Finding Best Applicant Tracking System for Small Businesses

Owing to the fact that recruitment has gone digital in the last couple of years, the adoption of modern-day technology has become vital for the overall growth of small businesses. However, startups and small businesses are not as financially strong as large enterprises.  Also, their recruitment process is not that intricate and they have very specific business requirements that can be fulfilled with an Application Tracking System (ATS) having a limited number of features only. The best Applicant Tracking System for small businesses enhances the hiring efficiency and makes it easier for recruiters to get in touch with top talent.

Having said that, this article will list the various key features that a small business or startup should look for in Applicant Tracking Systems:


Customizable Career Pages is a must have in ATS for startups or small businesses

It is very essential to leave a good impression on prospective applicants when they come across your career pages over the internet. If you really want to attract and engage more potential candidates without spending much, you require fully-branded and customizable career pages where your job openings are automatically posted and applicants can finish the application procedures without any hassle. With the effective deployment of career pages, you can collect a lot of job applications from highly qualified candidates while boosting your brand image. Therefore, make sure that the ATS solution you employ comes with all the features required to develop customizable career pages for your small business.

ATS for small businesses should be mobile ready

When it comes to selecting an ATS solution for your small business, it is necessary for recruiters and hiring managers to understand that mobile functionality is of utmost importance. Now, most candidates make use of their mobile devices to apply for a particular job position as they find it more convenient than the traditional methods. Hence, you should see to it that your ATS solution offers a simple and convenient mobile functionality with easy navigation in order to attract a large number of candidates.

Candidate Screening is important in Applicant Tracking System for Small Businesses

With this particular feature, a small business can save plenty of time as all the incoming applications of candidates are automatically screened. Nevertheless, recruiters are able to focus on the best talent as applications that lack the minimum qualifications required for the job position are automatically discarded. Unlike manual screening which is very time-consuming, this AI-based procedure is much faster and stable.

Applicant Tracking System for Startups should have CV Parsing

One cannot deny that CV parsing is a must-have feature for small businesses. Other than helping candidates to apply faster, this feature ensures the proper organization of applicants’ data on the Applicant Tracking System for recruiters and hiring managers to scrutinize. So, make sure that the ATS solution you pick out has this particular feature.

Talent Pipelining is a key feature in ATS for small businesses

Without a doubt, talent pipelining is essential in an applicant tracking software without which recruiters cannot automate and improve the efficacy of the recruitment process. This feature automatically sorts and tracks applicants through the various stages of the hiring process. Make certain that the Applicant Tracking System you employ has an inbuilt search function that allows you to filter candidates using certain keywords, skill sets, ratings etc.

Robust Analytics is key feature in ATS for small businesses

People often undermine the importance of keeping a check on the overall performance of the various hiring procedures. The consistent measuring of recruitment activities allows small businesses to gain insightful data that they can use to assess and enhance their hiring procedures. Therefore, you must ensure that the Applicant Tracking System that you deploy features an easy-to-use analytics dashboard and offers real-time reports to deliver a top-grade hiring process. Keeping everything else aside, having access to important statistics such as cost per hire, the total number of applications received etc. can significantly help small businesses track the performance of the different recruitment activities.



Best Free Applicant Tracking System You Should Try Now

Mining for the right candidates that fit a given job profile is not easy. Recruiters face a challenging time sorting out applicants from various platforms such as social media and job search websites. Logistically, it is a bit taxing to retrieve the right profiles from a heap of unorganized data. That is when companies, irrespective of their turnover, seek the help of applicant tracking systems.

Given the popularity and convenience of using an applicant tracking software (ATS), it is no doubt that these software solutions charge quite a bit to allow access to their gamut of features. However, a few cloud based recruitment software allow free access to basic features such as data processing, applicant communication and recruitment analytics.

