What is the best SmartRecruiters alternative?

The modern market is flourishing with recruiting and applicant tracking systems of all kinds. And SmartRecruiters is one of the most popular out there. It’s robust, comparatively affordable, and does the job. Recruiters and hiring managers have been trusting the tool with their data since 2010.

However, nothing is perfect in this world. Many current and former SmartRecruiters users point out some crucial mishaps including the tool’s counterintuitive UX and countless glitches. Moreover, there are many complaints concerning their job editor, system of notifications, and inability to communicate with candidates effectively, among many other things.

Small and big companies are constantly in need of high-quality talents from various fields. And if one ATS solution does not grow to their expectations, they can easily find a dozen better alternatives. Migrating won’t take any more than a few days but will pay off in the form of increased productivity and optimized recruitment processes.

In this article, we want to talk about all the dissatisfactions that SmartRecruiters’ users have accumulated with the tool over the years. And to not leave you in the dark here, we’re also going to discuss how 100Hires can solve all of them and become the best SmartRecruiters alternative for your business. Stay tuned!

Common complaints with SmartRecruiters

While writing this article, our ultimate goal was to stay as transparent as we possibly can (given that we also provide an applicant tracking system called 100Hires). So, we decided to delve into it and analyze more than 1000 reviews of the SmartRecruiters app from review websites like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. 

Sure, we might be biased, but the real users aren’t. What you see below is a compilation of common complaints with the tool based on its users’ real reviews.

Poor UX

Many reviewers write that SmartRecruiters’ interface often feels too outdated and clunky. This inevitably leads to a poor user experience when customers are not able to quickly find what they need and don’t use most of the features. 

Moreover, some small business owners have complained that the tool feels a bit overwhelming with a lot of features that you don't even need. Such overload slows down the whole recruiting process and doesn't bring anything useful to the table.

Quote 1:

My clients didn't particularly love the software, and the look of it is a bit dated.

Quote 2:

UI & UX features could be improved, because it always feels good to have a symbolic representation of icons and buttons at relevant positions.


Other than poor UX, many users report that the app tends to crash quite frequently. It’s not just irritating but also causes loss of data and productivity.

Glitches and bugs are not that rare for the tool as well. Because of the low load speed and error messages, people find themselves constantly refreshing and restarting SmartRecruiters to make it do its job well.


It glitches a lot. There have been so many times that I try to update the status of a candidate, along the hiring process, and I cannot. Sometimes I would get a message saying that the candidate no longer existed or it would revert back to a previous status.

Emails and notifications

According to numerous reports and reviews, the SmartRecruiters’ system of notifications can be a mess. For one thing, the tool doesn’t have a robust email editor. This limits the ability to create professionally crafted email templates. Moreover, emails that recruiters do send with the help of the tool often end up in the spam folders

Quote 1:

[There’s no] ability to communicate with a candidate who has applied to multiple jobs on a per job basis. You can only communicate with a candidate one job at a time.

Due to numerous inconsistencies, many notifications just get lost in the course of work. For instance, the SmartRecruiters system doesn’t notify you about new emails from clients. Only a hiring manager can get a full set of notifications while recruiters often do not have a clue about what’s going on: 

Quote 2:

Notifications are kind of a bugger. There's a feature that allows constant notifications, but the only person that can get those constant notifications is the hiring manager. Why not the Recruiter too?


In general, SmartRecruiters may not be the most expensive APS software on the market. But it’s not the most affordable either. Compared to other solutions with similar sets of features, it may turn out to be quite a strain on your resources.

There’s a free version. But it’s very limited in functionality. The most irritating and restrictive thing about it is that you can only post 10 position openings with the tool. Compare this to the unlimited number of jobs included in the 100Hires free subscription plan.

Lack of integrations

It’s not that SmartRecruiters doesn’t offer enough integrations with third-party solutions, it’s just that sometimes the integrations it does offer feel out of control. The tool has a variety of solutions for connecting with other HR platforms, calendars, LinkedIn, and whatnot.

However, when it comes to the HR’s most important social media, many users report the problem with LinkedIn. It seems like after you scrape some information from there, you’ll be forced to do a lot of manual editing and double-checking.


[There are] many integration problems with LinkedIn (for the logo, the job description, ...), we sure do understand that Linkedin does its own changes, but if it affects SmartRecruiter and then comes to stain our branding or if we have to recheck and changes manually every job add both on SmartRecruiter and LInkedin, then there is no added value for us.

Job editor

The most important thing about any applicant tracking software is that you need to have full control over your job openings and how you handle them. That’s just the bread and butter of every recruiter and hiring manager. If your solution gives you a headache over how to edit your jobs, it’s a red flag right there.

