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The Top 20 Most User-Friendly Applicant Tracking Software Report

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On average, about 250 applications are received for a single job opening.

user-friendly applicant tracking software

Given the sheer number of candidates for any given job opening, it’s no wonder that in a 2015 study, 94% of HR professionals say that recruiting and applicant tracking software (ATS), have improved their hiring process. ATS systems help recruiters organize and weed out candidates, ensuring they find the right person for the job.

For those looking to save time on the recruitment process, an applicant tracking software that is intuitive, efficient, and doesn’t involve lots of employee training is of the utmost importance.

But where do you start when there are over 300 applicant tracking systems on the market today?

Fret no more, Software Nation! Capterra’s Software Lab has come to your rescue with its Top 20 Most User Friendly Applicant Tracking Software Report. We’re already specialized in recommending applicant tracking systems for businesses of all sizes, now we’re taking that expertise one step further with direct user-testing.

That’s right. We’ve torn out our hair over malfunctioning systems so you don’t have to. We’ve even wept with joy over tasks that can be completed in one click so that you can keep your dignity in the workplace.

Here’s how we did our research and put together the report.

Algorithm

This research is part of our series of Top 20 reports. All reports in this user-friendly series are determined by our Customer Experience algorithm, which produces a weighted and ranked score based on:

  1. Usability [50%]
  2. Customer Service [30%]
  3. Customer Reviews [20%]

In this report, “Usability” encompasses system efficiency, intuitiveness, effectiveness, and user satisfaction.

“Customer Service” refers to implementation, training, and support services provided by a particular software company.

Customer Reviews include direct user-generated data pertaining to the software’s ease of use and customer support.

Data

Our primary Usability data comes from Capterra’s team of software testers, who complete basic tasks in a given system. Our tests measure tasks on both completion times and the number of clicks it takes to complete a task.

For customer services data, software companies directly provide us information about their services. If any vendor is unable to provide certain data, we conduct additional research, largely based on publicly available information.

Reviews data is compiled from across all Gartner Digital Markets companies (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice).

Research

Our process for building a User-Friendliness Report involves extensive market research.

We first look at the needs and expectations of an applicant tracking system buyer to determine a list of basic tasks every ATS should be able to perform. We also create a testing handbook complete with templates and dummy data to plug into the system to ensure that every tester’s performance across each system is uniform and fair.

After determining standard tasks, we complete the tasks in each system to record both the time it takes to complete each individual task, as well as the number of clicks it takes until that task is completed.

Finally, after completing all the tasks, each tester gives the system an SUS score, an industry-standard score determined by a questionnaire that measures user satisfaction.

We complete two rounds of testing in each system. For the first round, we complete the tasks without prior training to measure a system’s intuitiveness. For the second round, we evaluate a product’s available training resources. We then perform the same tasks in the system a second time, measuring time and clicks. If no publicly-available training resources can be found for a task, we simply perform the task a second time.

Applicant Tracking System Tasks

Usability testing data makes up 50% of the User-Friendliness score. To test all the systems, we came up with a list of commonly performed tasks across the applicant tracking system space.

This list of commonly performed tasks is below:

  1. Create a job listing
  2. Upload a resume
  3. Create a customized email template
  4. Send an email to a candidate
  5. Request/schedule an interview
  6. Change a candidate’s status to “hired”
  7. Create a report on open job positions

Capterra found that, on average, it took about 39 seconds and a little over 12 clicks to complete a given task in an applicant tracking system.

A system with an above average time is not necessarily a “worse” system than a system with a faster average completion time. Several of the most user-friendly systems included more robust workflows, requiring additional time and clicks but saving time in the long run by, for example, providing a more extensive candidate profile or ensuring that all job postings comply with legal standards.

Customer Services

Customer Services determined 30% of the User-Friendliness score.

Combining our experience helping businesses find the right software with applicant tracking system market research, we determine a list of services a customer would expect from their applicant tracking software vendor.

The services fall in three primary areas:

  • Implementation: Getting set up and configuring/personalizing your system for your company’s needs
  • Training: Answering basic questions about getting started and performing basic tasks
  • Customer support: How you can reach the company if you have a technical difficulty (or just plain user error)

We then score each solution on a binary system, based on whether or not they offer those specific services.

The list of services we determined is below:

Implementation Services

  • Open API
  • Email integration
  • Social media integration
  • Workflow configuration
  • Brand configuration
  • Notification/alert configuration
  • Permissions

Training Services

  • Videos
  • Articles/training documents
  • Demos
  • Training Webinars
  • Free trials

Support Services

  • Email/help desk support
  • FAQ/knowledge base
  • Phone support
  • Live chat

Reviews

Finally, reviews determined 20% of the User-Friendliness score.

Though our rankings are backed up by our own objective usability research, we want to make sure we’re providing you a useful, holistic snapshot of a system. For that reason, we include customer reviews data from our website and our sister companies’ sites, GetApp and Software Advice, for the full picture of what actual users think about a given product. These reviews provide a true “voice of the customer.”

This part of the User-Friendliness score was determined by an aggregate of how customers rated “Ease of Use” and “Customer Service” for each solution across all three of these sites.

If you’re curious for more information about reviews, you can also take a look at our reviews form to see what types of questions we ask buyers about the solutions they’re using. While you’re at it, leave a review of the system you’re using!

Conclusion

The list is not all-inclusive and is not meant to replace your own in-depth research. Remember, the solutions that are easiest to use are not always the best fit for your specific needs. But we’ve got you covered there, too! You can reference our Top 20 Most Affordable ATS report for more information on available features and cost.What do you think? Did we miss any ATS vendors? Let us know! We plan to update this research a few times a year.

Looking for Applicant Tracking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Applicant Tracking software solutions.

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About the Author

Kelsie Anderson

Kelsie is a writer and researcher for Capterra. She has a background in English and French literature, so she can read pretty good. When she's not reading and writing about software trends, she enjoys reading about literally anything else, dabbling in comedic pursuits, and settling Catan.

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