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Best applicant tracking systems for staffing agencies

Find out how integrating an ATS with a Recruitment CRM can streamline your staffing agency's recruitment process.
Last update
Mar 28, 2024
Best applicant tracking systems for staffing agencies
Doriane Stagnol
Best applicant tracking systems for staffing agencies

Forget spreadsheets. If you're a staffing agency, you need the most effective tools and resources available to stay ahead of the game. From application to offer, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) streamlines the hiring process. In one place, you can manage hundreds of applications, find the most suitable candidates with advanced filters, and automate communication. But there's a catch: while ATSs excel at handling inbound applications, they often overlook outbound recruiting and nurturing long-term relationships. It's here where Recruitment Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) comes in. 

It complements your ATS by enriching your recruitment strategy, allowing you to proactively engage and maintain connections with top talent. Dive into this guide to discover the 5 best applicant tracking systems for staffing agencies, and how an ATS/CRM solution can transform your talent acquisition process, making you better at everything you do, every day.

What is an ATS and why do you need an ATS for your recruiting agency ?

What’s an ATS?

An Applicant Tracking System is software that manages job applications and the recruitment process. It allows all job applications for a position to be collected in one place, making it easier to manage and review them. An ATS can be installed on a computer or used online. It often integrates with other systems like CRM or HRIS (Human Resources Information System) for smoother operation. 

This system helps sort through applications, picking out the most suitable applicants for the job. It searches for specific keywords in resumes or uses algorithms to analyze applicants' information. It's designed to make the hiring process more efficient by organizing applicant data, scheduling interviews, and automating communication between candidates and the hiring team.

What can you do with your ATS?

With your ATS, you can efficiently manage inbound candidates. This is especially useful if your main way of finding applicants is through job postings. The Applicant Tracking System  lets you keep track of all applications from your job ads in one organized place. With this system, you can easily review resumes, filter applicants according to specific criteria, and track candidates throughout the entire hiring process. 

It's a great tool for when you have a high volume of applicants from job postings, helping you to handle and engage with these applicants more effectively and systematically.

What are the limits of an ATS?

While an Applicant Tracking System  is helpful for managing the flood of applicants from job postings, it has its limitations. One main drawback is its focus mainly on inbound recruitment, leaving out outbound recruiting strategies. So, if you're actively reaching out to potential candidates, you may not need an ATS. 

It can also be difficult to find previous applicants within its database. If you're trying to reconnect with someone who applied in the past or want to review former applicants for a new position, finding their information quickly isn't always straightforward. This can be a hiccup in ensuring a smooth and efficient recruitment process, especially when tapping into your existing talent pool.

What about a recruitment CRM for your staffing agency ?

What is a recruitment CRM?

A recruitment CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) system is a dynamic platform designed to transform staffing agencies' management and interaction with their candidates. It offers a range of functionalities that enhance the recruitment process:

  • Integration with ATS: It works alongside your Applicant Tracking System  to keep your candidate database up-to-date, searchable, and well-maintained.
  • Nurturing talent pools: The system excels in fostering long-term relationships with candidates, ensuring you're their first thought when new opportunities arise.
  • Improving response rates: By maintaining these relationships, you'll see higher engagement and response rates from applicants.
  • Efficiency in sourcing: Spend less time looking for the right talent thanks to a robust pool of readily available candidates.
  • Engaging prospects and clients: Beyond applicants, a recruitment CRM enables proactive engagement with prospects and clients, strengthening those essential connections.

These features empower recruiters to build a more efficient, responsive, and personalized recruitment strategy.

👉 Looking for a Candidate Relationship Management tool? Check our article "Best candidate relationship management tools" to compare pricing, features, and reviews. 

Why to choose Leonar CRM?

Choosing Leonar CRM for your recruitment needs brings a suite of powerful features designed to streamline your outreach and data management efforts:

  • Outreach across channels: Leonar enables you to conduct outreach campaigns via LinkedIn, InMail, and email, ensuring you reach candidates where they are most active.
  • Automation of sequences: Automate your messaging sequences to maintain consistent communication with less manual effort, providing timely follow-ups and engagement.
  • Seamless ATS integration: Leonar seamlessly interfaces with your existing ATS, allowing for real-time data updates, maintenance, and efficient candidate searches within your ATS database.

