Graphics of Applicant Tracking Systems

10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems Of 2021

This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best applicant tracking systems (ATS).


Because applicant management and tracking is a daunting task. As soon as you hit “publish” on any job posting site, the resumes and qualifications from job seekers will start rolling in. It can be overwhelming to keep track of them all, not to mention pick out the most qualified candidates and remember why they stood out. 

Some people rely on spreadsheets and email threads as their version of a “free applicant tracking system” but that is never a fully reliable method for narrowing down the candidate pool to find the perfect fit. 

A complete recruitment management system may simply collect and organize applications—this is a main function of applicant tracking software—but nowadays the entire system may also include many additional features, including recruitment CRM, talent acquisition, human resource management, talent management, metric-based recruiting, candidate experience, and predictive analytics. Finding the right recruitment software can take care of a lot of administrative overhead.

In this post, I’ll share with you the basics of what applicant tracking software tools do, tell you what you should look for in an application tracker, and highlight a few of the best ones I’ve come across.

The Best Applicant Tracking Systems List

The below recruiting software can help streamline application management, the recruiting process, onboarding, and HR. Here’s a sneak peek:

  1. Manatal - Best for social media recruitment & AI tools
  2. Pinpoint - Best for in-house talent acquisition and people teams
  3. - Best customizable ATS solution
  4. Zoho Recruit - Best applicant tracking system for staffing agencies
  5. Oracle Taleo - Best for large enterprises
  6. SAP SuccessFactors - Best for data analytics and reporting
  7. iCIMS Recruit - Best for advertising job postings
  8. SmartRecruiters - Best for ease of use and user interface
  9. Workday - Best for integrations

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems

Here’s a brief description of each of the ATS tracking tools that are featured on this top 10 list.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $15/user/month (billed annually)

Manatal - Best for social media recruitment & AI tools

Manatal users can streamline the recruitment process by organizing candidates and process stages onto Kanban boards.

Manatal is a leading recruitment software solution relying on AI, machine learning, and innovative and unique features with clients in over 90 countries worldwide. The software helps in streamlining all recruitment operations from sourcing to onboarding. Manatal’s interface is both practical and intuitive, and as a result, little to no training is required and teams can quickly start leveraging its tools. The platform includes all the standard ATS features such as daily recruitment processing, drag and drop pipelines, compliance tools (i.e. GDPR, CCPA, & PDPA), a full analytics suite, skill bank, candidate and job history, activities management, collaboration tools, a placement management system, and all main functions that relate to applicant and employee information and records. More innovative features include things like powerful search functions, AI-based recommendations, candidate scoring, and social media recruitment (Linkedin, Facebook, GitHub, and more). These features have proven extremely valuable in streamlining activities like candidate sourcing and screening, as well as in helping leverage large existing candidate databases. Finally, Manatal includes a complete CRM (customer relationship management) system and an easy-to-use, customizable career page builder so users can start showcasing openings. Manatal offers an open API and integrations with LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook, Mailchimp, and more. Manatal costs from $15/user/month (billed annually) and offers a 14-day free trial.


  • Intuitive user interface
  • AI-based recommendation of candidates and social media recruitment
  • Built-in CRM tools


  • No free plan
  • No free trial extension
  • No payroll management system
  • Free demo
  • From $600/month paid annually

Pinpoint - Best for in-house talent acquisition and people teams

Pinpoint’s dashboard offers an overview of candidates, their status, their scorecards, and more.

Pinpoint is an applicant tracking system designed for internal talent acquisition and people teams rather than recruitment agencies.

Pinpoint is extremely powerful yet easy-to-use with an intuitive design and user experience. Recruiters and hiring managers can be onboarded and get up and running quickly, and additional support from the customer success team is available.

Pinpoint has core ATS and talent CRM features such as job board multiposting and social media advertising, unlimited customizable workflows, automation, interview scheduling, and employee onboarding. Data protection and security features include single sign on, two factor authentication, and tools to help manage compliance with local regulations like the GDPR / CCPA.

