The Buyer’s Guideto Recruiting/ATS SoftwareCurated from End-User Reviews on:First Published May 20, 2015 2015 TrustRadius. All rights reserved. Reproduction or sharing of this publication in any form without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.
Table of ContentsIntroduction.3Why You Should Read This Guide – Vinay Bhagat, Founder & CEO, TrustRadius.3About This Recruiting Guide – Alan Cooke, Research Analyst, TrustRadius.3Recruiting/ATS Software Overview.4What is Recruiting/ATS Software? .4Recruiting/ATS platforms as a component of Talent Management.5Talent Management suite vendors / products covered in this guide.5Trends in Recruiting Technology .7Factors to Consider when Selecting Recruiting Software.9The Best Recruiting Software for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses. 11The Best Recruiting Software for Enterprises. 12Methodology.13User Ratings & Feedback by Software Product. 14Bullhorn ATS.14CATS Software.17Hyrell Software.20iApplicants.23IBM Kenexa.26iCIMS.28JobDiva.31Jobvite.34Oracle Taleo.37PCRecruiter.39SilkRoad Open Hire.42SmartSearch ATS.44 2015 TrustRadius. All rights reserved. Reproduction or sharing of this publication in any form without TrustRadius’ prior written permission is strictly prohibited. For informationon reprints, please contact [email protected] TrustRadius is a trademark of T-Radius Holdings, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. TrustRadius disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness oradequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This publication consists of the opinions of TrustRadius’ researchorganization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.
IntroductionWhy You Should Read This Guide – Vinay Bhagat, Founder & CEO, TrustRadiusTrustRadius is happy to complete our trio of human resources buyer’s guides bypublishing the Buyer’s Guide to Recruiting/Applicant Tracking software, following ourearlier publication of guides to Core HR and Talent Management Software. ThisRecruiting guide provides practical guidance to help you find the best recruitingsoftware solution for your use case. Based on insights from real software users, itoffers a survey of the recruiting software market, as well as product profiles for theleading vendors. Our research team analyzed more than 300 reviews and ratings ofrecruiting/ATS software products by authenticated users on trustradius.com. The result is an independentreview of the leading recruiting software products, uninfluenced by vendors or analysts with an agenda.About This Recruiting Guide – Alan Cooke, Research Manager, TrustRadiusThis guide provides a detailed look at the recruiting software market, which isincreasingly being seen as one component of the Talent Management portfolio ofcapabilities. However, there are a number of standalone recruiting products inaddition to the suite products and this fact, in conjunction with the rapid developmentand shifting focus of the market, means that Recruiting software merits a dedicatedguide. Some products included in our Core HR guide and Talent Management guidesare also featured here, but with a focus on their recruiting capabilities. Technology tohelp organizations source and hire the very best people is an increasingly strategic goal for all organizations,and recent years have seen considerable development of the toolsets available to meet this goal. Therecruiting software marketplace is a particularly fast-moving one.In the guide you will find:»» A primer on Recruiting / Applicant Tracking software for those new to the field»» A discussion of trends and new technology that is shifting the center of gravity of this market»» Analyses (2 dimensional charts) we call TrustMaps , comparing the software solutions based on“Likelihood to Recommend” ratings and evaluation frequencies on TrustRadius»» Product ratings across multiple factors from real user reviewsPage 3 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
Recruiting/ATS Software OverviewWhat is Recruiting/ATS Software?There are many kinds of recruiting software clustered around the HR task of finding and hiring the bestpeople. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to automate the hiring process by, for example, postingjob openings, managing screening questions, generating interview requests, allowing resumes to be searchedby keywords, and other administrative tasks. These tools are mainly about managing the hiring process andare focused on the resume as the centrally important hiring artifact. ATS platforms are used by companiesas a way of managing direct job applications, and also by recruiting agencies for the same purpose. Someagency-oriented tools also have CRM capabilities build in to manage account relationships.The focus of this guide is primarily on ATS tools even as they continue to evolve to meet the needs of themodern hiring environment by moving away from resume management and adding exciting new capabilitiesthat would not have been conceivable even ten years ago.The primary features of most recruiting / ATS platforms include:»» Job requisition management: This allows job postings to be created quickly and easily»» Company website postings: Jobs can be posted and displayed on the company