Assessing a free application tracking system

 The foremost thing to do is to consider the features a free to try ATS offers. You should make sure it suits your needs.  Some of the primary features to look out for are:

  • Job posting: The applicant tracking software should be able to post job openings on multiple boards and even on career pages for free.
  • Application tracking: Certain ATS tools have a cap on the number of applications one can track for a particular job post. Additionally, look for features such as resume extraction that allows you to download a resume into your database from the webpage.
  • Communication: Any application tracking system should be able to form a communication link between the recruiter and the candidate via emails and messages. This way you can have a record of your association and also manage scheduling interviews and offers.
  • User Interface: The recruitment software should have the ability to push the data or the resume to the human resource.
  • Feedback Management: The software should be able to provide you with feedback on the interview or the notes made during shortlisting a candidate.

Also Read : Top 10 Applicant Tracking System 2019


Based on the above mentioned features, these are some of the best free applicant tracking systems one can try for free:

JobScore is one free Applicant Tracking System

It is an innovative web based applicant tracking system software that allows you to post your job on multiple free boards, report and manage tailored feedback. It offers a free 30 day trial. Web integration allows you to merge the job page with the website and the database. Depending upon the features you may want to utilize the credit top up that ranges from $99-$250.


  • One can customize the candidate notifications.
  • Allows you to design your questionnaire to modify the scoring criteria.
  • Allows recruiters to post only one job in the free version.

SmartStart from SmartRecruiters is a free Applicant Tracking System for Employers

Ideal for small and mid-range companies, SmartStart is a free version of the SmartRecruiters enterprise talent acquisition suite. It’s specifically meant for organizations with less than 250 employees. Its integration with social networks allows candidates to apply through those platforms directly. In addition to basic features, SmartStart also offers advanced features such as customizable interview scorecards, and a mobile-optimized career site.


  • It favors collaborative hiring. One can view the interview notes and score cards at a single place.
  • It also promotes employer branding by allowing you to post videos and testimonials.

Also Read: How Much Do Applicant Tracking Systems Cost?

Zoho Recruit is an Applicant tracking system with free trial

Zoho Recruit is highly popular recruitment software that comes with a 15 day free trial version. It also offers a Forever Free Plan with limited functionalities. In the Forever Free plan, the recruiters get important modules such as candidate management, email management, client & contact management and Interview Scheduling. The free trial limits your usage to one recruiter and 5 job posts. However, they do come with the careers page where you can promote your job opening online. Furthermore, its integration with Google apps eases the process of contacting applicants.


Also Read: The Top 10 Recruitment Software 2019

OpenCats is a free Applicant Tracking System for Recruiters

OpenCATS software system is highly recommended for IT industries to streamline the recruitment process and is completely free. This open source applicant tracking system is compatible with Linux and Windows servers. Its integration with various content management systems makes it easier for recruiters to be active in the community.


  • It is absolutely free as it is open source software.
  • It is completely customizable. Anybody can rewrite the software according to their requirements.
  • It supports multiple document formats.


iKrut is another free Applicant Tracking Software

iKrut is available for free but is not an open source platform like OpenCATS. Although it’s premium version requires you to pay around $200 to partner with professional HR services. It has been integrated with 20 free job boards such as Indeed and social networks. It even provides you with the ability to build your own microsite so that the applicants can apply directly online.


  • It can upload as many jobs as one desires. No limitation on that.
  • There are no time restrictions as well for the job opening post.
  • One can enjoy the functionalities of a premium version in this trial for up to 4 weeks.

Choosing a free application tracking system could be a bit daunting. The easiest way to determine the best ATS for your organization is to avail of a free run of all the systems parallelly. That way you can even customise your requirements and put certain features to test before finalizing the ATS. Make sure you test some of the key features such as feedback, recruitment speed, applicant tracking, candidate contact and access before you finally invest in one, for best results.




How Much Do Applicant Tracking Systems Cost?

