In the increasingly fast-moving world of HR and recruitment, having digital depth-in-field to handle digital-first business workloads can be the difference between success and failure. 

The issues of hiring speed, flexibility and long-term effectiveness are acute within SMEs especially. Smaller companies with limited resources have forever battled against massive corporate hiring budgets to snare the best in class. In 2023 we predict this fight for talent will move into a new phase of hyper-competitiveness. 

The reasons are myriad – AI is slowly but resolutely taking a flamethrower to the dominance of Google; TikTok is becoming the world’s search engine; Gen Z workers are methodically changing workplaces; expectations in the wake of the pandemic are still changing, on and on the list goes. 

With big budgets come options – so how do small firms fight 6-figure HR departments? It all starts with your choice of Applicant Tracking System or recruitment CRM.

Here at Rectec, we see it as our mission to not only educate firms seeking HR tech where and where the best operators are in the market but to re-educate company owners and HR leads that the ATS and recruitment CRM market is one of the most exciting and innovative tech growth areas. And, critically, that even a modest investment in a well-placed ATS can take you above and beyond your hiring expectations.

Is it time to evaluate your ATS commitments?

Taking some time to analyse and evaluate what sort of value you get from an ATS is no bad thing – after all, you want to evolve as the recruitment market evolves and make the best and most effective hiring impact possible with the limited resources you have.

However, a common refrain we hear from SMEs struggling to hire, or for smaller companies looking at scaling, is that an ATS is nothing more than an “electronic filing cabinet”, and that investing in a more complex system isn’t a good use of limited resources. 

Well, once upon a time that’s exactly what they were – simple storage facilities to access a candidate or hire’s basic career and application information. 

But the sector has come a long way, and the ATS provider of 2023 is a far cry from the one you may have heard about in 2013. 

So here is why a well-placed ATS or recruitment CRM is ideal for UK SMEs.

Optimises recruitment outcomes. 

When time is money and money is limited, you want to make sure your hiring decisions are targeted, effective and relevant. Modern Applicant Tracking Systems and recruitment CRMs now provide an eagle-eyed proactive look into the recruitment market through innovative tools such as scouring social media platforms for talent; automating contact with existing candidates in the pipeline, and integrating recruitment stages such as interviewing, assessment testing, training, onboarding and feedback, as well as the basic keyword CV scanning facilities and administration/data handling.

Whatever ATS you choose has to be right for your company and your needs, and that’s the magic of the market – there are no hundreds of providers to choose from, each with their own variants of plug-and-play tooling and recruitment features for you to create a competitive and useful recruitment experience via one platform.


As mentioned above, the wide array of ATS and CRM vendors on the market means it’s never been a better time for an SME owner to dip into the market to find the right system for them. Prices are customisable and flexible, and feature/product innovation is rife. 

SaaS customisation as standard.

The wider HR tech market has emulated that of the wider online consumer and subscription market – you pay for what you want, discount what you don’t, and you can build a stack of useful recruitment tools on one platform that suits your needs, rather than the needs of the provider or what the market determines.

If you want to prioritise onboarding over skills testing, you can. If you want to guarantee seamless integration to external platforms as part of a larger stack, you can do that too – the options, if you look in the right place, are endless!


Buying into an ATS platform isn’t a knee-jerk purchase. We’ve found in conversation with our own customers that ATS users don’t want to constantly shop around every year for a new provider or feel like their service is limited – they want an ATS database and platform that works consistently, over years, and that can scale to requirement as the vendor user grows. 

An HR department (even if that department is a team of 1) without suitable administrative oversight, a secure CV database and an effective, efficient form of recruitment and retention is no HR department. As your company gets bigger you’ll need to rely on a platform to provide payroll, hiring, recruitment, performance management and L&D information rapidly. That’s where you need an ATS or recruitment CRM. 

A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best Applicant Tracking System or best Recruitment CRM to suit your needs, accompanied by our unique complementary technology marketplace, to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business.