Throughout my years as an HR professional, I've been responsible for every part of the employee lifecycle. I've been part of the recruitment process and worked with a variety of different applicant tracking systems (ATS). I know first hand how helpful they are when searching for the right candidate.
In this article, I'll share my thoughts on the best applicant tracking systems on the market today. My goal is to help you find the best ATS tool to maximize your recruiting process.
Jump to Overviews of the 10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems below.
How I Picked the Best Applicant Tracking Systems
You may be curious about the criteria I used to select the best applicant tracking software for this list. To develop my shortlist, I evaluated and compared the details for many popular applicant tracking systems. I then used my selection criteria below to see how each platform stood up to the next one.
To further hone my list, I also put myself back into my old recruiting shoes. This helped me recall all the key features I found useful back when I was dealing with large volumes of candidate applications myself.
Here's a short summary of the main selection criteria I used to develop my list of the best applicant tracking systems:
A Solid UI and UX:
When you're in a never-ending loop of hiring candidates, you don't have time to mess around with software that feels awkward to use. Instead, you need a system with a clear and easy-to-navigate user interface (UI) that organizes each step of the recruitment process for you. Helpful UI features include visual recruiting pipelines, colour-coding or visual status flags. These simple features make it easy to digest your information at a glance, without needing to open each record to see the status.
These types of features also go a long way to creating a good user experience (UX). You want your day-to-day interaction with the software to be positive, rather than facing endless frustration every time you use it. This is why the choices in my list below all have high scores for usability. They offer simple interfaces without endless clicking or scrolling to access the features you need.
Many aspects of tracking and screening candidates are tedious. That's why workflow automations are so valuable when you're up to your eyeballs in applicants and struggling to keep up. Common automations include tools to send out interview reminders, or follow up on reference checks. The best systems also include tools to send out personalized thank you or rejection emails in batches, saving you a lot of time.
Mobile app accessibility:
This is an important feature to consider, especially if you're working in an industry where your candidates are deskless or often mobile. The best applicant tracking systems are fully accessible from mobile devices. They should also include the ability to communicate with candidates via text message right from within the platform. This helps to elicit faster candidate responses, while also allowing your recruiters to stay on top of updates, no matter where they are.
Direct links to job posting sites:
This is another helpful feature that saves recruiters a lot of time. By integrating with these platforms, you can publish your vacant posting once, and distribute it across a network of job boards instantly.
The best ATS software should also integrate with popular email providers and digital calendars. This helps to improve productivity and transparency for team-based hiring. Bonus points for for systems that integrate with human resources information systems (HRIS) too.
I always prefer software with transparent pricing models. I want to clearly see which features I'll receive at each price level, and which I won't. Also, free trials are valuable, as they'll give you a first-hand look at how the software would work for your specific business context. I've selected the software below with this in mind.
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Overviews of the 10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems
Here’s a brief description of each ATS tracking tool, including their noteworthy features, pros and cons, screenshots, and pricing details.
Pinpoint's ATS software is designed for internal talent acquisition and people teams rather than recruitment agencies.
Why I picked Pinpoint: 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 Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include 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 integrates natively with hundreds of other platforms, as well as a Zapier integration that enables integration with over 3,000 other tools.
Pinpoint Plans & Pricing:
Plans start at $600 per month when paid annually. They offer personalized demos, as well as an on-demand demo video.
- Powerful automation and careful design for ease-of-use
- Focus on employer brand and candidate experience
- Exceptional customer success and support
- Some features only available in the Enterprise tier
- Not suitable for most recruitment agencies due to lack of client management features
monday.com is a flexible work operating system that allows you to create visual dashboards that offer a birds-eye-view of any process or workflow you wish to track. While it's not a purpose-built applicant tracking system, it has all the features needed to be successfully used for tracking candidates as they move through your recruiting process.
