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Lines are Getting Blurry: Are ATSs Becoming Job Boards?


If you follow my blog, you know that I often complain about applicant tracking systems (ATS) – mostly in relation to what they don’t for candidates and how they can hurt job boards (via poor source tracking).

But it’s a fact that ATSs have migrated from the Fortune 500 to the rest of the business world – growing in functionality and dropping in price. As this has happened, lines have gotten blurrier between where the job board (traditionally the first line of recruitment marketing for most organizations) ends and the ATS begins. We’ve seen hybrids – think SmartRecruiter and SmashFly – that merge some type of ATS to an integrated recruitment marketing platform. And of course, all along there have been job boards with ATSs of their own.

Which leads me to wonder: are ATSs becoming job boards? Are they simply engulfing the traditional role of job boards – to market job postings to candidates?

Or maybe we should flip the question: are job boards becoming ATSs? Are job boards – simply as a matter of survival – adding more ATS-like features to retain clients?