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5 best applicant tracking and recruitment software platforms for small businesses in 2022.

Applicant tracking and recruiting software has come a long way in recent years. We consider five of the best applicant tracking systems on today’s market.

Computer software often feels like it was developed for enterprise-level businesses rather than small companies. As a result, choosing software for SMEs can be particularly challenging. Matters are compounded in the UK since much of the software on today’s market originates across the Atlantic and is tailored to American audiences. From prices in dollars to a range of integrations to services only relevant to US companies, it can be particularly hard to find suitable applicant tracking and recruiting software.

Happily, some of the best applicant tracking systems (ATS) don’t involve these compromises. To help companies decide which platforms might suit their requirements, we’ve compiled a list of the best applicant tracking and recruiting software on today’s market. We consider whether you should look for an applicant tracking system free of charge, why it’s better to try before you buy, and what functionality the best applicant tracking systems deliver.

five of the best applicant tracking systems in the UK 


When it comes to applicant tracking and recruiting software, hireful deserves to be on any shortlist or best-picks guide (we know we’re a little biased in that view). Unlike many rival platforms, our business was designed around recruitment, which remains our sole focus. 

The hireful platform maximises automation, from automatic interview scheduling and candidate updating to automated high-volume tasks. Our GDPR-compliant software permits effortless onboarding and D&I benchmarking. Everything is contained within a single cohesive interface, from applicant management to job board advertising. With 99% of our clients being based in the UK we are able to focus our integration strategy to include all the major UK job boards and a good selection of UK HR software vendors. 


Like hireful, Hireserve can trace their roots back to the 1990s, when many supposedly modern products and services were born. This is a dedicated ATS platform, with a UK focused support and implementation team. 

It has a good range of partners including many partners that have a clear focus on the UK market such as 

Feature wise, it offers much of what you might expect in an ATS and also boasts strong social media integration options including “apply via Facebook”. 


Yet another brand established in the late 1990s. Their product offers all the features you likely have on your wish list and a few others. They work with organisations from 200-170,000 employees across the UK and internationally. This likely gives them some great experience but will place a strain on their roadmap. It’s hard to build a system that services the needs of such a wide client base. 

They have recently released a scaled down version of their system specifically for SMEs, called JTGO. This system has been built with much of the core functionality you would expect in an ATS but many of the more sophisticated features have been removed to enable them to price the product effectively for the UK SME market. Pricing is not listed on their website however. 


Eploy offers an extremely comprehensive feature set, with modules on everything from candidate assessment to vacancy requisition. They also offer a marketplace with over 40 integrations listed. 

Pricing is “bespoke” so you’ll have to negotiate a price with Eploy’s sales team, which once again suggests you will need a larger budget. 


Other entries on our list are focused on ATS, but PeopleHR offers it as a sideline to a wider suite of human resources tools. This does mean their product is very focused on the SME market with over 7,000 companies using their recruitment module. 

However, as with most HR Software vendors they have several modules within their HR software product, all competing for the time and focus on their development team. In this scenario the recruitment module of an HR system is rarely as fully equipped feature wise as a standalone ATS product.

That said PeopleHR has a pretty good recruitment module with several impressive features including built in video interviews, mobile recruitment and more. 

They are also pretty well stocked when it comes to integrations with over 45 listed on their website. 

if it’s not listed, it’s not included

It's particularly instructive to note the things companies don’t tell you about their products. For instance, hireful is open and honest about costs for our Instant, Professional, and Premium plans. Other ATS platforms shy away from publishing total pricing, encouraging people to get in touch with a sales advisor for the inevitable hard-sell conversation.

Here at hireful, we are very proud of our technology and we think our ATS competes well against all competitors. However, a key differentiator for hireful is our recruitment success team. We work with you to go beyond simply implementing and training you on your software. We work with you using the software and our team to help you tackle your recruitment challenges - whether this means helping you design advert copy or the perfect onboarding process, we are on hand to advise and mentor you through this process. 

how should I choose between these platforms?

Choosing the right software is often a matter of priorities and budgets, but you can reassure yourself about making the right decision by trying before you buy. At hireful, for instance, you can see a customised live demonstration via Teams, condensing the key points of our industry-leading platform into a concise 60-minute presentation. Book a demo here.

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