10 Best Applicant Tracking Systems to Streamline Your Hiring Process with Efficiency and Ease

As a small business or team, finding the right talent is crucial for growth and success. However, managing the hiring process manually can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Thankfully, applicant tracking systems (ATS) come to the rescue, offering streamlined solutions for sourcing, screening, and managing candidates.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 10 ATS options ideal for small businesses. We’ll delve into each system’s target audience, unique features, pros and cons, and discuss the tradeoffs involved in balancing essential factors. Whether you’re a startup, a growing small business, or an HR team with limited resources, these ATS platforms will help you make better hiring decisions and find the perfect fit for your organization.

What is Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software solution that helps organizations manage their recruitment process efficiently. It serves as a centralized hub for collecting, organizing, and tracking candidate applications throughout the hiring journey. An ATS automates manual tasks, such as resume screening, interview scheduling, and communication, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to focus on selecting the best candidates.

What is the Best Applicant Tracking System?

Zoho Recruit

Best end-to-end Applicant Tracking System solution

Zoho Recruit is a comprehensive applicant tracking system designed to simplify the hiring process. It offers features like resume parsing, job board posting, interview scheduling, and collaboration tools, making it ideal for small teams looking to centralize their recruitment efforts.

Zoho Recruit Unique Features:

  • Customizable career website to showcase job openings.
  • AI-powered candidate matching for efficient shortlisting.
  • Seamless integration with Zoho’s suite of business applications.


  • User-friendly interface suitable for non-tech users.
  • Affordable pricing plans for small businesses.
  • Free version available with limited features.


  • Limited automation capabilities compared to more advanced systems.
  • Some users may find the customization options restrictive.


  • Free Plan: Limited to one recruiter and basic features.
  • Standard Plan: Starts at $22/recruiter per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses emphasizing a seamless onboarding process

BambooHR is an intuitive ATS with a focus on employee onboarding and HR management. Ideal for small businesses looking for a single platform to manage hiring, employee records, and performance reviews.

BambooHR Unique Features:

  • Customizable onboarding workflows for a smooth new hire experience.
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Time-off tracking and employee database management.


  • Exceptional customer support for small businesses.
  • Integrations with other HR tools for a seamless workflow.
  • User-friendly and suitable for HR professionals with minimal technical knowledge.


  • Some advanced features require additional add-ons.
  • Limited reporting and analytics capabilities compared to dedicated HR software.


  • Essentials Plan: Starts at $6.19/employee per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses requiring a scalable ATS as they grow

Workable is a cloud-based ATS that caters to small and medium-sized businesses. It offers a range of features, including job posting, candidate sourcing, interview scheduling, and team collaboration.

Workable Unique Features:

  • Chrome extension for easy candidate sourcing from various platforms.
  • Mobile app for managing hiring on the go.
  • AI-powered candidate screening and shortlisting.


  • Pay-Per-Job Plan: Starts at $99 per job post.
  • Hiring Essentials Plan: Starts at $99/recruiter per month, billed annually.


  • Strong focus on candidate engagement and communication.
  • Flexible pricing plans for small businesses.
  • Customizable career page to showcase company culture.


  • Pay-Per-Job Plan: Starts at $99 per job post.
  • Hiring Essentials Plan: Starts at $99/recruiter per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses looking for an affordable ATS with essential features

Freshteam, part of the Freshworks suite, is a straightforward ATS solution for small businesses. It offers applicant tracking, interview scheduling, and customizable hiring workflows.

Freshteam Unique Features:

  • AI-powered candidate sourcing and resume screening.
  • Integration with other Freshworks products for a unified HR experience.
  • Customizable recruitment pipelines to match specific hiring needs.


  • User-friendly interface with easy navigation.
  • Cost-effective solution for small teams with basic hiring requirements.
  • Built-in integration with popular job boards for wider reach.


  • Some users may find the system lacks advanced features needed for complex hiring processes.
  • Limited customization options compared to more robust ATS systems.


  • Sprout Plan: Free for up to 50 users with basic features.
  • Blossom Plan: Starts at $75/month for up to 50 users, billed annually.


Flexible ATS with robust customization

JazzHR is a feature-rich ATS that provides a seamless candidate sourcing and selection experience. It offers various integrations and customization options to cater to specific hiring needs.

JazzHR Unique Features:

  • Easy job posting and syndication to multiple job boards.
  • Integrated video interviewing for remote hiring.
  • Customizable candidate evaluation tools.


  • User-friendly interface for easy adoption by small teams.
  • Candidate database management for future hiring needs.
  • Free version available for single users or small teams.


  • Some users may find the reporting and analytics capabilities limited compared to other ATS options.
  • Advanced features require higher-tier plans.


  • Hero Plan: Starts at $229/recruiter per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses looking for a collaborative hiring platform

Recruitee is a collaborative ATS designed to involve the entire team in the hiring process. It offers features like team tasks, interview kits, and customizable hiring pipelines.

