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With so many different applicant tracking systems tailored to the needs of small businesses, finding the right system for you can be challenging. You want cost-effective software to help you analyze your candidate applications quickly, but you need to figure out which software is best. In this post, I'll help you make this choice simpler by sharing my insights on the best applicant tracking systems for small businesses based on my personal recruiting experience with a small company that experienced rapid growth.

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a digital tool that simplifies the recruiting and hiring process by organizing candidate applications, parsing resumes, and matching candidate skills with job descriptions. Other key features include tools for posting jobs, candidate sourcing, applicant management, candidate screening, offer letters, and onboarding. They're used by recruiters and collaborative hiring teams and they can be a standalone platform or an individual module within a larger HR software suite.

ATS software improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your key recruitment touchpoints, making it easier to surface promising candidates and keep them engaged. By saving time and reducing costs, small businesses can optimize their hiring strategies and compete for top talent effectively.

Overviews of the 10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems for Small Businesses

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of each applicant tracking system that highlights their noteworthy features and explains why I thought they’d work well for a small business. I’ve also included screenshots to give a snapshot of their user interface.

Best for teams looking for an end-to-end solution

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

As a small business, hiring is a labor-intensive activity that sometimes takes too much time. Mitratech Trakstar Hire has an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that can help you with the heavy lifting so you can focus on creating impactful tasks for your company.

Mitratech Trakstar Hire’s ATS enables recruiting teams to receive résumés through customizable application forms, and use bulk upload to import multiple résumés simultaneously. Once the résumés are imported and stored in the system, the software’s résumé parser automatically extracts all the pertinent details from the candidate résumés to create accurate applicant profiles.

In addition to applicant tracking and candidate sourcing, Mitratech Trakstar Hire allows you to schedule candidate interviews on the same platform. It features shared calendars, automated responses and reminders, email templates, as well as Outlook and Google calendar integrations. Career site management and offer management are also available, making it an end-to-end ATS and hiring solution.

Integrations include other Mitratech Trakstar products and several third-party solutions, such as Checkr, Slack, Namely, and BambooHR, as well as Google and Outlook calendar applications.

Best for reaching a broader range of candidates

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Greenhouse is a recruiting software that offers an 'essential' plan that's well-suited to the needs of small businesses. The platform helps you reach, classify, and nurture talent, and build a robust candidate pipeline and find the best candidates for each available position.

When you're ready to advertise a job opening, you can post on over 1,000 job boards through the software. This includes both niche sites and major job marketplaces, and the software makes recommendations of where you should post based on historical and industry performance. By casting a wider net, you're more likely to find the best people for the role.

A contact database is included in the system, making it easier to keep track of applicant contact information and send personalized follow ups and communications. You can also automate your messaging to reduce your manual workload.

The software allows you to screen candidates anonymously using scorecards you can set up. This helps you both mitigate unconscious bias and ensure you're evaluating people fairly and consistently.

You can connect the platform to other tools including Broadbean, Canditech, Cord, Docusign, Dropbox, FlexJobs, Google Meet, Indeed, Microsoft Teams, Paradox, and Seek. A free demo is available, and pricing information is available upon request.

Intuitive applicant tracking system with AI-driven recommendations and social media recruitment tools

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $15/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.9/5

Manatal’s applicant tracking system simplifies the hiring process, helping hiring teams of any size manage their talent pools and strengthen their team collaboration. Their system creates individual talent pipelines for each vacant position, making it easy to track and share progress with other hiring managers. To boost the number of candidate applications, Manatal feeds job postings to thousands of free and premium job posting boards following the parameters of your job ad campaigns.

Recruiters dealing with high-volume hiring will appreciate Manatal’s built-in artificial intelligence, which includes AI-driven recommendations for which candidates are the best fit based on extensive candidate scorecards and comparisons of their direct skills against your detailed job descriptions. Rich candidate profiles also capture a candidate’s entire digital presence including their LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, all within their profile, making social media recruitment simple.

