Which HR tool to invest in? ATS or Recruitment Marketing platform?

Talking with business owners, recruiters and other HR professionals, we have realized that many of them have the same two questions: “Which recruiting tool should I buy? Recruitment Marketing software or ATS?” The problem is that many of them, besides not knowing the difference between the two, don't know that there are 2-in-1 solutions that offer both.

Types of recruiting tools

Not every recruiting software is the same. Moreover, same types of recruiting software differ in their features and capabilities. To make recruiting software classification as simple as possible, I put them in 2 categories based on primary solutions that they offer:

  1. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and
  2. Recruitment Marketing Software

To help you understand the biggest difference between the two, think of them as pre and post application tools. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a solution to manage applicants, and recruitment marketing software is a solution to manage leads. Leads are defined as candidates who are or may be interested in your company, but are not ready to apply just yet.

That being said, solutions offered by these two types of recruiting software are very different. However, realizing that they complement each other well, and offer the best recruiting experience together, some software providers now offer 2-in-1 recruitment marketing and ATS solution.

In this post, we will define the difference between ATS and Recruitment Marketingtools. This way, it will be easier for you to decide which one of the two is the best solution to your hiring and recruiting challenges. 

What is Applicant Tracking System? 

Applicant tracking system offers a wide range of solutions for different hiring challenges. It is a repository of all of your applicants for job openings that manages and streamlines your hiring process from job applications to hires. In other words, ATS usually is a database of all your applicants’ profiles. Through ATS you can do interview scheduling, candidate screening and evaluation, collaborate with your team members...all in one place.

In other words, ATS can help you in your hiring efforts only AFTER you already have applicants for your job opening. If you are struggling to attract talent, engage existing talent in your talent pools, provide better candidate experience and get more high-quality applicants, ATS is not a solution for that problem… 

Recruitment marketing is! 

What is a Recruitment Marketing software?

Creating an outstanding candidate experience is what employers are focused on more than ever before. Attracting talent is more challenging than managing existing applicants, and this is exactly what recruitment marketing tools are designed for. 

In a recent Aptitude researchMadeline Laurano, Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer, defines a recruitment marketing platform as a platform that

Manages outbound sourcing, inbound recruitment marketing, and employer branding. A recruitment marketing platform includes capabilities that maintain the employer brand, foster candidate relationships, and enhance messaging and communication efforts. The most critical capabilities in these systems include: Career Site, SEO, Employee Referrals, and Talent Communities/Networks. 

Some of the most important features of a recruitment marketing software include:

That’s a lot, isn’t it?

Yes, but these are all solutions that companies and recruiters have started looking for in order to improve their hiring efforts. Therefore, when you start looking for a recruitment marketing software, make sure that all these features are available.

To make this more simple, recruitment marketing platforms are designed to help companies communicate their Employee Value Propositions, optimize their Employer Branding strategies, and with that, attract talent.

Unlike recruitment marketing platforms, there are many companies that already use ATS. However, it is becoming more and more obvious that ATS alone is not considered a solution for more effective hiring and talent acquisition.

Many HR experts and influencers share the same opinion, including Matt Charney, one of the biggest HR bloggers and analysts. This is his opinion about ATS: 

If you think you can actually transform a system of record into a system of engagement, you must be high on the hog.

Should I buy an ATS or a Recruitment Marketing Software?

Even though we have defined the two recruiting tools, you are probably still not sure about which one would best serve your needs.

In order to help you make the best decision about which tool to buy,we have written a detailed Guide.

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