An applicant tracking system is often referred to as an ATS. The ATS software is a dedicated tool to help attract candidates, manage and hire. With companies hiring for several positions at the same time, across multiple locations, there can be a lot of moving parts. An applicant tracking system is designed to enhance your organization with all that data. All resumes, notes, stages and candidate experiences and logged in a central point of view. With multiple users, you can collaborate, and work as a team to fill important roles and improve the hiring experience of your small business. Applicant tracking systems tend to server different stages of your business. What fits not, may not be the best solution if your company grows substantially. We will review the best applicant tracking systems for small businesses as well as growing middle staged businesses.
We have tracked down the best ATS software providers for small businesses who are looking to move away from spreadsheets and into a centralized hiring solution.
Researching to buy an applicant tracking system can take a lot of time and tends to be very labor-intensive if you don’t understand all the features and how they’ll affect your hiring experience. It is important to think about the features, ease of use, pricing and data ownership when deciding on the right solution.
Some applicant tracking systems base their entire pricing structure on job posting slots. To help keep your cost estimates under control, you’ll need to identify how many jobs you plan to have live – simultaneously. This is the key component. Many of the ATS platforms will allow you to post various jobs, but you’ll be limited to how many of them can be live at any given time.
VIVAHR is the only ATS listed above that allows UNLIMITED job postings.
If you are hiring for a roll and get a large number of candidates, but only a few of them are hired, you can retain the data of those other candidates and save them for future needs. These pools of candidates can reduce your time to fill future roles.
It is very common for ATS software solutions to have pricing tiers that include a certain number of users. Rather than sharing the login information around with multiple people, it becomes a more powerful tool when each user has their own login to track activity, notes and sync email/calendar systems. Identify how many users will be part of the hiring experience. Each would require their own user seat..
The way companies price their software can vary in a number of ways. Study the options below, so you know what kinds of pricing structures to look for. You don’t want to pay more than necessary, for something your company won’t utilize. We’ve listed the most common pricing models below.
This is the most common pricing model. ATS companies will charge per recruiter/hiring manager. Typical monthly cost: $60-$100 per month per seat.
Certain ATS companies are geared toward large, medium, and small businesses. Their pricing models depend upon the total number of employees, regardless of how many users are utilizing the ATS. They have their strengths and weaknesses that cater to each size.
Some pricing models charge per job listing or applicants. This model usually is charged alongside another model, such as how many recruiters are using the system. Typical cost is between $5-$19 per listing per month, and $0.01 to $0.20 per resume per month.
If a flat fee appeals to you, this may be a good pricing model to explore. Regardless of how many listings, recruiters, people applying for your jobs, this structure allows you to access the ATS however often you like. Make sure you’re not overpaying if you’re not needing unlimited access. The lowest unlimited pricing structures start around $200.
Maybe you’d like to try out a free service before committing to a paid option. Maybe your budget is zilch. A free pricing model typically will give you the technology made available to you, but it will offer no tech support. Any questions or troubles with the software will need to be handled by yourself or someone on your organization team. This pricing model can oftentimes be offered as “free”, but comes with an upgrade if you want to use more helpful services within that particular ATS.
“Attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent for tech sales roles is increasingly challenging. I use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage passive and active leads, align them with relevant opportunities, and assist in-house HR teams to acquire the top talent the organization needs to achieve its strategic goals.
The ATS has been particularly helpful in reducing the time to hire. The sales tech market for candidates is super competitive with candidates juggling numerous opportunities. Having ready leads on the system and a seamless relationship management protocol means the process from initial interviews to the offer stage moves fast.
An ATS should provide a seamless experience to reduce time to hire. Look for a partner that offers an intuitive, fast, and mobile-friendly system and more importantly continuous support.”
– Darrell Rosenstein
Founder, The Rosenstein Group
“Pick an ATS that provides job syndication and distribution to the free job boards. This will help you generate inbound candidate leads at no cost, and will pay for your investment into the ATS many times over! For example, make sure Google Jobs is supported (this is hard to do, and most don’t have it!).”
“Make sure that you clearly define your business requirements prior to making a selection. We learned there are many vendors in this space and many of them overlap with the features they offer. Having your business requirements clearly defined prior to the research and selection process will help you make sure you find a solution that will fit your specific use case.”
