ATS: The best applicant tracking systems

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Image: fizkes / iStock

Following The Great Resignation, many companies need applicant tracking software now more than ever. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) provide hiring officials with the power to manage job postings, sort through applications from prospective employees and help hire the most qualified workers all from a single centralized interface. A business investing in an ATS is streamlining their hiring process through numerous features providing human resource workers and hiring managers an organized and standardized hiring process.

Leading Applicant Tracking Systems

Career page hosting

Career page hosting is the first step when it comes to attracting potential candidates, as many different ATS software options offer the opportunity to host a career branded site. These career pages typically are where open positions are posted, on an enterprises’ website. An advantage that the utilization of an ATS provides is the ability to manage these career pages directly through the ATS’s platform. As the ATS makes it easier to set these pages up, hiring managers and their teams can focus more on sorting through the correct candidates for the job rather than having to worry about updating a multitude of external job boards.

Pinpoint

Pintpoint logo.
Image: Pinpoint

Pinpoint is a relatively new solution within the ATS industry, offering hiring teams the ability to work within a branded career website. This solution provides simplification of the career page hosting by having the manager spend less time on admin duties, making effective hires faster and reducing the cost typically associated with recruitment agency spending. Pinpoint boasts a branded careers website, capable of posting to over 1,450 job sites while maintaining the brand’s existing guidelines and house styles. The platform can assist teams and users by suggesting job descriptions to pull in more qualified candidates, and the ability to change the listings on all job boards once a position has been added, edited or removed from the branded site.

Freshteam

Freshworks logo.
Image: Freshworks

Freshteam is a popular option that offers either free or paid options for recruitment teams looking to create and host a career page through an ATS. The solution allows managers and their teams to quickly set up a career site with customizable options ranging from a simple list of open positions to a collection of employees sharing their experiences with the company to attract potential candidates. Once candidates have applied, they are then routed to the Freshteam ATS where their profiles can be combed through by the hiring team.

Job distribution

To cut down on the amount of time spent getting word of open roles out to potential candidates, many of these ATSs will utilize a job distribution system to post to numerous job boards all at once, eliminating the time consuming process of posting to these boards individually. In addition, many of the major job boards such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter will often have partnerships with ATSs, allowing hiring teams to alter, add or remove the posting as needed.

JazzHR

JazzHR logo.
Image: JazzHR

JazzHR is a top option for many small to medium businesses (SMBs) as their aggregate recruiting tool allows users to post across various job site networks, both free and paid. Users of the platform can purchase job traffic through pay-per-click and pay-per-post job boards from around the internet. This promotes better organization of candidates through a watchlist once a set number of candidates are chosen for interviews, giving the team control over settings, which ultimately creates a more specialized experience for the recruitment team when sourcing through multiple candidates.

Greenhouse

Greenhouse logo.
Image: Greenhouse

Greenhouse is another popular ATS tool, used by a number of notable companies such as DoorDash, Wayfair and DocuSign. The platform can assist those overseeing large businesses as well as the more intricate needs of SMBs as well. The platform allows hiring teams the ability to optimize and access postings for over 1,000 job boards and Greenhouse boasts its own job ad market. This board makes hiring easier by recommending candidates based on historical and industry performance all within Greenhouse’s board.

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Application organization

Another key feature of ATSs is the ability to sort and organize prospective candidates’ applications to find the best applicants for the role. This in turn allows for less time spent trying to order the attributes of candidates and more time spent reaching out to those who best suit the position. Using an ATS, hiring teams can pull a number of candidates and their applications into one portal and allow those making the hiring decision to sort and filter through candidates quickly.

Workday

Workday logo.
Image: Workday

Workday is an incredibly powerful tool known for its work alongside major companies like Bank of America, Target and Patagonia. With the ability to sort through thousands of potential candidates and their applications all with a few simple clicks, this ATS solution can provide businesses with peace of mind knowing they are pulling the correct employee from the candidate pool.

Recooty

Recooty logo.
Image: Recooty

Recooty is another ATS solution that is known for its ease of use for hiring teams. The dashboard within this system allows hiring teams to check resumes and create a shortlist based on the most qualified candidates that have submitted applications. Recooty, in addition to its reputation as an easy-to-use tool, is also more affordable for SMB’s than some of the larger ATS platforms.

Collaboration tools

With so many industries looking for employees post-Great Resignation, it’s no surprise that enterprises are looking to make decisions on candidates and get offers out faster to those desired applicants and fill openings. To streamline the hiring process, it is important that all hiring team members be up to speed with the stages each candidate is currently in, and that every member of the team has the tools to remain informed on important deadlines and milestones.

BambooHR

BambooHR logo.
Image: BambooHR

BambooHR is one of the premiere platforms for its collaboration tools, with the ability to cut communication time by allowing for customization in hiring roles, automated notifications, offer letter templates and new hire packages. Using their suite of collaboration tools, enterprises can get offers out to incoming employees faster and begin the onboarding process very quickly after an offer has been accepted.

Breezy

Breezy logo.
Image: Breezy

Breezy offers a leg up in team collaboration by giving managers the capacity to organize different teams and assign individual members to those teams with no restrictions on the team members that can be invited. In addition, users of Breezy can discuss and evaluate potential hires in real-time, and allow for the shared scorecards of applicants to help companies find the best fit for their organization’s needs.

