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getting the best ATS software system in 2022.

Choosing the best ATS software involves understanding what these platforms offer – and what you need them to provide.

In an age of one-click applications and job postings shared across numerous websites, it would be easy for recruiters to drown in a sea of speculative job applications. As a result, applicant tracking systems (ATS) have risen to prominence. Two-thirds of large companies and a third of smaller businesses are also entrusting their recruitment and hiring to software, at least in part.

To choose the best ATS software in 2022, you need to understand how powerful the latest versions of these market-leading platforms have become. You also need to understand your company’s requirements. Knowing how ATS can help your business will empower any decision about which platforms to shortlist, and which to discount.

what do you need ATS to do?

The functionality of the best ATS software extends far beyond a basic online database. It can also serve as:

  • A candidate-facing careers page/site, where you are able to tell your employer story and show all the available vacancies you have. Recruiting the best candidates involves selling your employer brand to them, just as they market themselves to you later in the process. This allows even small companies (like hireful, 70 staff!) to have a big impact, see: 
  • An organisational tool, where each stage of the recruitment and selection process can be administered. Whether you’re sending rejection emails, scheduling interviews into managerial calendars, or downloading interview kits, these time-saving aids are often vital.
  • A partner to job boards, offering ‘quick apply’ submissions. While dovetailing with leading UK-based job boards, the best ATS software will also support an internal jobs page on your company’s intranet for promotion and retention purposes.
  • A central repository for all recruitment data. With an ATS your recruitment data is all held in one central system as opposed to spread across the inboxes and spreadsheets of your staff. Without this reporting on recruitment performance in any meaningful way is impossible. It also means you are more likely to be able to comply with GDPR (data protection legislation). 

There are also a couple of things the best ATS software won’t attempt to do, such as being a holistic HR platform. Don’t expect an ATS platform to offer timekeeping, payroll, or CRM functionality. Candidate recruitment and selection is the name of the game here.

what should the best ATS software provide?

Choosing and implementing the best ATS software should ensure the recruitment process runs seamlessly. These are the factors to look for when weighing up the rival merits of different platforms:

training & support

Unless you’re a seasoned HR professional, the latest versions of ATS platforms could seem daunting. Most companies offer unlimited technical support, but technical support will often help you with your problems. What if you decide after 6 months you want to make changes to your application form or the candidate communication? For most software vendors this would fall under the remit of “professional services” and would come with an expensive day rate! 

hireful supports all customers with unlimited free configuration changes and also has a recruitment success team available to advise you about the changes you want to make - ensuring they deliver the outcomes you want. 

data & reporting

A good ATS system will compile different pieces of information into a comprehensive database where granular applicant information is unified in one place. This should be fully searchable by keyword/long tail, but also by category or tag. How many applicants for your latest vacancy have performed that exact role (full keyword match) previously, for instance? D&I reporting should be central to this, with reporting dashboards ensuring recruitment is untainted by bias.


The best ATS software should support seamless, automated candidate communication at every stage of the process. Clear and supportive communication also helps to nurture the active applicants as they move through the process. It should also be a major time saver for the recruiter by automatically triggering email communication at key events and allowing the recruiter to use email templates to efficiently send individual emails to candidates. 


Nothing stands still in the world of software and technology and that should include your new ATS. Your ambitions and expectations will grow and your ATS should keep up. So we recommend you ask potential providers about the recent new features they have released in the past 12 months and their upcoming releases. Some providers will have a public roadmap that shows what they have released, what they are working on currently and what is up next, here is the hireful public roadmap.  

one platform to rule them all

Despite numerous areas of overlap, finding a single ATS platform that offers comprehensive recruitment software and support isn’t always easy. That’s why hireful was developed. We wanted to avoid the complex interfaces, limited functionality, and data silos that often result from flawed or limited recruitment software. We also wanted to deliver reports with detailed analytics for clear oversight and accurate decision-making.

We can disengage your recruitment and selection from the over-reliance on recruitment agencies, and help you to hire talent faster whilst delivering a great candidate experience. To find out more, get in touch with hireful to book a demonstration, without any hard-sell sales pitches.

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