visier predictive analytics and data-visualization tools. The system also has a feature to assist with internal mobility that goes beyond simply making job postings available to employees.
JazzHR. You can use JazzHR's evaluation system to compare candidates and reduce bias in the hiring process. Integration with popular calendar applications lets you schedule interviews without having to leave JazzHR. You can use it for an unlimited number of jobs and users, avoiding the need to pay additional fees as your recruiting grows. The software also allows you to request and get referrals from employees and your network, and track the candidates' progress through the application process.
Jobvite. Jobvite offers a well-rounded ATS with the ability to add extra functionality, including onboarding features for new hires, chatbots, CRM, video screening and much more. In addition, the vendor offers the Jobvite Academy where recruiters can get training and certification. When new job requisitions are opened, Jobvite's AI engine searches your candidate database to identify and rank candidates who have already applied to the company.
Lever. LeverTRM is an ATS that is easy to use and maintain, with built-in integration to popular HR systems. You can easily pull data from multiple sources in Lever to push to your HRIS, such as the candidate's profile, the job requisition and the job offer. You can use the integrated candidate relationship management to build long-term relationships with candidates that may be a fit for future positions. Lever is owned by Employ, the same vendor behind JazzHR and Jobvite.
Manatal. Founded in 2019, Manatal sells software focused on taking advantage of AI. The system relies on AI to develop a rich, 360-degree view of candidates by mining data available on social media and other sites. It also uses AI to offer recommendations on the candidates with the best fit for open jobs by parsing the information it has about the candidate and the job. The progressive web app design means there's no need for a mobile app and gives users the ability to do everything on any device.
Pinpoint. Pinpoint offers multilingual applicant tracking software with a built-in onboarding feature to simplify the process of completing new-hire forms and processes. The system has preconfigured integrations to job boards and an employee referral feature to make referrals easy. If you use agencies to help fill vacancies, you can add them to the ATS so all recruiting is done in one system.
SeekOut. Founded in 2016 by former Microsoft executives and engineers, SeekOut uses AI to help companies find passive candidates using publicly available content on social media and other sources. The system also uses its AI engine to match internal and external candidates to open positions and assist with building a diverse workforce. The vendor recently added a new product focused on internal talent development.
SmartRecruiters. SmartRecruiters offers functionality to automate the full talent acquisition process including recruitment marketing, offer management, onboarding and compliance. You can schedule interviews right in the system and avoid bias in the interviews by taking advantage of scorecard functionality. SmartRecruiters uses AI to screen resumes and past candidates to identify top candidates.
Taleo. Founded in 1996 and acquired by Oracle in 2012, Taleo has one of the largest client bases in the talent acquisition industry. Taleo's ATS works with multinational and local companies and offers a full range of configuration options and integrations with third-party vendors.
Trakstar. The vendor claims to have over 3,000 customers for its talent management suite, which includes an ATS as well as performance management, learning and workforce analytics modules. You can use the ATS, Trakstar Hire, formerly called Recruiterbox, to post your open positions in multiple locations simultaneously, including job boards and social media sites such as Twitter. If a resume comes in through email, the software can parse the email and resume to create a candidate profile, avoiding the need to do it manually. When using a sourcing company to help with recruiting, you can add it to the ATS so that all of your recruiting takes place in one system.
VidCruiter. VidCruiter's end-to-end interview platform lets you easily incorporate video into the hiring process. Candidates can take online skill tests, with or without a proctor, and reply to prescreening questions by video so you can identify top talent early in the interview process. You can also use the platform for virtual events and automating the reference-checking process.
Workable. Workable offers a comprehensive talent acquisition system that includes video interviews, DEI features and assessments. It also uses AI to search social media sites and identify passive candidates that have the skills required for a posted job. The system is fully localized in six languages, allowing users to expand their talent pool.