What’s the old-school way of hiring? Going around the clock to dig into piles of resumes and applications. One thing is — it takes forever. But the worst part — it delivers only a few quality candidates.
Luckily, there is a way to get out of this nightmare, and it’s called an ATS.
You can work in a recruitment agency, a start-up, or a larger company. In each case, a stellar applicant tracking software helps you organize your hiring process and automate:
- job posting
- screening resumes
- or candidate communications
The question is — how can you choose one with so many ATS software solutions out there? How can you select a platform with all the key features you need that won’t cost you an arm and a leg?
No worries, we’re to help!
In this article, we’ve curated a list of the best applicant tracking systems you can use to refine your recruiting process and find top talent without wasting countless hours.
The What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software solution that consolidates and automates the hiring process. It helps recruiters and hiring managers to have one centralized system to organize their talent management:
- Candidate sourcing
- Job posting across different job boards and social media
- Tracking candidate progress
- Conducting seamless communication with potential candidates
In other words, a proper applicant tracking system makes your recruiting efforts much easier. Let’s say it out loud — nobody likes unnecessary, manual work. With ATS, entire hiring teams can win back their valuable time and level up their efficiency in the:
- candidate screening
- managing talent acquisition
- sharing feedback with candidates and internal stakeholders
- hiring the best specialists available
Why is ATS essential for your business?
As a recruiter, you know how many moving parts you must handle during the hiring process. And if you need to manage multiple job applicants, it can get quickly out of hand.
First, finding top talent is not a walk in the park. Especially when you are on a hunt for highly-experienced candidates that are not actively looking for a new job. That becomes even more challenging if your goal is to hire engineers and other experts with rare (and often – technical) skill sets.
If you add pressure from your top management and hiring managers, you need superpowers to overcome that and deliver results.
But more than superpowers, you need to implement the best applicant tracking system. Because without ATS software, it will be tough to manage:
- building your talent pool
- sourcing candidates
- posting job openings on multiple job boards and social media platforms
- scheduling interviews
- creating career sites
- and tracking your performance as a recruiter or hiring team.
As you see, we’ve touched upon a few basic features that ATS software should have. Now let’s find what has to be on your checklist.
Key ATS Features to Put Down.
Searching for the best applicant tracking software can be overwhelming. It’s almost like walking into a store looking for a good laptop. There will be plenty of them. And each will hypnotize you with a long whooping list of tech specifications and features, where you won’t understand most of them.
Here, we will make things way easier! Let’s break down the features your dream applicant tracking system should have.
What to expect from an applicant tracking system if not … applicant tracking? The whole point of having that software is to create an end-to-end workspace for monitoring the entire journey of your ideal candidate.
This is where your recruitment process starts. You get the list of job openings from your company or your agency’s client. Time to spread the word and get your offer in front of skilled job seekers!
And it means your best applicant tracking system must be able to post jobs on popular job boards simultaneously. An ideal ATS software will also enable you to publish your job opening on your career sites and share it on social media.
So, you need your applicant tracking system to extract the most valuable intel from those resumes. Your software of choice should have a parsing algorithm to scan and analyze the resume and pinpoint the most relevant candidate data:
- work experience
Dozens of potential JS Developers and Sales leaders have passed the first stage of your verification. Now, it’s time to set up your first video interviews. With that number of qualified candidates, it gets tricky.
When choosing your best applicant tracking system, your table stakes are interview schedules available in one dashboard with an intuitive user interface.
Let’s face it. Social media are full of real-life stories from frustrated job seekers ghosted by recruitment agencies or hiring teams. A lack of fast and honest communication between a recruiter and a candidate can harm the candidate’s experience and negatively affect your employer branding program.
If you’re on the lookout for your best ATS software, make sure the platform allows you to communicate with applicants on the fly. Pay attention to the automation features that can make sending messages even faster.
Reporting and Analytics
Was your hiring process successful? Or were there any parts that could be more efficient? At the end of every recruiting process, you must find time for a retrospective.
And this is where reporting and analytics advanced features come into play! The best ATS software you can choose is the one that will empower you with complete candidate data and performance management tools.