Recruitee Unique Features:

  • Transparent team collaboration with customizable roles and permissions.
  • GDPR-compliant data management for candidate privacy.
  • Social media integration for sourcing candidates from multiple platforms.


  • User-friendly interface suitable for small teams without dedicated HR professionals.
  • Free version available for basic hiring needs.
  • Customizable career page to showcase company culture.


  • Some users may find the reporting and analytics capabilities limited compared to other ATS options.
  • Advanced features require higher-tier plans.


  • Free Plan: Limited to one active job and basic features.
  • Growth Plan: Starts at €79/month for three active jobs, billed annually.

CATS Applicant Tracking System

Ideal for Small businesses seeking a robust and customizable ATS

CATS is a highly customizable ATS solution, suitable for small businesses with unique hiring processes. It offers a range of features, including resume parsing, email integration, and custom workflows.

CATS Unique Features:

  • Unlimited custom fields and categories for personalized data management.
  • Extensive integration options with other HR and recruiting tools.
  • Option to create custom email templates for efficient candidate communication.


  • Highly customizable to match specific hiring requirements.
  • Affordable pricing plans suitable for small businesses.
  • Mobile app for on-the-go hiring management.


  • Initial setup may require assistance for users with limited technical knowledge.
  • Some users may find the interface less intuitive compared to other ATS platforms.


  • CATS Standard Plan: Starts at $99/recruiter per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses emphasizing candidate relationship management

Lever is an ATS with a strong focus on candidate relationship management (CRM). It offers features like sourcing, interview scheduling, and integration with other recruitment tools.

Lever Unique Features:

  • Collaborative candidate evaluation tools for seamless team feedback.
  • Lever Nurture feature for ongoing candidate engagement.
  • AI-powered sourcing to identify top talent efficiently.


  • User-friendly interface with an emphasis on candidate-centric hiring.
  • Integrations with other tools like LinkedIn, Slack, and Gmail for a cohesive hiring process.
  • Excellent customer support for small businesses.


  • Advanced features are available at higher-tier plans.
  • Some users may find the pricing slightly higher compared to other ATS solutions.


  • Professional Plan: Starts at $150/recruiter per month, billed annually.


Ideal for Small businesses seeking an all-in-one recruitment platform.

SmartRecruiters is an end-to-end recruitment platform, combining ATS capabilities with recruitment marketing and candidate sourcing tools. It offers a comprehensive solution for small businesses with diverse hiring needs.

SmartRecruiters Unique Features:

  • SmartAssistant AI for improved candidate matching and screening.
  • Branded career page for showcasing job openings and company culture.
  • Integrated candidate sourcing from job boards, social media, and more.


  • Some users may find the platform too complex for straightforward hiring requirements.
  • Advanced features are available at higher-tier plans.


  • Advanced features are available at higher-tier plans.
  • Some users may find the pricing slightly higher compared to other ATS solutions.


  • SmartStart Plan: Free with basic features for up to 10 open jobs.
  • SmartPlan: Starts at $299/recruiter per month, billed annually.

Workday Recruiting

Ideal for Small businesses seeking a comprehensive HR and ATS solution

Workday Recruiting is part of the larger Workday suite, offering an all-in-one HR and ATS platform for small businesses. It provides a seamless experience for hiring, onboarding, and employee management.

Workday Recruiting Unique Features:

  • Unified HR and ATS platform for streamlined HR processes.
  • User-friendly interface suitable for small teams with minimal HR expertise.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting for data-driven hiring strategies.


  • Scalable solution for growing businesses with evolving hiring needs.
  • Seamless integration with other Workday products for a unified HR experience.
  • User-friendly interface with easy navigation.


  • Pricing may be higher compared to standalone ATS solutions.
  • Implementation may require assistance for non-tech users.


  • Pricing available upon request.

What is the Benefits of Applicant Tracking Systems?

ATS offers several benefits that contribute to a more streamlined and effective hiring process:

Improved Efficiency:

By automating time-consuming tasks, such as resume parsing and candidate screening, ATS significantly reduces manual effort and allows recruiters to focus on strategic activities.

Enhanced Candidate Experience:

ATS provides a seamless and user-friendly application process, ensuring a positive experience for candidates. It enables timely communication, personalized messaging, and efficient feedback sharing.

Centralized Candidate Database:

ATS creates a comprehensive database of candidate profiles, including resumes, contact information, and communication history. This central repository simplifies candidate search and enables efficient talent pipelining.

Better Collaboration:

ATS facilitates collaboration among hiring team members by providing a centralized platform for sharing candidate information, feedback, and interview evaluations. It improves communication and ensures everyone is aligned throughout the hiring process.

Data-driven Decision-making:

With ATS, recruiters can generate reports and access analytics on various recruitment metrics, such as time-to-fill, source effectiveness, and candidate quality. These insights enable data-driven decision-making and continuous process improvement.

What are the Key Features to Look for in an Applicant Tracking System?

When evaluating ATS options, consider the following key features:

Resume Parsing and Keyword Search:

Advanced resume parsing technology automatically extracts relevant information from resumes, making it easier to search and filter candidates based on specific keywords and criteria.

