How to Select the Right Applicant Tracking System for Your Organization

Picking the wrong applicant tracking system (ATS) can often be annoying. By the time your team realizes that the ATS might not be suitable, the team might have sunk a lot of time and resources into it. From data migration cost to software customization fee and hours spent onboarding your team on the software they ended up not using.

So instead of ‘third times the charm,’ let us help your recruiting team pick out the best-fit ATS on the first go. Here is what you need to know when selecting a new ATS for your team.

4 Immediate Benefits When Working With a Suitable ATS

Benefits of having an ATS

Even with the help of an ATS, you can expect to see significant improvements months after implementation. However, there are immediate results when working with software that fits you to a T. Here are some of them:

Supporting With Lawful Obligations

Recruiting compliance is never easy. With laws and regulations constantly changing, staying in compliance can be a tedious task. And if you are recruiting internationally, your business can be under multiple codes of law.

An ATS helps your business stay in line with various regulations. For example, an ATS can track your candidates’ and employees’ demographics like age and gender to fill in the fair-employment EEO-1 form. Some solutions automatically adjust their text message rate and time-to-send to stay in line with text messaging laws such as the EU’s GDPR.

Streamline Your Recruitment Pipeline

With an ATS, toiling with manual admin tasks will be a thing of the past. An ATS can streamline your recruitment pipeline with useful bulk actions and automated features. Some ATS can even scan and compare candidates’ resumes to your job description, enabling the team to find the most suitable applicants from thousands of submitted.

Improving Your Team’s Collaboration

Picking out potential candidates can be a struggle for an individual due to unconscious bias and fatigue settling in after a while. With a synchronized database, an ATS can draw in other members of your team to weigh a candidate. When all team members are informed about each other’s progress, weeding out unconscious bias and tracking your candidates are very simple.

Creating a dynamic impression with a highly customized career page

People said a picture speaks a thousand words. So instead of wasting time drafting and sending out lengthy emails to pitch your job opportunities, utilize the ability to create customizable career pages to let candidates know what it is like working for your company!

Each ATS solution has a specific method for page creation. Take Teamtailor, for example. You can drag and drop different elements, all customizable, to form your career page, simple and intuitive! Try out what fits your team the most. The more your team is comfortable with the solution, the easier it is to create tailored content for your candidates instantly.

Picking a Suitable ATS, Step-by-Step

Picking a good ATS

Step1: Define Your End Goals

Before your team moves forward, you must know what the ultimate goals for your recruiting project is and the role your ATS will play. You can set up a range of questions in this phase concerning your team’s goals. Which part of the funnel can the ATS help with? What kind of data will you be monitoring?

If you have a clear understanding of what you want out of the project, you can turn your questions into a set of smaller, actionable goals. Smaller goals mean an easier time to find the right tool that can help you achieve them.

Step2: Scope Your Needs

Get the words out. Nailing down vital features your team needs is the next step in finding a suitable ATS. Using the set of goals defined in step 1, consult your team on the necessary functions they need in the new ATS. You can also approach this matter by asking for problems currently plaguing your team. These features might be of interest to your team:

  • Synchronizable database and team note
  • Career page creation
  • Sourcing capable
  • Mobile app/version
  • Simple interface
  • Ranking system for your candidates
  • Blind hiring capable
  • Automated tracking and report
  • Responsive support team
  • Detailed tag and filter system

Combine your list of features with review sites such as G2 or Capterra to start prioritizing and narrowing your search. Review sites are great if you want to consult previous users. However, beware that reviews can be biased.

Questions to ask your team:

  • What features do we need in our ATS?
  • What problems is our team dealing with when it comes to recruiting?
  • What kind of customization/integration would your team need?

Step 3: Set Your Budget

If you invest in the right software, that means saving a lot of time and manpower. Usually, you will have multiple pricing models available to you. Assess your business to pick out the most logical option:

  • Pricing per user/recruiter: you will be charged for the number of users/recruiters that use the ATS. This option is the most common pricing plan for businesses with a determined amount of recruiters. If your recruiting team constantly adds or removes members, this price plan can be challenging to manage due to unpredictable expenses.

Solutions that employ this pricing plan: iCIMS, Zoho

  • Pricing per employee: you will be charged for the number of active employees in your company. If you are a startup business with a small number of employees or you want an unlimited amount of users, this is the plan for you.