Manatal’s cloud-based SaaS software is fully accessible from their mobile app as well, making it easy to stay on top of activity when you’re away from your desk too. The system also includes integrations with LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook, Mailchimp and other platforms. Access to their API and Zapier integration are available for customized system configurations too.

Pricing for Manatal starts at $15 USD/user/month. A free demo and a 14-day free trial can also be requested via their website.

Best for tracking candidate progress through the hiring pipeline

  • 15-day free trial + free demo
  • From $149/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Workable is a recruitment software platform designed to improve the hiring process for businesses of all sizes. With its comprehensive suite of tools, Workable simplifies job posting, candidate sourcing, and applicant tracking, making it easier for HR teams to manage their recruitment efforts.

One of the standout features of Workable is its job posting and sourcing capabilities. Workable allows users to post job listings to hundreds of job boards and social media platforms with just a few clicks, which is useful for small businesses with limited time for manual effort. Additionally, Workable’s advanced candidate sourcing tools enable recruiters to search for potential candidates across multiple channels. This extensive reach ensures that companies can attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates

Workable's ATS allows recruiters to manage candidate applications from a single, intuitive dashboard, tracking their progress through each stage of the hiring pipeline. It also includes powerful automation features, such as resume parsing and candidate scoring.

The platform also offers a range of tools that facilitate team collaboration, allowing hiring managers and team members to share feedback and evaluation.

Workable integrates with a wide range of popular tools and platforms, including LinkedIn, Indeed, Google Calendar, Slack, Microsoft Outlook, Zapier, BambooHR, Greenhouse, Zoom, Asana, Trello, DocuSign, G Suite, Office 365, Monster, Facebook, Twitter, Glassdoor, and more.

Best for streamlining the recruitment process with automated tracking features

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Rippling is a comprehensive software platform that offers a range of solutions for small businesses, including an applicant tracking system (ATS). It's designed to streamline the hiring process, making it easier to manage job postings, track applicants, and onboard new hires.

I chose Rippling as one of the best applicant tracking systems for small businesses because it's not just an ATS. It's an all-in-one platform that integrates with a variety of other tools, making it a one-stop-shop for all your HR needs. It's perfect for small businesses that don't have a dedicated HR department, as it simplifies the process and saves time.

One of the standout features of Rippling is its ease of use. The interface is clean and intuitive, making it easy to navigate and find what you need. It also offers a range of features that are specifically designed for small businesses, such as the ability to post jobs to multiple job boards with a single click, and the option to automate the onboarding process. Plus, it offers detailed analytics, so you can track your hiring process and make improvements where necessary.

Features include payroll, time and attendance, learning management, benefits, talent management, PEO, pulse surveys, and workforce analytics.

Integrations are available with 1Password, Asana, Atlassian, BrightHire, Checkr, Databricks, DocuSign, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Workspace, LinkedIn, Microsoft 365, Netsuite, Sage Intacct, Slack, Typeform, QuickBooks, Upwork, Zendesk, Zoom, and hundreds more.

Pricing starts at $8/user/month, and they offer a free demo.

Best ATS for recruitment agencies

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $50/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Recruit CRM is a web-based applicant tracking system that simplifies and automates the recruitment process for small businesses. You can create job postings and track applicants through a centralized dashboard and easily filter through resumes and CVs to find the perfect candidate for each position.

The platform offers automated emails, comprehensive analytics, customizable questionnaires, and personalized messages to ensure applicants feel valued. Additionally, its onboarding feature automates document gathering and processing tasks so you can focus on other tasks.

Recruit CRM’s integrated job board feature makes it easy to post jobs on popular job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn with just one click. Users can customize these postings with company logos, colors, and other branding elements to attract qualified applicants. The resume parser quickly scans incoming resumes and automatically imports relevant information. Then, all the candidate data is stored ina. central location, thanks to its candidate database management feature.

Finally, you can use the performance tracking feature to evaluate employee performance over time by tracking key metrics such as attendance rates or customer satisfaction surveys. This helps employers identify areas where employees could improve or when additional training or resources may be needed to achieve specific goals set by management teams.

A 30-day free trial is available.

