With hundreds of recruiting tech companies out there, how do you determine which ones are the top recruiting software tools worth investing in?

According to Bersin, the HR tech market is estimated to be worth $14 billion. A big chunk of this market is made up of recruiting software. The applicant tracking system (ATS) market is estimated to be worth $3 billion on its own.

Too narrow down the list, I’ve created this guide to the 28 top recruiting software tools of 2017 summarized in the image below.

28 top recruiting software tools

Job Boards & Job Aggregators

Job boards and job aggregators are a crucial part of the recruiting software ecosystem because applicants make up the biggest source of hires at 50%.

Indeed is the biggest source of external hires by far – credited with 58% of external hires according to SilkRoad.

CareerBuilder is the second biggest source of external hires. Well-known for their recruiting and job seeker surveys, recent reports claim CareerBuilder is in talks to be sold to a private equity firm for more than $1 billion.

LinkedIn calls itself the “world’s largest professional network” with more than 467 million members worldwide. With that type of market penetration, LinkedIn is virtually indispensable for recruiters: Jobvite reports 87% believe it’s the most effective social media platform for evaluating candidates.

Ziprecruiter makes the top recruiting software list because of its ability “to post a job to 100+ job boards with 1 click.” Handy!

Applicant Tracking Systems

With 90% of large companies and 68% of SMBs estimated to use an ATS, applicant tracking systems is biggest category of recruiting software.

Taleo, acquired by Oracle for $1.9 billion in 2012, is the top recruiting software in the ATS category with 23% of market share according the Datanyze.

iCIMS is the second biggest ATS by market share. Fun fact: iCIMS is an acronym that stands for Internet Collaborative Information Management System.

Workday is the fastest growing ATS on the market with a 570% increase in adoption from 2014 to 2016. Recently, that growth includes a huge win with Walmart as a new customer.

Greenhouse, a startup with a total of $60 million in funding to date, is known for its structured hiring and interviewing approach.

SmartRecruiters, a San Francisco startup, was an early adopter of the recruiting software marketplace. Smart!

Lever, another San Francisco startup, is making a name for its focus on diversity and metric-based recruiting.

Recruitment CRMs

With the rise of recruitment marketing, recruiting customer relationship management (CRM) software is becoming an important part of the recruiting software stack to attract, engage, and nurture candidates.

Bullhorn, which functions as both an ATS and CRM, is a top recruiting software designed specifically for recruiting and staffing agencies.

Jobvite, another hybrid ATS and CRM, is #7 in market share and is known for its annual Recruiter Nation survey.

SmashFly has arguably become synonymous with recruitment marketing. It focuses on content marketing starting with a company’s career site.

Beamery, a London-based startup, is one to watch as it just raised $5 million in funding to expand their AI-powered CRM.

Employer Branding

The average job seeker uses 16 total resources in their job search according to CareerBuilder’s Candidate Behavior study. As a major component of recruitment marketing, employer branding has become a powerful differentiator when competing for job seekers.

Glassdoor has become the top recruiting software for employer branding with its annual Best Places to Work lists. When employers are saying things like, “We’re losing candidates because of our bad Glassdoor reviews,” it’s obvious how powerful it’s become.

The Muse has created a niche as the go-to site for Millennial job seekers with 50% of its users below the age of 30. Its founders state 50 million people visit the site annually.

AI & Automation

AI for recruiting – the application of abilities such as learning or problem-solving exhibited by machines to the recruitment function – is designed to streamline or automate some part of the recruiting workflow, especially high-volume, repetitive tasks.

With the competing demands of increased hiring volume and decreased recruiter headcount, AI and automation tools have become the top recruiting software category this year.

Ideal uses AI to automate time-consuming recruiting tasks such as candidate sourcing, resume screening, and interview scheduling. A bonus benefit is that it works within your existing ATS eliminating the need to learn a whole new software.

IBM Watson gained fame by beating chess master Garry Kasparov and winning Jeopardy! IBM brands their recruiting-related AI features as cognitive recruiting.

X.ai is a member of the emerging category of AI-powered personal assistants with cute female names (Amy, in this case). It’s designed specifically to help you schedule meetings.

Candidate Testing

As our economy becomes dominated by more tech-oriented professions, candidate testing is quickly becoming a top recruiting software category. According to Aberdeen, 57% of companies use pre-hire assessments to test the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualifications (KSAOs) of their candidates.

HankerRank creates coding and technical assessments to help recruiters assess the skills of developers and software engineers. It also offers an online interviewing tool.

OutMatch offers job-fit assessments, behavioral interviewing, and online reference checking for high-volume hiring in hospitality, retail, and sales. It’s a result of a 2015 merger of Assess Systems and Chequed.com.

Reference Checking

Online reference checking belongs in the top recruiting software list because it eliminates the need to chase down references on the phone.

Xref, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, is a mobile-friendly reference checking software that recently expanded into North America. It has an impressive success rate: 98% of references conducted on its platform are completed.

SkillSurvey collects information about the candidates from multiple references using an anonymized survey that takes approximately 8 minutes to complete.

Video Interviewing

With the added convenience and flexibility, it’s no surprise that a recent survey found 63% of HR managers use video interviewing during their recruiting process.

Take The Interview is online video interview software geared towards enterprises. It offers analytics such as candidate completion rates to provide insights into your interview process.

Spark Hire, listed as a top recruiting software for video interviewing by Recruiter.com, touts its afford solution that scales from sole proprietors to enterprises. A recent feature it added is an online scheduling tool.

WePow, headquartered in Silicon Valley, offers features such as white-label employer branding, multiple languages, and 24/7 customer support.


Research shows more than 25% of the US workforce experiences a career transition every year. This makes onboarding, “the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs,” a top priority for HR.

BambooHR, rated a top recruiting software for onboarding, offers a self-service portal for new employees. As an HRIS geared towards SMBs, its other offerings include an ATS, payroll, and performance management.

Kin HR is onboarding software designed for small businesses. It offers a personalized onboarding page for every new hire with contact info, tasks, files, and tips. Other features include managing employee files and tracking time off.

28 Top Recruiting Software Of 2017

From job boards and aggregators to onboarding, this is my list of the 28 top recruiting software tools of 2017.

Any glaring omissions? Let me know in the comments!

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