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Workable Review

Best Recruiting Software for Small Business

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Our research and analysis of recruiting software leads us to again recommend Workable as the best recruiting software for small business. We chose Workable from dozens of recruiting software options. To understand how we chose Workable, you can find our methodology and a list of recruiting software vendors on our best picks page.

We like Workable because it gives you everything you need in a recruiting software, without breaking the bank or compromising quality. Many of Workable's competitors are able to offer lower prices because they heavily limit the number of features offered. Some require you to either pay per additional feature or upgrade to pricier packages for basic things like adding users, customer service or even posting ads to major career sites.

Workable wins because it comes with a full set of features, and instead charges you based on the number of active positions you have to fill. This is a more cost-effective model for a small business, since you're probably not constantly hiring several employees at a time, like large businesses do.

The software starts at a base price of $19 per month for one active job listing, which includes an unlimited number of users, unlimited phone and email support, and no setup or activation fees. It doesn't require a long-term contract either, so you can easily upgrade or downgrade as your needs change. Your other options are $49 for three active jobs, $99 for five jobs, $199 for 10 jobs or $399 for unlimited jobs.

Additionally, Workable gives you access to discounts on career sites that offer premium job listings and advertising options. Depending on the website, this perk can save you up to a couple hundred dollars on sponsored listings.

If you'd like to give Workable a test drive, a free 15-day trial is available. The trial doesn't require a credit card and gives you access to the entire software.

Workable is packed with features to help you find and hire the best candidates for your business. Most recruitment software does a great job of helping you with job postings and managing candidates, but what makes Workable stand out is that it breaks down the hiring process into five parts for more effective and time-efficient recruiting. Those five parts are creating a career site, finding candidates, applicant tracking, interviews and analytics. Here's how it all works.

Credit: Workable

To find the best candidates, you need to cast a wide net, while also being strategic about where you post job openings. One of the things we love about Workable is that it lets you easily create job ads, then quickly post them in three places: your own branded job site, top career sites and social media.

  • Career page. Workable gives you a free job board on the Workable website, which you can customize with your logo and company color. You can also put the job board on your own website's career page at no additional cost. Each job opening will have its own URL where interested candidates can view job details and submit applications. The job board also automatically updates itself whenever you publish a new job or edit an existing listing.
  • Job sites. Workable lets you blast jobs listings to more than 20 popular career sites all at once with just a few clicks, eliminating the need to create separate accounts and multiple job listings on each site. These include free sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, Glassdoor, Monster and Us.jobs, as well as paid listings on LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter and more.
  • Social media. Like a lot of recruiting software, Workable lets you publish job postings on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn via status updates and shared links. But Workable goes the extra mile by installing a dedicated jobs section on your company's Facebook Page called "Jobs Tab." This feature creates a convenient job board that's fully integrated into your Facebook Page and that automatically updates listings, displays job descriptions and lets candidates apply for open positions.

Credit: Workable

We also like how easy it is to create and post job openings using Workable. We had a chance to try out the software and walk through the job-posting process. The Workable interface was comprehensive, yet so simple that it took us less than 10 minutes to build our job board with our first job listing.

There are four steps to creating a job listing:

  1. Create the job ad. To create a job posting, all you have to do is click on the Jobs tab, which can be found on the navigation bar at the very top of the Workable dashboard. Then, click on the Create New Position button and enter the job title, location and description. You can also scroll down to add additional details like type of employment, desired skills, benefits, required experience, salaries, education requirements and other information in each detail's designated section. Click Save, and you're good to go.
  2. Create the application form. Workable comes with a default application form with all the basics, but we like that it lets you tailor the form to fit your business's needs. You can customize everything from indicating required information and desired skills to adding pre-screening questions to filter unqualified candidates. You can also set it to make résumés, CVs, cover letters and other documents mandatory, which prevents incomplete applications from cluttering your inbox.
    Credit: Workable
  3. Job sites options. This is where Workable lists all the career sites it has partnered with. Just click on the Buy Posting button to purchase premium listings and select which free sites you want to publish listings on. We especially like that you can target job ads to reach your desired demographics.
  4. Add recruiters. If you work with external recruiters, this step lets you invite them, giving them access to the job listing and candidates.
  5. Build your hiring team. Here you can add internal recruiters, hiring managers, HR staff, departmental heads, upper-level management and other individuals who are part of the hiring process.

Another feature we really like is that you can quickly repost a previous or existing job listing without going through the entire process. The shortcut — using the Clone button — lets you replicate and republish job listings with just a single click.

Workable isn't just easy to use for businesses. It's also a piece of cake for applicants.

In addition to letting candidates fill out the application form on your website, Workable also accepts applications submitted through the job sites on which listings have been published. This is especially convenient for candidates who already have profiles on these platforms, so they don't have to deal with the hassle of creating a new one on your website.

Workable is also fully integrated with LinkedIn and LinkedIn Mobile Apply. This means candidates can use their LinkedIn accounts to apply for positions with just a single click, whether they are logged in to the LinkedIn website or using the mobile app.