Calendar integration

With speed being a key factor in the hiring process, it is important that not only the members of the hiring team be in the loop with the times interviews are taking place, but also the interviewee being kept informed about where they are in the process. To do this, many systems and platforms allow for integration with calendar applications, allowing managers to view the availability of both the members of their teams but also the times in which their applications are free to have an interview scheduled.

Rippling

Rippling logo.
Image: Rippling

Rippling is one such application that syncs with various calendar applications such as Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar and other applications to take the onus off of the manager to get an interview time scheduled. The integration allows those running the hiring process to view multiple calendars at the same time and find which times work best to conduct interviews to prospective candidates.

RecruiterFlow

Recruiterflow logo.
Image: Recruiterflow

RecruiterFlow’s solution is also paramount to proper time management by not only syncing with other calendar applications, but also letting interviewers log detailed notes about the interview and the candidate that can be viewed by the entire hiring team. Additionally, the platform’s calendar integration allows hiring managers to create, alter or cancel interview times across multiple users’ calendars if availability or the status of the open position changes.

Best All-in-one ATS: Rippling

Per several different review websites, Rippling has the largest swath of positive reviews among the businesses that utilize these systems. This platform boasts high ratings from a number of different outlets for its ease of use and all-in-one capabilities. Capterra has the Rippling ATS platform rated at 4.9 out of 5 stars, and listed as a top performer in HR Analytics software. Rippling also holds high ratings from review sites such as Software Advice, where it holds an identical 4.9 out of 5 rating.

As with any platform, Rippling does have its drawbacks, however. Many reviews have noted that while Rippling has an easy-to-use interface, lack of support has been noted as an issue for those running into technical or clerical errors with the platform. Lack of customer service and slow to respond technical support have been the most common complaints with the ATS.

Despite these flagged issues, reviews from PC Magazine also have selected Rippling as an Editor’s Choice selection with a 4.5 out of 5, and GetApp has Rippling selected as its number-one rated platform for businesses looking for help with managing payroll, benefits, HR and IT.

What is an ATS?

Applicant tracking systems can provide both hiring and recruiting tools for teams looking to bring in new employees. When most candidates apply for a role, the resume and additional materials submitted are typically not sent directly to hiring managers, even if a person applies through a job site such as LinkedIn or Indeed. Most large enterprises and a growing number of smaller companies are utilizing these ATSs to help sort through resumes quickly and efficiently to find the best candidates for a role.

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Employers hiring for numerous positions are also more likely to use these platforms as well, due to the organization functions available to hiring teams. Using an ATS can allow a hiring manager or their team to view a number of different applications across different positions by combing through resumes and highlighting the best candidates, saving precious time when getting offers out. According to a report from JobScan, 98% of Fortune 500 companies utilize an ATS of some sort, helping hiring teams to make their decisions in a timely fashion. With many options available for an ATS to be integrated with a company’s hiring process, enterprises can weigh benefits and cost options that work best with the budget and the features they value most in an ATS platform.

Some advanced ATS software options can even evaluate a number of candidates and highlight the applicant best for the role using an algorithm that compares their skills and experience with the requirements of the open position. In this instance, instead of spending hours sifting through a number of resumes and trying to match those needs up individually, a hiring manager or team can input a potential hire’s resume and get a percentage of how well the applicant compares to the role they are applying for. Once this is done, an automated scheduling system can align applicants schedules with that of a hiring manager or team to get interviews completed.

Why is an ATS important?

As hiring has gotten more competitive due to mass departures by employees, it is imperative that hiring teams put their time and resources to good use. Many companies are looking to hire numerous new employees and speed up the onboarding process to get incoming employees familiarized with the responsibilities of their new roles.

In large enterprises, ATS software can help sort through a large number of applications and applicants for a job, picking out specific skills that align with the company’s goals and values. As many large businesses are typically receiving anywhere from hundreds to thousands of resumes for open positions, businesses are likely to see a significant return on investment with an ATS if they’re screening more than 1,000 resumes annually. Once these ATS platforms have sorted the resumes, they then can do anything from organizing employees by percentage of effectiveness in the role to handling the onboarding process of incoming workers that have accepted offered positions.

In small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), using an ATS can help business owners streamline their hiring process through a number of different features. Moving away from using spreadsheets to a fully-formed ATS solution can cut down on the amount of time and money spent between emails, booking interviews with candidates, handling documents and on-boarding processes. Additionally, small business owners are less likely to need a staffing firm for recruiting, and can save revenue dollars in commissions by using one of these platforms that typically cost less than a recruiting team.

ATS Common Features

While companies use ATS platforms for many different hiring-related tasks, a good deal of these systems boast the same features including career page hosting, job distribution, the ability to receive and sort applications, collaboration tools with team members, the ability to message and schedule interviews with candidates and onboarding tools.

Many companies utilize an ATS due to the ability to sort thousands of submitted resumes and pick certain candidates based on how their attributes align with the core values of the company or key needs of the role itself. Several can also help hiring teams manage the flow of incoming emails, allowing teams to communicate with a number of applicants at the same time and not requiring individualized responses to every candidate.

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