website»» Publish to social media: Software provides ability to publish postings to social media sites»» Job search site posting: Software provides ability to publish postings to top job search sites»» Customized application form: Present applicants with a form to capture required information»» Resume management: Allowing resumes to be uploaded in bulk, and often providing some informationparsing capabilities, like, for example, the ability to harvest contact data»» Duplicate candidate prevention: Preventing candidates already in the system from being added asecond time»» Candidate search: Search capabilities allowing candidates with certain attributes such as location orcompetencies to be located»» Applicant tracking: Tracking capabilities allow allows recruiters to assign applicants to various stagesso others can see an applicant’s status at a glance»» Collaboration: The ability share notes and evaluations on candidates»» Create and delegate tasks: Ability to create recruitment process tasks and assign them to others»» Canned email responses: Creation of standard email templates for communication with candidatesPage 4 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
»» User permissions: Permissions allow administrators to decide which information is viewable oreditable by others»» Notifications and alerts: Notifications when a candidate is added or reminders of tasks to becompleted keep everyone on task»» Reporting: Comprehensive standard reports on key recruiting metrics such as time-to-fillRecruiting/ATS platforms as a component of Talent ManagementThe TrustRadius Buyer’s Guide to Talent Management Software covered a number of suite products, whichcontained recruiting as a component. Indeed, recruiting has now come to be understood as a core componentof talent management products. Products like IBM Kenexa and Oracle Taleo have a strong recruitingorientation as they began with that functionality and expended out to provide a full set of capabilitiescovering performance management, onboarding, succession management, and learning.All of the talent management platforms discussed in the companion Buyers’ Guide to Talent Management,offer at least some recruiting capabilities, and this functionality has become an essential feature of the talentmanagement portfolio.Ultimate Software’s UltiPro and Workday are recent entrants into this space having introduced brandnew products in 2014, which have both been highly anticipated. This is a mature market and incumbentproducts have very complete feature sets and large numbers of customers. But starting fresh with a focus onthe most strategic functions like employee sourcing and mobile has advantages over adding new features toold platforms.Although many of the biggest ATS platforms have long been acquired and integrated as components ofbroad talent suites, there is still a significant number of independent vendors selling this technology asstand-alone products.Since talent management suites have largely been designed for enterprises, stand-alone vendors areincreasingly focusing on the mid-market to find new customers. The mid-market is vast and these vendorsshould be able to thrive in focusing on that sector of the market alone.These more focused mid-market vendors are also much faster to add required new features to their platforms.The large suite vendors like SAP, IBM, and Oracle have been, and continue to be, very focused on buildingeffective integrations between their talent suites and back end ERP applications, which tends to consumetheir development efforts. Pure-play recruiting/ATS vendors are uniquely focused on recruiting, and theirproduct roadmaps tend to be built around new recruiting features.Talent Management suite vendors / products covered in this guideAlthough virtually all talent management products include recruiting as a capability, not all talentmanagement products are covered in this guide. The reason for this omission is that we do not have adequatedata on the recruiting capabilities of these products to discuss them here in that context. The exception isPage 5 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
IBM Kenexa and Oracle Taleo, both of which are talent management platforms with a very strong recruitinglegacy. Kenexa’s BrassRing acquisition in 2005 really put Kenexa on the map as a recruiting solution and,to this day, people think of it as a recruiting product. Virtually all Kenexa reviews on TrustRadius are for theBrassRing ATS capabilities. Oracle’s Taleo has a similar lineage and the fact that most reviews specificallydiscuss the recruiting aspects of the platform means that it can be included here. SIlkRoad’s OpenHire is aseparate product (although included in the LifeSuite platform) and is also featured in the guide.TrustRadius has begun to collect feature ratings on individual components of suite products, and a futureupdate to this guide will include feature-rating data on the talent management recruiting components, whichwill allow us to discuss these products from a purely recruiting standpoint. Ultimate Software’s UltiPro andWorkday will also be featured in an update.Segment Focus and Product TypeThe following table lists the vendors appearing in this guide with an indication of whether they have anSMB or enterprise focus and whether they are standalone or one component of a suite. As might be expected,standalone tools are mostly SMB-focused.PRODUCT NAMESEGMENT FOCUS*STANDALONEBullhorn ATSSMB CATSSMB HyrellSMB iApplicantsSMB IBM KenexaEnterpriseiCIMSEnterprise JobDivaSMB JobviteSMB Oracle TaleoEnterprisePCRecruiterSMBSilkRoad OpenHireSMBSmartSearch ATSSMBCOMPONENT OF TALENT SUITE *Based on number of reviews from users in each segment. SMBs are companies with 1,000 employees or less. Enterprises have more than 1,000 employees.TMPage 6 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
