15 ATS Software Tools for 2021


In a fast-paced digital marketplace, businesses are under more pressure than ever to streamline the hiring process. A crucial tool for achieving that goal is applicant tracking. ATS software is designed to improve efficiency by automating and enhancing talent acquisition. This makes it easier for businesses to keep up-to-date records that capture the full picture of their applicant base, and it helps them shorten the time it takes to fill job openings.
Related: Looking for more talent acquisition software? Visit our full guide to selecting vendors.


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What is ATS software?

The purpose of an ATS or applicant tracking system is to create and maintain a living database of applicants not just for one particular position, but with a view to the full picture of a business’ talent acquisition needs. ATS tools can make all the difference to a start-up business looking to acquire the best possible team in the shortest feasible timespan. They can be equally important for a business at any scale that can expect to see high rates of turnover as a norm, such as high-volume retail or food service outlets.
Related: Just getting started? Find Free Applicant Tracking Tools for Your Business.


What to look for when choosing ATS software

ATS tools come in a wide variety of configurations, and some are aimed at different market niches. That said, there are certain features that the most competitive applicant tracking systems have in common.


1. Data import and export

ATS software must be able to import and export data sets for analysis and review in different environments. Nobody likes having to re-enter data for several hundred applicants by hand.


2. Integrations

The more integrations with commonly used third-party programs an ATS tool features, the easier it will be for businesses to make full use of its features.


3. Customization

Being able to customize an application to a business’ needs adds considerable value to any software.


4. Aggregation

An advanced feature of modern applicant tracking, and one of the big motivators for engaging with this sophisticated software, is its ability to aggregate applicant data from off-platform sources like social media.


5. Automations

Modern software solutions almost universally put at least some effort into automating repetitive tasks, but some implement these functions better than others. The better that implementation is done, the more time end users can hope to save.


6. Tags

Tags allow users to segment applicant data according to whatever a company’s needs might be.


7. Interview management

ATS software can streamline the process of scheduling, recording and evaluating interviews, which is a key part of how they increase hiring efficiency.


8. Scoring, Reporting and Analytics

Scoring ranks applicants according to their fit with particular skill sets or other requirements. Analytics means that the resume ATS checker has the ability to answer other key questions, such as how much time the process is taking per applicant, how much it costs to fill each position, how applicants are finding opportunities and which postings or outreach methods are attracting the most qualified candidates. Reporting is the ability to present that information in a succinct and easy-to-parse form.


ATS software tools

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Atomic Hire

Price: Atomic Hire’s solutions are priced by custom quote from the vendor. Free versions and free trials are not available.

Key Features:

  • Efficient filtering for role-specific hiring
  • User-friendly presentation of recruiting funnel
  • Useful scoring and screening tools

A cloud-based ATS platform that focuses on providing the fundamentals of applicant tracking in an easy-to-use form, Atomic Hire simplifies the process of prescreening and filtering applicants and offers a simple grid-based view of the hiring funnel for any particular position. It’s designed to be adaptable to the processes and tech stacks of specific businesses and to facilitate information sharing among users. Although it doesn’t support more advanced features like CV parsing, its solid delivery of the basics makes it popular with its client base. As one customer puts it: “We’re a growth stage technology start-up, fighting hard to sign the best talent. [Since] we started using Atomic Hire . . . we have signed 5 world class candidates within 4 weeks, only conducting 15 face to face interviews.”



Price: BambooHR offers free trial software and provides full solutions built for a business’ needs by custom quote.

Key Features:

  • Available in mobile, desktop and cloud-based formats
  • Integrates with the brand’s larger HR software package
  • Automated alerts
  • In-system messaging

BambooHR positions itself as a human resources software suite aimed specifically at growing businesses. Easy to customize for a team’s needs and built to make information easy to find by all stakeholders in the hiring process, the ATS tool component of BambooHR comes with the added advantage of potential integration with a much larger HR suite that handles compensation management, onboarding, time tracking and performance management. The software enjoys an enthusiastic customer base, one of whom says, “BambooHR’s applicant tracking system (ATS) has given us the platform to compete for candidates who are not only more qualified but who also fit our company culture.”


Breezy HR

Price: This ATS starts at $143 per month and offers flexible month-to-month pricing. A free trial and a free demo version that features one active position and one candidate are available for testing.