Why I picked monday.com: On monday.com, 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 monday.com. When someone submits the form, all of their answers are automatically logged and sorted on one platform.
monday.com Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include no-code automations that make it possible for hiring managers to simplify 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. Other features include templates, timeline charts, and calendar views, plus data visualization and task management tools.
monday.com integrates natively with DocuSign, G-suite, LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, PandaDoc, Slack, Zoom, and dozens of other tools through third-party integrations or by connecting a paid Zapier account.
monday.com Plans & Pricing:
monday.com is free to use for up to 2 users. Paid plans start at $11/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial. 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. HR teams looking for full ATS functionality will want to start here (skip the freemium).
- Pre-made fully customizable templates
- Scalable workflows
- Enterprise-grade security, including HIPAA certification
- Too robust for companies under 10 people
- No built-in payroll
- Dedicated success manager only for enterprise package
Tracker is a recruitment and staffing software that acts as a combined ATS and CRM (candidate and/or client relationship management) system. The tool is designed to help staffing and recruiting firms manage and optimize their candidate, client, marketing, and operational processes.
Why I picked Tracker: I selected Tracker because of their unique features and their dual purpose as an ATS and CRM system. Their broad list of features makes them a great choice for any organizations with a heavy customer relations focus.
Tracker Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include tools for sourcing candidates, nurturing and matching applicants, and making placements. Tracker also offers tools like resume parsing to help eliminate manual data entry, 1-way and 2-way video interviewing, a built-in team TrackerChat app, and a full-feature mobile app, plus tools for marketing vacant positions, job board integrations, and back office support. Users can integrate Tracker with external job boards, as well as set up custom candidate portals, dashboards and reports, and workflows.
Tracker integrates with a variety of third-party tools through their RESTFul API, including Outlook, Gmail, Google Chrome, LinkedIn, Office 365, and QuickBooks. You can also connect Tracker to 30+ other software solutions using their Zapier API integration.
Tracker Plans & Pricing:
Tracker costs from $80/user/month. They also offer a free trial and a free demo.
- Highly regarded local support and success team
- Ability to customize views, fields, workflows, and more
- Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
- No built-in payroll, but integration with QuickBooks and others
- No background check integration
Trakstar Hire, formerly RecruiterBox, is one of the main products of Trakstar, which also includes Perform, Learn, and Trakstar Insights. It is a comprehensive HR hiring software with an applicant tracking system tailored to small and midsize businesses. Trakstar Hire is a best-of-breed solution that is purpose-built for streamlining timelines, improving candidate experiences, and ensuring the hiring of top talent.
Why I picked Trakstar: Their ATS allows HR teams to create and publish multiple job posts on different social media platforms, job boards, and talent recruitment services. They also have the option to sponsor their listings to maximize visibility and receive applicant CVs through customizable application forms. Their bulk upload feature gives the ATS more scalability, allowing users to import multiple résumés simultaneously. Once the résumés are imported, the platform’s résumé parser automatically extracts all the candidates’ vital information to create their profiles.
Trakstar Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include interview scheduling tools with a shared calendar, plus Outlook and Google calendar integration, automated responses, email templates, and reminders to make team collaboration that much easier. Career site management tools are also available with Trakstar Hire, along with candidate sourcing, offer management, and the applicant tracking system.
Trakstar Hire’s recruiting workflows can be easily customized to reflect the various stages of the organization’s hiring process from beginning to end. Recruiting specialists can use the software to view workflows and keep track of the status of the top applicants as they progress through the recruitment process. Recruiters can also collaborate with other members of the team by sharing candidate profiles, interview schedules, and other tasks, all without ever leaving the platform.
Integrations include ADP Workforce Now, BambooHR, Checkr, Google Workspace, Intuit Quickbooks, Namely, Office265, PandaDoc, Slack, and Zoom.
Trakstar Plans & Pricing:
Pricing details are available only upon request. Contact the vendor directly for a price quote or a free demo.