Comprehensive HR software that streamlines the recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to advanced analytics

  • 15-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $25/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Zoho Recruit is an applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers valuable features for small businesses in managing their recruitment processes. Zoho Recruit provides a user-friendly platform for small businesses to streamline their applicant tracking. The software allows small businesses to create customized career webpages, post job listings, and track candidate applications. It offers tools for managing candidate profiles, scheduling interviews, and collaborating with team members.

Zoho Recruit incorporates a feature called Blueprint, which is designed to automate and streamline the recruitment workflow. It provides recruiters with a visual representation of their hiring processes, guiding them step-by-step through pre-defined workflows. This ensures that each stage of recruitment, from sourcing candidates to onboarding, is consistent and adheres to best practices. The drag-and-drop interface and customization capabilities of Blueprint allow businesses to tailor the recruitment journey to their unique needs, ensuring both efficiency and compliance.

Zoho Recruit offers a specialized feature known as the Resume Inbox which, when paired with the software's built-in Resume Parser, enables recruiters to effortlessly manage bulk applications. By simply forwarding all received resumes to a designated email address, the Resume Inbox collects them and, with the Parser, automatically extracts relevant details like skills, experience, and education to create structured candidate profiles. This not only saves time from manual data entry but also ensures that candidate data is uniformly presented and easily searchable within the system.

Zoho Recruit has a free plan is available for small teams and allows limited access to features. Paid plans start from $7/user/month and up.

Best for AI/ML powered resume scoring feature

  • Free plan available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Unnanu Hire is a cutting-edge hiring platform that combines the power of artificial intelligence and automation to revolutionize the recruitment process, connecting job seekers with relevant opportunities and helping employers find the best-fit candidates quickly and efficiently. With its advanced algorithms, user-friendly interface, and unlimited job postings, Unnanu Hire simplifies and enhances the hiring experience for both employers and job seekers alike.

Unnanu Hire functions as a highly effective applicant tracking system by seamlessly managing and organizing candidate information throughout the recruitment process, providing a centralized platform for employers to track, review, and communicate with applicants, streamlining workflow, and ensuring a comprehensive and efficient hiring process.

Two unique features that distinguish Unnanu Hire from its competitors are its AI-powered candidate matching capabilities and its integrated video interviewing functionality. Unnanu Hire's AI algorithms analyze job requirements and candidate profiles to deliver highly accurate and relevant matches, allowing employers to analyze candidate resumes contextually in seconds. Additionally, the platform's built-in video interviewing feature allows for seamless virtual interviews, enabling employers to assess candidates remotely and make more informed hiring decisions, all within the same unified platform. These distinctive features make Unnanu Hire a comprehensive and innovative solution for efficient and intelligent recruitment processes.

Unnanu Hire doesn't currently list integrations on their site.

Unnanu Hire is free to use for the basic, feature-lite plan. Paid plans start at $99/month for 2 users.

Comprehensive recruiting platform with collaborative hiring tools and time-saving workflow automations

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $143/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Breezy’s recruitment software covers the full recruitment process from advertising positions and attracting candidates, through screening and interviewing, all the way to sending out offers. Candidate management tools include drag-and-drop talent pipelines, email and SMS messaging, automated workflows to streamline repetitive tasks, and screening tools that automatically advance or disqualify candidates based on their answers.

Their system supports custom-branded career sites that are mobile-optimized, to make discovery easy for potential candidates. Once you publish a new job posting, Breezy will automatically distribute it to 50+ job sites all around the world, making exposure fast and simple. They’ll even help you improve your DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) stats by integrating with the best DEI-focused job boards for you. On top of that, they also have a process for capturing employee referrals, giving you another opportunity to find top talent that your existing staff can vouch for.

Breezy integrates with 35+ common software applications including background check software like Checkr, GoodHire, and Verified First, HRIS systems like Gusto, Hibob, Namely, Rippling, Sapling, and Zenefits, and many productivity tools like Slack, Zapier, Zoom and many others.

Pricing for Breezy HR starts at $143 USD/month but your first two months are free. A full-feature 14-day free trial and free demo are also available too. A freemium version for just one position or job pool is also available.

