choosing the perfect candidate for the job through a digital touch screenI have never recruited without an applicant tracking system (ATS) and if you’ve been in the game less than 15 years, chances are, neither have you. It’s a staple of the hiring function, something useful to manage the tsunami of resumes that come at anyone with an open position, especially in the last five years or so.

But it might surprise you to know that lots of new recruiters, hiring managers and HR professionals find themselves at a loss when it comes to selecting an ATS; so, because there are so many, I put together this quick primer to help those of you looking for the right solution… fast.

The situation: Your company isn’t brand new but the HR function is. Up until now, you’ve been hiring with available managerial staff and a literal pile of resumes. You’re not an HR person, but you’re the only one willing to take the job.

You’re used to: In-person referrals

The must-haves: Cheap, easy-to-use, referral capabilities and small implementation time

The solution: iCIMS. It bills itself as a talent platform and includes career site support, SEO help and an employee referral program. iCIMS offers an intuitive, web-based applicant tracking system that includes job publishing.

The situation: You’re knee-deep in a startup, the only person who is responsible for hiring but NOT the only one with a say in it. You need a really inexpensive system that works for everyone in the company but can scale when you (knock on wood) get bigger.

You’re used to: emailed resumes from coders

The must-haves: Simple interface, subscription pricing, collaboration on the back-end

The solution: RecruiterBox. It prides itself on being easy-to-use and a simple platform that “the first HR person” can use. Accepting resumes in all formats, you can bulk upload or pull from email, plus share notes with your recruiting and hiring team on the back-end.

The situation:  You’re not pleased with your current mid-sized solution, but it integrates with Outlook. You’re tasked with finding a new solution fast and getting implemented throughout the enterprise, FAST.

You’re used to: all-in-one platforms

The must-haves: social recruiting, a CRM component and sourcing functionality

The solution: Jobvite. Jobvite purports to manage every stage of hiring—applicant tracking, sourcing, career site, employee referral, reporting, candidate relationship management—in one easy-to-use recruiting software application plus it offers top notch reporting.

The situation: You’re a lean, mean staffing machine. Your agency needs an ATS that can keep up with the high pressure that you thrive on and provide a sourcing edge.

You’re used to: 3×5 index cards and adrenaline

The must-haves: total integration so you don’t slow down, great records so you don’t have to do the same work twice

The solution: BrightMove. While BrightMove now has a corporate and RPO solution, it was built by agency recruiters to work for agency recruiters. It offers sourcing engines, easy uploads and integration with lots of social recruiting platforms.

The situation: You have a great recruiting process for your company… you think, but no way to measure it.

You’re used to: Your standard ATS metrics

The must-haves: tight analytics, full reporting and visuals

The solution: Jobscore. Jobscore is an ATS that offers more than the standard metrics. Not only do customers receive reporting and auditing, they can view precisely where the process is having issues. But the transparency into the process doesn’t remove traditional ATS functionality or job board posting.

The situation: Your recruiting mandate isn’t overwhelming, but the candidate experience stinks. Is it too much to ask for a simple careersite with a clean ATS for your recruiters? You don’t have a lot of money to spend on bells and whistles.

You’re used to: Excel and

The must-haves: branded career site, LOW cost, great candidate experience

The solution: SmartRecruiters. Smartrecruiters takes its money from the job boards you choose to post on, so unless you choose a premium board or feature, you pay nothing. Not only that, but while other ATS have been adding functionality and features, SmartRecruiters has been stripping them away, leaving candidates with a system that is as painless as it is easy.


Editor’s note: Please be sure to make any decisions about software or services very carefully and do a lot of research – this article is meant to give some quick ideas. Of course, we’ve worked in some capacity with a lot of the companies mentioned in this article and others, as its a small industry.

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