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Best Recruiting Software 2016

When searching for the best recruiting software, we looked for solutions that are affordable and easy to use, and that come with key features like the ability to post job ads, accept applications, manage candidates and stay on top of the hiring process. We also looked for software that is customizable to fit a small business's unique needs. We also considered niche software, such as that designed for executive recruitment, tech jobs, and other specialized positions and fields.

Here is a roundup of our best picks and how we chose them.

Workable is an easy-to-use recruiting software that we think offers the best value for small businesses. While competing products limit features in order to offer lower prices, Workable comes with all the features you need and instead charges you based on the number of users, not how many features you access. It also helps you stay on top of the entire hiring process, from posting job ads to accepting applications, managing interviews, on-boarding and everything in between. [Go here for a full review of the Workable recruiting software.]

Editor's Note: Looking for recruiting software for your business? If you want information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

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Osclass is free recruiting software that's both easy to use and packed with features to help you find and hire the right people for your business. It lets you post job ads in several places — such as your own job board, the Osclass job directory, select career sites and social media — and accept applications and résumés straight from job listings. Osclass also comes with talent-management tools to help you stay organized throughout the recruitment process. [Go here for a full review of the Osclass recruiting software.]

FileFinder Anywhere is a different kind of recruiting software. Instead of posting job ads everywhere and waiting for applications from all types of candidates to come pouring in, FileFinder lets you find and reach out to highly targeted executives who you already know are qualified for the position. It lets you search the Web, social media, company profiles and other sources of public information to create a database of candidates who fit your requirements, all without leaving the software. It is available as locally installed desktop software, a mobile app, Web-based software and an Outlook Web App. [Go here for a full review of the FileFinder Anywhere recruiting software.]

To determine our best picks for recruiting software for small business, we started with an extensive list of vendors. It included software we were already familiar with, as well as those recommended or mentioned by small business owners, hiring managers, recruitment professionals, review sites and business websites.

We then narrowed down the list based on the type of recruitment software, features offered, different use-case scenarios and a wide range of criteria (listed in detail below). To help inform our decisions, we asked small business owners, hiring managers and recruitment professionals about what to look for in recruitment software, which products they recommend, and what they like or don't like about the software they currently use or have used in the past.

Additionally, we sought insight from vendors to gain a better understanding of how different types of recruitment software work and what makes one product stand out over others.

As part of our research, we also contacted recruitment-software sales reps and customer service teams, while posing as small business owners shopping around for recruitment software. This helped us better evaluate each software option and the quality of customer support from a user's perspective.

Lastly, we also tested or participated in demos for all the software when possible. This helped us evaluate ease of use and whether the features offered are fit for small business users.

In total, we compiled a list of dozens of recruiting software choices. Our top picks are Workable, Osclass and FileFinder Anywhere. Our short list included ApplicantStack, iCIMS, Jazz, SCOUT, Big Biller, CATS, Crelate Talent, Jobvite, Recruiterbox, The Applicant Manager, Greenhouse, Bamboo HR, Halogen, Hyrell, SquareHire and UltiPro.

Here are the categories we looked at in evaluating each one:

  • Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Ability to create and post job ads online, including career sites and social media
  • Ability to accept applications and résumés online
  • Talent- and candidate-management tools
  • Stage-by-stage monitoring of hiring process
  • Customization and branding options
  • Automation, such as importing application and résumé data into software
  • Search features, such as qualification and skills filters to quickly find qualified candidates
  • Prescreening tools and questionnaires to weed out unqualified applicants
  • Analytics and reporting
  • HR tools, such as onboarding and benefits administration
  • Mobile access
  • Help/customer support
  • Limitations

Here is a full list of recruiting software options and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

ApplicantPro — ApplicantPro is affordable recruiting software that's designed especially for small businesses. It saves you time, with job-advertising solutions, candidate-assessment tools, applicant-tracking system and even on-boarding capabilities. applicantpro.com

ApplicantStack — One of our runner-ups, Applicant Stack combines recruiting software with human resources management (HRM). It's an all-in-one applicant-tracking system (ATS), so it comes with capabilities like job postings, candidate screenings and on-boarding. applicantstack.com

Ascentis — Ascentis is a full-featured ATS and human capital management (HCM) software that offers everything you need to hire and manage staff all in one place. It also includes payroll administration, time and attendance tracking, and HR training. ascentis.com

BambooHR — One of our favorites, BambooHR is easy-to-use, full-featured recruiting and HR software that's built with small business needs in mind. It is designed to help you save time and money, so you can find top talent quickly and efficiently. bamboohr.com

