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How to pick an ATS and CRM for your company?

Lionseye insights from AC Lion

My company, AC Lion, recently assigned me the task of finding a new Applicant Tracking System and Customer Relationship Management software. The ATS and CRM systems are a MUST for any staffing company of ANY size! Being that we are a niche market recruiting firm, our needs are particular to specific best practices and standard processes. Before picking out the correct solutions, I must define the two systems:

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term applied to processes implemented by a company to handle its contact with its customers. […] Information in the system can be accessed and entered by employees in different departments, such as sales, marketing, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation. (Wikipedia)

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that enables the electronic handling of corporate recruitment needs. (Wikipedia)

The rationale behind these systems is to improve how we track and also how we provide services directly to the customers. We use the information in the system for targeted marketing and sales purposes. One of the industry leading CRM’s is, but my company decided on an ATS/CRM hybrid able to handle both candidate leads (B2C) and client-side relationships (B2B).
Another thing to consider is a web-based, also know as Software as a Service (SaaS).It really comes down to a few considerations. Cost of in-house servers and storage vs. a Tier3 network and fast internet connection. It really depends on your comanies budget and needs. We decided on web-based.
When it came time to conduct research, I read a very helpful article on, on How to pick an ATS in 7 days – includes short review of 6 major vendors (LONG). This is a great way to organize your time and find the right fit in an effective manner in 12 simple steps.
I am still on step #5, Contact each vendor….Below is a list from of which I can say 3 of my choices and our current vendor are inlcuded:

  • cBizOne
    Easy to use and contains all core functionality of ATS. Very customizable. Can host data locally or remotely (on access or SQL server). Cool quick searching UI.
  • PCRecruiter
    Easily customizable and good performance for an ASP.
  • BullHorn
    Highly recommended and praised. Performance good for ASP, UI and usability are good. Integrated email with cool email tracking feature.
  • HireDesk
    Feature rich and very customizable. Awesome website integration where candidate can have custom job agents (most the same features candidates have on Monster) Large company, dedicated support staff and best support hours.
  • Sendouts
    Outstanding usability and GUI design. One of two hybrid solutions. Good performance and overall solid system.
  • MaxHire
    Its all Microsoft technology and the email integration and automation is very well designed.

I hope at this point you find yourself with enough information to get started. If you need further advice or a copy of my checklist, feel free to e-mail me at work.  (


Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak