July 5, 2023

Top Candidate Relationship Management Software (2024)

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Our top candidate relationship management (CRM) software choices include the following:

  • Avature is the best overall CRM for enterprises.
  • iCIMS Talent Cloud is best for mid to large-sized businesses focusing on candidate experience.
  • Beamery is the best stand-alone CRM for optimizing your career site.
  • Workday Talent Management is best for upskilling existing talent sources.
  • Zoho Recruit is best for SMBs needing scalable CRM features.

If none of these options are right for you, check out our Recruiting Software Guide to browse a full list of solutions.

We picked our choices with you in mind.

First, we evaluated 15 candidate relationship management solutions based on current options and the reviews of customers like you. We then narrowed our selections to the platforms that best addressed your top-of-mind concerns, such as email or SMS drip campaigns, career site building, and benchmarking analytics.

We researched the following platforms when narrowing our choices:

  • Sense
  • Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Platform
  • Freshteam by Freshworks
  • Grayscale
  • Gem
  • Radancy
  • TalentLyft
  • PeoplePath CRM
  • Rakuna Recruiting CRM
  • SmartRecruiters
  • PCRecruiter
  • Recruiter Flow
  • Symphony Talent
  • Trakstar
  • Jobvite

As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Top candidate relationship management software recommendations

Standout feature Starting price Free trial?
Avature Email drip campaigns Contact sales No Visit Avature
iCIMS Talent Cloud Chatbot assistant Contact sales No Visit iCIMS
Beamery Career site tools Contact sales No Visit Beamery
Workday Talent Management Skills mapping Contact sales No Visit Workday
Zoho Recruit Résumé parsing $25/recruiter/mo. or free plan 14-day Visit Zoho

Most CRMs target enterprise-level businesses and, as a result, keep their prices hidden. For a better understanding of HR software pricing, check out How Much Does HR Software Cost in 2023?

Avature: Best overall CRM for enterprises



  • The breadth of features may be too advanced for new CRM users.
  • No system-level administrator controls, so you must work with your account manager to configure access permissions.
  • Users report inconsistent response times from customer service.

Avature is an enterprise-level CRM that helps your recruitment team build qualified talent pools. Although Avature also includes an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help shepherd applicants down the recruitment funnel, its primary goal is to help you source passive candidates for your open job posts.

To do this, Avature offers advanced candidate marketing and sourcing tools, such as email and SMS marketing automation, semantic search, and customizable reporting dashboards. Additional capabilities, such as custom-branded career sites, landing pages, and real-time analytics, can help measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and strategize for future hiring needs.

Beyond sourcing candidates, Avature also keeps a repository of silver medal candidates, or those who didn’t make the cut for a role initially. As a result, you already have a talent pool to source from and evaluate in the event of a critical open role, fast-tracking your time-to-hire and other recruitment metrics.

Advanced email marketing

With Avature, you can use email templates or create custom-branded emails to enhance your marketing campaigns. Tracking data, including open, click-through, bounce, and unsubscribe rates, and A/B testing capabilities allow you to test what worked and what didn’t to improve your candidate messaging strategy.

Recruitment analytics

Avature allows you to develop customized CRM dashboards to access crucial metrics of your recruitment campaigns at-a-glance. For example, to measure the health of your campaigns and adjust messaging as necessary, Avature gives you access to the following metrics:

  • Candidate NPS.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  • Sourcing location.
  • Career page.
  • Landing page.
Advanced sourcing

Avature’s WebSource feature lets you search for relevant candidates from the web without leaving the platform. By inputting job roles and locations, you can pull qualified candidate information from sites like Facebook, Google, or Monster, automatically add them to your recruitment pipeline, and reduce your time manually sourcing talent.

The Avature platform displays data sourcing parameters for java programming, software developer, and cyber security developer queries.
Using Avature’s WebSource interface can help you generate leads with the right skillsets for your open roles so you can spend more time evaluating candidates instead. Source: Avature

Avature is an excellent solution for larger organizations seeking advanced features and the ability to create strategic marketing campaigns. With trackable data and analytics, you can make informed decisions on the best candidates and what keeps them interested.