Mike Charles is the owner of Unified Pest Control. A Grand Rapids, MI based pest control company.
“Prior to utilizing an applicant tracking system I would manually keep tracking of potential new hires using a spreadsheet. We quickly outgrew this method and determined we were losing quality candidates due to the fact it was difficult to accurately track candidates through different stages of the recruitment and hiring phases.
The feature we use the most with our software is the reporting an analytics function. We are able to create customized dashboards that allows us to view key metrics at a glance. Using a data driven approach to recruitment, hiring, and eventual on boarding of new employees has allowed us to save money and time by streamlining our process.
Our hiring frequency has remained steady since implementation of our applicant tracking system. What the software has done is free up time that we can focus on other parts of the business.”
– Mike Charles
Unified Pest Control
“Normal HR software is just so impersonal. After an interview, we upload all the notes to the system. However, the nuances of the interview are lost – and the notes are just facts and figures and general info about what happened But after working with Workday ATS for a year now and taking the Workday training class to get up to speed I am fully behind Workday ATS as it has made our hiring process infinitely better.
Working with agencies before workday was an arduous process. This ATS has a simple interface where you can view candidates that agencies send us, where we can accept or decline them. It also allows us to maintain payments, break clauses and hiring bonus for each agency we use.
Our remote listings attract over 250 applicants per vacancy, software saves my sanity. It seems impossible to have emotional and character features on the hiring software, but if any company introduced that, we would be first in line to snap it up.”
– Michael Lowe
CEO, Car Passionate
“It’s becoming harder and harder to organize things when you’re scaling. Aside from being able to organize
candidates quickly, Onboarding and Performance Management are features I use to make things easier. Automation is the future, and one person can do the job of four people with the right tools and system. It also makes the process efficient, thus saving on time and cost.”
Founder, Head Of Content Strategy
“Our team uses software to discover how committed and disciplined an applicant is, which we also use as an internal communication tool. We usually create user accounts for the applicants which we set in a separate group with chosen employees in our Brosix network, so that we can observe how they communicate, collaborate and ask any questions while completing the interview tasks we’ve requested. This strategy has well worked for us since it allows having a closer look over an applicant’s behavior and skills.”
Co-founder and CEO, Brosix Instant Messenger
“In Applicant tracking systems, the activity tracker is the one that I personally use the most. It gives a brief idea of the status of candidates with respect to recruitment stands. Because of streamlining all the hiring & recruiting process, ATS helped us in saving a lot of time & resources which we spend while doing it manually.
I feel every business owner should use an ATS by which they can use a personalized career page with good templates which in turn gives a good candidate experience for the talent out there. Also having an ATS will give an edge because of minimal communication required as everything can be checked by a single click in dashboard thus gives ample time to both HR’s & management.
Product Marketer at Keka
Although cost becomes one of the highest considerations when looking at a new ATS, spending time to calculate your ROI may be better suited. The growth rate of your team may be the strongest consideration. Do not over buy unless you see yourself growing into that size of software within 12-months.
Below is a list of key points and questions you should be asking when deciding which ATS to consider. Every recruiting team will have unique hiring challenges, but these are the most important to analyze.
It is my pleasure to support and help you with considering which applicant tracking system will be best for your organization. As you search through our lists of the top ATS providers, I wanted to share some personal insights and advice to hiring.
Having helped over 100k small businesses hire with HR Technology, I have found 3 common areas where the top 5% of small businesses focus their hiring efforts. The software products listed on this website as alternative top ATS options are wonderful companies. Many of which I know the founders personally and can vouch for their continued focus and care to create great hiring software.
When I founded, VIVAHR, it was in 2016 after having run a very successful job board and job fair company. I was able to see a very insightful pattern with companies that were successful hiring. Alternatively, I saw what companies were doing who had a bad experience and seemed to always have poor results compared to peers. I’m going to go through why each of my core features at VIVAHR are built off of years of hiring experience; company culture, seo, engagement.
I am passionate about hiring. I have a soft place in my heart for anyone who is looking for work and unable to find the right position to enhance their life. Often times I know that gap is only because the right company has not displayed their job in an easy way for a candidate to find and apply to it. If there’s anything we can do to help you identify the best applicant tracking system for you and your business, please reach out.