Once your company has the option to look into the insights of your recruitment process, you, as a recruiter, and your hiring managers can make more informed decisions in the future.
By tracking your job opening progress and candidate pipelines, you can identify any bottlenecks in your hiring process. How about checking the results of your job posting and the effectiveness of particular job boards? Was there anything about employee engagement that could impact your time-to-hire?
A comprehensive tracking system will help you optimize your recruitment strategy based on data-driven insights.
Integration and Customization
The last group of your best ATS software features falls under the integration and customization category. What do we mean by that? Each company operates on specific tools and platforms for communication, team collaboration, meetings, etc.
Implementing an applicant traffic system that can’t tune into the existing work environment will cause additional steps in your hiring process, which will only clutter your workflow.
In turn, look for a solution that will easily integrate with your other web applications, such as:
- Google Meet or Microsoft Teams
- Inbox and Calendar
Lasty, your applicant tracking software should be connected to the most popular job boards and social media. And not only for the sake of seamless job postings but also for more efficient candidate sourcing (for example, from LinkedIn).
Top Applicant Tracking Systems in 2023
Great! Now that you know what to pay attention to, it’s time to take a deep dive into our curated list of the best applicant tracking systems.
Let’s start with our very own TRAFFIT! By definition, we are an applicant tracking system. But we position ourselves more as an end-to-end solution to make the hiring process a smooth one for everyone — recruiting teams, hiring managers, and above all — candidates.
Let us give you by the numbers:
- Over 6,500,000 candidates have applied for job openings hosted on our platform.
- More than 14,000 recruiters from over 60 countries have been actively recruiting their candidates and building their talent pool on TRAFFIT.
- Over 314,000 candidates have been hired through our solution.
With the TRAFFIT toolkit, you can hire directly from your talent pool, automate many activities in the hiring process, and bring your hiring managers up to speed with team collaboration options.
Check out our essential features:
- A comprehensive toolset for gathering applications includes a career sites generator, job boards integration, LinkedIn sourcing Chrome extension, or custom application forms.
- A managing candidate’s options include tags & talents, interview scheduling, boolean search, advanced filters, or notes and reminders.
- A recruitment process automation you can achieve with message automation, calendar and inbox sync, Zapier integrations and advanced API, and detailed reports.
- Speaking of automating the repetitive work: TRAFFIT equips recruiters with a set of ready-to-use templates: recruiting email templates and job description templates.
- Moreover, TRAFFIT comes with a sub brand called Huntoo, which is a robust employee referrals solution.
TRAFFIT’s pricing plans come in three tiers: Pro, Elite, and Custom.
Pro: €40 per user/month (if you pay annually) / €50 per user/month (if you pay monthly)
- Free job board integration
- Unlimited Linkedin Jobs posting
- Free accounts for Hiring Managers
- Career Page integration & creator
- Unlimited & customizable workflows
- E-mail automation
- SMS communication
- Data import wizard
- Linkedin sourcing extension
- Referral platform
Elite: €60 per user/month
(if you pay annually) /
€75 per user/month
(if you pay monthly)
This plan, ideal for high volume recruiting, contains all the features from the Pro plan, plus:
- Advanced security options
- API Access
- CRM module
- Custom migrations
- Custom reports
- Tailored onboarding & training
- Bulk edit mode
- Key account management
- TRAFFIT Campus courses access
Custom: tailored pricing
This plan should be your go-to if you work in a hiring team of 10 and more recruiters. It consists of all the features from Elite and goes beyond with the following:
- Custom contracts
- Regular team consultations
- API support
- Career site modifications
- Custom scripts assistance
- Tailored reports and analysis
Try TRAFFIT today
If you’re trying to find a rock-solid applicant tracking software that will help you manage your hiring process from the start to the finish line, try it out for free for 14 days!
You can also have a live detour with us! Book a demo and we will be happy to show you how it works!
Is it worth a shot? Emilia Garbowska, the Head of People and Culture at Livespace, has no doubts: “TRAFFIT gives a wonderful opportunity to recruit the best talents from the market.”
The second web application from our selection of best applicant tracking systems is Manatal. This all-in-one recruitment software provides a solution to make human resources and hiring easier.