However, due to its focus on high-volume hiring and engagement across multiple brands and international markets, we advise against using it for small or midsize companies with limited open roles. Nonetheless, it is a valuable tool for promoting your brand and engaging large candidate pools, even with a small recruitment team.


Like Avature, Grayscale includes a vast set of features to engage and nurture candidates through hiring, onboarding, and retention. In particular, its email and SMS automation can keep candidates up to date on their applications without needing to write personalized messages.


Radancy targets enterprise businesses looking for advanced candidate marketing strategies. Although it does not include ATS or onboarding modules, its employee value proposition (EVP) and creative development services help you create personalized engagement campaigns to up your brand awareness with applicants.

iCIMS Talent Cloud: Best for medium to large-sized businesses


  • Global support in 20 different languages.
  • Opportunity marketplace for internal applicants.
  • AI to help reduce bias and improve DEI initiatives.
  • Support for virtual hiring events.


  • Users report that it is difficult to reach support for issues.
  • Steep learning curve to understand and customize its reporting features.
  • Limited native HR software integrations (ADP, UKG, and Ceridian) compared to other CRMs.

Like Avature, iCIMS Talent Cloud is best for enterprises that want to optimize how they attract and engage candidates for their open roles. Although Avature covers more ground than iCIMS in terms of offered features, if you are looking solely for a solution to improve the candidate experience during recruitment, iCIMS is the better bet.

For example, iCIMS includes the following candidate-focused elements to make recruitment an easier experience for candidates:

  • Virtual hiring events to understand your company before applying.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) text-chatting with candidates to answer questions about open roles.
  • Interview self-scheduling.
  • Text-to-apply feature for applying on the go.

As a CRM, iCIMS offers advanced analytics to help you measure the ROI of your candidate-focused initiatives. With iCIMS, you can track where candidates are applying from, such as job boards, email campaigns, or career websites. This information can help you invest more in sources that provide high-quality candidates while reducing investment in less effective sources.

Video testimonials

iCIMS offers an easy-to-use video editing platform to craft engaging content to put on your career site, email campaigns, or job descriptions. Your employees can even create their own videos showcasing their roles and increase your company’s relatability. With analytics and closed captioning available in over 100 languages, you can measure the success of your video strategy while expanding your market reach.

AI-powered chatbot

iCIMS uses an AI-powered digital assistant to help candidates and recruiters during recruitment. You can choose to put the digital assistant on your career site as a chatbot or within texting campaigns through SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

iCIMS’ digital assistant helps candidates with self-service support, such as application status, and inputs data automatically into your talent pipeline. As a result, your recruiters save time from responding to common questions and focus instead on finding the best talent.

The iCIMS chatbot engages a prospective candidate.
Use iCIMS’ text engagement tools to make it easier for potential candidates to apply to your positions from their mobile devices. Source: iCIMS Talent Cloud

iCIMS Talent Cloud uses SMS, emailing, video, career sites, and virtual career fairs to target candidates through various means. Candidates can even use intuitive career site searching and iCIMS digital assistant to find jobs meeting their qualifications and answers to their hiring questions quickly. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a solution to offload some of the administrative tasks of sourcing while ensuring an engaging brand awareness-to-hiring experience, iCIMS is a great option.


Sense’s Talent Relationship Management (TRM) platform provides similar features to iCIMS, including an AI chatbot to assist candidates with job matching, interview scheduling, pre-screening questions, and FAQs. It also includes a database cleanup automation that reaches out to past candidates for updated contact information to ensure your data remains accurate for future use.


Gem includes CRM and ATS capabilities and can help you source candidates from over 20 platforms and social media channels. Gem also works with popular ATS vendors like Breezy HR, Bullhorn, Greenhouse, JazzHR, Teamtailor, and Lever to improve your company’s branding and candidate experience without sacrificing your current recruitment software.

Beamery: Best stand-alone CRM for optimizing your career site



  • Lacks an integrated ATS to improve pipeline efficiency.
  • Must integrate with Brazen, Mya, or Paradox for recruiting chatbots.
  • Recruiter interface is available only in English; you must purchase translations of training or other resource materials in another language as part of the implementation process.

As a stand-alone CRM platform, Beamery does not include an ATS or onboarding module like other enterprise-grade competitors, such as Avature and iCIMS Talent Cloud. Instead, you can think of Beamery as an add-on to augment your existing recruitment tools by re-engaging past applicants.