Betterteam — Betterteam combines the ability to post to 100+ job boards with tools to help you write job descriptions that get more responses, and an applicant tracking system that makes it easier to find the best candidates. All available at your fingertips via mobile, web and desktop. betterteam.com

Big Biller — Big Biller, by Top Echelon, combines recruiting software with customer relationship management (CRM) software. It lets you keep track of everything you need to know about applicants, including their backgrounds, activities and communication with hiring managers. topechelon.com/recruiting-software

BirdDogHR — BirdDogHR is an all-in-one recruitment and HR solution. It comes with applicant tracking, on-boarding, performance reviews, team collaboration and compliance services. It also offers a custom solution designed to help you find top talent for hard-to-fill positions. birddoghr.com

Bullhorn — Another one of our favorites, Bullhorn is robust recruiting software that combines with CRM to create a powerful ATS and HR solution. This lets companies fill positions faster and easier. We also like that Bullhorn integrates with Gmail and Outlook, so you can use it in the way that makes you the most productive. bullhorn.com/products/applicant-tracking-system

CATS — CATS also made it to our short list, for offering comprehensive, yet easy-to-use recruiting software. It comes with job-posting capabilities, a free custom career website, résumé parsing, customized workflows, talent management and third-party integration with background check services, email marketing, cloud storage and more. catsone.com

Cornerstone OnDemand — Cornerstone OnDemand lets you find qualified candidates fast. In addition to job posting and talent management, it also comes with useful features like employee referrals and collaboration tools to tap into networks of high-quality talent. cornerstoneondemand.com/recruiting

Crelate Talent — We like Crelate Talent because it places the focus on finding the best talent using a wide range of resources. Features include unlimited job postings, job boards, Outlook integration, résumé parsing, mobile access, candidate portals and more. Crelate is also a flexible solution, so you can cater it to your business's unique needs. crelate.com

Encore — Encore, by Cluen, is executive recruiting software that's more on the advanced side of recruitment. It comes with a powerful dashboard that lets you search for candidates, find new opportunities, manage meetings and view where each candidate is on each stage of the hiring process. cluen.com/products/encore.aspx

*FileFinder Anywhere — Our pick for the best executive recruiting software, FileFinder Anywhere lets you find, contact and maintain a database of qualified executives who may be the perfect fit for the job. It also integrates well with social media and Outlook to make the executive search faster and more efficient than with traditional recruiting software.  Read our full review here.

Gopher — Gopher is cloud- or self-hosted recruiting software that combines ATS, CRM, contact management, email and sales to help you with the recruitment and hiring process. We also like that it comes with full customization options, Outlook compatibility and full integration with social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. go4recruitingsoftware.com/products.html

Greenhouse — Want to increase your recruitment ROI? Greenhouse is all about improving the hiring process. Besides job postings and applicant tracking, Greenhouse also takes advantage of available data and information generated by your hiring process to see where your company can do better for other open positions and hiring in the future. greenhouse.io

Halogen TalentSpace — Halogen TalentSpace is an advanced tool for businesses that need more from their recruiting software. Besides talent acquisition, Halogen also comes with HRM, performance reviews and tools to help your staff work better together. halogensoftware.com/products

Hello Talent — Hello Talent, by Talentsoft, helps you find top candidates from social media. It lets you search for profiles, then tag them to add to your list of qualified candidates and possible hires. You can also find candidates using other profiles on the Web, as well as collaborate with team members to tap into their networks and evaluate applicants. hellotalent.com

HireHive — Formerly Zartis ATS, HireHive aims to make recruiting fast and easy. It lets you post to job boards, on your website and on social media to help you cast a wide net. It also comes with a simple and full-featured ATS, so you can easily manage candidates, schedule interviews and keep an eye on the hiring process. hirehive.io

HireMojo — One of our favorites, HireMojo aims to make recruitment easy and simple. It lets you find top talent by taking four steps: search, post jobs where you'll likely find the best candidates, screen and score applicants, and manage and hire new staff. We really like that this model lets you stay on top of the hiring process from start to finish. hiremojo.com

Homerun — Homerun takes a different approach to recruiting. Instead of using typical job boards with boring job descriptions and application forms, Homerun lets you create a unique career site that creatively reflects your company and job openings. Everything is completely customizable, from how your job listing looks to how candidates can submit an application. homerun.hr