The big “why” of Manatal is to help HR teams, recruitment agencies, and freelance headhunters to streamline their hiring programs and refine the quality of hired candidates. Trusted by top-tier brands, Manatal brings up the ease-of-use and a wide array of features as their primary assets.
A friendly user interface is always a great thing to experience, but let’s see what Aces Manatal keeps up its sleeve:
- Interactive, drag & drop recruitment pipeline with all the stages
- Holistic candidate profiles with data from resumes, social media, and other sources.
- Robust search capabilities (including boolean search) that will help you find the ideal match faster.
- Assessing candidates with tests and scorecards
- Automatic candidate matching algorithm that connects potential candidates with a job opening according to candidates’ skillset
- Analytics and reporting with all the metrics and performance management KPIs.
Manatal applicant tracking software has a straightforward pricing logic based on the number of users and the number of candidates:
- Professional – $15 per user/month (if you pay annually) / $19 per user/month (if you pay monthly)
- Enterprise – $35 per user/month (if you pay annually) / $39 per user/month (if you pay monthly)
- Custom – with an on-demand price point.
Another software for talent acquisition is RECRU. Hailed as an all-in-one hiring solution that cuts the time-to-hire in half, RECRU has a proven record of minimizing the administration time that HR teams need to spend on documentation. Plus, of course, ramping up the hiring results.
Customization, customer focus, and efficiency in capturing top talents — this is what this applicant tracking software is mainly praised for. They seem to have all the foundations that recruitment teams need to cover all process stages — from candidate sourcing to reporting.
Like other applicant tracking systems, RECRU highlights the role of AI, automation, and a friendly user interface as their platform’s perks. They also break down their features into the following categories:
- Attract: with candidate sourcing, job postings on the most popular boards, or crafting career sites
- Automate: with AI-powered resume parsing, applicant tracking, and document management
- Hire: with tracking the candidate pipeline, assessment, and interview scheduling
- Improve: with reporting, compliance, and communication.
Here, the pricing concept is also divided into three buckets with another macro layer for agencies and internal HR teams (they don’t differ in price point, though):
- Starter: €39 per user/month
- Premium: €59 per user/month
- Starter: €79 per user/month
As you may have noticed, there is no custom plan for enterprise clients here.
Another highly-ranked applicant tracking software on our list is Recruitee. With a clear focus on talent sourcing and streamlining the entire recruitment process, this platform underlines the aspect of team collaboration. Plus – employee branding, which you can achieve with stunning career pages.
If you aim to establish recruitment processes with a vital aspect of team collaboration, this applicant tracking system can be a strong candidate. Like other talent management web apps, Recruitee entices hiring teams with task automation, time-saving, and reporting options.
A screenshot of a hiring pipeline on their home page is not a coincidence. What you can expect here is a recruiting process software packed with integrations and features:
- “Identify” category of tools with a customizable hiring pipeline, hiring team collaboration options, and CarreerHub, which is a career page builder.
- “Source” category where you can post jobs on multiple free and paid job boards, source candidates, and run employee referrals
- “Interview” category which combines email and mobile app communication with candidates and recruiting teams, assessment and scheduling interviews
- “Hiring” category with managing talent pools and finalizing recruitment processes with e-signatures
- And “Improve” with reporting options and data protection compliance.
Recruitee’s pricing strikes as the most expensive ones so far. You can choose from one of three tiers:
- Launch: starts from $224 per month for 10 job slots (if you pay annually) / $269 per month for 10 job slots (if you pay monthly)
- Scale: starts from $399 per month for 10 job slots (if you pay annually) / $479 per month for 10 job slots (if you pay monthly)
- Lead with an on-demand custom price.
And the last applicant tracking system we will take under our microscope is Softgarden. This talent management web application, with a name so similar to the famous grunge band, is an everyday tool for 40k users.
Time is the most scarce asset in each recruiting process, and Softgarden knows that well. That’s why they implemented technology for teams to go fast and efficiently when landing new hires. According to user testimonials, customer support seems to be a vital asset of this platform.
