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Best Applicant Tracking Software – 2021 List of Top 10 Applicant Tracking Tools

by Arthur Zuckerman

Does your company receive dozens of job applications per day? If yes, then you know how arduous it is to keep track of applicants. You need to know who is moving down the hiring pipeline, who is not, or even out of the pipeline. If you want a smoother workflow, you need an applicant tracking system or ATS.

Then there is the whole process of pre-screening applicants. That means organizing applicant documents such as resumes, portfolios, contracts, evaluation forms, and other related files. Even if you have a  whole team of recruitment professionals, they can still take the whole day, if not more, going through the daily application requirements.

As a result, teams that need new talents will have to wait a while, overworking their current members. This all-too-common scenario always results in inefficiency and lost productivity.

To avoid that, you can invest in an applicant tracking software. Not only does it let you follow applicants as they move through the hiring process, but it can also aid you in sourcing candidates. It also has other features like an applicant portal and a candidate screening module. You can find out more by reading our in-depth guide to ATS below.

What is applicant tracking software?

Applicant tracking software, otherwise known as applicant tracking system, or ATS for short, is a software solution that aids recruitment teams or small teams in managing job applications. Apart from that, users can employ it in posting job openings in multiple job boards with one click. It can also help assess resumes or applications so that HR professionals only focus on candidates that are a good fit for the job.

Zoho Recruit dashboard

One of Zoho’s offerings, Zoho Recruit is also a leading name in applicant tracking software solutions.

List of Best Applicant Tracking Software

There are plenty of ATS in the market but only a few truly stand out. Here are some of them:

  • ClearCompany: This system has an intuitive approach to application tracking. It assesses applications according to set criteria to help companies without a recruitment team find the right people. Pricing is by quote when you contact the vendor.
  • Zoho Recruit: Ready for mobile use, this applicant tracking software helps you find candidates; it assists you in publishing open roles, sourcing talents, evaluating resumes, and scheduling interviews. Zoho Recruit offers a free edition while its subscription plans start at $25/user/month.
  • SmartRecruiters: Attracting great talent is simple work with this solution, as it has robust marketing features. It also enables recruiters to collaborate when doing assessments or when making decisions. Best for large organizations, pricing for SmartRecruiters starts at $10,000.00 annually.
  • RecruiterboxThe hiring cycle can be a complex one but this software changes that. Aside from the things you expect from an ATS, it offers top-notch reports that allow you to analyze your recruitment performance. Recruiterbox pricing starts at $199/mo.
  • WorkableThis platform automates various parts of the recruitment process. It also has AI under the hood, which further streamlines and expedites the whole hiring workflow. Workable pricing starts at $99/job/month.
  • BambooHRDesigned for small and medium businesses, this software allows users to pay more attention to people rather than on processes. BambooHR pricing is not publicly available, so interested organizations need to contact the vendor for a quote.
  • iSmartRecruit: Hire highly-skilled talent super fast with this AI-powered Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is a cutting-edge recruitment tool that revolutionizes recruitment processes, streamlines candidate sourcing, simplifies candidate tracking and enhances team collaboration for recruiters, HR and hiring managers, staffing agencies and corporate HRs. Also, it enables effortless customization and seamless integration with existing systems for small to large businesses.
  • Oracle Taleo Cloud: This user-centric platform enables recruitment professionals to find candidates and hire the right talents faster. It has a user-friendly design that makes it engaging.  If you are interested in any of the editions, you can request a free quote for Oracle Taleo Cloud.
  • Watson Talent: This system has intelligent workflows that ease the job of recruiters. It is connected with a global market for assessments so that hiring professionals can evaluate candidates well. This suite does not have a publicized price; if you are interested, you can ask IBM for a quote.
  • iCIMSRecruitment is a breeze with this solution as it has the necessary tools for attracting, evaluating, hiring, and onboarding talents. You can get pricing information about iCIMS from the vendor.
  • SAP SuccessFactorsThis cloud-based human management solution focuses on transforming a company’s HR processes. With this, you can be competitive and attract the best talents. You can contact SAP for the pricing of the SuccessFactors suite.
  • JobsoidThis program offers a simpler way to source, attract, and onboard the best talent. Jobsoid lets you publish your job openings on multiple channels while you build an online talent pool. It also lets you coordinate efforts with the rest of team as you track candidates and arrange interviews. With its reporting and analytics features, Jobsoid ensures insights and information is collected with every application.

How does ATS work?

Posts job openings

An applicant tracking system helps you keep track of open roles. You can create job posts on the system and post them online in one go. That is possible because ATS these days are integrated with numerous online job boards including LinkedIn,, and Glassdoor. 

Accepts applications

There are ATS that also serve as a portal for interested applicants to leave their resumes. This way, every document is electronic and hiring professionals do not have to go through stacks of applications. 