Pinpoint offers unique features like a custom careers website, blind screening to help reduce unconscious bias, candidate scorecards for gathering fast and objective hiring manager feedback, and a suite of reporting tools that includes a custom report builder.

Pinpoint offers native integrations with hundreds of other platforms, as well as a Zapier integration that enables integration with over 3,000 other tools.

Pinpoint costs from $500/month when paid annually. They offer personalized demos, as well as an on-demand demo video.


  • Exceptional customer success and support
  • Focus on employer brand and candidate experience
  • Powerful automation and careful design for ease-of-use


  • Not suitable for most recruitment agencies due to lack of client management features
  • No payroll or HRIS features
  • Some features only available in the Enterprise tier
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $11/user/month for up to 2 users - Best customizable ATS solution lets users decide what information they want to see at a glance.

On, HR managers can use the embedded forms to capture applicant information and centralize it on one high-level overview, so it’s easy to see where every candidate stands in the hiring process at any given time. It’s easy to build a customized form directly on When someone submits the form, all of their answers are automatically logged and sorted on one platform.

No-code automations make it possible for hiring managers to simply streamline manual tasks. Whether it’s communicating with applicants, emailing team members about updates, or reminding everyone of upcoming deadlines, no-code automations make sure that information never falls through the cracks. When you have notes or comments on an applicant, simply write them on the in-app section of the platform. So, all relevant information is easily accessible.

Keep in mind that the no-code automations kick in at their standard plan ($14/user/month) and above. This is one of their most popular plans, most likely for this reason. You will also get access to third-party integrations, timelines charts, and calendar views. HR teams looking for full ATS functionality will want to start here (skip the freemium).

This platform integrates with G-suite, LinkedIn, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and dozens of other tools. is free for up to 2 users. Paid plans cost from $11/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.


  • Enterprise-grade security, including HIPAA certification
  • Scalable workflows
  • Pre-made fully customizable templates


  • Dedicated success manager only for enterprise package
  • No built-in payroll
  • Too robust for companies under 10 people
  • 15 days free trial, 24/5 support, and a demo
  • From $30/user/month

Zoho Recruit - Best applicant tracking system for staffing agencies

Zoho Recruit provides breakdowns and reports on open job status, jobs by industry, and more.

Zoho Recruit is an applicant tracking system designed for recruiters and corporate hiring teams. The tool helps teams hire a workforce that is in sync with the changing talent demand, as well as hire more qualified candidates. Users can post jobs to multiple job boards, automate and manage candidates, clients, & contacts, as well as spend less time on mundane processes. Zoho Recruit’s applicant tracking system caters to multiple hurdles faced by recruiters. The tool offers solutions for both in-house recruiters and staffing agencies, and helps users source, track, and hire the best candidates, without any juggling required across different media. Users can make use of customizations and automations for tasks like sending emails, updating interview status, and more. Zoho Recruit also provides reports and analytics for hiring strategies. Zoho Recruit costs from $30/user/month. They also offer a 15-day free trial, 24/5 support, and a demo.


  • Reduces drop-off rates through continuous candidate engagement
  • Offers intelligent recruitment automation capabilities
  • Enhances job opening visibility through candidate sourcing features


  • Various features can be overwhelming
  • Mobile app does not allow users to manage hiring process on mobile
  • Client and vendor portal access only available in the enterprise edition
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $5000/year

Oracle Taleo - Best for large enterprises

Job submissions are laid out to highlight information that makes pre-screening easy.

Oracle Taleo is an easy-to-use Fortune 500 applicant tracking system for candidates, recruiters, hiring managers, and hiring teams. Oracle Taleo takes a mobile-first, data-driven approach to hiring and onboarding that modern enterprises will appreciate.

Oracle Taleo is a complete talent management solution with tools to support everything from onboarding, compensation, performance management, learning management, goals management, and succession planning. This holistic approach is useful for any enterprise hiring team that doesn’t want to have to bounce between different software for different aspects of people management.

Oracle Taleo is limited in its handling of searching and shortlisting candidates during the interview process. A more comprehensive and user-friendly search engine would certainly be a welcome improvement. For shortlisting candidates, it would be nice to have more options for flagging, filtering, or otherwise highlighting your best contenders.