- Integrates with other Trakstar modules for easy onboarding workflows
- Strong team collaboration features
- Résumé parser supports high volume recruiting
- Small list of pre-built integrations
- Pricing details and plan features are not transparent
Eddy offers a base HR package with onboarding, document storage and electronic signatures, employee directory and employee profiles, training tracking, PTO tracking, and time tracking. Their ATS package is offered as an add-on, as is payroll and HR advising. This makes them flexible and scalable, as you only pay for the services you need.
Why I picked Eddy: Eddy is great for small businesses because they offer a jack-of-all-trades tool at an affordable price. They also prioritize an ease-of-use UI so that anyone can get up to speed on the platform with minimal training. A lot of their major processes have been distilled into drag-and-drop or point-and-click, so no technical expertise is required.
Eddy Standout Features & Integrations:
Eddy's applicant tracking system empowers you to post jobs to popular job boards in a single click as well as to your own customizable company careers page. Eddy offers visibility into every stage of the hiring process with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop pipeline to manage and automate communication with applicants. Click into candidate profiles to view important details and collaborate with team members by rating, commenting, tagging, and even adding emoji reactions to each applicant.
Eddy integrates directly with popular job boards such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, Talent.com and ZipRecruiter, allowing you to post vacation positions rapidly across multiple job sites.
Eddy Plans & Pricing:
Eddy costs from $99/month for their HR processes + ATS module and then an additional $8/employee/month on top of that. A free demo is also available.
- Training tracking tools are great for onboarding
- Friendly, helpful customer support team
- Excellent document management system
- Super easy to use & intuitive
- ATS module costs extra
- No free trial or freemium plan
PCRecruiter is an ATS software that helps recruiters and HR professionals manage the recruiting process from start to finish, including sourcing candidates, scheduling interviews, and extending job offers. PCRecruiter provides powerful tools for managing job openings, tracking progress, and measuring performance. It automates time-consuming tasks like candidate sourcing and communication, giving users more time to develop relationships with candidates.
Why I picked PCRecruiter: Their software lets users post new job openings on the company’s website and popular job boards. Candidates who apply for the job are then added to the database where they can be sorted and filtered according to different criteria, such as skills, experience levels, education levels, and location. The software makes it easy to track every interaction with a candidate, including emails, phone calls, and interviews. This information can then be used to make better decisions about which candidates to pursue and how best to communicate with them. Users can also create Boolean search strings to narrow their candidate searches further.
PCRecruiter Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include a browser extension that helps users seamlessly import and update contacts from popular social platforms with PCR Capture for Chrome and Microsoft Edge, and tools to organize information like contacts and companies with multi-function lists. PCRecruiter provides users with comprehensive reporting tools that can be used to measure the success of your recruiting efforts. These reports can identify areas where improvements can be made, demonstrate the ROI of your recruiting budget, and can be exported in various formats, including PDF and Excel.
Integrations are available natively with Gmail, Microsoft Office, and Office 365. Additional integrations are available through their public API, or by connecting a paid Zapier account. They also offer a mobile app for Android and iOS devices too.
PCRecruiter Plans & Pricing:
Plans start at $85/user/month. A free demo can also be requested through their website too.
- Automatic resume parsing from Outlook attachments
- Mobile app supports recruitment on the go
- Automated sequencing campaigns save teams time
- API access is priced separately based on data usage
- No free trial available
Manatal is a leading applicant tracking and recruitment software solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other unique and innovative features. The software helps in streamlining all recruitment operations from sourcing to onboarding, and is currently used by organizations in over 90 countries worldwide.
Why I picked Manatal: Their interface is both practical and intuitive, and as a result, little to no training is required and teams can quickly start leveraging its tools. Manatal also includes a complete CRM (customer relationship management) system and an easy-to-use, customizable career page builder so users can start showcasing openings.
Manatal Standout Features & Integrations:
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.
Integrations are available through Manatal's open API and include platforms like LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook, Mailchimp, and more.
