Applicant Tracking System Selection:
“Best-of-Breed” or “Part of the Suite”?

At some point, most organizations face a decades old decision within their Human Resource department when selecting an Applicant Tracking System: “Best-of-Breed” or “Part of the Suite”? 

“Best-of-breed” is the best product available to solve a defined, specific business problem. The entire mission of that product or company is to solve the exact problem you’re facing. Conversely, larger suites of software often offer a module that might work for your problem, but it won’t be nearly as robust.

There are benefits to using the suite-based approach, such as having one vendor, a common user interface, and one log-in. However, there are negatives to weigh as well: there will be feature gaps; the add-on won’t solve your problem completely; and the product is not likely to have world-class support dedicated to a specific problem. 

The tradeoff in your evaluation is often straightforward: do I want the best product possible to solve my problem, or would I rather have the convenience of all of my department’s software under one vendor? If you want one tool to handle everything in HR, the suite approach might be best for you. But if recruiting and hiring is of critical importance for you, we suggest you would benefit from a product that exists solely to solve that need. Plus, best-of-breed software has additional benefits: 

A company that has developed a standalone ATS will know their software on an expert level and remain dedicated to improving it continuously.

It will have a customer success team dedicated to ensuring you get maximum value from the solution, which can include dedicated account managers to provide support on how best to shape your processes from implementation and training through standard system support.

A best-of-breed Applicant Tracking System should be flexible enough to tailor workflows, user roles, and other features to your desired process (and at times, even expose a better way forward).

The evolution of software as a service (SaaS) protocols and APIs means you usually have a direct connection to any other HR systems you may need, such as payroll or an HRIS.

The product team will be infinitely more knowledgeable on what’s emerging in the industry, as opposed to a company for which recruiting is just one small piece of their overall solution, leading to proactive development instead of reactive patches.

At KeldairHR, our sole reason for existing is simple: we are here to give you a modern and intelligent approach to recruiting and hiring so that you can find the best person each time you need to hire. Though you may be tempted to settle for the add-on module, in the end, you’ll be sacrificing quality for convenience, and that’s no way to build your team.