HR software and systems: they can make a recruiter’s life go from inbox overwhelm to easy-breezy. However, you have to choose the right tool for the job first. We understand there are so many HR software options out there.

It can be impossible to know which systems will work for your team, and which systems will sit on the shelf collecting dust, which is a major waste of money.

In this article, we’re exploring the differences between an applicant tracking system (ATS) and recruiting software. By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of which software is the best fit for your organization’s needs.

ATS vs. Recruiting Software

Let’s talk about applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS is exactly what the name implies. It is software that helps recruiters and hiring teams track and manage candidates during the recruiting phase. Common ATS features include job postings, career pages, interview feedback, and onboarding features like offer letters.

On the other hand, recruiting software can extend further than an ATS. Recruiting software can not only manage all the tasks of applicant tracking, but it also has features to manage the candidate relationship in a more advanced way like a CRM.

The lines between an ATS and recruitment software can be blurry. To be clear, an ATS is heavily focused on the crucial aspects of hiring. A recruiting platform often exists as a larger part of an HR or HRIS system, and has CRM abilities.

The Top Features: Start With The Challenges

For each business, the most important hiring software features will differ. For a small business, the time-consuming tasks could be interview scheduling. For a mid-size business, the most challenging aspect could be resume sorting.

That’s why conducting a clear assessment of your current state of recruitment and hiring is important before you choose an ATS or a recruitment system.

A few of the most frustrating tasks for recruiters include third-party agency management, compliance, and accurate reporting.

Scheduling and Email Automation

Recruiters are the gatekeepers that bring candidates in for interviews. This can be the most manual process of hiring. Recruiting software offers interview scheduling integrations that dramatically cut down on the back and forth of interview scheduling. Another benefit of a recruiting software is email integration and email templates. Many of the hiring communications are repetitive. A software can offer templates that save recruiters hours of time that would have been spent typing the same email over and over.

Some ATS systems have email and scheduling integration features. Be sure to find out if your system has these features built n.

Multiple Users

No matter which you choose, your software should enable multiple users. Recruiting and hiring is a highly collaborative process. If only one member of the hiring team can access the system, it nearly defeats the purpose of the software.

Another consideration is growth. As recruiters successfully bring on talented new hires to an organization, a company grows. That’s the ultimate reward of hiring.

A system should be built to expand as a company grows, offering the ability to easily add members to join the ATS or recruiting software.

Cloud-Based and Mobile First

We recommend choosing an ATS that is cloud-based. This means that there is no software download required. This makes it easy for your HR team to log in to their platform right from the web.

An ATS that is mobile friendly is absolutely a must in today’s device-centric world. Sometimes, a hiring bottleneck can occur because a decision maker is away from their HR portal. A mobile-optimized ATS means your time to hire speeds up because stakeholders can make decisions and add feedback on-the-go.

Which to Choose? ATS vs. Recruiting Software

Because the features between an ATS and recruiting software are blending more and more, it’s best to focus not on the type of platform, but what the platform can provide. Having a features-focused mindset will ensure you choose the right hiring software for your team.

As a guiding rule, an ATS is fantastic for small to mid-sized businesses that need time savings in their hiring process, but don’t have the budget for large recruiting software.

Furthermore, big HR software systems often require significant implementation and training.

For mid to large organizations, recruiting systems often already exist as a larger part of the company HRIS. For example, large corporations often choose one HR system to handle hiring all the way to payroll. This type of system can be a perfect fit when an all-in-one solution and one bill is the need.

Luckily, ATS platforms like Newton offer the benefit of a small to mid-sized solution, along with the extended features of recruiting software. Newton offers job posting management, interview scheduling integration, along with candidate onboarding automation. It’s important to do a deep dive into features and benefits, as an ATS could pack a powerful punch for your hiring needs.


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