Unfortunately, SmartRecruiters has attracted enough negative reviews mentioning numerous inconveniences regarding its job editor. Users often find themselves having trouble formatting their job openings after they’ve copied and pasted them from some other resources. Bullet points are the most painfully unstable thing when it comes to this.

Other than that, no one really enjoys the fact that you can’t create similar job posts in a few simple clicks. Instead, recruiters who work with the tool are forced to come up with new ads’ creatives every time they need to post virtually one job opening.


If you have a nurse needed in many areas, you have to recreate the ad and find new ways to describe a nurse opening. It's very time-consuming.

At last, there’s no way to manually merge two similar candidate profiles into one. When someone applies to several positions, you have to keep those identical profiles separately. And when you do hire someone, their applications to other jobs don’t get eliminated automatically.


When a candidate applies to more than one role and is hired to one role the rest of the applications should be eliminated so he/she doesn't remain available.

Recruitment pipeline and candidate search

The recruitment pipeline is an easy and convenient way to visualize your entire hiring process and break it down into key elements. Some companies have simple procedures that include two or three stages like screening, interviewing, and test assignments. At the same time, there are businesses that take their time hiring new candidates and walk them through a dozen proceedings before finally deciding on someone.

Every approach has its pros and cons. But no matter what, you need a clear understanding of all the stages involved in your recruiting process.

The SmartRecruiters solution presents some challenges in this area, too. Many users complain about its inconvenience and inability to find candidates’ profiles quickly and easily.


You can't see how many candidates were applied, screened, interviewed, hired. All you can see who is hired and who is rejected. You have to leave the candidate in the final status and not reject them to keep them in the last stage that the candidate went through.

When it comes to finding some necessary information in your ATS app, the search feature is very limited in possibilities. You can’t set your custom search criteria that will apply to your business’ needs and niche as it’s only possible to use the tool’s predefined fields (e.g., location, degree, etc.)


[There’s no way to allow] customers to define the fields from the candidate profile to use for searching and sorting (e.g., technical expertise, field of study, industry-specific terms, etc.)

Quote 3:

Search capability is very limited and the results are very poor, gotten to point that I don't use it to search for skills. Even searching names can be challenging. The ability filter on multiple categories of data is limited.

Interview scheduling

If you want to use SmartRecruiters for maintaining video interviews, you’re in the wrong place. The tool doesn’t offer the ability to record video talks with your candidates.

Scheduling an interview with a candidate can be challenging with SmartRecruiters, too. Even though the tool does offer integrations with Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange Calendar, and Office 365, the most popular appointment scheduling solution is not on their list. I’m talking about Calendly. And some users complain about this oversight.


I see some need for automation with interview scheduling or at least an integration with a solution like Calendly.


SmartRecruiters shows its admin users a couple of standard sets of reports like sourcing analytics or pipeline analytics with candidates’ hiring statuses. The tool also offers the ability to create your custom reports on things like applicant flow of diversity reports, among many things. 

So, it’s all the more surprising that it doesn’t allow its users to access something as simple as weekly reports about team performance.


Reporting features are very limited on SmartRecruiters. You're not able to run reports on what your team did throughout the week.

Why 100Hires is the best SmartRecruiters alternative

100Hires is a free applicant tracking system for full-cycle recruitment. You can use the tool for everything from sourcing candidates to reaching out to them via various channels to making final evaluations. There’s even a handy Chrome extension that can help recruiters import candidates from Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook, Github, and whatnot.

But, what are the main benefits of the 100Hires solution if compared to SmartRecruiters?

Sleek modern design

100Hire is a relatively new solution on the market of mammoth ATS solutions most of which were founded more than 10 years ago. So, there’s no surprise that its UX and UI designers have used all the modern technologies to make this software modern, intuitive, and easy to use.

The main dashboard is divided into six main sections: Candidates, Jobs, Mailbox, Tasks, Settings, and Reports. Create job openings, fuel them with both active and passive candidates, and keep all communications in one place.

360-degree overview of your recruitment pipeline

Every job opening is placed under the ‘Jobs’ section and contains the most exhaustive information you might need. On top of that, you can access its pipeline view and get a grasp on how the hiring process for this opening is going on. Customize any pipeline stage, add your custom ones, and move candidates between them preserving their full data.

Affordable pricing

100Hires can become a great SmartRecruiters alternative when it comes to its pricing model as well. Paid subscription plans start from only $129/mo if billed annually. In addition to its affordable prices, the tool offers a generous free subscription package that includes all the premium features but with less credits.

If you’re tired of numerous shortcomings of your current recruiting software, try 100Hires right now. It’s free!

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