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Choosing the Best Applicant Tracking System in 2024

January 1st, 2024 7 minute read
Tom Hacquoil
Tom Hacquoil
How do you choose the best applicant tracking system for your business? The right ATS can transform your talent acquisition function, helping you attract the best candidates, sift through a sea of applications, and automate hiring tasks.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a brand new Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or looking to switch from an existing tool, the first step is to consider your talent acquisition priorities. You might want to build a talent pipeline for future hires. You might care most about integration with your current tech stack. Or you might prioritize user adoption to prevent pushback from the team.

With this in mind, here are the best ATS options for 2024, broken down by the priorities recruitment teams care about most.


The best applicant tracking system for recruitment agencies looking to simplify

Recruitment agencies have their hands full staffing multiple clients with diverse hiring needs. They often manage complex workflows, juggling multiple stakeholders and requirements across a broad range of roles, industries, and geographies.

The key to managing this complexity is an ATS that handles client and candidate relationships in one place, from candidate communication to client invoicing. Simplifying your HR tech stack with a single tool saves time on searching and gets you back to hiring quality candidates.


Best ATS for simplifying agency complexity:

  • Bullhorn: An intuitive ATS and CRM for recruiting and staffing firms
  • Crelate: An all-in-one staffing and recruiting agency platform
  • Recruiterflow: A purpose-built ecosystem for recruitment agencies

The best applicant tracking system for a standout candidate experience

In today’s competitive job market, a great candidate experience is table stakes. Along with your employer branding, it’s how you attract and hire the best candidates.

To deliver that experience you need an ATS that facilitates fast application processes, personalized communication, and timely feedback. You also need a great careers site with consistent messaging. Relying on marketing or a third party to update your careers site can be slow—having control within the talent function can make things easier.

Look for an ATS that delivers a seamless experience from application to hire, with the option to build and customize your careers site, workflows, and communications.


Best ATS for a killer candidate experience:

  • Pinpoint: Offers a highly customizable interface, unlimited hiring workflows, and direct control over your careers site
  • Workable: Highly customizable for specialized hiring, yet easy to use
  • Homerun: A people-first hiring tool that offers a personalised candidate experience for SMBs

The best applicant tracking system for budget-conscious in-house recruitment teams

Finding the best ATS can be tricky with a tight budget. If you only need the basics, it’s ok to start small. But it’s worth remembering that a short-term financial gain from buying a cheaper solution might cause pain in the future. Making a case for more budget is sometimes a better move. 

So you won’t get all the bells and whistles on a budget, and you may have to upgrade your system as your needs evolve. But if you need a cheap ATS to get started, there are some good options here.


Best ATS for teams on a budget:

  • Homerun: A people-first hiring tool for SMBs
  • Zoho Recruit: End-to-end recruitment software for fast hiring
  • OpenCATS: A free, open-source ATS

The best applicant tracking system for built-in onboarding

Talent acquisition doesn’t stop at the point of hire, and a good onboarding process sets a new employee up for long-term success in their role.

An ATS with onboarding built-in can help smooth the transition from candidate to employee, speeding up time to value and reducing admin. Look for features like collecting right-to-work information and references, document signing, task management, and integrations with your HRIS. You also want your onboarding experience to stay on-brand.


Best ATS for organized onboarding:

  • Pinpoint: An intuitive ATS that helps bridge the gap between offer acceptance and onboarding
  • SmartRecruiters: A native solution delivering seamless experiences on both sides of the table
  • Greenhouse: An ATS that helps automate onboarding and retain employee information 

The best applicant tracking system for both high-volume and specialized hiring

Hiring across both corporate positions at head office and regionally at scale—think retail outlets, call centres or hospitality—is challenging. Managing different recruitment processes within a single business requires an applicant tracking system that’s flexible. 

Look for features like customizable workflows, multi-user management, and bulk job editing, to help you deliver a great experience at both low and high volume.


Best ATS for high-volume and head office hiring: 

  • Pinpoint: An ATS with automation that helps scale your personal touch
  • iCIMS: Designed to ramp up or down to match your hiring volume
  • SmartRecruiters: Recruiting software for high-volume hiring

The best applicant tracking system for small teams seeking an all-in-one HRIS

Small in-house recruitment teams need a solution that combines applicant tracking with broader HR functionality. An all-in-one HRIS can be a stepping stone for teams that don’t have the budget for a best-in-class standalone solution, managing candidate processes alongside maintaining employee records.