Trends in Recruiting TechnologyBeyond ATSThe standard ATS as a tool for managing resumes, has been under pressure for some years now as hiringorganizations understand that, while tools designed to simplify the hiring process make life easier for theemployer, they often present significant barriers to candidates. Job applicants are often forced to completecomplex forms, or conform to a tiresomely bureaucratic process that is apt to deter the most talentedemployees who tend to resent such a heavy–handed approach. There is an increasing view that the “postand-pray” approach to recruiting is ultimately self-defeating and that applicants should be treated muchthe same way as customers. The emphasis shifts towards finding passive candidates and gradually nurturingthem over time. Candidates should be reeled in though engagement strategies that are commonplace incustomer relationship marketing. Presenting an attractive brand that encourages engagement and attractsthe best talent a slightly different approach to hiring. A recruiting platform like SmashFly has been designedspecifically as a kind of recruiting CRM platform that integrates directly to ATS systems to help put thisstrategy into practice.Another potential problem with ATS platforms is that they frequently use resume-parsing technology inorder to sort through large volumes of resumes by looking for key words to winnow the applicants downto a manageable number. While this approach makes some sense given the very large volumes of resumestypically received in response to an ad, candidates have now been trained to game the system: They usekeywords taken from the original job ad and play them back in resumes laden with key phrases likely to bepicked up by these systems.More sophisticated job/candidate matching capabilities are required.Better candidate sourcing through social media dataIn recent years there has been more emphasis on using more sophisticated technologies than revenueparsing to find candidates that are a good match for open positions. Mining the vast quantity of publiclyavailable social data in order to source potential candidates is one such strategy.Obviously, LinkedIn has emerged as a inescapable presence in the recruiting arena and, in conjunction withthe vast quantity of social media data freely available to anyone with a web browser, can be mined for useas a gigantic sourcing repository to find passive candidates who may not be looking but have the skills andaptitudes you might need. From the candidate point-of-view, peer-to-peer social sites like Glassdoor, Yelp andothers have also had a significant impact by providing job seekers with invaluable data on the day-to-dayexperience of working for a particular company.The most recent innovations in sourcing go beyond unstructured browsing to a more data-driven approachto uncovering the best candidates. One social approach is sometimes referred to as “People AggregatorSourcing”. There is an entire cluster of software vendors focused on using social data to improve candidatesourcing and matching. These tools usually extend well beyond the white-collar confines of LinkedIn tosource candidates in a very broad range of fields where potential candidates have a social presence, evenif it’s just a Facebook page. Companies like TalentBin, Entelo, Identified, Dice OpenWeb and 3Sourcing allaggregate unstructured profiles of individuals across a large number of social websites including, in additionto Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, some more niche sites like StackOverflow, About.me, GitHub, Quora, etc.Page 7 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
The profile data collected is structured into an easily searchable database of composite social profiles onindividuals and is then made available to corporate recruiters.Additionally, most firms now understand that the ability to measure everything related to the recruiting processcan provide significant competitive advantage. Once companies understand things like the best combinationsof experience and education that typically lead to the most successful hires, or which sourcing channels aremost likely to provide stellar candidates, the hiring success rate can improve dramatically. The ability to minerecruiting data for insight is a crucial factor in making good hiring decisions. There are now several recruitmentdata vendors like Broadbean and BurningGlass providing big data mining recruiting solutions.