The simple, fuss-free application process serves businesses, too. Not only does it centralize applications from different channels, but it will also show you which ones are the most popular or effective based on the number of applications received from each job site. (Learn more about this and other reporting features below.)

Credit: Workable

We were impressed with Workable's applicant-tracking system (ATS), which makes managing applications and candidates as stress-free as possible.

Just click on the Candidates tab on the top navigation menu to bring up the applicants window. Candidates appear as a list on the left side of the screen and their profiles on the right. This is a very familiar interface for Outlook users, making it even easier to navigate.

All candidate data is automatically inputted into your dashboard from submitted applications, so you don't have to waste time and effort with manual data entry. Additional information is also added using Workable's automatic résumé parsing functionality and social media integration. The latter automatically pulls information from candidates' Facebook, Twitter and other public profiles — no social media stalking skills required!

Workable also lets you narrow down candidates based on what you're looking for. You can choose to view only qualified candidates or only those in particular stages of the hiring process, such as those who have just submitted an application, are currently undergoing phone screening, are scheduled for an interview, or were offered a position or hired.

Workable also comes with additional capabilities to help you throughout the hiring process:

  •  Interview management. Stay on top of interviews with advanced scheduling tools and individual interview profiles for each candidate. The calendaring option includes vital information like interview time and location with an interactive map. It also shows who is being interviewed and for what position, as well as who is attending from the hiring team (with pictures when available). Each candidate's interview profile also lets members of your team leave feedback regarding the interview and applicant. It works a like a combination of your inbox and the comment system on social media, which makes it very easy to collaborate and discuss each candidate in a single page.

Credit: Workable

  • Search and hashtags. Save time by searching for candidates based on keywords, desired qualifications and other criteria. We also like the tagging feature, which works a lot like social media hashtags to let you quickly organize and filter candidates.
  • Templates. No need to write emails from scratch. Workable comes with several email templates ranging from confirmation emails acknowledging applications to rejection emails for unqualified applications. These templates are compatible with Outlook, Gmail and other email clients, so you can send communication automatically in bulk with just a few clicks.
  • Gmail integration. Workable plays well with Gmail users by syncing tasks and notifications. This means you can access Workable data right from Gmail without having to open the Workable software.
  • Task automation. Workable also plays nice with task-automation platforms like IFTTT and Zapier. For instance, you can save the extra step of sharing posts to social media by setting up a trigger on either platform, so that each new job listing you publish is automatically shared on Twitter when you create it.
  • Reporting and analytics. See what's working and what isn't. Find out where candidates are coming from, which platforms are the most popular and how applicants from different platforms are performing. Are applicants from job sites more successful in snagging a position? Do Facebook applicants tend to be more qualified, or are LinkedIn candidates more desirable? Workable's reporting and analytics tools lets you discover all types of data about applicants and job postings, so you can get the most out of your investment.

One advantage Workable has over its similarly priced competitors is that it comes with customer support at no additional cost, even if you get the cheapest plan. If you need help using the software, you can contact Workable's customer support team by phone or email. The company also provides online and live training to help you and your staff get the most out of the software.

Users rave about Workable's customer service team, and we couldn't agree more. Based on our own experience, Workable had one of the friendliest representatives we've come across. In addition to being very knowledgeable and patient in answering our many questions about the software, the rep pointed us toward some very useful resources to help us become better, more effective recruiters. These include:

  • A searchable database of how-to guides that cover the hiring process from start to finish
  • A comprehensive library of email and job-listing templates
  • Tutorial videos with step-by-step instructions on using different parts of the software
  • E-books on finding new employees and hiring best-practices for different industries

The Workable rep also followed up with us to see if there was anything else we needed. This was a nice touch that made it feel less like a sales call, unlike a few other companies we reached out to.

Although we really like Workable, it is by no means the perfect recruiting software for small business.

First, Workable doesn't offer 24/7 customer support, so you won't always be able to reach someone when you need help. We also like to see companies have live chat on their websites and social media support, which Workable currently lacks. The company says the best way to reach them is via email, but they have a maximum 3-hour response turnaround time, so it's not the ideal method if you need help right away. It does redeem itself by offering phone support between midnight and 7 p.m. Pacific Time, which is a pretty good window that covers most small business hours.

Workable doesn't have a mobile app either, which is disappointing for software that functions so well. It does make a great effort at providing a mobile-optimized website, so it's still easy to view applications, résumés and candidates while on the go. Nonetheless, we're a big fan of software with native mobile apps that offer full functionality and make it easier to work on smartphones and tablets.

Lastly, some customers we spoke with say Workable is still missing a few features that more-expensive recruiting tools have to offer, such as the ability to schedule emails and a more robust collaboration tool. But these are specific requirements that would depend on your business's unique needs.

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

Sara Angeles

Sara is a Los Angeles-based tech writer for Business.com, Business News Daily and Tom's IT Pro. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, she has worked as a freelance writer and copywriter for tech publications, lifestyle brands and nonprofit organizations in the Southern California area and throughout the U.S. Sara joined the Purch team in 2013.