December 12, 2019
August 16, 2021

What's The Best ATS For a Fast-Scaling Startup?

Daniel Marcinkowski

Best ATS Options For Your Recruitment Team For 2020

If you're not a recruiter, the term ATS may not look familiar to you. The acronym stands for an Applicant Tracking System. It's a type of a tool that recruiters use to automate and organise all of the operations regarding hiring, such as, managing candidates, messaging them, and scheduling interviews. It also serves as a repository of candidates' documents, such as resumes, and applications. In a short summary — that's where all the things around recruitment happen.

Why should I use an ATS?

If you already used an ATS, you cannot imagine going back to not having it. It's like when you use advice from David Allen's Getting Things Done for the first time — it just improves your work dramatically. If your company doesn't use an ATS yet, there are many reasons why you should implement one.

  1. Increased productivity of your hiring team — it's not a secret that recruitment involves many different steps, stakeholders, and decision-makers. An ATS makes it possible to streamline all of the above and make it clear what the next step is and who is responsible for it.
  2. Saved time — this is tied to the first point. Incorporating an ATS saves a huge amount of time. Using these tools enables your recruiters to automate a big chunk of the hiring process, such as sending reach out messages or scheduling screenings and video calls.
  3. Structuring of the recruitment processes — even though you may be hiring for many different types of roles, some parts of the process will always be the same or at least very similar. An ATS makes it possible to set out a clear structure for the whole process.
  4. Improved candidate experience — you can keep your candidates informed at every stage and make sure they have a positive experience during their application process. This can save you loads of time and money.

A tool that saves time and a lot of hassle? That sounds exciting, doesn't it? Before we pick the best one, let's quickly go through some pain-points of using an ATS.

What are the main pain-points of ATS'?

Even the best ATS out there may not work well for you if your team is not using it as intended. We spoke to Grant Badgery, Engagement Manager at ACELR8, who highlighted some of the main pain-points when it comes to using an ATS:

The main pain-points of ATS' are buy-in and standardised use. Any new tool can face resistance, ATS' particularly amongst Hiring Managers who do not see recruiting as their main function. And then, when it’s being used across the whole team, how can you ensure that they are using it in the same way?To overcome these issues, your recruitment team needs up-front training on the key functions and using the tool in general. It needs to be revisited as well — one training is not enough for a Hiring Manager who may not have their first open positions for a month. It needs to be included as part of the kick-off, and rules need to be implemented to ensure it is kept in good use (for example, all interview feedback to be added into the system). Standardised use is a bit more tricky. First, you need to understand a bit about how the backend works. For example, does the time to hire get recorded from when you move the stage of the candidate in the ATS, or when the invite is sent? Once the answers to those questions are known, standardised usage rules can be defined and implemented. This, again, would need to be revisited to ensure it is kept in place.

How to find the right ATS for my company?

There's many ATS' out there, all with slightly different features or sets of features, pricing, integrations, and so on. To be absolutely sure what to look for, you should do an audit of your recruiting process and tools that you already use.

1. Review your current recruiting process:

  • Document every step of your current workflow.
  • List tasks that are part of the process. Are any of them repetitive?
  • Which third-party tools are you using?

2. Look for missing points in your current toolset:

  • What are the biggest pain-points?
  • What do your recruiters spend most of their time on?
  • What features are missing?

3. Make an ATS wishlist:

  • What would your perfect ATS look like?
  • What are the must-have features for you?
  • Which features would be nice-to-have?
  • What's your budget?

Did you answer all of the above? Great — now you can start looking for an ATS for your company!

Which ATS should I get?

There are plenty of options available out there when it comes to ATS'. To make the decision easier for you, we asked our recruiters which ATS is their favourite. All of them have worked on many different clients with different hiring needs so they have analysed most of the tools on the market.

Pragnya Challapalli, Talent Partner

Favourite ATS: BreezyHR

What are the pros of this ATS?

  • Gives you a good overview of all positions available
  • It’s easy to use, has good user experience, and is highly customisable
  • It features a candidate conversation log
  • Uploading sourced candidates is really easy

What kind of company is it for?

  • Small, between 15-50 employees
  • It's cheap
  • It's good for companies that don't require an onboarding process
  • When a company grows, it's better to switch to something more expensive like Greenhouse

Does it have any cons?

  • There are some bugs when scheduling sending an email
  • Data collection is poor and has many errors
  • Integrations are possible, but only via Zapier (extra cost)

Second favourite: Google Hire

Niels van der Heijden, Senior Talent Partner

Favourite ATS: Lever

What are the pros of this ATS?

  • It's scalable
  • Easy to implement for an early-stage startup
  • Affordable compared to other options
  • It works fast compared to other tools
  • Possibility to save templates
  • You can snooze or follow-up with candidates
  • It integrates with LinkedIn Recruiter, StackOverflow, etc.

What kind of company is it for?

  • All stages, but mostly for companies that plan to scale fast (as the ATS is affordable at early stages and still manages to track data and provide a good candidate flow)

Does it have any cons?

  • You cannot adjust the overall process yourself (you have to reach out to Lever for that)
  • The overall candidate overview is better on other ATS’

ACELR8’s clients get 17% off when signing up for Lever! You can learn more about our in-house recruitment here.

Second favourite: Greenhouse

Gia Metreveli, Executive Talent Partner & Business Development

Favourite ATS: Recruiterbox

What are the pros of this ATS?

  • Clear and readable email threads that store templates
  • It's easy to customise stages to your own needs
  • Simple and intuitive user interface

What kind of company is it for?

  • Up to 150 people, since it’s easy to get lost in the tool when there are more applications coming in

Does it have any cons?

  • It's not the best when it comes to reporting and data. The reports are often inaccurate and hard to browse through.

Second favourite: Lever

Estelle Boussès, Talent Partner

Favourite ATS: Greenhouse

What are the pros of this ATS?

  • Great user experience and interface
  • A structure of scorecards and templates that are easy to understand
  • Automation, reminders, and bulk actions
  • Google Chrome extension for uploading CVs to the database

What kind of company is it for?

  • Mid-level and bigger startups/companies (they offer different packages depending on the size of your company)

Does it have any cons?

  • The reporting feature is not very accurate (true for most of the ATS’), but still, one of the best ones out there — the key here is to use exactly the way you set it up, otherwise, data gets lost
  • It takes time and effort to set everything up, but once that is done it saves you loads

ACELR8’s clients get 10% off when signing up for Greenhouse! You can learn more about our in-house recruitment here.

Second favourite: Lever

Isabel Strijland, Senior Talent Partner

Favourite ATS: Workable

What are the pros of this ATS?

  • Intuitive and easy to use for both recruiter and hiring manager, as it guides the user through every step
  • Short setup time
  • Clear overview of the pipelines of all your roles
  • Surprisingly good sourcing tool to find candidates and unlock your searches
  • Mobile app

What kind of company is it for?

  • Early-stage and mid-level — as the layout is not designed for many roles

Does it have any cons?

  • The calendar doesn’t sync very well (closed format)

Second favourite: Greenhouse

Start hiring!

We hope this helped you find the right ATS for your business! If you need personal advice, feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help you find the right ATS for you.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Your inhouse recruiter on demand

Have an urgent hiring need, but lack the time to find and train recruiters? Let ACELR8 be your recruiting power!

Looking to hire

Hire your executive through our community

Taking the black magic out of executive search.

Looking to hire