“Big Data” sourcing is not the only trend transforming the recruiting technology sector, however.Other significant trends affecting the recruiting software category»» Mobile: Mobile-enabled software applications have been exploding for a number of years assmartphone use skyrockets and vendors scramble to build mobile-friendly versions of their productsfor an increasingly global and mobile workforce. Large numbers of job applicants already use mobiledevices to search and even apply for jobs, although mobile applications are still not mainstream. HRvendors, including the large enterprise vendors, have been unaccountably slow in developing mobileversions of their recruiting platforms, particularly the ability for candidates to apply for a job on amobile device . This is starting to change with the emergence of mobile technology platforms likeiMomentous, which is designed to solve this problem.»» Assessments: Employers want to gather as much data as possible before interviewing, as one-to-oneinterviews are very time consuming and can be highly inefficient if too many unsuitable candidatesmake it to the interview stage. Behavioral assessments and job skill testing can help employers do abetter job of matching applicants to the skills and competencies they will need for the job.»» Video Interviewing: With the proliferation of built-in webcams in phones and laptops, videointerviewing is a fast-growing trend. Although it is quite possible to do this independently of anyrecruiting software, increasingly video-interviewing technology is being integrated with ATS softwareso that job interviews can be stored and linked to candidate profiles.»» Job Boards/Advertising: Job boards have been a feature of the recruiting landscape for many yearsand are still critically important. Most ATS platforms can syndicate job listings to a broad range of jobboards, but not all are free. There are general-purpose job boards that advertise a vast number of jobsin multiple sectors and geographies like Monster, SimplyHired, and CareerBuilder. But the real focustoday is shifting away from general purpose boards towards ones with a narrower scope like niche orregional job boards that may specialize in certain vertical industries or geographies, as well as careerportals on company websites and social channels. Most ATS platforms syndicate job ads to the majorjob boards to ensure the widest possible audience. Some platforms suggest the job boards likely togenerate the best response. The biggest development though in job boards has been the emergence ofjob board aggregators like Indeed, which, from the candidate viewpoint, is an extremely useful way ofbeing able to access jobs posted on all other boards and corporate websites with a single very easy touse search interface. GlassDoor and Simply Hired have also entered the job board aggregator market.Aggregation on the massive scale that Indeed has accomplished means that any single company’s jobswill quickly be lost among the flood of job ads unless recruiters abandon the old tired job descriptionsof the past, and create differentiated, engaging ads that include visuals and an emphasis on what it’slike to actually work at a company. After all, any candidates clicking on the Apply button will be routedback to your ATS without ever having seen the recruiting page of your website. Writing job ads nowrequires creativity and marketing sills in order to make them stand out in the crowd.Page 8 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
»» Integration with Background Checking: Background checking is an entirely separate category and firmssupplying background-checking software are specialists in checking candidates against criminal recorddatabases. These products usually integrate with several ATS platforms, and integration with one ofthese services is an important pre-requisite for selecting a solution.Although the recruiting technology market is constantly changing, it does appear that the current focus hasshifted from resume management and applicant tracking capabilities, towards sourcing, analytics, assessmentand interview technologies. But this does not mean that the ATS platform is redundant. In fact, many of thesenew trends are simply being absorbed by ATS platforms as new features.There have been a number of strategic acquisitions in this area. For example, in the area of People Aggregatorsourcing, Workday acquired Identified in 2014 and Monster bought TalentBin the same year. LinkedIn alsomade a highly strategic acquisition in this area last year by snapping up Bright.com for 120m. Bright is notexactly a People Aggregator, but is a matching tool that goes beyond keywords by using data mining andmachine learning techniques to provide better candidate matches. Jobvite has already incorporated nativevideo interviewing capabilities directly into their ATS product and companies like HireVue integrate theirvideo interview product with third-party ATS platforms. Workday’s new recruiting platform integrates theHireVue video recruiting functionality and background checking from HireRight.Factors to Consider when Selecting Recruiting SoftwareClearly, there are many buying criteria to consider before investing in a recruiting platform. many of whichare common to selecting software in other domains. For example, usability, mobility, and sophisticatedreporting are all crucially important. However, there has been rapid evolution in this area over the lastfew