ATS and HRIS Systems for Small Companies (less than 100 people)

The exciting rollercoaster ride of a startup or small business comes with its own set of challenges. Hiring top talent is crucial, but managing the recruitment process for a small company with limited resources can feel overwhelming. Enter Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and HRIS (Human Resource Information System). These tools are designed to streamline your talent acquisition (TA) and human resources (HR) tasks and empower you to build a fantastic team. But with so many options available, choosing the right system can feel daunting. This guide will help you navigate the world of ATS and HRIS Systems for Small Companies, focusing on factors most relevant for companies with less than 100 employees.

Just remember, the ATS and HRIS markets are constantly evolving, offering a wide range of options tailored to specific industries, regions, or needs. This blog post provides a starting point for considering your ATS and HRIS Systems for Small Companies, but there are many other solutions available that may not be mentioned. Consider researching niche options that might perfectly suit your company’s unique requirements.

The integration consideration

I think we can all agree that, in a perfect world, everything would integrate beautifully. However, there are always “costs” to consider. To help illuminate the best choice for you – at least for now –  we would recommend you evaluate the following to determine if you would benefit from an integrated HRIS and TA solution. 

  • Integrated system: Ideal for companies with a small HR team (<5 people) handling both talent acquisition and other HR needs. Typically in this scenario, hiring needs would be relatively low (less than 20 openings annually), reducing the value of a bespoke TA platform such as an ATS. Popular options include:
    • Rippling: Modular system with a user-friendly interface, good for both domestic and international payroll. Offers professional employment outsourcing (PEO) options such as payroll and benefits administration.
    • ADP and Ultipro: More traditional options for companies with stricter compliance needs, often used with third-party PEOs or self-negotiated healthcare plans.
  • Separate ATS and HRIS systems: Ideal for companies with a dedicated talent acquisition (TA) team and a higher volume of hiring. In this scenario, companies choose from a larger number of solutions that offer Talent Acquisition-focused systems like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Human Resources-oriented platforms like Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and Payroll capabilities that could be better tailored to their needs. Popular options include:
    • ATS: Asana, BreezyHR, Gem, Greenhouse, JazzHR, Lever, Workable (See detailed breakdown below)
    • HRIS & Payroll: Rippling, ADP, Justworks, Gusto, Oyster (These often integrate with most ATSs)

Qualities of the “right” ATS

If you have decided that separate solutions suit your company, you now have the opportunity to select the best ATS for you. To help, we recommend you reflect on your unique context. 

  • Budget: Determine how much you can comfortably invest in the system. Many ATS options offer tiered pricing based on features and number of users.
  • Simplicity: User-friendliness is key, especially for smaller teams. Look for an intuitive interface that requires minimal training for your TA team and their hiring partners.
  • Collaboration: Evaluate whether it is a requirement that hiring managers and other partners work directly in the ATS. Some are better suited to this workflow than others.
  • Features: Consider features important for your recruitment process, such as job posting tools, candidate screening, interview scheduling, and reporting analytics.
  • Growth potential: Factor in your anticipated growth trajectory by evaluating how each offering scales.
  • Marketplace integrations: You may have other tools that are crucial for your ideal hiring workflow. Validate that an ATS integrates with other tools you envision embedding. 

The ATS market has become increasingly specialized in the last decade. To begin your evaluation, we’ve collected a short list of popular ATS options for smaller companies:

  • Budget-Conscious Options: Workable, JazzHR, BreezyHR, Lever
  • Feature-Rich Option: Greenhouse (offers integrations with various tools but can be expensive and complex to set up)
  • Free/Discounted Options (for eligible startups): Ashby, Gem (be mindful of potential limitations and future costs)

Remember: This list is not exhaustive. Industry-specific ATS options might exist and be better suited for your unique needs.

Finding the perfect fit – for now

Choosing the right ATS and HRIS Systems for Small Companies can be a game-changer for your growth. By understanding your needs, considering your unique factors, and exploring the available options, you can find the perfect fit to streamline your talent processes, improve your recruiting efforts, and empower your growing company. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Many ATS providers offer free consultations or demos, allowing you to explore their functionalities before committing.

Once you select your ATS and HRIS platforms, the journey might just be beginning. From there, you can enhance your efficiency, effectiveness, and impact by integrating other best-of-breed platforms or tools. Datapeople beautifully integrates with most ATS systems and our hundreds of customers have illuminated optimal configurations and workflows. We’re happy to help you navigate the options and deploy an optimal hiring stack and workflow designed to maximize your impact and tailored to your specific needs!

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