Tools for hiring: Applicant Tracking Systems



The most effective tool for your hiring process you can get to grips with is an Applicant Tracking System or ATS.


They can save you time and money in the long run. We’ll take you through some of our favourites. Hiring the ideal candidate is sometimes a daunting task, but it can often be boiled down to: “hiring is easier to do when you have the right tools to help you do it. “

An ATS organises your hiring process, visualises it for your team and stores all that data – helping you to identify bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. They allow you to gather your thoughts, evaluate collaboratively and see everything at a glance – improving efficiency, mitigating biases, and minimising cost.

Let’s get into what they are, and how to use them to save you time as you grow your business:

Why use an ATS?

An ATS has multiple benefits for you, candidates, and your company. They:

  1. Store candidate profiles in a single dashboard, meaning you can compare applications side-by-side and share evaluations with your team members,

  2. Allow you to set up the dashboard to reflect your hiring stages, keeping you both efficient and productive,

  3. Are an excellent way to keep on top of all applications,

  4. And keep you GDPR compliant throughout the process.

Put simply, an ATS will streamline the process and save you some sanity when comparing lots of applications against each other. It will also provide you with metrics and data that you can use to make meaningful improvements to your hiring process.

This inward insight into the hiring process is something that is difficult to gain perspective on yourself and will improve your company image. On top of this, jobs get posted to aggregators from your ATS – all your applications will sit in one place.

The most valuable asset of an ATS is the visibility you gain on why candidates say yes or no to your business, and at what stage in the hiring process. You can then use this to inform your hiring and proposition moving forward.

Our recommendations:

Choosing an ATS need not be a daunting task. There are plenty of guides like this TNLT one here, and we’ve also picked our top three for you: Greenhouse, Google Hire and Workable.


Greenhouse is great for extracting specific insights and conversion data. Excellent reporting functions allow you to identify bottlenecks in your process (such as time-delay between stages, or losing people at particular stages) and effectively streamline your process by basing improvements on informed data. Yearly pricing strategies are not particularly flexible (roughly £5,000 per year), however, and the interface is occasionally difficult to navigate. We would recommend Greenhouse for businesses that have a strong process already in place – probably for startups already beyond the initial growth stage.


Being made by Google is attractive in itself, and Google Hire is going to develop lots over the coming months and years. The deal-clincher at the moment is its integration with Gmail – you can add candidates from your inbox straight into the system which saves a lot of time and keeps you GDPR compliant. You’re looking at about $70-$80 a month for Google Hire, for which you can set up as many as 10 users across your business. Any hiring team or employee helping to hire specific roles can access that system and track applicants.


Workable’s flexible price plan and great visual UI makes it easy to use and generates a great number of good inbound applications. Costing is around $100 per job slot per month if you’re paying as you go, or there’s a $2500 yearly package which is cheaper and also allows you to get 10 job slots at any one time concurrently posted to 12 national job boards. Like Google hire, Workable is fantastic for streamlining your hiring process, and also integrates with Gmail so you can track communications between your hiring team and candidates. It’s also really easy to schedule phone screenings or meetings with your applicants and team members.

What next?

Make your decision between these based on your specific context: what you want to achieve, dependent on your budget and the stage of growth you’re at, and then the sector your startup is in.

If you’re still wondering which ATS is right for you, there’s an up-to-date list of the top Applicant Tracking Systems available – which should be enough to get started.