Softgarden addresses very similar pain points as previously described applicant tracking systems. It’s all about removing clutter from the entire recruitment process with an intense spotlight on smooth and swift team collaboration. Their features include:
- Attracting top talents with super active job postings and over 300 integrated job boards
- Hustle removing with various templates and automation tools
- Candidate assessment together with other team members through tags, comments, and scorecards
- A built-in employee referral program
Softgarden is an exception among other applicant tracking systems because it doesn’t have transparent pricing. It has two plans: Applicant Tracking Software and Talent Acquisition Suite (which includes the Applicant Tracking Software), but both pricing plans are available after filling up the form.
How to Choose the Right ATS for Your Business
OK, we went through 5 best applicant tracking systems. At this stage, your head is probably already spinning. And that’s fine! After all, how can you be sure about choosing this one over the other?
It’s a vital decision because the stakes are high — saving time for you and entire teams, saving money for your company, and ramping up the quality of new hires.
So, it’s 100% worth your time to follow this step-by-step decision process:
Identify Your Business Needs
It’s time to get back to the drawing board and put down the most significant recruitment challenges your company faces. It can be too low time-to-hire, struggles to find candidates with rare technical skills or too much ping-pong between recruiters and hiring managers.
Once you list those challenges, figure out what ATS features can help you solve them. For example, if you need to source “unicorn” candidates, ensure your future applicant tracking system has robust sourcing options.
Are you a small, midsize business or an enterprise?
Take into account what kind of business you are. If you work in a recruitment agency, you will have a different perspective than small and midsize businesses. And if your working environment comes down to recruiting for a large company with hundreds of employees, it will also affect the scope of features and the number of users of your ATS.
It’s usually a no brainer — all you need to do is check the pricing page of each applicant tracking system from your list. In most cases, under each plan there’s a hint about who is it for.
How much can you spend?
At the end of the day, it all comes back to money. Some applicant tracking systems can entice you with the scope of features and integrations, but the complexity will translate into a higher price.
The best idea for calibrating your talent acquisition budget is to calculate how many hours you and your team spend each month on manual work. How many hours does it take to write 1000 emails or 300 job descriptions from scratch? You have your answer if that work cost is multiple times higher than a monthly ATS cost.
Check the user interface
Let’s face it. Each software brand says that its solution is easy to use. But in reality, it doesn’t always look pretty. The great thing about web apps is that you can usually check them during a free trial.
Create an account, play around with the features, and check whether or not it’s intuitive and user-friendly. If it’s not the case, perhaps it’s not the best applicant tracking system you could choose.
This is how we define a user-friendly interface in TRAFFIT:
Verify compatibility and integrations
This part is also crucial when looking for the best applicant tracking system. Each company has an established tech stack. There are specific tools for video calls, email, communication, and project management that small businesses and enterprises use daily.
The trick is to find an ideal match between your new ATS software and the existing set of platforms.
Does your applicant tracking system have an integration with Zapier or API options? Those two can come in handy.
Another cornerstone is connecting your ATS with job boards and social media.
Check the reviews and testimonials
Social proof is paramount. If you’re on a mission to find the best applicant tracking system, scroll down each home page and see what their customers are saying. Look for case studies that will give the actual numbers. Then compare those to other HR tools from your list.
Next, head to software review platforms such as Capterra, G2, GetApp, and check how many stars each ATS platform has and what people say in the review section.
Streamline Your Hiring Process in 2023
There are other aspects you need to take into account when looking for the best applicant tracking systems:
- is it easy when it comes to implementation and training
- what are the best practices for using an applicant tracking system
- what are the most common challenges, and how to overcome them
But at this stage, you are 100% ready to upgrade your talent acquisition program and streamline your following recruiting process with your best applicant tracking system that will help you with the following:
- finding qualified candidates fast
- managing the hiring pipeline
- collaborate smoothly with all the internal stakeholders
- speeding up with job postings and job descriptions
- coordinating employee referral programs
- ramping up your employer branding
We know it can be overwhelming. That’s why we can showcase all the ins and outs of a rock-solid applicant tracking system.
Book your demo today, or start your free trial and explore TRAFFIT for 14 days!