HR Recruiting and Applicant Tracking Systems

Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur about finding great team members and technologies used to help with the process. We got into talking about the ideal system and realized we didn’t know of the best tools for what we wanted. Here’s what we’d like:

  • Multi job board listing distribution and management (e.g. post a job to a number of sites automatically)
  • Ability for candidates to apply online and submit their resume
  • Video integration for candidates to post a video of answering specific questions (to help speed up the process in lieu of a phone screen)
  • Internal review of candidates and resumes (e.g. ranking and collaboration tools)
  • Workflow system to take candidates through the hiring process
  • Marketing functionality to message candidates in a repeatable manner (much like drip programs)
  • Integration with LinkedIn to find potential candidates and see the strength of relationships for candidates in the pipeline

There are so many strong HR Software-as-a-Service tools out there that I’m guessing there are a number of systems that accomplish this. Finding great people is such a critical role in any business that it’s clear there’s a role for technology to enhance it.

What HR recruiting and applicant tracking system do you use? Do you recommend it?

9 thoughts on “HR Recruiting and Applicant Tracking Systems

  1. David – first off, big fan of your blog posts (format, content, frequency, etc.). Thank you!

    I coach, mentor and invest primarily in HR Tech start-ups (www.venturetech.net). Here are a few of my current faves that hit on many of your list:
    – SmartRecruiters – http://www.smartrecruiters.com
    – Jibe (though no video but other cool features, from what I recall) – http://www.jibe.com
    – Gild – http://www.gild.com/
    – Jobvite – http://www.jobvite.com/
    – Haven’t used Greenhouse as Brandon mentions, but have heard good things.

    For a constant stream of new ATS/HR Tech companies – check out my friends at RecruitBase: @RecruitbaseIO

    To see a relatively good inventory of vetted and researched talent acquisition solutions, check out the analysts at Talent Tech Labs and click on the “ecosystem” tab: http://talenttechlabs.com/

    Hope that is helpful! Keep up the great work!

  2. We used Workable for a while and are in the process of switching to Greenhouse. Workable was a huge step up from before we had anything other than Google Docs and email, but it lacked some of the more advanced workflow and scoring that Greenhouse offers.

  3. Since we are in the HR Tech (recruitment marketing specifically) industry, here are our two cents on this topic:

    Multi job board listing distribution and management (e.g. post a job to a number of sites automatically)
    – For the SMB market, ZipRecruiter is the clear leader. For the enterprise market, Broadbean (now CareerBuilder) is the leader. Both can distribute to large number of job boards and job aggregators. Recruitics is a new and rather interesting play in this space. The company has a solution that helps companies optimize their recruitment advertising spends so they would not have the scenario where one job gets 100 applicants while others get none (e.g. rotate 200 jobs through 50 job posting slots or optimize job rankings in aggregators).

    Ability for candidates to apply online and submit their resume
    – Mobile apply is still a huge gap for many application tracking systems. Most job boards and job aggregators already have over 50% of their traffic coming from mobile.

    Video integration for candidates to post a video of answering specific questions (to help speed up the process in lieu of a phone screen)
    – There are many companies specializing in video interview/screening as no applicant tracking system has this capability out of the box. HireVue is the clear leader in this space.

    Internal review of candidates and resumes (e.g. ranking and collaboration tools)
    – Most applicant tracking systems do this.

    Workflow system to take candidates through the hiring process
    – Most applicant tracking systems do this.

    Marketing functionality to message candidates in a repeatable manner (much like drip programs)
    – This is usually provided by Recruitment Marketing/CRM (candidate relationship management) systems. Avature, JobVite, SmashFly, and us (SnapHop) all play in this space.

    Integration with LinkedIn to find potential candidates and see the strength of relationships for candidates in the pipeline
    – Unfortunately, this is almost impossible now since the LinkedIn API change (https://developer.linkedin.com/blog/posts/2015/developer-program-changes) that took place in May.

    There are hundreds of applicant tracking systems around the globe and the space has traditionally been dominated by Taleo (Oracle) and Kenexa (IBM), which are used by many medium to large corporations (most of the fortune 100 companies). Bullhorn dominates the staffing industry.

    If you don’t already have an applicant tracking system and are looking for one, here are some notable new players that you might want to check out: SmartRecruiters, Greenhouse, Lever, Jazz (formerly Resumator), Gild, RecruiterBox, JobVite, iCIMS.

  4. My team runs a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta and hiring has been a challenge the past few years. Here is what we have done (I know we are hiring a different type candidate than start-ups, but hopefully it sheds light that finding good talent is not just a start-up need AND we are in search of similar tools).

    – We use SnagAJob for the application process. It has a personality test with it that gives us an automatic A-F grade based on their responses. We have a specific website printed on business cards for walkup applications… we give them a card and tell them to apply online and come to “open interviews.” (see below)
    – We realized we lost good candidates because our hiring process was too long, so what we do is have open interviews once a week. If someone shows up that has not applied, we give them an iPad and ask them to do the application real quick.
    – We keep trying lots of different places to find food service talent. If we keep doing the same things, we will get the same or worse people applying. We keep brainstorming methods to find more, better candidates – online sites, referrals, etc. I like your idea of using one site to post to every job board… I know we would pay for that to be scheduled automatically if it worked and brought in good quality applications.

    Video interviews – I have seen companies (CFA Inc, Chipotle Corporate) use HireVue to ask timed, recorded video interview question from candidates before in-person meetings. I think it helps companies “get to know” the candidate) before spending time with them in interviews. I believe the hiring side of it allows the employer to rate and comment on the candidate as a team. Benefit to video is being able to watch responses on your own time.

  5. I agree that sourcing talent is a HUGE problem for growing companies, but I don’t believe an ATS solves it.

    Here’s why:

    Our current job/talent market arose during the 2nd Industrial Revolution to meet the labor needs of assembly lines and mass production. And although our world has shifted from manufacturing to knowledge and service work, the resume and job description have evolved very little over the last 100 years.

    Instead, we’ve made them worse by layering on keyword algorithms and automated filters, sparking a buzzword arms race and propagating the spray and pray submission strategy. This recruiting system repels the very individuals that companies want most to attract—those brilliant professionals growing antsy in the big companies. Most would rather suffer through their current situation than peruse tedious job descriptions or pick power verbs for their resumes…so it doesn’t really matter whether your ATS posts your job to 5 or 50 job boards.

    A different approach:

    We’ve spent over two years designing a marketplace to connect top-notch professionals with small, growing companies like yours. We’re coming out of beta now and gearing up for our formal launch in Atlanta.

    One important aspect of this marketplace, particularly for passive job-seekers, is our recommendation agent that incorporates individuals’ preferences across 20+ company & job dimensions and works continuously in the background of their lives, alerting them to companies and jobs that fit them well. They can then choose to join a company’s talent pool or apply for a specific role.

    If you want to learn more about our marketplace Yonder, like how we’ve banned resumes, job descriptions, recruiters and screening software, please check us out at https://www.yondercareers.com/

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