The 6 Best Modern ATS's.. And Who They Work Best For

Find unparalleled efficiency and precision in talent acquisition with our curated list of the best modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Streamline your hiring process, enhance candidate experience

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems

[Last Updated on 8/26/2020]

This article looks at the best modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS's) and helps you better understand who they work best for.

Applicant Tracking System’s (ATS’s) are very unique pieces of technology in the HR space. Companies that make payroll systems, often make HRIS’s and timekeeping systems too. They just go together.

But many of those same tech companies don’t bother building an ATS, because it is such a different technology, aimed at a different user group, with very different inputs and data needs.

Many of our clients will come to us looking for an all-in-one system that covers all of HR’s needs, but oftentimes, we’ll push back and recommend buying a standalone ATS instead.

In those cases, we need to help our clients quickly understand the differences between the numerous platforms on the market.

So below is an overview of 6 of the best modern ATS’s for small and medium sized businesses, and who they can be a great fit for:


For those who want to hire their way

There’s no such thing as a standard hiring process. Every job, every location and every candidate is unique and Greenhouse is the best in the business at understanding this. They offer their clients a platform that is intuitive enough for even non-recruiters, while also being robust and configurable enough to satisfy complex recruiting needs.


For those who want to put candidates first

Lever believes the recruiting experience isn’t about requisitions, it’s about people. And their platform is designed to keep candidates at the center of every step. Lever has always offered a CRM as part of their ATS. Between email automations, smart alerts and job matching, Lever helps their clients build and maintain relationships with candidates over the long haul.


For those who want to modernize quickly

Many organizations have put off buying an ATS for years, instead opting for email aliases and spreadsheet tracking. By the time they get around to looking for an ATS, the options can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, Jazz exists. From the straightforward pricing and same day set-up to the numerous integration partners and feature-rich platform, Jazz can help companies can enter the 21st century almost instantaneously.


For those who want to expand their candidate pool

What good is an applicant tracking system, if there aren’t any applicants? Workable not only pushes your jobs out to hundreds of job boards in a click, they take sourcing a step further by allowing organizations to become proactive. With Workable you can leverage their searchable people database, their LinkedIn Recruiter integration and their candidate-job description matching to increase your candidate pool with relevant candidates.


For those who see recruiting as just one part of talent management

Oftentimes an ATS can exist in a vacuum, separate from the rest of your HR technology and only experienced by employees in the pre-hire process. However, ClearCompany makes your ATS just the first step in a circular talent management process that includes performance management and engagement too. Find out what makes your best employees so great and feed that information into your hiring process, so you can find more just like them.


For those who want it all in one place

Sometimes the goal for an ATS is depth - the most functionality, configurability and automations. And other times, the goal is breadth. BambooHR is for companies that don’t need all of the bells and whistles, but instead just want their ATS to be a part of a larger solution. Bamboo offers an ATS, but they also offer an HRIS, Timekeeping and Performance Management in the same platform, for companies that want to centralize and streamline HR processes.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and why is it important for businesses?

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software used by businesses to manage their recruitment and hiring process. It's important because it helps streamline the hiring process, organize candidate information, and improve overall efficiency in talent acquisition.

What are the key features and capabilities of an ATS?

Key features of an ATS include job posting and distribution, candidate tracking and communication, resume parsing, interview scheduling, candidate assessment, and reporting and analytics.

Why are standalone ATS solutions recommended over all-in-one HRIS systems for certain businesses?

Standalone ATS solutions are recommended when businesses prioritize specialized features and functionality tailored specifically for recruiting and hiring processes. All-in-one HRIS systems may lack the depth and customization options required for effective talent acquisition.

What are some benefits of using a modern ATS for small and medium-sized businesses?

Benefits of using a modern ATS include increased efficiency in hiring processes, improved candidate experience, better organization and tracking of candidate data, and access to advanced features such as CRM functionality, job distribution, and integration with other HR systems.

How do the top modern ATS solutions differ from each other?

The top modern ATS solutions differ in their focus areas, user interfaces, feature sets, pricing models, and integrations. Some may prioritize candidate experience, while others focus on ease of use, customization, or integration capabilities.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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