Applicant Tracking Systems buyers guide by Inspector Jones

We’ve reviewed over 50 applicant tracking systems that help you manage your recruitment processes and bring the right person onboard. And the winner is…

The Best Enterprise-Grade Applicant Tracking System


Our independent review for applicant tracking systems selected iCIMS as the best option, because of its great applicant tracking functionality, strong track-record, and good security and behind-the-scenes management. iCIMS has an excellent customer-base with good case studies and reference sites.

However, every organisation is different. You may want to expand your search to other vendors if you’re looking for broader talent management functionality (like retaining and developing staff), or if you are a staffing agency and want to include CRM and operational management functions. Read on for more…

The Applicant Tracking System Shortlist

We’ve reviewed dozens of different applicant tracking systems on the market, for medium and large enterprises. This shortlist is the best-of-the-best - enterprise-grade solutions that are proven, well-maintained, and being actively developed. Also, see the full list of applicant tracking systems…

What To Look For

First, I recommend that you review the features of an applicant tracking system, to ensure it does what you need it to do. However, it’s likely that many vendors will meet your requirements, as features of different systems overlap. Secondly, I recommend you review how the software will integrate with your people, processes and technology.


I've found that features are very similar between different applicanat tracking systems. What does differentiate one from another is how they implement the features, and how easy-to-use they are. Look for:
  • Employee referral programs
  • Managing all types of hires - permanent, hourly, contingent, and internal
  • Import and process resumes
  • Good searching features
  • Screening and assessment
  • Tracking applicants
  • Manage offers
  • Mail / letter templates
  • Collect and manage feedback for applicants
  • Mobile support
  • Reporting, Analytics
  • Onboarding portal and workflow

Fits your people, process and technology

Expect that the organisational fit will probably be the deciding factor for your applicant tracking system selection. I recommend that you review the following checklist:
  • Does it fit your existing workflow?
  • Can be made to match your corporate brand (especially careers portal)?
  • Will it integrate with your existing HR systems?
  • Will it integrate with appropriate resume databases?
  • How easy is it to use? Usability is so crucial! Make sure you review the application from a hiring manager's point of view, and an applicant's point of view.
  • Is it compliant with your legal and regulatory needs? Does it offer relevant reporting?

If you are a small or mid-sized fast-growing company, also check out Jobscore (which is simple, but well-executed) and The Resumator.

For more comprehensive solutions to not only track applicants, but also attract, retain and develop staff, see below for Talent Management Suites.

Talent Management Suites

Talent Management Suites cover a much broader set of functionality than just applicant tracking. You will find they usually include much more comprehensive features to attract, retain and develop your staff. Some Talent Management Suites are even more broad, and are integrated with full HR administration, payroll and time/attendance features.

When implementing talent management suites, you can consider starting with recruitment functionality, and later expanding its use to other modules. Make sure you review our Talent Management Suites run down, so you know what to look for.

I recommend the following Talent Management Suites, as the best for your shortlist, with good inbuilt applicant tracking systems:

Sector and Regional Applicant Tracking Systems

PeopleAdmin are a Talent Management solution for Higher Education and Government. PeopleAdmin has very strong applicant tracking functionality, and a long list of satisfied customers. We rate them as a high-quality niche provider.

HealthcareSource are a specialist provider of Recruitment and Talent Management for Healthcare providers, based in the USA.

Neogov provide recruitment, selection and applicant tracking for United States public-sector.

HiringBoss is a growing provider of applicant tracking solutions, specalising in the Asian market.

TalentSoft provide a Talent Management Suite, mostly to the EU market, that includes applicant tracking functionality.

All Applicant Tracking Systems