Mercedes is an International HR Consultant working with Small and Medium Companies helping them to build their HR departments and processes. She is also the editor of this blog
I have been working as a HR Consultant for over a decade now, mostly a Business Partner that comes and helps small businesses with their HR issues. All the companies where I have worked required recruitment. In all of them, one of the first things I implement or change when I join is an ATS. For that reason, I thought it would be fantastic to do an ATS comparison, show you the systems I like the most and help you with it.
Everyone likes to do recruitment… at the beginning 🙂 when you meet a few people, get to know about them, find the perfect candidate soon and they accept the salary package that you are able to afford. That’s great, isn’t it? If it were only that simple! Well, basically the recruitment industry wouldn’t exist. However, it does, and it is expensive to hire a recruiter, specially for certain industries like IT.
Small and Medium enterprises tend to think that they really don’t need to optimise their recruitment process as they usually do 1 or 2 processes per year. They only come to improve their processes when it might be late. Not too late, but late.
In our most visited post, we spoke about how to do a perfect recruitment process and the steps that you need to follow to follow best practices. However, what you might not know, is that you can optimise a lot of the tasks that are done during a recruitment process and that take a long time to do manually.
As you don’t have time to lose, we wanted to do a comparison of the best ATS ( applican tracking systems) that could fit your needs and your budget. This way, if you are starting now a new recruitment process, you can search from the very beginning and start having the benefits from a good ATS.
Why do I need an ATS?
What an Applicant tracking system could do for you
- It can automate your messages to candidates and avoid the time welcoming and thanking them to apply to the role.
- It can automate rejections
- An Applicant Tracking System can build reports on the different reasons why you rejected candidates and where their CVs came from, so it helps you to improve in the future.
- It will tell you when seeing a profile if a candidate applied before to any of your roles, if they spoke to someone already, or whether if they were just rejected after sending their CVs
- It registers previous documents sent out by the candidate, so it catches those that change their CV every year and their past has also changed with it 🙂
- An ATS registers the conversation that your team had through the system. This is perfect to avoid having to send reports, catch ups, etc… most of them allow you to send internal messages to your team and make comments on the candidates. Based on that, you can move on to the next stages or reject without having meetings.
- If you take some of the advanced ones, they also automate the offer and it get’s registered and sends the message to the relevant people when the offer has been accepted. It just simplifies everything.
What an ATS won’t do for you
Those fantastic things that we mentioned above, they need some work, and they need automation
Applicant Tracking Systems Comparison
I have worked on this comparison to make your life easier. Please note that I have included those that I have experience with due to my work with my clients. And I have only included those that I believe to be practical, affordable and have a good price / quality relationship for an start up or small medium company.
Obviously, there are amazing systems outthere that do almost everything for you if you are recruiting 20 roles per month. If that is your case, this is not the right article for you. The systems below might be good for those situations but there are more advance systems out there 🙂
|ATS COMPARISON / SYSTEM OPTIONS||Freshteam||Zoho||Workable|
|Prices per month||0€ to 172€||€25 (per recruiter)||$99|
|Video Interview Recording|
|Time & attendance tracking|
|Custom URL & SSL Certificate|
|Integration with Slack|
|E signature integration|
In my opinion Freshteam is the best system out there in terms of quality/ price and how easy is to manage. As I mentioned above, it might not be the best one in terms of quality, but it does take what you need up to your first 100 employees… once you go over that, take the HR person that will join to do the analysis about this.
The reason for it to be the best one? Together with Zoho, it is one of those that has a good combination of a good HR system and a good recruitment platform. If you are going to automate everything, it might be worth checking for something that has everything in one system.
Freshnet automation system
It requires some preparation, as they all do. However, it is easy to manage and allows as many steps as you want in any recruitment process that you do.
Freshteam prices: their prices goe from 0 to 172, per month for a team of up to 50 users.