Oracle Taleo integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Edge, and offers web API integration with other third-party apps. It also, of course, connects seamlessly with other first-party Oracle software like Oracle Analytics, Oracle Content Management, and Oracle ERP.

Oracle Taleo costs from $5000/year and offers a 30-day free trial.


  • Bulk candidate communication
  • Excellent employee portal for ongoing training
  • Applicant information well laid out


  • Resume parsing missed some info
  • More notification/follow-up options needed
  • Customer service not as responsive as competitors
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $8/user/month

SAP SuccessFactors - Best for data analytics and reporting

SAP SuccessFactors can analyze any current or impending staffing shortages.

SAP SuccessFactors is an ATS portal with everything from candidate relationship management through talent reviews and calibration tools. This ATS solution also includes functionalities for HR professionals outside of recruiting, such as payroll and performance management.

SAP SuccessFactors has a ton of cool reporting and analytics capabilities if you really dig into it. For example, the ability to create reports like the one in the screenshot above to predict staffing surpluses and shortages for the upcoming years. SAP SuccessFactors can even pinpoint what departments are likely to have openings.

SAP SuccessFactors struggles to unite their recruiting and onboarding systems, which may result in some duplicate administrative work on your part and the part of your incoming new hires. There is definitely room for improvement here as the best ATS software will be seamless from application to onboarding.

SAP SuccessFactors can integrate with third-party applications using the SAP Integration Center. They also have SAP Cloud Platform Integration for complex integrations. Coding knowledge may be required.

SAP SuccessFactors costs from $8/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.


  • Integrates with other SAP software offerings
  • Excellent performance management module
  • Good built-in candidate communication tools


  • Third-party integrations can be challenging to connect
  • Expansive software means steep learning curve
  • Dated and clunky interface
  • Free demo
  • From $299/month

iCIMS Recruit - Best for advertising job postings

Track incoming candidate applications and sort by metrics of interest.

iCIMS Recruit is a cloud-based recruiting software with tools for career site building, video interviews, CRM, applicant tracking, assessments, offer management, and onboarding. iCIMS Recruit integrates directly with popular job boards like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Monster, DirectEmployers,, Indeed, and Facebook.

iCIMS Recruit is highly customizable with custom fields ready to accommodate any unique data entry you may require from applicants. Their mobile app also works quite well, which is a bonus for any modern hiring team. iCIMS offers flexible reporting, allowing you to track any metrics that matter, like where critical drop-offs happen most.

iCIMS Recruit can implement your new career page but they won’t actually design it for you; you’ll need a dedicated team on your end to provide the career site mockup, so keep that in mind when you factor in time and costs.

iCIMS Recruit integrates with ADP, Ceridian, Microsoft solutions, and UKG. Third-party integrations may require a connector fee to implement.

iCIMS Recruit costs from $299/month and offers a free demo.


  • Good searching and reporting features
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Mobile app works well


  • Can’t send offers in bulk
  • More custom notifications/alerts needed
  • Doesn’t allow uploading of large files
  • Freemium product
  • From $10,000/year

SmartRecruiters - Best for ease of use and user interface

Rank candidates as cold or warm, depending on their potential for hiring.

SmartRecruit is an enterprise-grade recruitment database with features like screening assessments, scorecards, and background checks. They offer a suite of options add-ons for extended functionality, like CRM, conversational AI, SMS messaging, and contract management.

Just looking at the screenshot above, you can see that SmartRecruit makes ease of use a top priority for their app. Rather than getting into the weeds with picky hiring metrics, they keep it so simple that anyone in the hiring process can understand what’s going on. Applicants get simple 5-star ratings; job boards are linked right to the dashboard; and you can quickly see where your leads are coming from (paid vs organic).

SmartRecruit’s next step should be to improve the functionality of their mobile app. It’s usable as it is but any tool boasting superior usability would be wise to make sure smart device support is at the forefront of their roadmap. For example, being able to schedule an interview right from the mobile app would be an awesome update.

