Idea in short

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the company’s digital hub for hiring. It centralizes an organization’s recruitment database by housing all information on candidates, job openings, and placements. Most applicant tracking systems include a career landing page builder where companies can design customisable online job applications to host on their website. Once a candidate completes a job application on the career site, the ATS automatically parses and screens resumes according to previously determined keywords. Then the ATS database saves qualified applicants for future reference.

Many Applicant Tracking Systems integrate with calendars to automatically schedule interviews for qualified candidates. Offer letters and other document templates can be created to save time, and some systems may also provide background checks or verify paperwork during the onboarding process. In short, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) software is a centralised tool where human resources teams can manage candidate sourcing, evaluation, and hiring. Companies can track each part of the application and hiring process in the tool—from start to finish. Common features include job board posting, career site builders, interview tools, and analytics.

Market for Applicant Tracking Systems

The market size of Applicant Tracking System companies is reportedly in the 350 range, though many of them have only a few hundred clients. The potential for market growth is huge since the need for organization of employee information is becoming a necessity for companies big and small since the Internet Applicant Rule was set in place. This is a list of the top applicant tracking systems.

Taleo Recruiting

Started in 1996, and acquired by Oracle Companies in 2012. One of the leading ATS Softwares with over 20 million users. Taleo focuses on talent acquisition.

  • Recruiting Cloud service and Social Recruiting capabilities are a big plus for hiring managers
  • Applicants complain of long application process times (often 45 minutes). However, this means many who aren’t willing to go through the process will drop out, thus shrinking the pool of applicants from the start

iCIMS Talent Platform

Founded in 2000 with a focus on creating a cloud-based recruiting software. iCIMS is one of the leaders in ATS and has over 3,000 clients.

  • Intuitive interface and fantastic customer service
  • Complaints of sub-par reporting functionality

Kenexa Brassring

Owned by IBM since 2012, but Kenexa planted its roots back in the late 80s. It has been focused on recruitment since 2005.

  • Very user friendly for the applicant and hiring manager. Great for first time ATS users
  • Maybe a bit too user friendly at times–hiring managers complain of too many clicks to get from start to finish of each candidate

Jobvite

Jobvite began in 2006, so it is fairly new for having so much success. This software boasts 1,600 clients and a database of 43 million job seekers all over the world.

  • Great for company referrals and very user friendly
  • Reporting is lacking on the hiring manager side

Greenhouse

Greenhouse was founded in 2012 and has grown very quickly. A few of its major clients include Airbnb, Buzzfeed, Disqus and DigitalOcean.

  • Users say it works very similarly to the traditional hiring process
  • Costly, but many users say it is worth it for the product

SuccessFactors by SAP

Founded in 2001, but now has over 6,000 customers and over 32 million users from 60 different job industries. It is available in 32 different languages.

  • Simple, responsive interface
  • Is time consuming for the hiring manager to customize, and for the job seeker to complete

Workday

Founded in 2005 and is geared toward attracting the customers of top ATS Taleo and SAP. It has a healthy combination of mid-size companies and Fortune 500 businesses.

  • Positive from a reporting perspective, and visually appealing interface
  • Customisation of sections can be a challenge

OpenCATS

OpenCATS is a work in progress. But, recruiters attribute high ratings among the available free ATS. They are dedicated to making updates based on customer suggestions, but the funds make the process a little bit slow.

  • Positive organization of resumes
  • Maintenance is very slow for this ATS

Softgarden

Softgarden, based in Germany, uses an SaaS platform to bring together 10 years of HR experience and research into its ATS.

  • Well-rounded software with a free trial (no credit card needed)
  • Not mobile-friendly

JobScore

JobScore hopes to simplify the networked recruiting process for the next generation of recruiters and hiring managers. It was founded in 2004 in California.

  • Good system considering it is free
  • Only posts to 25 job boards

BambooHR

BambooHR is great for medium and small businesses because it is easy to use and affordable. Plus, you can get a free 7-Day Trial.

  • Manages new applicants as well as current employees in a company directory
  • ATS needs some work as far as customization

Zoho Recruit

Offering a free trial period, Zoho Recruit helps hiring managers and recruiters utilize job boards and social media to find the best candidates for job openings.

  • Great customization options
  • Poor customer service