Pre-screens candidates

Particularly robust ATS can be set up to pre-screen candidates. This can be done generally or when interested individuals apply for particular jobs. Companies can pose questions and if the answers are satisfactory, they go through to the actual screening stage.

Zoho Recruit dashboard

From the Zoho Recruit dashboard, you can do everything from setting up a recruitment website to setting up workflow automation.

Who is applicant tracking software for?

Even if you are just building your team from the ground up or if you have a sizable company, you need an applicant tracking software.

  1. Startups. It can be difficult to find the right people to work with when you are just starting your business. Fortunately, there are ATS that are intuitive and can aid you in making good decisions regarding future employees.
  2. Solid companies. If you are already an established company with a hiring team, you still need an ATS. That is because it can streamline the entire process and even help you keep applications from interesting candidates who can be a good fit for other positions in the future.

What are the types of ATS?

Though it sounds pretty straightforward, ATS actually has multiple types:

  1. HR Software. HR software solutions encompass a wide area of HR needs. One of those is tracking applicants as they enter the system and filtering which ones go to the next stage of the hiring process. 
  2. Talent Management Software. This type includes ATS and performance management, which covers the whole employee lifecycle. 
  3. Recruitment Software. This application is designed solely for finding the best fit individuals for open roles. It allows users to do background checks and can accept applications too. 
  4. Onboarding Software. Despite its name, it is not limited to onboarding. If it has strong integration capabilities, it can connect with a dedicated ATS or HR platform.
  5. Staffing Agency Software. Recruitment agencies have specialized software, as they cater to numerous clients. However, the applications still come with ATS to help them keep an eye on candidates their client companies may need.

What features can you expect from an ATS?

  1. Job posting. An ATS allows you to organize open positions and the job posts related to them. On that note, it can also assist you in posting it to multiple online job boards at once
  2. Applicant screening. This can happen in different ways; it can screen applicants based on criteria or based on pre-screening questions.
  3. Talent profiles. If an ATS has a job application portal, it can support talent profiles as well. This lets you take a quick look at candidates and assess them based on your unique set of criteria.
  4. Applicant tracking. Actual applicant tracking happens when you are following a promising candidate throughout the recruitment process and see whether they get hired or not. If not, you can keep them in the loop in case a job may come open where their skills may be a good fit.

What are the latest trends in ATS?

  1. Employee diversity is becoming more crucial for companies. But it is not all about public image either. It has actual benefits. According to a report, gender-diverse companies earn 14% more revenue on average than counterparts that are not. 
  2. Mobile application is becoming a hot trend. Even blue-collar workers are using their smartphones more often to look for jobs.
Workable dashboard

The Workable dashboard streamlines the whole recruitment process by putting tools at your fingertips.

What are the benefits of applicant tracking software?

  1. Centralized recruitment. If you have multiple locations, you can manage your hiring process from a single platform. This is also helpful as qualified individuals who applied at one branch can be discovered by another branch.
  2. Applicant scoring and ranking. If ever you have faced the challenge of ranking and scoring applicants, then you will be relieved to know that an ATS can offer assistance in that regard.
  3. Tailored recruiting process. Every organization has its own unique approach to hiring. That is why many ATS are customizable. That way, companies can make the ATS work for them and not the other way around.

Are there issues that you can encounter with ATS?

While an ATS saves you time and from headaches, there are still some things you need to be aware of:

  1. It can let good candidates fall through the cracks. Applicant tracking systems are designed to follow the criteria to the letter. I there is a promising candidate and he or she does not fit even just one criterion, you may not be able to discover that talent. 
  2. It can be unreliable. There are times when applicant tracking systems reject resumes because the system scanner does not work well. In that case, you could miss talents who are right for open jobs. 

What should you consider when choosing an ATS?

Finding the right person to hire is crucial and finding the right application to help you with the task is equally important. On that note, here are some things you have to keep in mind while searching for an ATS vendor:

  1. Contract term. How long is the ATS contract? If it is monthly and you are just starting to use it, then you can move on to another one if it does not work for you. If you are immediately signed into an annual contract, it can be difficult as you have to wait for it to end if you change your mind. 
  2. Security. Make sure that the vendor has robust security measures and complies with standards. Let them know what your requirements are and find if they can meet them or can take steps to do so. 


ClearCompany dashboard

ClearCompany serves as a great tool for companies that have no HR teams.

Choose an ATS wisely

Making an intelligent hiring choice starts with selecting a good applicant tracking system. That is why you have to know the vendor first and what they can do for you when it comes to security, scalability, and future technologies. Then, sign up with the ATS you are eyeing for a free demo or trial. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the features as well as allow your hiring team to learn how to use it.

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