Top 12 Best Applicant Tracking Systems for Startups

Best applicant tracking systems

In this post, you’ll discover the best applicant tracking systems for startups.

In the modern, fast-paced digital world, the quest for the best talent has intensified.

Amidst this backdrop, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) emerges as an essential tool for startups and established businesses alike. Simplifying the recruitment maze, ATSs offer a streamlined approach to sifting through numerous applications, ensuring only the best talents shine through.

Whether you’re new to the realm of ATS or keen on exploring its myriad advantages, this guide dives deep, shedding light on the best systems available, their functionalities, and the undeniable perks they bring to the recruitment table.

Discover how to pick the perfect ATS for your business needs and unlock a seamless hiring process.

12 Best Applicant Tracking Systems for Startups



Deel, at first glance, might be seen as a platform majorly built for global contracts and payments.

However, on a deeper dive, startups find its symbiotic relationship with some of the best Applicant Tracking Systems particularly appealing.

Its primary strength lies in the fluidity it brings to the recruitment process, making it a contender for the title of the best Applicant Tracking System for global startups.

From the point of candidate selection to the final stages of contract issuance and onboarding, Deel offers a seamless experience, making global hiring less daunting.

Core Features:

  • ATS Integrations
  • Global Contract Templates
  • Multi-Currency Payments
  • Compliance Assurance
  • Real-time Tracking

Price: Pricing varies based on package and requirements.


Papaya global

Papayaglobal began its journey as a dedicated global payroll platform. As the recruitment landscape evolved, so did Papaya, incorporating elements that positioned it as one of the best Applicant Tracking Systems, especially for startups with an eye on international talent.

Its integrated system promises to remove the typical roadblocks startups face when transitioning from recruitment to the payroll phase, especially when hiring across borders.

Core Features:

  • Centralized Hiring Database
  • Global Payroll Integration
  • Automated Compliance Checks
  • Collaborative Feedback Mechanism

Price: Contact for tailored pricing.

Freshteam by Freshworks

Emerging from the renowned Freshworks product suite, Freshteam offers startups a tool that’s not just powerful but intuitively designed.

In a market flooded with options, Freshteam solidifies its position among the best Applicant Tracking Systems with its laser focus on the unique needs of startups.

The software presents a holistic solution, right from posting a job to issuing an offer letter, while ensuring that recruiters, hiring managers, and other stakeholders remain on the same page.

Core Features:

  • Career Site Building Tools
  • 360° Candidate View
  • Automated Workflows
  • Rich Integrations
  • Referral Management

Price: Free tier available, with premium plans for advanced features.



JazzHR emerges as a top-tier recruiting software specifically designed for small to medium-sized businesses.

In the vast ocean of recruiting tools, JazzHR distinguishes itself as a top applicant management system, offering a combination of affordability and powerful features.

The emphasis is on collaboration, ensuring that hiring teams can seamlessly work together, optimizing the entire recruitment funnel from job posting to the final hire.

Core Features:

  • Customizable Recruitment Workflows
  • Collaborative Evaluation Tools
  • Job Syndication to Popular Boards
  • Advanced Reporting & Analytics
  • Offers & E-signatures

Price: Starts with a basic plan and scales up based on additional features.


BreezyHR, as the name suggests, aims to make the hiring process a breeze.

Often regarded as a leading candidate tracking software, BreezyHR infuses a touch of modern design with robust features.

Built for the digital age, startups find its drag-and-drop interface incredibly intuitive, making the task of tracking candidates from sourcing to hiring refreshingly straightforward.

Core Features:

  • Visual Candidate Pipelines
  • Automated Talent Sourcing
  • Video Interviewing & SMS Integration
  • Employee Referral Programs
  • Comprehensive Reporting Tools

Price: Various pricing tiers based on feature sets and company size.


With Rippling, startups get more than just an ATS.

Positioned as an all-in-one HR platform, Rippling’s applicant tracking feature stands out as a prime solution for growing businesses.

Recognized as a comprehensive recruitment software, Rippling ensures that once the right talent is found, onboarding, compensation, and IT management follow seamlessly, making the transition from candidate to employee efficient and smooth.

Core Features:

  • Centralized Candidate Database
  • Integrated Job Posting Tools
  • Offer Letter Management
  • Onboarding & Offboarding Workflows
  • Integrated HR Functions

Price: Custom pricing based on the modules and features selected.


Greenhouse carves a niche for itself in the recruitment landscape by being more than just software—it’s a philosophy.

A favorite among many startups, Greenhouse’s philosophy is to treat hiring as a continuous process, ensuring organizations are always prepared to find, evaluate, and onboard talent.

As a premier hiring software, Greenhouse emphasizes on the importance of structured hiring, data-driven decisions, and cultivating a company culture that’s always “hiring-ready.”

Core Features:

  • Structured Hiring Processes
  • Candidate Surveys & Scorecards
  • Deep Integration Ecosystem
  • Customizable Interview Kits
  • Advanced Reporting Dashboards

Price: Customized pricing based on company needs and size.

Zoho Recruit

Hailing from the respected Zoho suite of products, Zoho Recruit aims to simplify the life of recruiters and hiring managers. While it caters to businesses of all sizes, startups particularly appreciate its modular design. As a standout recruitment management system, Zoho Recruit empowers startups to configure the software to match their unique workflows, ensuring that the software adapts to the business, not the other way around.

Core Features:

  • Customizable Recruitment Modules
  • Resume Parsing and Management
  • Automated Job Posting
  • Client & Vendor Portals
  • AI-Powered Assistant for Screening

Price: Offers a free edition, with premium versions available based on features.


BambooHR takes a holistic approach towards HR management, with its ATS module being a crown jewel.

For startups keen on nurturing a growth-centric culture, BambooHR emerges as a top-notch talent acquisition system.