years that have altered the center of gravity of these systems away from resume management ortraditional ATS functionality. In this context, there are three important factors to consider which mightnot be quite so obvious.Is it standalone or a component of talent management suite?Recruitment is now a standard component of all talent management suites and the advantages of integrationare quite clear. Newly hired candidates can be automatically directed to an onboarding portal to completepaperwork and subsequently to a Learning Management System for required training before starting work.But the really big advantage of a suite solution for large enterprises comes from the predictive power oftalent data from all the different functions with which candidates and employees interact. For example, froma recruiting standpoint, a standalone system usually provides very good metrics around crucially importantthings like time-to-fill and cost-per-hire. But standalone systems are less adept at providing informationabout the quality of hires made. For that, it is essential to combine this data with data from the performancemanagement system and even the succession management system to determine which candidate profilesproduce the best employees over the long term. However, talent suites are expensive and can be inconsistentacross modules. For smaller companies, a good ATS may be a an excellent investment to dramatically simplifythe mechanics of the hiring process and find better talent at a moderate cost.Page 9 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
Does it leverage social data for better matching?As we have seen, matching strategies have become more important than ever, and development ofpassive candidates by building profiles based on social data is a promising avenue towards closing theskill-matching gap. For example, if you are looking for a developer with a difficult-to-find skill set, youshould in theory be able to search the social web to find developers in a specific geographical area whohave exhibited strong competence by writing top-rated answers on StackOverflow, contributing to GitHub,etc., along with contact information.What are the capabilities beyond standard resume management?The core capabilities of a good ATS platform are well understood: bulk resume upload, duplicate elimination,task management and candidate communication capabilities, to name a few. But beyond these standardfeatures, a broad range of new capabilities like video interviewing, candidate relationship management,assessments, and background checking are now being incorporated into ATS platforms and are perhaps morestrategic than the more commoditized features of a standard ATS.Page 10 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
The Best Recruiting Software forSmall and Medium-Sized Businesses(1,000 employees or less)Recruiting / ATS SMB TrustMap 5.0TOP RATED4.0Average User RatingMedian 3.63.02.01.00.002004006008001000Estimated Evaluation Frequency by SMB Companies(Number of Monthly Unique Pageviews x SMB Segment Focus)Based on ratings and reviews on TrustRadius.com as of 0 5 / 0 6 / 2015TMHyrell, iApplicants, and CATS are the highest-rated talent management products, with JobDiva and Jobviteclose behind. SmartSearch ATS, PCRecruiter, Oracle Taleo, and iCIMS are all at the median with a score of 3.6.The three highest-rated products are unequivocally mid-market solutions, as might be expected.Page 11 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
The Best Recruiting Software for Enterprises( 1,000 employees)Recruiting / ATS Enterprise TrustMap 5.0TOP RATED4.0Average User RatingMedian 3.53.02.01.00.00480960144019202400Estimated Evaluation Frequency by Enterprises(Number of Monthly Unique Pageviews x Enterprise Segment Focus)Based on ratings and reviews on TrustRadius.com as of 0 5 / 0 6 / 2015TMSmartSearch, iCIMS and Oracle Taleo are the highest-rated products. The strong showing of SmartSearchis perhaps surprising here, as it is a relatively unknown product that easily outscores more widely knownproducts like IBM Kenexa and even Oracle Taleo. The company has been around for over 20 years, but hasa low industry profile. As evidenced by its reviews on TrustRadius though, SmartSearch has a very loyal userbase mainly due to an unusually high level of customer service and a well-designed, easy-to-use product.Page 12 of 46 TrustRadius Inc. 2015
MethodologyThe TrustMap compares Recruiting/ATS software products, based on end-user satisfaction ratings andevaluation frequency.In order to be included in a TrustMap and in this guide, there must be at least 10 reviews and ratings of aproduct on TrustRadius.com. All ratings and reviews come from authenticated end-users of the software andthe vast majority of reviews were sourced independently of vendors.For this guide, we have segmented data by the size of the company using the product, based on number ofemployees. Our market segments are:»» Small to Mid-Size Companies: 1-1,000 employees»» Enterprises: More than 1,000 employee
recruiting software marketplace is a particularly fast-moving one. In the guide you will find: » A primer on Recruiting / Applicant Tracking software for those new to the field » A discussion of trends and new technol