Customizable Workflows:

Look for an ATS that allows you to design and customize workflows to match your organization’s unique hiring process. This flexibility ensures the system adapts to your specific requirements.

Integration Capabilities:

Check if the ATS integrates seamlessly with other HR systems, job boards, and social media platforms. Integration streamlines data transfer, expands candidate reach, and improves overall efficiency.

Reporting and Analytics:

Robust reporting and analytics features provide insights into recruitment performance, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of sourcing channels, track key metrics, and make informed decisions.

Mobile Accessibility:

Consider an ATS that offers mobile accessibility, enabling recruiters to access candidate information, review applications, and manage the hiring process on-the-go.

How to choose a Applicant Tracking System for your Business?

Before selecting an ATS, keep the following considerations in mind:


Evaluate the pricing structure of the ATS, including any additional costs for advanced features, integrations, or user licenses. Ensure that the chosen solution aligns with your budgetary constraints.


Consider the scalability of the ATS as your business grows. Assess whether the system can handle increased hiring demands, accommodate a growing candidate database, and support future expansion.


Look for an ATS with an intuitive interface, easy navigation, and user-friendly design. A user-friendly system will require less training and ensure a smooth user experience for all team members.

Customization Options:

Determine the level of customization available in the ATS to tailor it to your specific hiring process, branding, and organizational requirements. A flexible system will adapt to your evolving needs.

Customer Support:

Assess the level of customer support provided by the ATS vendor. Ensure that they offer responsive and helpful support channels to assist you in case of any issues or questions.

In conclusion, Implementing the right applicant tracking system is a game-changer for small businesses seeking streamlined and efficient hiring processes. Whether you prioritize a user-friendly interface, advanced features, or cost-effectiveness, the top 10 ATS options presented here cater to various needs. Evaluate each platform’s unique features, pricing, pros, and cons to find the best fit for your organization. Embrace the power of technology to optimize your hiring process, make data-driven decisions, and find the perfect candidates to drive your business forward.


What are the benefits of using an ATS?

Using an ATS offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved efficiency and time savings by automating manual tasks.
  • Enhanced candidate experience through streamlined application processes and timely communication.
  • Centralized candidate database for easy candidate search and talent pipelining.
  • Enhanced collaboration among hiring team members through shared candidate information and feedback.
  • Data-driven decision-making by generating reports and analytics on recruitment metrics.

 Can small businesses benefit from using an ATS? 

Absolutely! Applicant Tracking Systems are not limited to large corporations. Small businesses can greatly benefit from using an ATS as it helps them streamline their hiring process, attract top talent, and improve overall efficiency. ATS solutions are available for businesses of all sizes, and many offer affordable pricing plans tailored to small businesses.

Are there free ATS options available? 

Yes, there are free ATS options available in the market. These free options often come with limitations in terms of the number of users, job postings, or advanced features. However, they can be a good starting point for small businesses or teams with limited budgets. It’s important to assess the specific needs of your business and evaluate the features and limitations of the free ATS before making a decision.

What features should I look for in an ATS?

When choosing an ATS, consider the following key features:

  • Resume parsing and keyword search for efficient candidate screening.
  • Customizable workflows to align with your hiring process.
  • Integration capabilities with other HR systems and job boards.
  • Reporting and analytics to track recruitment metrics and make data-driven decisions.
  • Collaboration tools to facilitate communication and feedback sharing among team members.

How do I ensure data security in an ATS?

Data security is a crucial aspect of any ATS. When evaluating ATS options, inquire about the security measures implemented by the vendors. Look for features such as data encryption, secure hosting, user access controls, and compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR or CCPA.

Can an ATS integrate with other HR software?

Yes, many ATS solutions offer integration capabilities with other HR software such as HRIS (Human Resources Information System), payroll systems, or talent management platforms. Integration enables seamless data transfer, eliminates manual data entry, and ensures data consistency across different systems.

What are the challenges in implementing an ATS?

While implementing an ATS can bring numerous benefits, there are some challenges to consider:

  • Data migration: Transferring existing candidate data to the new system can be a complex process that requires careful planning.
  • User adoption: Ensuring that all team members are trained and comfortable using the new system is essential for its successful implementation.
  • Change management: Introducing a new technology may require adjustments to existing processes and workflows, which may cause initial resistance or challenges in adapting to the new system.

Can an ATS support remote hiring and collaboration?

Yes, ATS solutions can support remote hiring and collaboration by providing online job posting capabilities, virtual interview scheduling, and remote collaboration tools. These features enable businesses to seamlessly conduct the hiring process remotely, even when team members are working from different locations.

How do I choose the right ATS for my business?

To choose the right ATS for your business, consider factors such as your budget, specific hiring needs, scalability requirements, user-friendliness, customization options, and customer support provided by the vendor. Evaluate multiple ATS options, request demos, and take advantage of free trials to assess their suitability for your business before making a decision.

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