Straightforward recruiting platform with smart campaigns and custom landing pages

  • 18-day free trial
  • From $269/month (10 jobs)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Recruitee’s is a robust, affordable and scalable ATS software supports the entire recruitment process and helps to decrease time-to-hire, beginning with their CareersHub page, which can be customized to match your company brand with no coding skills or fancy IT requirements. You can create custom landing pages for different career campaigns and use their smart campaigns feature to post to multiple job boards at once. To help you source the most qualified candidates, the system is linked with 1,450+ free and paid job boards. They even have a ReferralsHub module to help you source talent through an employee referral program too.

Helpful, timesaving features for the screening and evaluation process include screening questionnaires, unbiased hiring evaluation tools, an event scheduler, automated candidate reminders, video interviewing integrations with Google Meet, Teams or Zoom, and meeting room booking tools. Hiring managers can send successful candidates job offers directly within the system, which also has a full-feature mobile app and e-signature capabilities. For remaining candidates who still show future potential, you can add them to a talent pool for future vacancies.

Recruitee has 60 integrations with common HR software platforms, including BambooHR, Checkr, DocuSign, Gusto, Outlook, Sympa and many others.

Pricing for Recruitee starts at $91 USD/month for 5 job postings per month. An 18-day free trial and free demo can also be arranged via their website.

The 10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems For Small Businesses Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top ATS selections specifically for small businesses. You can view pricing details and the availability of free trials or demos side-by-side to help you find the best option for your budget and hiring needs.

Tools Price
Mitratech Trakstar Pricing upon request
Greenhouse Pricing upon request
Manatal From $15/user/month
Workable From $149/user/month
Rippling From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Recruit CRM From $50/user/month
Zoho Recruit From $25/user/month (billed annually)
Unnanu Hire Pricing upon request
Breezy HR From $143/month
Recruitee From $269/month (10 jobs)
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other ATS Options for Small Business Owners

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make it into my top 10 selections for the best applicant tracking software for SMBs, but are still worth checking out:

Selection Criteria For Applicant Tracking Systems For SMBs

Wondering how I selected the best applicant tracking software for small businesses? First, I used my previous experience dealing with large volumes of candidate data to add more expertise to my assessment. In the past, I spent a lot of time organizing resumes into different file folders for each individual hiring manager and job posting. Way too much time, in fact!

Here’s a summary of the ATS evaluation criteria I used to prepare this list: 

Core Functionalities

Some applicant tracking systems are standalone pieces of software, while others are distinct modules, embedded in larger human resources information systems (HRIS) or human resource management systems (HRMS). Regardless of how an ATS is packaged, these are the core features I assessed during my quest for the best applicant tracking system for small businesses:

  1. Talent pools: The ability to build up a roster of potential candidates to draw from for future job openings. As job applicants come in, you can sort them thematically based on their skills and qualifications.
  2. Talent pipelines: These are visualization tools that allow recruiters to expertly track where each candidate is within the recruiting process. The best talent pipeline tools are organized visually with columns for each key step in the process (i.e., screening, interview, background check, references, offer, etc.) and have user-friendly features like drag-and-drop changes or one-click advancements. 
  3. Workflow automation: Recruiting can become tedious, so the best systems must include automations to take care of the menial tasks like sending out interview reminders or following up on incomplete references. Other helpful automation tools are features like sending out bulk yet customized rejection emails and auto-scheduling interviews.
  4. Candidate screening tools: Built-in features like screening questionnaires, scorecards, skill assessments and ranking features help hiring teams quickly compare candidates before advancing them to the next stage. 
  5. Direct links with job posting sites: The exact number of sites will vary with each platform, but the best ATS tools automatically submit new postings to popular job boards as soon as they’re published.  

A Solid UI and UX

When you're juggling large volumes of candidate information, you don't have time to waste using software that feels awkward to use. That's why I selected systems that offered a clean and uncluttered user interface (UI) that organizes each step of the recruiting process for you. UI features I looked for include visual recruiting pipelines or colour-coding tools. I also appreciate any other features that eliminate the need to click into records for more details.