Benefits of Freshteam:
- From my experience, one of the best benefits is that it has it all. It allows you to move a candidate from candidate to employee automatically. You have the data already, send the info, register them and they are in your system!
- They can start registering holidays, uploading their own documents etc… It really simplifies the life of the person who is doing HR and allows time to do something else or to have someone just part time.
- It allows you to set up the interview questions and then register all the interview notes directly in the system so you can share it with the rest of the team avoiding steps or external documents that in the long term will get lost.
- The systems creates different steps of the process that you can also edit within each recruitment. For example, CV reviewed, contacted, screening call, final interview, and all the steps you want to include in the middle.
Cons of freshnet ATS:
- The careers site is not the most appealing one, at least up to a certain level of membership. You can modify things, but the format is not great!
- Their HR system is limited, there are others that are much better as HR system, so when you grow as a business (more than 50) you might need to change.
How they explain it:
Benefits of Zoho as an ATS:
They have so many platforms that you can have your accountancy, your CRM, your HR system all in one. This might not seem like something practical or important at the beginning. However, if you are just starting out your business and you still haven’t decided about what systems should you stick to, this could be a good option. In the table above you will see that there some parts with a tick and a cross.
Zoho Automation System
Zoho has something that from my experience is a super + when it comes to the platforms that don’t allow you to redirect applications to your ATS (and there are some of those, like Indeed) . This ATS allows you to send an email with an specific subject and it creates the candidates profile automatically with any info contained on the email.
When is this useful? I have had the experience that certain candidates don’t like to go outside certain platforms like LinkedIn. If you have ever placed an advert on LinkedIn and redirect it to your site, you might have discovered that the application rate decreases considerably… and it is extremely useful to have all the profiles on your own database, so you can control the communication and keep records of it for the future, while giving access to everyone in the company. I remembered once when this was extremely useful! I posted a role for a client in San Francisco… and received 2400 CVS… yes, you did read properly….
Obviously, if you want to respond to all of them, in order to have a great candidate experience, and keep their details for future opportunities, not to speak of managing GDPR properly… you need to have an automated system. I just selected all the emails from Linkedin on my mailbox, did forward, and had all their profiles within 6 hours. (It took some time… 2400 profiles are not something automatic… but it saved my life)
Their automation system allows you also to automate almost any part of the recruitment process communication, emails, moving to stages, or even sending notifications to the hiring managers.
Zoho prices: There is a free option, that allows you to have the basics, and then, it moves to 25Euros per month if you purchase month by month.
Cons of Zoho as an ATS
- Their free option is very limited. It only allows you to have one advert at the same time
- I really miss here the option to create the questions directly into the system. It makes my life so much easier, rather than creating documents and uploading them to the system afterwards.
How they explain it:
Workable Prices: Workable doesnt have a free option, and that would be a NO NO to go into an ATS Comparison like this for SMEs. However, they have a great and different option. They give you the option to not pay! What do I mean by this?? You pay only during the months you are recruiting. Which means, that you are able to keep your resources and candidates, but you only have access to use it when you are recruiting, then you have to pay $99 per month
Usability: I believe is one of the easiest ones to use. Simple, easy and super intuitive! it is not the most complete, but if you want an easy to use tool that gives you no complications for your first roles, this is your tool!
Benefits: Their price is really affordable if you look it from the perspective of someone who only recruits from time to time. If you will only recruit 4 months a year, it is good to have the option not to pay every month.
Cons: The system is very simple, that is really good most of the times, unless you want to think about the future and have something deeper. My experience with them has been very positive, but limited, in terms that I needed something else really soon. I like to stay with the same system for over 2 years so I don’t waste time moving info from one platform to the next one.
How they explain it:
Now you have my point of view on each of them through this ATS comparison, you can see that none of them are perfect! All of them have a free registration, or trial, so if you are not sure about them, go ahead, do a free registration. Compare what I have mentioned. If you don’t agree, please don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts so I can review the article for others if something has changed!
Enjoy the automation of your work and the time it will give you!!
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