Manatal Plans & Pricing:
Plans start at $15 per user, per month (billed annually) and include a 14-day free trial.
- Built-in CRM tools
- AI-based recommendation of candidates and social media recruitment
- Intuitive user interface
- No payroll management system
- No free plan available
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.
Why I picked Zoho Recruit: 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.
Zoho Recruit Standout Features & Integrations:
Features include the ability to post jobs to multiple job boards, and tools to automate and manage candidates, clients, & contacts so your team can spend less time on mundane processes. Users can also 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, plus 24/5 customer support.
Zoho Recruit integrates natively with other Zoho products such as Zoho Analytics, Zoho CRM and Zoho People. They also have native integrations with 30+ other tools, including Adobe Sign, Evernote, Checkr, Clickatell, DocuSign, HireRight, Mailchimp, Screen Magic, Slack, Sparkhire, and Verified First.
Zoho Recruit Plans & Pricing:
Plans start at $30 per user, per month for up to 100 active job postings. They also offer a 15-day free trial, a free demo, and a free forever plan for 1 active job posting.
- Enhances job opening visibility through candidate sourcing features
- Offers intelligent recruitment automation capabilities
- Reduces drop-off rates through continuous candidate engagement
- Client and vendor portal access only available in the enterprise edition
- Mobile app does not allow users to manage hiring process on mobile
- Various features can be overwhelming
Bullhorn’s recruitment CRM is designed to help recruiters manage their candidate relationships by relying on automations to create high-quality touch-points throughout the recruiting process. In tandem, their software also functions as an ATS, which makes it suitable for both individual recruiters or staffing agencies dealing with large volumes of candidates.
Their system cuts down on busywork by passively tracking all candidate communications through their integration with Gmail and Outlook. This means candidate records are automatically updated in real-time as you go about your email outreach. By automating these common admin functions, recruiters are enabled to speed up their hiring process and make placements faster.
Recruiting teams will also appreciate Bullhorn’s full-feature integration with LinkedIn Recruiter, a go-to source for qualified candidates. From LinkedIn, you can check if a candidate’s profile is already in your system, and if not, add it with a click. And, vice versa, from within Bullhorn, you can click a candidate record to pull up their LinkedIn profile information too (as shown above). Bullhorn’s CRM also works for mobile recruiting through their app for Android or iOS mobile devices.
Bullhorn has 100+ software integrations available through their Marketplace, including integrations with C-Suite Corp, Checkr, Crimcheck, eSkill, Indeed, Referoo, SkillCheck, SkillSurvey, Text-Em-All, Xref, and many others.
Pricing details for Bullhorn are available upon request. They also offer a free demo through their website.
Freshteam is an applicant tracking system for growing businesses. With Freshteam, you can attract, hire and onboard new staff, offboard exiting employees, manage employee information, and track time-off, all in one place.
Why I picked Freshteam: In addition to recruiting, Freshteam enables HR to onboard new hires even before day one. Whether it’s getting forms filled out and signed, or handing out handbooks, you can do it through Freshteam in a few clicks. It also allows you to create an onboarding task list and assign it to respective people. You can gather all the necessary information, create employee profiles (which flesh out into a directory), and manage access permissions to employee information and documents.
Freshteam Standout Features & Integrations:
Freshteam helps attract top talent through various channels including a customizable career site, integration with multiple free and premium job boards, and social media channels. The software also has the ability to listen to emails, making it easy for you to recognize emails from job boards or vendors to add them to your candidate base. Once the candidates are in, the recruiting team can collaborate with hiring managers to screen and interview them, share feedback and leave notes for each other, hire, and roll out offers to the best candidates.
Freshteam integrates with all sorts of tools such as assessment portals, video interviewing platforms, job boards, and productivity software.
Freshteam Plans & Pricing:
Plans start at $1.20 per employee, per month plus an additional $71 per month platform fee. They also offer a 21-day free trial, as well as a free forever plan for up to 50 employees.