Solutions that employ this pricing plan: Greenhouse, TeamTailor

  • Pricing per job openings: you will be charged for the number of job openings you have. Businesses with stable job openings every season will find the most uses for this pricing plan. If the business’s needs for candidates constantly change, this option can be very costly.

Solutions that employ this pricing plan: Jobscore, Recruitee

  • Pricing per feature: As the name suggested, you will be charged for the number of features available to your team. This is why getting your team members involved in building a list of needed features is so important. This option is ideal for small businesses. They can receive the same solution with similar data processing power to that of more prominent companies. The price can be lower due to feature reduction, features that are only useful to bigger businesses.

Solutions that employ this pricing plan: iKrut ATS, Fitzii

Step 4: Make Full Use Of Your Demos/Trial Period

ATS Demos and Trials

Product Demos

Now that you have narrowed down a list of potential solutions, it’s time to join a demo! This is likely the first time you can see the software in action, under the control of an employee from your provider. Sitting down for a demo opens the opportunity to directly address your concerns toward the software’s company.

This is why making the questions list in steps 1 and 2 is so important. Questions about the possibility of customization and integration, support level, or development roadmap, the earlier they are addressed, the sooner your team can get to work with the new ATS.

It is highly advised to involve many team members in the demo or keep your team informed through recorded videos. Having your team in the demo provides multiple perspectives of the demoed product and allows for each member to ask questions related to their specific task with the software.

Questions you should consider:

  • Is the new ATS adaptable? Can your team integrate the software or only the vendor can do it at an additional cost?
  • How would the ATS change with your company if you expand or reduce your recruiting efforts?

Product Trials

Product trial is another good way to assess your short-listed solutions. Granted, not all providers allow for a free trial period, so if a trial is available to your team, make the most out of it. The cool thing about running a trial period is that your team gets to tinker and test the ATS directly. However, note that some higher functions might not be available for you since it is a trial.

Since you may be trialing a ‘bare minimum’ ATS, don’t forget to talk to your provider regarding any specific customization or integration for the team. Below is a short checklist of things to check when running a trial:– Find bottlenecking areas: Your team can execute a mock recruiting campaign to see how your team and the ATS interact from start to finish. This will provide the chance to see what part of the ATS your team is struggling with. Afterward, you can either train your team to improve their performance or discuss with your provider to modify the software to better suit you.– Test for candidate management functions: Be difficult when testing the management features of your ATS. A good ATS should be able to declutter your candidate information and source them into easily managed categories.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy for the software to push candidates through your recruiting pipeline?
  • Can your team easily manage tasks within the system?
  • What automation option is available to your team?
  • Can you synchronize your work email to the system, and will the process be complex?

– Test for candidate management functions: How the applicant tracking system performs can also depend on the amount of data you feed into the software. A task with only a few hundred candidates is easier to process than one with thousands of candidates. If your team is processing a high amount of info, it is wise to perform a stress test on the ATS.

It is nice having many features at your disposal. However, if these features ended up being useless for your team, have them filtered out ASAP. It is better to have sleek and straightforward software to work with rather than one that will bog you down.– Candidate experience: Some recruiting teams made the mistake of overly focusing on the user experience of their members and neglecting candidate experience and other ‘front-end’ aspects. To best gauge the candidate experience provided by the ATS, approach the demo as a candidate and go through the recruiting process as one would.

Questions you could ask yourself in this part:

  • How easy is it to apply for the position on the career page or mobile app?
  • What does the application process feel like?
  • What part do you feel is too cumbersome?
  • Are there options that support diversity recruiting? (Example: blind hiring)

– Assess your support team: As you employ the help of an ATS, you will also gain the support of the service provider. Like the software, every business wants a provider that shares their culture and mindset. An ideal provider and its support team can help fast-tracking you toward your goal instead of hindering you.

Ask the questions you need answering and see how the support team approaches the matter. Are they quick to act? Do they share your approach/mindset when dealing with the question? What is the quality of their solution? Ask yourself these questions when assessing your provider.

3 Applicant Tracking System For You To Begin Your Search

ATS for your company

Still having problems finding an applicant tracking system? You can try ranking your business into the three standard company classifications. Keen researchers will notice that, like any business, ATS providers all have a specific targeted customer. Some ATS will be more suitable for large enterprises, while some tailored for medium to small businesses (SMB). So, what size is your business?