Key Features:

  • Simple implementation and friendly UI
  • Strong support for communication within and beyond recruiting team
  • Candidate tagging for certifications and skills
  • Supports video interviewing

A player in the HR software market for more than a half decade, Breezy HR is built with a focus on automating tasks ranging from background screening, candidate scoring and messaging through interview scheduling and making official job offers. Noted for its user-friendly interface and ease of installation, Breezy is a cloud-based and mobile-friendly software that boasts powerful collaborative tools for recruitment teams of any size. It provides video interviewing functionality, a self-serve portal for applicants and resume parsing and workflow management tools. These features combine with a wallet-friendly price point to make it a highly popular applicant tracking system.


CEIPAL TalentHire

Price: CEIPAL TalentHire’s pricing starts at $24 monthly per user. A free trial version of the software is available.

Key Features:

  • Designed for IT and engineering recruitment firms
  • AI-powered features across the platform
  • Automated resume harvesting, chatbots and candidate ranking
  • Integrations for interview management
  • Detailed reporting tools

This AI-powered ATS tool is designed with IT and engineering companies in mind. It manages job postings and requisitions, uses analytics to single out potential top candidates and integrates with productivity apps for interview management. Comprehensive reporting tools and digital onboarding make CEIPAL TalentHire a major contender among staffing and recruiting firms in its focus verticals, and its AI-supported functions include real-time job board searches, passive candidate sourcing, chatbots and calibrated resume harvesting. These tools allows users to specify the parameters when searching and downloading applicant profiles into local databases and gives them the ability to control access to job board credits and spending.


Price: ClearCompany offers a free trial of its services but crafts paid solutions by direct custom quote only.

Key Features:

  • Filtered role-based recruitment
  • Strong recruitment analytics
  • Offer letter management
  • Automations for background checks, messaging, feedback and interview scheduling

ClearCompany is more than just an ATS. In addition to applicant tracking, it’s a one-stop shop for everything from performance management and employee engagement through general-purpose HR procedures. It’s particularly strong as a cloud-based ATS though. It offers tools to customize the recruitment funnel and select top talent for a position, including filters for role-based hiring, automated background checks, candidate messaging, interview feedback and scheduling, offer letter management and recruitment analytics. Its ease of use and strong customer support draw praise from clients, with one saying: “Although it is a quality product with great functions, you don’t have to be a techie to catch on to how everything works . . . This company is constantly inquiring about how to make the product better.”


iCIMS Recruit

Price: iCIMS Recruit offers a free demo and custom quotes for paid solutions.

Key Features:

  • Real-time reporting tools
  • Mobile-friendly access
  • Extensive customization

Built for enterprise-scale businesses, iCIMS Recruit is a centralized recordkeeping system advertised as being among the largest stand-alone talent acquisition platforms on the market. The firm supports a full-service Talent Cloud that goes well beyond applicant tracking, and in its ATS capacity, it offers extensive integrations into a large ecosystem of services and technologies along with a centralized system of record, automated bulk actions, real-time reporting and a mobile-friendly interface that makes it possible to manage the recruitment pipeline from anywhere and at any time. Its dashboards are extensively customizable, a big selling point for clients like Trilogy Health Services, that say: “iCIMS has been able to adapt with us as we change and grow at a rapid pace. We’ve heard vendors say ‘we are flexible to your needs and you can customize everything,’ only to hear them say ‘we can’t do that.’ iCIMS has actually been able to deliver.”



Price: JobDiva provides paid software by custom quote and offers a free demo.

Key Features:

  • Integration with a full-service candidate management platform
  • Cross-platform compatible
  • User-friendly interface
  • Filtration for focused hiring funnels

JobDiva positions itself as a best-in-class, full-service talent acquisition platform that encompasses candidate relationship management (CRM), financial management and a proprietary applicant tracking system (ATS). The latter is focused on candidate experience (CX) and prioritizing excellence in ease of use and configurability. This cloud-based software is built around mobile accessibility. It offers an iOS app, and a major selling point is its ability to integrate seamlessly with the fuller suite of JobDiva candidate management software. Sporting extensive cross-platform compatibility as well as robust customer support, a best-practices library, free upgrades and superb candidate filtering options, JobDiva has earned a reputation of being, as one client puts it, “basically a one-stop-shop for all of your ATS needs. I am a big fan of streamlining processes and systems where able, and JobDiva does a great job of this.”