- Able to integrate with pre-assessment testing and video interview software
- Candidate sourcing pool incorporates employee referrals
- Helpful automations for recurring tasks
- Many advanced features only available in Pro plan
- Freemium plan is limited to 3 job postings
Free demo available
|From $600/month when paid annually||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $10/user/month||Visit Website|
Free trial + free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|From $8/employee/month plus a $49 base fee||Visit Website|
Free demo available
|From $85/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $15/user/month||Visit Website|
15-day free trial
|From $30/user/month for up to 100 active job postings||Visit Website|
|From $300/month||Visit Website|
21-day free trial
|From $1.20/user/month||Visit Website|
Other Applicant Tracking Software
Here are a few more candidate tracking tools that didn’t make the top applicant tracking systems list:
Best applicant tracking system for high volume recruiting and candidate screening
- Recruit CRM
Best hybrid applicant tracking system + CRM solution
- Breezy HR
Best applicant tracking system for diversity & inclusion recruitment
Best applicant tracking system for enterprise-level talent acquisition
Best for streamlined recruitment CRM and ATS capabilities
Best ATS software for ease of use
Best for integrations
- SAP SuccessFactors
Best for data analytics and reporting
- Oracle Taleo
Best for large enterprises
Best for 3rd party integration options
What is Applicant Tracking Software?
Applicant tracking software is a type of HR software that assists recruiters and HR teams with tracking candidates progress throughout the hiring process.
An ATS system may include features such as a recruitment CRM, talent acquisition, human resource management, talent management, metric-based recruiting, candidate experience, and predictive analytics. This type of software is often described more generically as recruiting software or talent acquisition software.
How do Applicant Tracking Systems Work?
Applicant tracking systems manage the process of filling a job opening by either aggregating job seeker data from third-party sources (like LinkedIn, Indeed or Yello) or by platforming all of those tasks within the ATS tool itself.
Once your candidates are in your system, the ATS will include tools to advance candidates through each phase of the recruiting process for every vacant position. These phases often include:
- candidate sourcing
- candidate screening or skill assessments
- reference checking
- distributing offer letters, and
Applicant tracking system software 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, and onboarding. The main goal is to give you a intelligent framework to keep your candidate tracking data organized.
What are the Main Features?
Here's a list of the core features you can expect to find in the best applicant tracking systems:
- Talent pools: The ability to build up a roster of potential candidates for each position, or future positions.
- Talent pipelines: A visualization feature that shows you where each candidate is within the recruitment process. Key phases include: screening, interview, background check, references, offer, etc.).
- Workflow automations: These are automations that take care of menial tasks like sending out interview reminders, following up on references, or sending bulk rejection emails.
- Candidate screening tools: Incorporated tools to assess candidates on specific skills using exams, questionnaires, skill assessments, or other ranking tools. This helps to compare qualified candidates side-by-side before deciding who should advance.
- Direct links with job posting sites: Many ATS systems automatically submit new postings to popular job boards as soon as they’re published.
The Benefits of Using an ATS
Juggling high volumes of candidate data can quickly become overwhelming. By investing in an an applicant tracking system, you can expect to gain the following benefits:
- Spend less time on administrative tasks
- Source, screen and hire candidates faster
- Increase the quality of your hired candidates
- Improve your internal communication between hiring team members
- Improve your candidate experience
- Streamline your process using customized automations for key tasks
- Improve your outreach to candidates through direct links to job boards
- Develop a talent pool of candidates for future positions
- Integrate your candidate data with other HR systems (e.g., HR and payroll systems)
- Increase your data security and protection
If you’re recruiting for a smaller organization, you’ll also find value in our list of the best applicant tracking systems for small businesses too.
On the contrary, if you need something with a little more depth to it, you may also want to read our list of the best recruiting candidate relationship management software too.
If building a more inclusive workforce is one of your top priorities, you may also want to review our list of the best diversity recruiting software too.
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