Having a user-friendly system will create a good user experience (UX) for all types of users, from your dedicated recruiters to your hiring managers, and even your candidates on the other end.

Mobile App Accessibility

Mobile accessibility is an important feature to consider, especially if your industry revolves around candidates who are often mobile or deskless. After all, 89% of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for open positions, so it's crucial to make your application process mobile-friendly for potential job seekers. This helps to elicit faster candidate responses, and allows your recruiters to stay on top of updates in real time from anywhere. Mobile-friendly features include the ability to communicate with candidates via text message right from within the platform, and job descriptions that display properly on mobile devices.

Software Integrations

I looked for systems that integrate with other commonly used applications such as email programs, social networking sites and, of course, direct integrations with popular job posting sites. By linking these systems together, you'll be able to improve your productivity and increase transparency within your recruiting team. I also noted any integrations with HR management systems, since these connections make it possible to develop onboarding workflows for new hires too.

Price

I always try to pick software with transparent pricing models and clear explanations for the features you will or won’t receive at each level. This is especially important for small businesses with tight budgets. I also recommend signing up for a free trial or booking a free demo too. That way, you'll get a first-hand feel for how the software would work for your unique business needs and preferences.

Related Read: HR Software: What It Costs And How To Decide What’s Best For Your Company

People Also Ask

Still not sure how an ATS solution can help your business? These answers to frequently asked questions should help set you straight.

What are the benefits of using an applicant tracking system?

Depending on the size of your recruitment outreach, you are likely dealing with a handful of positions that you’re scouting for simultaneously, all with distinct candidate skills and requirements. On top of that, you have candidates submitting their applications around the clock, vying for your attention and time.

Without the right tools, juggling all that information can be overwhelming. By investing in an applicant tracking system, you can expect the following benefits:

  1. Less time spent on administrative tasks
  2. Faster hiring process for you and candidates
  3. Improved quality of hired candidates
  4. Improved internal communication between hiring team members and managers
  5. Improved candidate experience
  6. A streamlined process from end-to-end using customized automations
  7. Improved social reach through direct access to job boards and media networks
  8. Ability to develop a long-term database of passive candidates for future postings
  9. Integration with other HR systems such as onboarding and payroll applications
  10. Increased security and data protection

According to recent research, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS for their recruitment cycle, followed by 66% of large companies and 35% of small companies. However, regardless of the size of your business, by investing in the best ATS for your business needs, you will suddenly find yourself with a heightened ability to find the best talent for each position.

If you’re still thirsty for more ATS details, take a look at our article explaining how applicant tracking systems work.

What is resume parsing?

Resume parsing is a useful feature that many types of recruiting software includes. It works by using automation to electronically scan the components of a resume. Then it organizes the data and saves the details into specific fields within your recruiting software or applicant tracking system.

The most common fields that resume parsers extract information from are contact information, educational credentials, professional certifications, work experience, and job skills. This feature saves recruiters a lot of time otherwise spent copying and pasting this data from resumes into their software to allow for easier candidate comparisons.

As a small business owner, what other types of HR software should I know about?

To help you in your quest to run a successful and profitable small business, here are some links to other types of HR software I’ve specifically prepared with SMBs in mind:

And if those links aren’t enough, head up to our Search field for a deeper dive. I’m sure we’ve got another list ready to support your business needs, so definitely take a look!

Other ATS and Recruiting Software Reviews

Looking for another type of recruiting or ATS solution? Here's a collection of the other recruiting tools I've already assessed to save you hours of sleuthing:

More Resources for Hiring Teams

We also have loads of other resources to help you dive deeper into this topic, beyond just software. Here's a selection of our articles covering hiring best practices, written by industry experts:

What's Next?

Now that you’ve taken a deeper look at these top-ranking applicant tracking systems, how will you take action? Which system looked like the best fit for you?

Lastly, before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our People Managing People newsletter. You’ll gain access to the latest articles covering a whole range of HR-related topics. 

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Kim Behnke
By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.