Price: Pricing for Manatal starts at $15 monthly per user. Although there’s no free version of the software, a free trial is available.

Key Features:

  • Holistic candidate profiles
  • Configurable searches
  • AI-driven algorithms
  • Diverse third-party integrations

Manatal is general-service recruitment software that includes a powerful ATS tool. Its ATS software offers holistic candidate profiles that consolidate a full record of conversations and foundational data. It also provides configurable quick searches with a wide range of parameters; AI-driven algorithms for advanced searches; resume parsing and formatting; and integrations with Microsoft Office 365 and other third-party software. Additionally, Manatal offers broad-ranging multilingual support that includes the ability to parse right-to-left written language. Resumes, CVs and more general candidate information can be parsed and accessed on a yearly timeline. Customizable fields and views, interactive onboarding features and a native API for building further integrations are all part of the package. As one client puts it: “Using Manatal required little to no orientation . . . overall, I think this is one neat little platform.”



Price: Pricing starts at $99 per month, and Recruitee offers both a free version and a free trial.

Key Features:

  • Automations for scheduling, messaging and candidate scoring
  • Custom automations
  • Supports multilingual career sites
  • Time-to-hire and candidate source reports

Billing itself as software for recruitment firms and hiring managers alike, Recruitee is a data-driven ATS tool with a strong focus on automation, reporting and analytics. It makes it easy to assess and tweak workflows for greater efficiency and improved ROI. The platform generates a clear picture of time-to-hire, enhances candidate sourcing and automates many daily tasks while providing tools for customization in case the platform’s prebuilt automation options aren’t enough. Further features include resume parsing and a function for self-serve career sites with options designed for international and multilingual businesses. The software draws praise from clients for being easy to use, one of whom notes: “Recruitee seems to have been [built] with the [end user] in mind.”


RecruiterBox Applicant Tracking

Price: RecruiterBox is priced by custom quote and offers a free demo.

Key Features:

  • Communication and collaboration hub for hiring teams
  • Automated job posting distribution
  • Detailed and compliance-focused reporting functions

A web-based ATS that positions itself as an easy-to-use and highly customizable solution, RecruiterBox acts as a hub for recruitment-related communication, archives job openings and tracks application status. The platform includes interview scheduling, candidate profile management and applicant search functions among its rich list of features. RecruiterBox automates job postings, offers transparent pricing without installation fees and supports detailed and compliance-focused reporting at all stages of the hiring funnel. According to its users, which include well-known brands like Lonely Planet and BVI Airways, RecruiterBox doesn’t overwhelm the end user with customization options but is nevertheless flexible and simple to implement. As one client says: “It requires very little training with new users – it’s quite intuitive.”


Sage HR

Price: Pricing starts at $5.50 monthly per user, and Sage HR offers a free trial.

Key Features:

  • Triggered automations
  • Detailed reporting and candidate scoring
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Drag-and-drop pipeline visualization

Previously known as CakeHR, Sage HR is a human resources platform that provides an ATS along with other general-purpose tools. Its ATS includes a recruitment pipeline visualization with drag-and-drop editing, interview scheduling, support for unique landing pages and sophisticated candidate scoring. Mangers can also access detailed reports on hiring velocity, activity and referrals. The platform supports pipeline-triggered automations, change logs, integration with Microsoft Outlook and unlimited applicants, including the ability to import applicant data. Above all, it offers seamless compatibility with the broader Sage HR platform. Web-based and mobile-friendly, Sage HR is easy to use, affordable and performs best for startups and smaller organizations looking for growth. As one client puts it, Sage HR is: “Only second to one system, which is unaffordable for us . . . I recommend this system for any growing startup and SME.”



Price: SmartRecruiters provides solutions by custom quote that are tailored for each client’s needs. It also offers a free demo.

