Applicant Tracking Systems are software systems designed to track, organize, and communicate with applicants in a database that is searchable and easy to use.  For non recruiters, ATS is a recruiter tool much like CRM is to salespeople and Google is to the general public.  Not great examples but about as close as it gets. 

I've used, seen, or evaluated over 30 different ATS over the years.  I've talked to many recruiters as well about these and others that I haven't even seen and yet we all seem to come to the same conclusion.  They are all bad.  How is that possible?  Why do recruiters generally agree that ATS are still far from being truly where they need to be?  Simple.  Recruiters by nature are go-getters.  We are aggressive, phone calling, emailing, interviewing, follow-uping (if that's a word) machines. Each day is all about go-go-go.  We are highly competitive and need speed and time to be on our side.  The reason we hate ATS?  Because, they slow us down.  Also, they can be quite expensive.  

Ok so there are some benefits and its precisely for those reasons that we continue to use them.  First, we need them.  We talk to thousands of candidates over the years and cannot recall every conversation by memory.  We need somewhere to take notes and track where we left off.  We need a place to store resumes and contact info and an easy way to retrieve this info on demand.  Not to mention, we need to comply with certain regulatory mandates.

The best ATS for my dollar so far is not even an ATS.  It's a software designed for other reasons that I have found is quite good as an ATS.  What makes it good?  It's fast, cloud based, and REALLY cheap.  That means I get exactly the info I need upon request, I can get it anywhere there is internet connection, and ANYBODY, I mean ANYBODY can afford it.  Message me privately and I will share what I use.  Keep in mind, I personally like it because I'm an independent recruiter.  It does everything I need it to do without it being overburdensome.  It would not be as useful probably in a corporate setting but might be Ok for a small staffing firm.

What are your experiences?  What ATS do you like or dislike?  What is your favorite?

If you want to connect, find me on linkedin and ask me to connect. I'll likely accept. 

Views: 892

Comment by Nick Leigh-Morgan on May 30, 2012 at 7:28pm

Joshua -

Lots of functionality, beautifully simple to use and completely free.

What's not to like?

Comment by Darryl Dioso on May 31, 2012 at 9:54am

We stopped using an ATS. We use Dropbox to file, share and update our resumes. 

Comment by Sandra McCartt on May 31, 2012 at 11:09am
After thousands of dollars, free cloud based, etc. etc. outlook email works better than all the high blown stuff. We use Dropbox as well. Email copies to all computers and logmein free service is instant access to the server from anywhere. Drag and drop beats being a computer operator all day long.
Comment by Joshua Lee on May 31, 2012 at 11:22am

Hey guys - thanks for your comments!

Comment by Michelle Ross on May 31, 2012 at 12:15pm

OK, I like your article but I am curious, what's the system you use???

Comment by Daren J. Mongello on May 31, 2012 at 1:26pm

I agree with Alice on Sendouts. Their setup to interface with Monster? Is more complicated than the DaVinci code. Arrrgh...are you kidding me? Even though I use Sendouts....Bullhorn is a much better application. Sorry people at Sendouts. :)

Comment by Joshua Lee on May 31, 2012 at 11:12pm

Hi Nick - How long have you used ikrut?

The website looks slick but I haven't seen the demo yet.  I'm not a fan of "free" websites.  For something as important as an ATS, I wouldn't rely on something free, personally.  I mean they must be gathering data for something...some purpose.  At least if you pay a little something, you have a right to say that it's yours and whatever they do that is contra your wishes with "your" data then you can object.  Here, I feel like if something were to be done contract, they would say "its our data not your data".  You are using our website for free therefore what you input here is our property.  I'm just saying that I have a certain cynicism over free stuff of a software system that gathers and tracks our business activities.

Comment by Joshua Lee on May 31, 2012 at 11:13pm

By the way that goes for FB and Google and Yahoo.  I might feel similarly for LI but somehow I get the sense they are just a different animal.

Comment by Nick Leigh-Morgan on June 3, 2012 at 1:08pm


People are rightly cynical as to why a system like this is given away free but there is no catch. Try it. The data is yours and yours alone. No other company has access to it and no one other than you allow can view anything. iKrut is merely the electronic filing cabinet where it's stored. 

iKrut is one of the new breed of free software that works on what you might loosely called the freemium business model. Increasingly software is moving away from the standard annual license approach to giving it away free with revenues earned from sales of related 3rd party services (buying jobs on job boards for example). That's how iKrut works but the key thing to stress to you and anyone else is that there are no catches, contracts or gimmicks. If you want a great piece of free recruitment software just sign up and start using it in under 30 seconds. If you want to buy additional services related to recruitment you can. If you don't .....then just carry on using iKrut free.


Comment by Joshua Lee on June 4, 2012 at 1:34pm

Nick - Maybe I'll check it out sometime but still not buying it at this point.  :)

I love what I'm using right now but if and when I grow out of what I've got, I'll check that one among others.


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