Without a doubt, effective utilization of Applicant Tracking Systems is a prerequisite for becoming a smart recruitment specialist. However, modern-day recruitment technology like Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is indeed a capital-intensive investment. In fact, pricing is one of the most essential factors that must be taken into consideration while determining which Applicant Tracking Software is most suited for your business. For this reason, it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with the different Applicant Tracking System pricing options before arriving at a decision. Moreover, some ATS vendors give an all-inclusive price for their software while there are others who have modular pricing options, where each module has a separate cost. In this article, we will expound on the various pricing models offered by ATS vendors to help you make the right selection.

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Applicant Tracking System Pros and Cons You Should Keep In Mind

Owing to the technological revolution in the recruitment industry, the ATS market is booming across the world. It is a well-known fact that Applicant Tracking Systems are the lifeblood of the new age tech-savvy recruiter. Companies that employ an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can easily streamline their hiring procedures to attract, identify and recruit the best talent instantaneously. Without utilizing an Applicant Tracking Software and leveraging new recruitment strategies, it is almost next to impossible to find and hire the best candidates, especially the passive talent who is not actively seeking a job.

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How Can Applicant Tracking System Improve Your Selection Process?

Selecting the right candidates is important for the success of the company. To ensure there is a synergy that works for the fulfillment of company goals and mission it is essential to identify and build a team of people who have the required skills and experience. This is the reason that most CEOs today place so much importance on improving the hiring and selection process. However, in this competitive environment, without the right technology in place it is almost impossible to get the talent you want, when you want it.

You may get the most number of applications, but these applicants may fall through the gaps resulting in a missed opportunity both for the talent and the recruiter. Therefore, having an advanced applicant tracking system in place is most important for improving the selection and overall hiring process.

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What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) ?

Businesses these days are going guns blazing to invest in recruitment technology and Applicant Tracking System is the most important piece in the scheme of things. If you have worked as a recruiter, this post is of even much more importance as you would know why an ATS is so integral to the success of the new age recruitment teams around the world.

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ATS in Recruitment: What’s going to change for recruiters?

Recruitment landscape is witnessing a transformation courtesy of the new age applicant tracking systems (ATS) that are now available in the market. Recruiters are also experiencing the effects of this shift towards technology. As the widespread acceptability of automation in HR increases we can expect this space to undergo some tectonic shifts.

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Top 10 Applicant Tracking System 2020

An applicant tracking system is software that helps recruiters manage and keep track of all of the job openings, candidate CVs, vendors, while automating their entire hiring process. It also provides a CV database, allows recruiters to search for the relevant profiles and helps them in shortlisting candidates by screening their resumes.  While earlier the ATS were mainly used for CV screening and shortlisting, with advancement of technology, these software now come equipped with features like interview scheduling and candidate tracking also.  These new features play an important role in automating and managing the recruitment process.

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The Recruitment Automation Trends in 2019

The success of an enterprise depends heavily on its workforce. This is precisely why CEOs around the world are now concerned about hiring quality talent more than ever before. To overcome this challenge of talent shortage, there is a need to speed up and simplify the recruitment process. Recruitment automation tools have the capability to replicate the entire manual recruitment process digitally, saving lot of time, energy and resources while improving employer brand.

What is Recruiting Automation?

Recruiting automation tools/software automates the manual processes of sourcing, shortlisting, pipelining and selecting qualified candidates for a role. These tools streamline the entire candidate search through API integrations with various job boards, allow posting jobs to different platforms simultaneously, and are equipped with intelligent CV screening and shortlisting algorithms. Recruiting automation is a powerful evolution from the traditional pen and paper model of hiring.

The Recruitment Software Market

According to research by ResearchMoz, the global recruitment software market is growing rapidly and will reach $2.7B by 2022. The research has confirmed in its findings the growing demand of SaaS-based recruitment software that will not make the recruitment process  more efficient  but also allow recruiters to access data and services from remote locations, anytime, eliminating the need for any on-premise server and software installation.  These on-cloud recruitment software also offer other benefits such as quicker implementation, reduced costs and better ROI.

