Managing the recruitment process in a modern fashion requires an organization to keep close tabs on applicants. The most popular applicant tracking systems today utilize cloud-based software and databases. Thanks to these tools, companies can ensure they have the most power possible at their disposal.
A good system should not only handle talent acquisition, but it should also streamline other processes. As a result, the HR department can identify and hire the best job candidates. Finally, managers can properly slot the new talents into positions that leverage their skills. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular applicant tracking systems currently available on the market.
Taleo, a product owned by Oracle, is the undisputed leader in market share among the most popular applicant tracking systems. Among organizations that employ such software, it is typically estimated to be in use by more than 50% of them. Taleo has a strong reputation among management types. However, the tool has a bit of a bad reputation among job applicants.
On the managerial side, Taleo is especially popular because it handles many functions. It allows companies to track compensation, skills, and other metrics. The accompanying analytics platform permits businesses to quickly assess the quality of their talent acquisition processes too. If a company is encountering problems anywhere along the way, such as retention of new hires, Taleo provides valuable insights into what’s going on.
Taleo also integrates very nicely into the IT side of most organizations. Thanks to the support provided by Oracle, the back-end, especially the underlying database, is rock-solid. Companies can tailor the packages they’re using to their specific needs. On top of that, the cloud-based version allows them to avoid a number of upfront costs.
On the downside, Taleo is highly unpopular with applicants. The process of applying through a Taleo-based website often calls for a commitment of close to an hour. It’s not unusual for an applicant to spot Taleo and either quit before trying, or rage quit once it becomes clear how long the process will be.
2. IBM Kenexa Brassring
Pulling up at a distant second among the most popular applicant tracking systems is IBM Kenexa Brassring. It has earned a strong following among enterprises that are dependent on Apple-based hardware, including Macs and iPhones. Kenexa is compatible with all major OSes. However, the web-based interface makes it functionally agnostic.
With the addition of strong learning management features, Kenexa is quickly catching up with Taleo in functionality. It also offers worldwide support, making it popular with companies that are based in regions, such as Latin America and Africa, that are often overlooked by software providers.
The accompanying Talent Insights system is also getting closer to Taleo. Functionality, however, continues to lag. Kenexa is also less favored by companies that can’t afford to wait for minor software issues to be resolved.
The onboarding system for Kenexa tends to receive high marks from applicants. Many find the relatively clean interface to be a relief after years of interacting with clunkier websites based on Taleo. It also includes a number of social media features intended to pull candidates in from a broader spectrum of backgrounds.
Scoring a close third as one of the most popular applicant tracking systems is Jobvite. It has earned a reputation as the preferred platform for companies that need to build highly customized websites to attract talent. This makes it a solid choice for operations that have different divisions that need to present themselves in various manners.
On the technical side, Jobvite earns strong marks for easy integration with Outlook and Gmail. For companies that can’t afford to invest heavily in a single software stack, this can be particularly appealing.
While cloud-hosted options are available, Jobvite doesn’t offer the same sort of robust cloud-based availability that Taleo and Kenexa do. International support is available. However, the company has a strong focus on North America and the U.K.
The lack of readily available help for issues with the back-end is one of the most commonly cited cons with Jobvite. Users should also be aware that the high customization capacity can be a double-edged sword. It often proves to be more demanding. Organizations that are looking for a fire-and-forget solution may find this off-putting.
Clocking in at fourth-place on the list is iCims. In a number of analysts reports, iCims is seen as the strongest potential up-and-comer among the most popular applicant tracking systems. It already includes a cloud-based setup that’s able to compete with Taleo and Kenexa.
The user interface is clean and efficient on both the managerial and applicant sides. Customization options are very scalable, allowing users to choose between highly tweakable capabilities similar to Jobvite or cookie-cutter solutions similar to Taleo.
The reporting system for iCims receives high marks from organizations that use it. On the other hand, the analytics side still lags what the biggest vendors provide. Owing to iCims status as a relative newcomer in the ATS sector, it also tends to suffer from limited integration. For example, a number of background check services providers have not yet adopted iCims compatibility.
Applicants frequently report strongly liking the iCims system. The speed with which they’re able to apply for multiple listings with one organization is particularly popular. Uploading cover letters and resumes is easy, and basic information is stored for speedy reuse.
While the ATS space is dominated by a single player, the competition among the most popular applicant tracking systems is starting to heat up. If your organization needs the most rock-solid solution available, there’s a good argument for following the herd and utilizing Taleo. Should you wish to tilt toward something more applicant-friendly, iCims is definitely worth a close look.
Finding an appropriate balance between the managerial and applicant sides of the system is difficult. Nonetheless, a little forethought can go a long way. What are your experiences dealing with the most popular applicant tracking systems? We invite you to leave a comment or post your thoughts on our Facebook page.