SmartRecruit integrates with 350+ pre-integrated recruitment solutions and 200+ job boards.

SmartRecruit costs from $10,000/year. They also offer a freemium product, SmartStart, for organizations of up to 250 employees hiring fewer than 10 roles at a time.


  • Simple grading/rating system
  • Easy referral system
  • Can template email comms within the app


  • Mobile version is limited
  • No Indeed sponsored jobs support
  • Two-way integrations sometimes jumble data
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $100/user/year

Workday - Best for integrations

Profile your team, talent by region, and average compensation metrics.

Workday is a recruitment CRM software for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. This tool is great for creating workforce plans and walking new hires through a custom onboarding process. Workday’s current high-profile customers include Target, Bank of America, Patagonia, and Sanofi.

Workday has a ton of first-party offerings to extend your HCM stack without leaving their platform. You can access tools for finance management, enterprise planning, payroll systems, project management, and resource tracking. If that doesn’t do it for you, Workday can connect with over a hundred of third-party apps for additional functionality.

Workday’s language translation feature doesn’t work on any custom data fields you might have added; they will have to be manually translated and updated. This is something for multi-language teams to keep in mind, as it requires one extra step.

Workday integrates with Adobe, ADP, Amazon Business, Box, Checkr, DocuSign, Equifax, Google Cloud, HackerRank, HireRite, Hiretual, Indeed, Informatica, Intuit, Jitterbit, LinkedIn, Microsoft Platforms, Okta, Salesforce, SkillSurvey, Textio, Udemy for Business, and dozens of other apps.

Workday costs from $100/user/year and offers a 30-day free trial.


  • Upcoming and outstanding to-do notifications
  • User-friendly email-like task/alert inbox
  • Good in-app collaborative feedback system


  • In-app search engine needs improvement
  • No auto-save on certain key pages
  • Steeper learning curve

Other Applicant Tracking Systems

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top applicant tracking systems list. If you need additional suggestions, check these out.

  1. Workable – Best for customization according to specific needs
  2. JazzHR – Best for small businesses
  3. Bullhorn – Best for combination CRM and ATS solutions
  4. Greenhouse – Best for automating recruiting and hiring tasks
  5. Jobvite – Best customer service satisfaction 
  6. Ascendify – Best gamified hiring processes
  7. Yello – Best for career fair events
  8. Avature – Best for recruiter training
  9. Zenefits – Best syncing to benefits and payroll
  10. Namely – Best custom job workflows 
  11. Ultimate Software – Best employee sentiment tools
  12. Beamery –  Best easy-to-use CMS
  13. Hiretual –  Best AI-powered candidate search platform
  14. BambooHR –  Best cross-department communication hub
  15. Symphony Talent –  Best recruitment marketing platform
  16. Freshworks Freshteam –  Best Facebook job sourcing
  17. Breezy –  Best automated assessments and questionnaires 
  18. Lever –  Best candidate/customer portal 
  19. MyRecruitment Platform –  Best free ATS for startups 
  20. Collage –  Best digital offers letters with e-signature 
  21. Smashfly –  Best career site with programmatic advertising
  22. Hiring Room – Best for multilingual applicant tracking.

ATS System FAQ

If you’re looking into ATS software for the first time, start here with these common questions. 

What is ATS?

ATS stands for “applicant tracking system”, which is a digital tool that assists with collection, sorting, and analysis of online job submissions. Using an ATS is a way to lessen the administrative burden of the recruitment process and the hiring process.

How do applicant tracking systems work?

Applicant tracking systems manage the process of filling an open job role by either aggregating data from third-party sources (like Indeed and Yello) or platforming all of those tasks within the ATS tool itself.

An ATS tool may encompass all or just a few of the following processes: job posting, resume parsing and collection, qualification analysis, referral programs, interview scheduling, HR, CRM, onboarding, and so on.

What Do You Think About These Applicant Tracking Systems?

Have you tried out any of the applicant tracking systems listed above? Let us know in the comments what you look for, and which features you’ve found most useful in your work. 

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