Teamtailor: The best ATS in the world, followed by Greenhouse and Lever 

The Recruiting Brainfood insights survey on recruiter preferences has provided an in-depth examination of the Global Applicant Tracking System (ATS) market, uncovering key insights into the features and functionalities most valued in these systems. This comprehensive study has been instrumental in understanding the complex details of ATS solutions and what recruiters seek in these essential tools.

Nonso Onowu on December 11, 2023 Average reading time: 4 min
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Teamtailor: The best ATS in the world, followed by Greenhouse and Lever 

Crucial to the survey’s methodology were two direct questions: identifying recruiters’ preferred ATS and those they typically avoid. This straightforward yet revealing approach offered a detailed perspective on the industry’s preferences, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of various ATS systems.  

Top 5 leading ATS systems highlighted for positive feedback 

A handful of platforms have not only risen to prominence but have also gathered substantial user acclaim. Here, we showcase the top 5 ATS systems, each with its unique strengths and user feedback, painting a picture of excellence in the world of recruitment technology.

  1. Teamtailor: Teamtailor has done something really impressive—they received a perfect score with 100% positive feedback from 77 respondents, including the typically critical audience of recruiters. In an industry where platforms usually get a mix of good and bad reviews, this shows that Teamtailor is doing a fantastic job in making it easy and efficient for recruiters to manage their hiring process.
  2. Greenhouse: While Greenhouse maintains a strong performance record, it doesn’t escape some negative feedback, with a ratio of 91.9% positive to 8.1% negative from a total pool of 593 respondents. Known for its robust features and capabilities, Greenhouse remains a well-regarded choice in the ATS landscape.
  3. Lever: Lever receives accolades with an 88.51% positive feedback rate from 261 total respondents. Users commend its intuitive design and effective candidate tracking capabilities, positioning it as a formidable contender in the ATS market.
  4. SmartRecruiters: SmartRecruiters leaves a lasting impression with an 88.48% positive feedback rate from 165 respondents, lauded for its ease of use and robust candidate engagement tools. It offers a user-friendly experience that strikes a chord with recruiters.
  5. Workable: Despite encountering some negative feedback at 22.4%, Workable secures a noteworthy position with a 77.6% positive response rate from a total of 107 respondents. Its strength lies in robust integration capabilities and extensive functionalities, making it a valuable choice for recruiters seeking versatility in an ATS. 

Top 5 ATS systems facing significant negative feedback 

In the survey, significant concerns emerged among users of various Applicant Tracking System (ATS) platforms. The top five ATS systems that received notable negative feedback, shedding light on the challenges users face when navigating these systems, are as follows: 

  1. Taleo: Leading the pack is Taleo, with a notable 87.1% of users expressing dissatisfaction out of 272 respondents. Users are particularly bothered by its overly complicated interface, making it a tough tool to navigate. Despite offering powerful features, Taleo’s lack of user-friendliness has left many users feeling frustrated and disheartened.
  2. Workday: Workday, a well-known ATS, received mixed reviews in the survey. About 28.7% of users praised its extensive range of features and compatibility with other systems. However, a significant 71.3% of the 328 respondents found it too complex to use comfortably. This disparity highlights the platform’s strengths in functionality but underscores the importance of user experience in ATS systems.
  3. SuccessFactors: SuccessFactors encountered its share of problems, with a substantial 78.3% of users expressing dissatisfaction from 157 respondents. The primary concern here revolves around usability, as many users found it challenging to navigate and use effectively. This indicates that even a system with potential benefits can fall short if it doesn’t prioritize user-friendly design.
  4. iCIMS: While iCIMS worked well for half of its users, an equal 50% expressed dissatisfaction from 128 respondents. This discrepancy highlights the system’s polarizing nature. While it may excel for some, it leaves others dissatisfied, emphasizing the importance of finding an ATS that aligns with individual user needs and preferences.
  5. Excel: Interestingly, even the widely used Excel, often relied upon as a backup ATS, did not escape criticism, with 45.6% of users providing negative feedback from 90 respondents. The primary issue cited here is its lack of essential recruiting features. While Excel is undoubtedly a versatile tool, its limitations in the context of modern recruitment processes are evident. 

Identifying key challenges in ATS platforms: 

The survey also brought to the forefront significant concerns regarding a few other systems. Notably, ATS platforms such as Brassring, Jobvite, Personio, Bond Adapt, and Sage were marked by a glaring absence of positive feedback. This unanimous negative reception is indicative of deeper issues that could be plaguing these systems. 

User experience challenges, limited functionality, technical issues, and inadequate customer support contribute to a negative perception of these systems.

Inefficient interfaces and a lack of essential features hinder their appeal and competitiveness in the recruitment industry, leading to dissatisfaction among users. 


National winners and falls of ATS systems by positive and negative reviews 

 Germany 

Top ATS System by Positive Feedback  Positive Feedback (%)  Top ATS System by Negative Feedback  Negative Feedback (%) 
Greenhouse  95.9  Jobvite  100 
Smartrecruiters  84.6  Taleo  100 
Lever  72.2  SuccessFactors  88.9 
Recruitee  68.8  Workday  84 
Workable  72.7  Personio  68.6 

UK 

Top ATS System by Positive Feedback 

Positive Feedback (%) 

Top ATS System by Negative Feedback 

Negative Feedback (%) 

Workable 

100 

Taleo 

94.8 

SmartRecruiters 

96.8 

Workday 

76.8 

Lever 

90.5 

SuccessFactors 

76.7 

Greenhouse 

88.8 

ICIMS 

65.2 

Teamtailor 

85 

Bullhorn 

45 

 

Spain 

Top ATS System by Positive Feedback 

Positive Feedback (%) 

Top ATS System by Negative Feedback 

Negative Feedback (%) 

Lever 

87.5 

BambooHR 

100 

Greenhouse 

79.3 

Taleo 

100 

TeamTailor 

75 

SuccessFactors 

80 

Workable 

66.7 

Workday 

63.6 

Workday 

36.4 

Workable 

33.3 

 

 

United States 

Top ATS System by Positive Feedback 

Positive Feedback (%) 

Top ATS System by Negative Feedback 

Negative Feedback (%) 

SmartRecruiters 

100 

SuccessFactors 

90 

Greenhouse 

96.7 

Brassring 

87.5 

Lever 

79.4 

Taleo 

81.5 

ICIMS 

58.5 

Oracle 

77.8 

Bullhorn 

47.1 

ADP 

77.8 

 

These findings emphasize the need for ATS systems to align closely with the evolving expectations and demands of the market. Users prefer platforms that are intuitive, highly customizable, specialized in recruitment functionalities, and seamlessly integrated with other HR systems. 

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