Hyrell — Hyrell is an ATS that's packed with features to make recruiting easier. In addition to automatically posting jobs to career sites and job boards, Hyrell also lets you score and rate candidates to help you find the best fit. It also comes with a streamlined communications system, which helps with things like automatic confirmation emails and updates. hyrell.com

iCIMS — One of our runner-ups, iCIMS is one of the most comprehensive recruiting software options available to small business. It comes as a complete suite of three hiring tools: iCIMS Connect to find and communicate with quality candidates, iCIMS Recruit as an ATS solution and iCIMS Onboard to help you transition new hires into the company. icims.com

Invenias — Invenias is executive recruiting software that's completely integrated into Microsoft Outlook. As such, it's very easy to use if you're already familiar with the platform. It simply adds extra fields and boxes to your existing Outlook display to show things like candidate photos, contact information, résumé information, recent communications and more. invenias.com

Jazz — Formerly called The Resumator, Jazz is both an ATS and performance-management tool in a single piece of recruiting software. We like that it's not like traditional recruiting solutions. In addition to providing functions for job postings, application forms and candidate tracking, Jazz lets you find better hires by evaluating candidates based on their performance potential, and then rewarding current staff based on how they perform. jazz.co

Jobcast — Love Facebook? Jobcast lets you find social-media-savvy candidates by posting job ads on Facebook. And these are not just typical job ads or links to job postings either: Jobcast lets you create an entire branded career site that's built right into your Facebook Page. It is also integrated with popular ATS solutions to help you keep track of applicants. jobcast.net

JobDiva — If you're looking for a more advanced recruitment tool, JobDiva might be for you. It is a full-service staffing solution that covers both the front- and back-end aspects of recruiting. It combines talent acquisition, management tools, ATS and CRM to deliver comprehensive recruiting software. jobdiva.info

Jobscience — Jobscience provides both ATS and CRM software in one. It aims to help recruiters find top talent more efficiently, especially in competitive markets and industries. Jobscience also offers separate staffing software that combines recruiting with sales and that comes with other features like revenue forecasting and back-office management. jobscience.com

Jobvite — One of our runner-ups, Jobvite is packed with features to help recruiters find the candidate for the job. Its suite of recruiting tools consists of Jobvite Engage, Jobvite Refer, Jobvite Hire and Jobvite Platform. Features include job boards, recruitment CRM, applicant tracking, referral systems, social sharing, video interviews and reporting tools. jobvite.com  

LinkedIn Talent — LinkedIn isn't just a professional social networking site. It's also a great place to find highly qualified talent. Whether your company is always hiring or you just have a couple of job openings, LinkedIn Talent has everything you need to post jobs, accept applications and manage candidates straight from the LinkedIn platform.  business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions

OneRecruit — OneRecruit aims to help businesses save time and money. It offers a branded career site, an easy-to-use ATS, automation features and team-hiring capabilities. It also comes with a powerful search engine to help you find the ideal candidate from your database of talents. onerecruit.com

Oracle Taleo — Although Taleo is designed for midsize businesses and enterprises, this advanced recruiting and HRM software may also be useful for small businesses in specialized industries. Small companies that have more recruitment needs than the typical business of their size may also find it useful. Its talent-acquisition platform is coupled with performance-management tools to help hires establish and reach their goals. oracle.com/us/products/applications/taleo/overview/index.html

*Osclass — Our pick for the best free recruiting software, Osclass is packed with features without a hefty price tag. It lets you post ads to job boards, share job openings on social media, accept applications, organize candidates and manage the entire hiring process all in one place. Read our full review here.

PageUp — PageUp's recruitment software is all about finding and hiring the right people fast. We like that PageUp is not just about recruiting and talent management, but has also partnered with other providers to deliver candidate testing and background-check services. pageuppeople.com/recruitment

PCRecruiter — PCRecruiter is a recruiting software and ATS product that integrates with other talent-acquisition tools, such as SCOUT, Hirabl and eGrabber. An executive version is also available to help you find highly skilled candidates for top positions. Other features include CRM recruiting, social recruiting and mobile recruiting. pcrecruiter.net

PeopleFluent — PeopleFluent's talent-acquisition software helps you attract, engage with and on-board the right candidates for your business. The company also offers a talent-management solution to help new and current hires drive their productivity and reach performance goals. peoplefluent.com

PeopleMatter Hire — PeopleMatter Hire aims to improve the quality of the hiring process. It offers job-board integration, a custom career site and a Facebook app so you can post your job listings on your Facebook Page. We also like that it comes with an advanced screening tool, so you can quickly filter applicants to see only the most-qualified candidates. peoplematter.com/workforce-management-platform/hiring-software

Recruiterbox — One of our favorites, Recruiterbox is one of the easiest-to-use recruiting software options we came across. The interface is so intuitive and clutter-free, unlike a lot of recruiting software available today. We also like that Recruiterbox automatically centralizes the hiring process by collecting and keeping data in one place, when candidates submit applications and résumés from job boards, internally, by email, via social media and any other sources. recruiterbox.com

SilkRoad Recruiting — SilkRoad Recruiting aims to help you save money on recruiting (the company claims that it can reduce costs by up to 80 percent). This is because it focuses on attracting and screening top talents, while also giving you all the tools you need to quickly hire and on-board successful candidates. silkroad.com/hr-solutions/talent-acquisition/silkroad-recruiting

Simplicant — As its name implies, Simplicant aims to make hiring your next employee as simple as possible. It does this with features like recruitment marketing to reach the most candidates, social recruiting to tap into candidates on social networks, employee referrals, recruiting analytics and a robust talent-management system. simplicant.com

SmartRecruiters — SmartRecruiters is all about intelligent, strategic hiring that focuses on applicants' experience. It lets you create inspiring job ads, targets the right candidates, and then makes the application process as simple and seamless as possible. It also comes with collaboration tools, so hiring managers can work with supervisors and future team members to evaluate candidates. smartrecruiters.com

SmartSearch — SmartSearch is all-inclusive recruiting and staffing-management software. We like that in addition to offering tools for job postings and candidate management, SmartSearch also streamlines the hiring process with other features like email management, background checks, prescreening, customized workflows and onboarding tools. aps2k.com

SmashFly — Smashfly offers what the company calls a "Recruitment Marketing Platform." It looks at job candidates as marketers would consumers, so it works under the premise of attracting and converting highly targeted demographics. It also integrates with popular ATS choices, so you can keep an eye on all candidates from the moment they submit their applications. smashfly.com

SquareHire — We like SquareHire because it's simple and lets you get started right away. It comes with everything you need in your recruiting software, from tools for online and social job postings to features for managing candidates and maintaining the hiring process. But it lacks all the complicated bells and whistles of typical recruiting software. If you're short on cash, a free account is also available, but is limited to two active jobs. squarehire.com

SwoopTalent — Need to hire someone ASAP? SwoopTalent gives you access to its database of more than 150 million candidates. It comes with a powerful search engine, and you can also quickly source candidates based on qualifications, skills, experience and other criteria. swooptalent.com

The Applicant Manager — One of our runner-ups, The Applicant Manager (or TAM, as the company calls it) is one of the most customizable recruiting software options that we came across. You can customize everything from the job board to your workflows, templates, application forms, prescreening questions and just about everything else. theapplicantmanager.com

TrackerRMS — TrackerRMS is an ATS built for recruiting professionals. It combines recruiting with CRM and sales, so you can easily manage candidates throughout the hiring pipeline. tracker-rms.com

UltiPro — UltiPro is more than just recruiting software with an ATS. It is a full-service recruitment solution that also offers additional human resources tools, such as HCM and payroll software. ultimatesoftware.com

VidCruiter — Want to actually see who is applying for positions at your company? VidCruiter is video-based recruiting software that lets you accept video applications and conduct video interviews. You can either do this in real time or let applicants record themselves. vidcruiter.com

*Workable — Our top pick for the best recruiting software for small business, Workable comes with everything you need to find and hire the best candidates for your business. It's also one of the most affordable recruiting software products available for small business. But unlike most recruiting software, Workable offers low-cost plans without compromising features. Read our full review here. workable.com

Workday — Workday is a mobile recruiting app that lets you get your recruiting done on the go. But unlike most recruiting apps, Workday doesn't limit features just because you're on a mobile device, and it even lets you view mobile-optimized versions of résumés and applications. workday.com

ZipRecruiter — ZipRecruiter lets you get the word out about job openings fast. You can blast job ads to more than 100 job boards all at once, so you're sure to cast a wide net and connect with candidates who have an extensive range of skills and qualifications. ziprecruiter.com

Zoho Recruit — Zoho Recruit is an ATS that lets you post jobs and manage applicants, but we like that it also comes with contact management, search tools, communication functions, file sharing and other benefits. It is also free for one user and up to five active job openings. zoho.com

Ready to choose your recruiting software? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Are you a recruiting software provider who would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Sara Angeles at sangeles@purch.com.

Editor's Note: Looking for recruiting software for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

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Sara Angeles
Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.