It not only streamlines hiring but ensures that post-hire processes like onboarding, performance reviews, and employee satisfaction are handled seamlessly, creating a cohesive employee lifecycle management experience.

Core Features:

  • Mobile Hiring & Collaboration
  • Customizable Application Templates
  • Automated Job Posting
  • Employee Onboarding Portals
  • Integrated Performance Management

Price: Pricing details available on request.


Designed with the motto ‘Hire Better, Faster’, Workable offers a robust platform that encompasses all stages of the hiring journey.

As an intuitive candidate sourcing platform, Workable has established its authority by helping startups cast a wider recruitment net.

With integrations spanning popular job boards, social media platforms, and referral systems, Workable ensures that startups always have a rich talent pool at their disposal.

Core Features:

  • One-click Job Posting
  • AI-Powered Candidate Recommendations
  • Mobile Interview Scheduling
  • Offer Letter Templates
  • Detailed Analytics & Insights

Price: Pay-as-you-go pricing, perfect for variable hiring needs.


Bullhorn has solidified its place in the recruitment tech space by focusing on solutions that cater to recruitment agencies. However, startups can leverage Bullhorn’s vast capabilities, especially if they’re looking to scale rapidly. Acknowledged as a leading talent sourcing platform, Bullhorn’s cloud-based infrastructure allows businesses to engage with prospective talents, make insightful decisions based on analytics, and keep the recruitment momentum going even on the move with their mobile-friendly interface.

Core Features:

  • Cloud-based Recruitment CRM
  • Automated Job Publishing
  • Integrated VMS (Vendor Management System)
  • Candidate & Client Engagement Metrics
  • Mobile Recruitment Operations

Price: Custom pricing based on modules selected and company size.


Recruitee might be the newcomer in this space, but it has quickly earned respect due to its collaborative and intuitive design.

Aimed at helping teams of all sizes attract, evaluate, and hire talent, Recruitee stands out with its emphasis on team collaboration.

Recognized among leading applicant management tools, Recruitee ensures that every member of the hiring team, from recruiters to hiring managers, is synchronized in their efforts, ensuring a streamlined hiring process.

Core Features:

  • Collaborative Hiring Boards
  • Branded Career Sites
  • Candidate Talent Pools
  • Automated Communication Triggers
  • Advanced Recruitment Analytics

Price: Based on tiers, with different features available at various levels.

What is an Applicant Tracking System? (ATS)

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that automates and streamlines the recruitment process, enabling businesses to manage job openings, applicants, and the overall hiring process with enhanced efficiency. In today’s digital age, the influx of resumes for a single job position can be overwhelming. An ATS steps in as a savior, simplifying the task of sifting through these applications to identify the most suitable candidates.

Initially, ATSs were developed for large corporations to manage thousands of applications. However, as the tech landscape evolved, the benefits became apparent to businesses of all sizes. Today, from startups to multinational conglomerates, organizations utilize ATSs to ensure a smooth and efficient recruitment process.

The core functionality revolves around parsing resumes and storing applicant data in a central database. Modern systems, though, encompass a plethora of features such as automated job postings, candidate communication, interview scheduling, and powerful analytics. In essence, an ATS acts as a digital recruiter’s desk, keeping everything organized, trackable, and actionable.

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How to pick your next Applicant Tracking System for your startup?

Choosing the right ATS is crucial. The system you opt for can make the difference between a seamless recruitment process and a cumbersome one. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

  1. Understand Your Needs: Are you a startup aiming for rapid scalability or an established firm looking for niche talents? Your business stage and needs will dictate the type of ATS functionalities you should prioritize.
  2. Ease of Use: A system that’s difficult to navigate can deter HR professionals and hiring managers. Opt for platforms with intuitive interfaces and responsive customer support.
  3. Integration Capabilities: An ATS should seamlessly integrate with your existing HR tools, job boards, and other platforms to ensure a cohesive tech ecosystem.
  4. Mobile Functionality: In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring that the ATS is accessible and fully functional on mobile devices is vital.
  5. Customization: Your hiring process might evolve over time. Thus, choose a system that’s flexible and allows customization to fit your changing needs.
  6. Data Analytics: Insights on sourcing channels, interview-to-hire ratios, and other metrics can be invaluable. An ATS with robust analytics can provide these insights.
  7. Budget: While it’s crucial to invest in a good system, it’s equally important to ensure that the ATS fits within your budgetary constraints. Many platforms offer scalable pricing based on features or number of users.
  8. Feedback & Reviews: Look for reviews and feedback from businesses similar to yours. Real-world experiences can offer invaluable insights.

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Advantages of ATS Applicant Tracking Systems

  1. Efficiency & Time-saving: Manually sifting through hundreds of applications is time-consuming. ATSs automatically filter out unsuitable candidates based on predefined criteria.
  2. Enhanced Candidate Experience: Automated communication features ensure timely responses, leading to a positive experience for applicants.
  3. Centralized Database: All candidate information, including resumes, feedback, and communication history, is stored centrally, ensuring easy access and tracking.
  4. Reduced Recruitment Costs: By automating multiple processes and leveraging analytics to make better hires, businesses can significantly reduce hiring costs.
  5. Data-Driven Decisions: With robust analytics, businesses can make informed decisions, understanding which sourcing channels work best, which roles are hardest to fill, and more.
  6. Compliance Management: ATSs ensure that the recruitment process adheres to all relevant regulations, reducing the risk of legal complications.
  7. Improved Quality of Hires: With a streamlined process and enhanced collaboration among hiring teams, businesses can ensure they select the best fit for the role.
  8. Scalability: As your business grows, the right ATS can easily handle the increased inflow of applications, ensuring that growth doesn’t lead to recruitment challenges.

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