Benefits of Automating Recruitment

Just like the sales and marketing industry has experienced huge performance benefits after adopting software-enabled automation, recruitment industry will also experience better results once they understand the full potential and benefits of automating recruitment process. While in some quarters there are some reservations regarding AI and robots replacing humans, it’s essential to understand recruiting automation in the right context. Automation is supposed to give recruiters relief from endless hours of manual screening of candidate CVs, and maintaining large spreadsheets of recruitment activities amongst others. It will never ever replace recruiters. On the contrary recruitment automation will give recruiters more time to be innovative, creative and strategic.

Recruiting automation will enable quick sourcing of candidates

Writing effective job descriptions and posting them on different channels repeatedly can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating at times. However, with automation tools with machine learning can now go through different job descriptions you have posted previously, analyze and predict how your new JD will perform. You can implement the suggestions to maximize the number of applicants. The job description can be posted on different platforms in a single click. What more, all the responses coming in can be prescreened by machine learning algorithms to sort the best candidates for a particular job opening. These ML algorithms learn from recruiter behavior and can provide “profile suggestions” the next time when a similar role is open for hiring in the organization by scanning through the database of CVs.

Also Read: The Importance of Sourcing in Recruitment

Automation in recruiting can help improve productivity and ROI

Tracking candidate data, maintaining record of recruitment activities and analyzing recruitment performance is a highly important part of recruitment process. However, it is also the most hated and time consuming part of a recruiter’s job and understandably so. No one likes filling up complicated spreadsheets and forms and using complex formulas to analyze performance. Automation tools that are equipped with robust data tracking and analytics not only give recruiters the business intelligence to identify bottlenecks and improve the ROI of the overall recruitment process, but also automatically provide a number of reports that give an instant primer on their productivity and help improve it.


Also Read: What is driving the adoption of HR Technology?

Recruiting automation improves the Candidate experience

AI tools like chatbots can integrate with your recruiting software and provide an instant messaging experience between recruiters and candidates. While earlier candidates had to wait for recruiters to send their application status updates, recruiting software now sends automated mailers to candidates whenever there is an action on their application. This gives applicants a clear picture of their candidature, eliminating any confusion and allowing them to pursue other options simultaneously. Offer letter acceptance and document collection is also an online process now that can be completed  with few mouse clicks, thereby making a complex process extremely simple for the candidates also, eliminating any need of carrying a stack of document on the joining date.


Also Read: Chatbots In Recruitment: How Do They Help?

Recruitment Automation Trends in 2019

According to Entelo survey of hundreds of TA professionals, 75% of recruiters commit to use of technology in their hiring process in 2019, saying it will play an important role. As passive recruitment becomes the most important source of “high-quality” candidates, majority of recruiters are now turning to automation tools to build a talent pipeline or a personal CV database through sourcing. Also, while 78% of recruiters believe that data intelligence would make them more successful at their job in 2019, 71% recruiters agree that intelligent tools are required to process data for them.  Over 39% of recruiters believe candidate sourcing is the key area where recruiting automation is most useful followed by shortlisting and interview scheduling. However, the overarching theme of the research is the irrefutable ability of recruiting automation to increase productivity as over 80% of recruiters agree on this. This is why 22% of TA teams will increase their budget for recruiting automation technologies.


applicant tracking system security

Applicant Tracking System Security: Points You Must Know

Data security has become of great concern these days and rightly so as a huge chunk of critical user data is stored on remote datacenters and accessed on daily basis by various systems through the cloud. In such a scenario, even a small breach can place the entire system at risk of being hijacked and misused for various unscrupulous reasons. Applicant tracking systems or recruitment software is getting advanced by the day. Most of them now use cloud based technology and provide a personal centralized database to the customer. But are they secure enough?

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