Key Features:

  • Real-time reporting and analytics
  • Over 350 plug-and-play third-party integrations
  • International compliance management tools
  • Automated job board distribution
  • Branded career pages

SmartRecruiters combines two major talent acquisition roles. Its offers recruitment marketing features would normally be associated with a candidate relationship management (CRM) platform, and it sports a full-featured ATS. The latter offers its own API for facilitating integration into a company’s tech stack. The software includes prebuilt plug-and-play integrations with over 350 third-party vendors, compliance management tools valid in over 100 countries, customizable workflows and real-time reporting and analytics. It offers direct candidate sourcing as well as application tracking, including information about which channels and sources yield the best ROI. It also automates job postings on multiple boards, supports branded career pages and features integrated resume parsing technology. Built for companies with 250 or more employees, SmartRecruiters scores points with its client base for its powerful feature set and ease of use.



Price: Pricing starts at $100 a month, and although Teamtailor does not have a free version, it does offer a free trial.

Key Features:

  • Custom automation triggers
  • Bulk automated actions
  • Drag-and-drop visual editor for recruitment funnels
  • Candidate filtering, scoring and tagging
  • Sophisticated mobile app

Teamtailor is a full-service talent acquisition suite that combines candidate relationship management (CRM) and ATS software. The platform’s ATS provides customizable automation triggers, bulk automated actions and a drag-and-drop visualization for recruitment funnels. It supports video interviews, surveys, automated messaging and candidate reviews with scoring and tagging. It also provides tools for interview scheduling, smart filtering and resume checking with the goal of aligning recruiting and hiring strategies to the company objectives. Collaboration tools allow users to add unlimited members to hiring teams, track their performance, communicate and assign tasks. The platform’s mobile app makes it possible to review updates, stay in touch with candidates, ping team members and compose notes while on the go.



Price: TribePad is priced by custom quote from the vendor, and it offers a free demo on request.

Key Features:

  • Advanced vacancy creation and role segmentation
  • Real-time downloadable reporting
  • Sophisticated screening and compliance tools
  • Automated interview scheduling
  • Supports video interviews

TribePad positions itself as a forward-thinking, feature-rich ATS software tool designed specifically for mobile friendliness, customizability and detailed real-time reporting and analytics. It provides a vacancy creation system with specialized tools for role segmentation and cross-department or inter-regional information sharing. It automates candidate communication and interview scheduling, including video interviews, supports a wide range of screening tools, such as aptitude and psychometric testing, and offers anonymous applications for hiring diversity. Its talent pool features are aimed at segmenting and nurturing talent for future advancement, and its web search function allows HR personnel to search millions of candidate profiles. TribePad’s reporting includes cost of acquisition, hiring timelines and diversity compliance metrics with downloadable and easy-to-read visualizations.


Zoho Recruit

Price: Zoho Recruit’s pricing starts at $25 monthly per user, and there’s a free trial version available.

Key Features:

  • Useful selection of third-party integrations
  • Vendor management portal
  • Branded career pages
  • Powerful automations
  • AI-driven database searches with semantic matching

Part of the larger Zoho human resources suite, Zoho Recruit is a cloud-based ATS pitched toward staffing firms and corporate HR departments alike. It offers automated reporting, analytics, alerts, triggers and background checks, and it provides AI-driven database searching with semantic matching for key criteria. It integrates not only with other Zoho applications but also with a range of third-party vendors and job boards, and it supports remote and mobile-friendly interviewing. Corporate HR-focused features include vendor management to identify and engage with clients recommended by third-party staffing companies for example. It also offers an employee referral portal, hierarchical organizational workflows and branded career pages.


ATS software FAQs


What companies use an ATS?

ATS tools have become close to ubiquitous in the job marketplace. They’re used by start-ups, large-scale enterprises and widely recognized brands. Any company that hires more than a few people in any given year can derive value from an applicant tracking system.


How does ATS software work?

An ATS is a liaison between a company’s hiring team and its active pool of potential talent. Plenty of applicants think of ATS as a resume checker, and indeed, parsing resumes and CVs for key details is one of its functions. More than that, it also helps with communication, interview scheduling, skills testing and candidate assessments.


What is the difference between a CRM and an ATS?

In the context of HR tools, CRM means candidate relationship management. CRM systems are proactive and concerned with the big picture. In other words, they’re designed for recruitment marketing, attracting passive candidates, building positive and exciting relationships with a workforce and supporting employees who choose to move on. An ATS is focused on the hiring funnel and provides a single platform with workflow tools for screening, evaluating and selecting prospective talent.

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