There are three standard business size classifications:Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB)

  • Business size: 0 to 100 employees for small businesses and 100 to 900 for medium businesses.
  • Annual Revenue: $5-$10 million
  • Primary considerations when purchasing an ATS: Pricing (due to limited side and ultimately, revenue generated), User experience (due to limited staff handling the software).

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

  • Business size: 101 to 500 personnel as defined by The European Union
  • Annual Revenue: $10 million- $1 billion
  • Primary considerations when purchasing an ATS: An enterprise will start to demand more throughout reporting from their tools due to the sheer size of their operations. Functionalities will also be a key demand as the business start tracking more metrics.

Large Enterprises

  • Employees: Over 1000 employees
  • Annual Revenue: Over $1 billion
  • Primary considerations when purchasing an ATS: Security, legal compliance, and software overall stability.

Zoho Recruit – Ideal for Startups and SMB

A cloud-based ATS from the ZOHO Corp, users of Zoho can expect the most common features from this simple but powerful ATS. What makes Zoho small businesses-friendly is its ability to post unlimited jobs without the need to reshuffle them. Combined with a user-friendly interface and automatable reports for fast information sharing, Zoho is a good start if it is the first time your team uses an ATS. Small businesses can make the most out of Zoho’s standard edition. It is inexpensive but packed with the essential functions to spearhead your recruiting campaign.Pricing:

  • The standard edition can cost you $14/user/month, billed annually. For other editions and their pricing, you can visit ZOHO’s official site.


  • Unlimited job posting directly on the platform.
  • A simple but powerful centralized interface. Users can manage email, connecting candidates to recruiters, and scheduling interviews in one place.
  • Well-managed pipeline structure for easy navigation and onboarding.


  • Difficulty integrating with third-party services that are not part of the ZOHO ecosystem.
  • Low adaptability when working through mobile devices. The platform can close expectedly, making it challenging to send direct messages.

Teamtailor – The Midmarket’s Go-to Option

TeamTailor presents a different approach toward the hunt for quality candidates. The company and their ATS want to approach how users market themselves toward potential candidates. This software is the brainchild of people who have experienced how cumbersome an ATS can be. So expect to-the-point features rather than check box, or nice-to-have features usually seen in bigger solutions. With TeamTailor ATS, creating career sites can be as intuitive, fun, and most of all, creative as a game of LEGO.

Drag and drop customizable content blocks to create your unique career site, tailored specifically to your campaign. The process is so easy that you can learn how to do it within a day without extensive training. Teamtailor is equipped with audit logs, Single sign-on, requisition flow, and more detailed reporting features suitable for an enterprise. Rakuna and TeamTailor share the same approach and goal to transform the way recruiters reach candidates. That is why we proudly work with TeamTailor as official partners.Pricing:

  • You can always visit us for any question related to the ATS, including pricing


  • To-the-point features with high usability
  • Powerful content creation tools
  • Very user-friendly with a responsive support team


  • The rating system can use more updates and filters
  • Data processing can be slow

Workday – A Great Companion for Large Enterprises

Workday is on the fast track of becoming one of the most used ATS for big enterprises.Workday has supported companies and large enterprises such as AirBus, Puma, and Comcast in searching for talented candidates.

Workday is suitable for large enterprises due to the service being a complete talent management solution. The solution can support you with candidate sourcing, interview schedule management, onboarding, and even compensation, all accessible on a single platform with a single data stream.

Workday is highly adaptive, scalable with your business without data disruption due to its single-system structure.Pricing:

  • Due to its single-system structure and scalability, pricing can be very different per user. You can contact Workday directly to request pricing.


  • Bulk communication with candidates
  • Detailed training and onboarding features
  • Simple to use with clear instruction available


  • The resume scanning and parsing process still has errors
  • Multiple user reviews on G2 complained of unresponsive customer support

To Conclude

The process of finding a suitable ATS and getting it to work is not a simple pick-and-go. With all the tips and recommendations, we hope you can make the right decision to get the most out of your applicant tracking system.

Still having problems even with the help of an applicant tracking system? You can also combine the use of a recruiting CRM.