As you scale, all-in-one tools can be limiting, so keep future migration to a standalone platform in mind from the start. Another budget-friendly alternative is Deel, an HRIS that’s free to companies with fewer than 250 employees. Not paying for an HRIS can free up budget to buy an ATS that suits your strategic goals.


Best ATS for all-in-one HR functionality:

  • Bamboo HR: An ATS integrated with other HR tools like employee records, payroll, and benefits
  • People HR: An all-in-one solution aimed at helping small and scaling businesses work like an enterprise
  • HiBob: A sophisticated HRIS focused on analytics

The best applicant tracking system for integrating with your existing tech stack

For teams with existing recruitment tech, integration is key. The best ATS will work seamlessly with your HRIS, CRM, payroll, and learning platforms, boosting end-to-end efficiency and taking manual data entry off your to-do list.

If your applicant tracking system integrates with popular third-party applications and has an external API, you’ll also be able to add other tech on top more easily in future.


Best ATS for tech integration: 

  • Pinpoint: An ATS with hundreds of integrations, and more being added all the time
  • Lever: An ATS with a robust integration ecosystem
  • Greenhouse: Another ATS with a focus on external integrations

The best applicant tracking system for a multi-user experience

An ATS isn’t just for recruitment teams—it’s for hiring managers, internal teams, and candidates, too. You need a system that’s built with the experience of each user in mind, facilitating easy communication, collaboration, and task management. A user-friendly ATS means talent acquisition teams don’t have to moonlight as IT support for the rest of the business.

Some ATSs are better than others at optimizing for a multi-user experience. These are our top picks.


Best ATS for multiple users:

  • Pinpoint: From sleek, intuitive design to best-in-class customer support, Pinpoint is one of the most user-friendly tools on the market
  • Homerun: Small business hiring software with beautiful design
  • BreezyEasy to use for hiring managers as well as recruiters

The best applicant tracking system for automation

If you’re drowning in manual admin, introducing automation is transformative. The best applicant tracking systems have advanced automation capabilities that take the pain out of overly manual processes like candidate sourcing and interview scheduling. Integrations with third-party tools can make your automated hiring workflows even smoother.

This will speed up your hiring process, freeing your time for strategic work and the human side of hiring—like running interviews and gathering feedback.


Best ATS for automation:

  • Pinpoint: Fully customizable workflows and personalized messaging give automation a personal touch
  • iCIMS: All-in-one recruitment software with intelligent automation
  • SmartRecruiters: AI recruiting technology with a human side

The best applicant tracking system for DEI goals

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are top priorities for many in-house recruitment teams. An ATS that supports DEI initiatives with features like bias mitigation tools and diversity reporting can help you build a more inclusive workforce. 


Best ATS for promoting diversity:

  • Applied: With anonymous applications, inclusive job descriptions, and diversity reporting, Applied has emphasized DEI from the start
  • Pinpoint: One of the first ATS’s to introduce blind hiring in resume screening and apply a skills-based focus on candidates using scorecards
  • Greenhouse: Proactively reminds talent teams about the importance of diversity and allows applicants to record the correct pronunciation of their names
Best applicant tracking system for DEI Resume Redaction from Pinpoint

The best applicant tracking system for UK-based support

For UK-based teams, local support can make a big difference. An ATS with UK-based support ensures quick answers that comply with regional regulations and faster response times than teams in different time zones around the globe.


Best ATS for UK-based support:

  • Pinpoint: A UK-based ATS with support teams in the UK and the US
  • eArcu: UK-based, with a head office in Harpenden
  • Workable: An international ATS with offices in Boston, Athens, and London

Every talent acquisition and recruitment team wants to streamline their hiring processes, minimise admin, manage candidate data centrally and deliver a great experience – but that doesn’t mean one ATS fits all.

Choosing the best applicant tracking system is like picking the perfect candidate from a pool of applicants. It depends on your business’s unique recruitment goals, priorities, and must-haves.

Take control of your recruitment with an ATS that’s ready for anything.

Pinpoint is an intuitive ATS that lets you get started quickly and evolves with your business as you grow.

About the author
Tom Hacquoil
Tom Hacquoil
Tom is the CEO at Pinpoint and he's passionate about building world-class teams.

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