Software 101: A Guide to Web-Based Applicant Tracking Systems

The process of reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and hiring & on-boarding is time-consuming. When searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack, keeping organized should be easier. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Due largely in part to the emergence of web-based Software as a Service (SaaS), organizations of any size and budget can tap into feature-rich web-based applicant tracking software (ATS) and streamline their hiring processes.

As an alternative to traditional desktop systems, web-based software as a service puts big-time functionality at recruiting professionals’ disposal without the upfront expense of desktop implementations.

If you think you may be ready to get rid of your Rolodex and clear that stack of resumes off of your desk, here’s what you should know…

  • The iCIMS Talent Platform ranks #1 for outstanding customer service and retention. This robust talent acquisition tool boosts recruiting efforts and employee management for HR departments of any size.
  • ApplicantStack is a completely hosted, full-featured applicant tracking solution designed for small and mid-sized organizations. It is ideal for HR managers that need to optimize hiring processes at an affordable price.
  • Ideal for the small to mid-sized business looking for a powerful, web-based applicant tracking and recruiting system, AcquireTM Talent Management is used by HR and corporate recruiters to streamline the hiring process.
  • A formidable contender in the cloud-based applicant tracking market, Newton Software is known for its ease of use, speedy implementation, exceptional customer service and EEO/OFCCP compliance features.

A Closer Look at Web-based Applicant Tracking Software

ATS automates the hiring process from end to end – from how candidates view openings and complete online applications to scheduling interviews and securely storing resumes. And central to the process is ensuring that this workflow is easily accessible to everyone from the sourcer to the CEO.

Most applicant tracking systems include a portal where candidates can complete customizable online applications. Resumes are parsed at the click of a button and document templates (i.e. offer letters) are quickly generated as well. Multiple schedules can also easily be coordinated so you can focus on interviewing. The ultimate focus of applicant tracking systems is the successful management of candidates’ life cycles in the hiring process.

There are many applicant tracking solutions, as there are various needs across the industries (i.e. high volume of applicants, various positions to be filled, etc). As such, we took a look few basic web-based systems to offer an applicant tracking system comparison.

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A Comparison of Functionality

How to Choose the Right Software for Your Organization

The first step in choosing the right applicant tracking software is identifying your needs and budget — whether you’re a small business owner or part of a recruiting team at a mid-sized company. If you’re new to applicant tracking, you’ll want to start with the basics in terms of functionality: online applications, interview status tracking, and document management. Or, if you’re ready for a complete package to deliver for years to come, go for the gold and invest in a top-of-the-line best of breed solution.

The next step is to know what the market has to offer. Software developers understand that the hiring process varies from organization to organization, and there are more than 200 applicant tracking systems for you to choose from.

With the right due diligence, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your specific needs to ensure you can source, recruit, and ultimately hire the very best applicants to help take your business to the next level.

As a tech enthusiast and senior analyst at Independent Insights, Kyle Lagunas is dedicated to keeping today's business leaders in touch with important trends and hot topics in the world of work. Connecting with thought leaders and in-the-trenches professionals, he offers a fresh take on best practices in recruiting, human resources, and talent management. Contact him at kdlagunas@gmail.com

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11 Comments on “Software 101: A Guide to Web-Based Applicant Tracking Systems

  1. Most incomplete list I have every seen. You are missing most every other major vendor out there and including at least one almost unknown vendor:

    Why wold you not add the other major vedors?

    HR
    Taleo
    BrightMove
    Kenexa
    PeopleFluent
    OpenHire

    Staffing
    BullHorn
    BrightMove
    Sendouts
    MaxHire

    Seems more like an advertisement than an article.

    1. Michael, there are certainly some major full HR suites out there that are worth mentioning. However, this beginner’s guide is focused solely on web-based applicant tracking systems, and wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive list. I’d definitely consider doing a guide to the other types of HR software in the future, though. Keep your eyes peeled!

      1. Kyle, this didn’t cover the pure ATS vendors either and Icims is a suite vendor. I just dont understand the why you would purport this being a good selection resource for recruiters. All of the vendors I mentioned are web based and there are a lot more. Are these vendors customers or partners of yours?

        Mike

        1. I unintentionally missed a few other (Recruiting Web Based) vendors:

          PC Recruiter
          MaxHire
          JobDiva
          JobVite

          Seriously, this article doesn’t do much for helping people find the leading vendors. I am not trying to knock your efforts but it just seems so incomplete.

          Mike

          1. I appreciate your intention and enthusiasm, Mike. Each of these systems was chosen based on my own familiarity with the solutions, access to product managers and demos, and because they are geared more towards the SMB market (my target audience). Software Advice has reviewed the majority of the products you mentioned, and I have featured more than a few in other articles. As I stated in this article:

            “There are many applicant tracking solutions, as there are various needs across the industries (i.e. high volume of applicants, various positions to be filled, etc). As such, we took a look few basic web-based systems to offer an applicant tracking system comparison.”

            If you’re interested in talking more about the other systems you mentioned – or even your own product – please feel free to contact me via email: kdlagunas@softwareadvice.com. I’m happy to help.

  2. I would add some items that need review by all people looking at ATS software:

    Workflow configurable –
    Workflow should be completely configurable

    Access to Resume Sources Natively
    Most best of breed vendors include access to all the major resume banks.

    SaaS OnDemand-
    Is the solution turn key multi-tenant SaaS. Keep in mind Cloud does not automatically mean turn key, it just means it can be hosted on a cloud architecture.

  3. Does anyone know of any updates to this list? I know that there’s a lot of new players in the game and I’d be interested to see how new companies like HireMojo (http://www.hiremojo.com) stack up against some of the enterprise suites.

  4. Fantastic info! I agree 100%, a great Applicant Tracking System is always worth looking into. Loosing 1 amazing employee because of the hiring process can and will hurt. Make sure you have a simply to use system that works for you and your needs.

  5. Amazing research Thanks for jumping in and helping us find a great Applicant Tracking System. it’s always worth looking into. Loosing 1 amazing employee because of the hiring process can and will hurt. Make sure you have a simply to use system that works for you and your needs.

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