The ATS buyer’s guide: New research from Greenhouse and RecruitingDaily

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The applicant tracking system (ATS) is the center of the modern recruiting tech stack. Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS, yet many talent teams are dissatisfied and are considering a change.

We wanted to investigate why talent leaders may be moving on from their current ATS and examine what drives them to make the switch.

In partnership with RecruitingDaily, we surveyed and interviewed roughly 100 talent acquisition leaders across different company sizes and industries including banking, pro sports, big tech, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales, among others.

In blending statistics, stories, tips and best practices from these talent leaders, we developed a succinct buyer’s guide from our research and in this post, we share a sneak peek!

Why the move to a new ATS?

The numbers show that abandoning an ATS is a pretty common occurrence: Over 75% of the talent acquisition leaders we surveyed said they’d had their current ATS less than three years and a sizable number said they’d had theirs for less than one year.

Some of the most common reasons talent acquisition leaders shared for switching their ATS include: long time to hire, company growth, the feeling that the ATS has become shelfware or outdated, changing hiring strategies and advocate attrition (the person who bought the software left the organization).


Yet not every reason makes good business sense. The guide examines each of these common reasons and explores when there might be other options that would save your business a lot of time, money and stress.

“We see a lot of companies embark on the journey of replacing their ATS and make similar mistakes,” says Greenhouse Co-founder and President Jon Stross. “We’re behind any effort to demystify the process.”

What steps are taken in the purchasing process?

Our research shows six key stages of the purchasing process: 

  • Understand why and when it’s time to switch
  • Outline your needs and scope out the vendor landscape
  • Prioritize your integration requirements
  • Manage your expectations
  • Share feedback
  • Ask for and speak to references

In the guide, we explore each step of this process and provide insights from our research, along with analyses from RecruitingDaily President, William Tincup and Greenhouse President and Co-founder, Jon Stross.

Watch the on-demand webinar for more in-depth insights from William and Jon, including their takes on Customer Advisory Boards, references and every other step of the ATS purchasing process.

Download the guide
Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.