Choosing your HR and Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Choosing your HR and Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

We are getting swamped with CVs at a rate of (30-40) CVs a week and our Subcontractor database is approaching 4 000 subcontractors. The service we are providing our clients is “The Best Man or Woman for The Job” but we can’t really do that right now without treating over 5 000 CVs. We could do a search in the file-system but that would still bring to us approximately 1000 possible candidates for each job category.

We promise to do full blown interviews with everyone; checking their references and that is accomplished with our notebooks and on candidate’s CV. They are hundreds of reference-check and interview notes around the office and it’s impossible to find them when needed.

We have tried Excel like most recruiters do; we even built our own ATS system in Access 2010 and a massive amount of VBA code (thank you Elvis) but it doesn’t cut it for Microsoft applications are not always compatible other Operating systems like Linux . So we invited the elite of Swedish ATS system with high hope on an expensive system from Lumesse (bought from StepStone) called easyCruit.

Lumesse didn’t even call back; we tried to reach them on several occasions but it looks like they needed some sales training for Christmas. The rest of the ATS system is living in the past – you can have WordPress plugins with more features than what we have seen. Making software that makes meaning and changes people’s life is not part of these developer’s minds.

So we went overseas looking for Job Boards, HRIS (sick-leave, vacation, on boarding, talent management, reviews) and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). All of these systems have some type of Job Boards but let’s start with Zartis which is a Job Board growing into an ATS at rapid pace, just the last couple of months you could see how new features are popping up. (

In summary it’s more of a Job Board than an ATS, but it will have great potential in the future. I love the way it looks and you know that it’s fairly newly developed. It has integration with some US Job Boards (I’m guessing Indeed), but that is of no use for us.

From a technical point of view, the search is slow but seems accurate; it highlights the words and gives you excerpts from the Cover Letter and CV. Once you update a field, it’s saved without having press “Save” all the time – why haven’t anyone thought of that earlier? I would love to use, but it isn’t practically feature-rich as other systems.

PRICE: from 29 USD/month/user for 3 job openings (free for 1 opening)

+ Fresh looking (best of the pack)
+ Simple Stages (not custom)
+ Simple rating
+ Complex forms/questions
+ Referrals (multiple user can share to FB, LinkedIn, G+)
+ Internationalized
+ Custom color theme
+ Apply with LinkedIn
+ Great usage of Ajax and jQuery (no more save buttons)

– Very slow search engine (inside CV)
– It lacks bulk uploading/importing
– No tagging
– No email-to-job (this is a Recruiterbox only feature)
– No open API
– No integration with (nobody has integration with swedish

The next group of systems is HRIS and it is not really what we are looking for but since we took the time to check them up, I’m going to mention them for you as well. From experience I’m always puzzled by customers vigorousness when negotiating rates ±50SEK ($8) but they don’t mind making the consultants wait 2-3 weeks to get a laptop.

I’ll tell you, on-boarding is not easy and they are a lot of paper work that needs to be done such as insurance, agreements etc. simple things like getting all the accounts; computer, E-mail, Salesforce, website, all the portals. Not to mention access to the building, RFID tags, PIN codes, keys and training.

What is BeeMobile? What is expected of you? What can or can’t you do? What do you expect back? Is this how we do recruiting, sales or consulting? Get some additional training in your field of expertise! The list is mind blowing, so I’m no longer surprised why it takes weeks to get a computer in huge organizations.

Anyways, that is why we will need an HRIS in the near future. The two we found are BambooHR and TribeHR

BambooHR (
The demo-version-skin looks a bit 90’s but I guess you can get it working with some changes to the CSS. The look and feel turned me off so I did not explore much of it but at first glance it looked future-rich. HRIS has no Job Board or ATS features at all, the only reason I would go for it is its integration with CATS – so you can get your ATS in CATS and your HRIS in BambooHR.

PRICE: from 49 USD/month up to 10 employees

TribeHR (
Tribe HR has the Job Board and ATS features and it looks more geared towards Knowledge Management theories, reaching your goals, developing your skills. The public Job Board is a bit outdated, something from Mid-2000, but it’s fairly simple to apply and it has the Apply with LinkedIn feature. It is slow I must say, there is no tagging for candidates I would say; Zartis is a more powerful ATS than TribeHR and it lacks the on-boarding process, which I would like to see in HRIS (like iCISM).

PRICE: from 2 USD/month/employee

I love’s look and feel, Recruiterbox recruiter friendly features and CATS open API’s, rich features, integration and localization.

Perhaps I should mention Vana HR for Salesforce, but can’t test it on our limited license of Salesforce. Vana is an ATS and HRIS, but I haven’t seen a single screen of it other than that it has a Salesforce-look and feel.

So the main battle between the two Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is between CATS and Recruiterbox. Recruiterbox looks better unlike; the features are straight from someone who actually has been working with recruiting professionally. Forwarding emails to a specific job opening is brilliant, nobody has that feature.

CATS have a much stronger email system, with mass mails, opt-out option, bounced email checks. Recruiterbox is founded by a couple of Indian guys, now for very long time there has been a misconception that most Indian Developers only know what to do when a manager gives them directions.

This might have been true in the past for a lot of outsourcing partners who just needed heads, but that is such a myth, you guys should stop thinking that way. The guys from Recruiterbox are giving serious competition to CATS both in understanding HR processes and the ways Recruiters work technically this is the way the system has a better look and feel. This makes them competitive in the Global Market.

Additional Tips and Tricks
The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist: 21 Tips & Tricks to Make Hiring Painless

By | 2018-01-22T09:15:30+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Personal|1 Comment

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  1. Arne Evertsson May 9, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    We need a Twitter like system where the consultant is in charge. Post would include “Available within a month”, “Busy”. Anyone could subscribe. Search by keyword. Each user would enter three keywords. Keep it simple and open.

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