These features save time but also enhance candidate engagement, providing a more personalized recruitment experience.

Top 5 ATS for staffing agencies


Recruiterflow uniquely combines ATS and CRM functionalities, streamlining the hiring process especially in sourcing talents across job boards and social networks. 

Key features include:

  • Targeted drip campaigns and automated candidate outreach
  • Robust email integration for seamless communication within hiring teams
  • Customizable hiring workflows and a user-friendly interface for a better candidate experience

Pros: Enhances talent engagement through continuous and personalized email communication. Offers a customizable career page integrated with LinkedIn for easier application processes. Very good for multi posting.

Cons: Lacks a comprehensive dashboard for daily activities and updates, and some users have experienced software lags. The mobile app could also benefit from improvements for user-friendliness.


Bullhorn, widely recognized in the recruiting industry, offers a comprehensive ATS and CRM cloud-based solution, supporting recruiters through the entire staffing process. 

Key features include:

  • AI-powered resume parsing and job matching
  • Relationship intelligence with pulse and radar for monitoring interactions
  • Advanced reporting and analytics for recruitment insights

Pros: Integrates with various tools like Gmail, Outlook, and LinkedIn for streamlined workflows. Offers extensive functionalities beyond typical ATS software, including bulk email capabilities.

Cons: Bullhorn is known to be quite expensive and lacks a free version (and transparent pricing). Basic plan misses LinkedIn integration and unlimited data storage. Some users find the interface less intuitive.


Loxo stands out as an all-in-one talent intelligence platform, integrating ATS, CRM, and various recruitment tools into one system. 

Key features include:

  • Access to over 1.2 billion profiles for comprehensive candidate sourcing
  • Outbound recruiting tools for engaging applicants through email, SMS, and calls
  • AI and machine learning for candidate recommendations and task automation

Pros: Offers a vast database with verified contact details and allows for automated, multichannel candidate outreach.

Cons: Users have reported challenges with data import/export and a steep learning curve. The platform is also priced higher than many competitors.


RecruitCRM is an all-in-one cloud-based recruitment software that effectively combines Applicant Tracking System and CRM functionalities, streamlining the entire recruiting process. 

Key features include:

  • User-friendly interface for ease of navigation
  • Visual pipeline for candidate tracking
  • Self-service candidate portal
  • Direct candidate sourcing from LinkedIn

Pros: Features a modern interface with minimal setup, offers a comprehensive overview of candidate statuses, and integrates with Zapier for extensive app connections.

Cons: Lacks a calendar view for interview scheduling, has a limited note-taking capacity on candidate records, and ongoing updates may challenge users adapting to new features.


ZohoRecruit integrates ATS and CRM, offering comprehensive talent acquisition capabilities. It provides access to a vast database for sourcing, alongside AI recommendations. 

Key features include:

  • Single-click job posting on 75+ boards
  • Customizable hiring pipelines
  • Advanced candidate tracking and engagement tools
  • Automation for streamlined hiring processes
  • Integration with numerous Zoho and third-party tools

Pros: It's known for affordability, ease of use, and excellent integration capabilities, making it a go-to for small to medium-sized businesses. The software also receives praise for its user-friendly interface and effective customer support.

Cons: Users have reported occasional performance issues, especially when handling large datasets, and some have found third-party tool integration challenging. Its reporting and analytics functionalities might not be as advanced as those offered by other platforms.

👉 Want more to compare? Check this: The top 11 best Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Best ATS for recruiting agencies: wrapping up

It's no secret: the best ATS for staffing agencies integrate with CRMs. It can make all the difference. With an Applicant Tracking System, you don't miss out on top talent among the sea of applicants. While a recruitment CRM lets you build and maintain relationships with candidates, ensuring they think of you first when new opportunities arise. You'll be able to manage both inbound and outbound recruiting efficiently and nurture long-term connections with prospects with this dynamic duo.

By embracing these technologies, you can make your recruiting process more efficient and your results better. ATSs and recruitment CRMs work together to help you attract, engage, and retain top talent. Take the leap and start using these software now. You'll have a stronger, more connected talent pool ready to meet your clients' needs. Want to know more about recruiting CRM and Leonar?  Book a quick and free demo today! Ready to try it? Start your free trial now!!

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Leonar CRM helps recruiters hire the best candidates by building an efficient talent acquisition system

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