In particular, Beamery helps companies leverage both outbound and inbound recruitment strategies. For example, Beamery enables you to create a career website with your company branding and information to gather valuable prospect information. Simple, flexible editing tools allow you to arrange the content on your site how you want, which means you don’t have to have a dedicated IT or web development team to implement it.

Additionally, Beamery’s career site helps lead candidates down the recruitment funnel by offering them intelligent job-searching options and a dynamic talent network that displays relevant openings matching their skills and experience. In turn, any application data collected is automatically added to your talent pipeline so you can act on qualified prospects quickly.

Bias analysis

Beamery’s AI scans the job descriptions on your career site for signs of implicit biases and readability and provides guidance for improvement. Its career sites also follow WCAG 2.1 AA to make it more accessible to individuals with disabilities. This can help increase the number of diverse candidates applying to your roles and improve your DEI initiatives.

Candidate portals

Candidates can create profiles on your job site, search for opportunities meeting their experience, and save jobs of interest. Creating a portal on your website also means they receive content related to their skills, roles, experiences, or interests and curated marketing events to encourage applying.

The Beamery platform displays a portal candidates can use to track their applications.
Candidates can mark open roles they are interested in applying to and use their candidate portals to apply when it is convenient for them. Source: Beamery

Beamery is a great choice if you are satisfied with your ATS but want to add on a tool to strengthen your brand marketing and draw valuable insights, like untapped candidate skills, from the talent data you’ve already collected. Beamery’s career sites are also beginner-friendly, so you can focus on your brand messaging to increase candidate conversion.

Symphony Talent

Like Beamery, Symphony Talent is a stand-alone CRM without a native ATS. However, if you’re looking for assistance in developing your company’s brand and EVP, Symphony Talent offers those services as an add-on to build your talent strategy from the ground up.


Jobvite includes CRM, ATS, and onboarding modules, but, like Beamery, it also offers specific DEI tools to mitigate bias. Its bias blocker tool is especially noteworthy, as it hides information like names and locations to promote a fairer evaluation process.

Visit Jobvite

Workday Talent Management: Best for upskilling existing talent


  • Integrates with Workday’s HCM platform for insight into the entire employee life cycle.
  • Includes talent acquisition, optimization, and learning to align talent needs with your overall strategy.
  • Skills mapping from résumé parsing to help candidates match with your open positions.


  • Because of the reported high cost, not best for organizations with limited hiring needs.
  • Users report native ATS does not provide the same granular control as other third-party solutions.
  • Requires comprehensive training to understand and make use of its full capabilities.

Workday is well-known for its all-in-one HCM suite that helps manage employees across the entire employee life cycle. Because of this, it houses a vast amount of employment data of lagging and leading indicators to monitor company health and strategize for growth. 

Workday Talent Management offers CRM features like branded career sites, landing pages, automated recruitment campaigns, and AI to parse candidate résumés and recommend relevant jobs. But it maps out your workforce’s skills so that you can leverage your existing internal talent for projects without hiring new employees.

For example, Workday’s AI can help employees determine their relevant skills based on their roles and add them to their profiles. From there, Workday helps them with their career planning, providing personalized development suggestions, job interest assessments, opportunity graphs, and a talent marketplace to apply for open internal roles.

According to a 2022 Paychex survey, 63% of respondents indicated they are more likely to stay at their organization if they provide career advancement opportunities. If you’re concerned with boosting employee engagement and retention while minimizing attrition, Workday Talent Management can help you develop a culture of continuous improvement to keep employees challenged and invested in their roles.

Workday VNDLY

Workday’s VNDLY add-on allows you to automate job requisition, source candidates, and quickly fill global skill gaps for your contingent work. VNDLY’s interface also provides these contingent workers with a comparable hiring and onboarding experience to your employees so they feel like part of your team.

Opportunity marketplace

Workday’s opportunity marketplace acts as a centralized hub for existing employees to view, search for, and apply to open positions in your workplace. Employees can input their skills to identify ideal roles, ask for career feedback, and connect with mentors to promote internal mobility and growth.

The Workday platform displays the career hub, where internal candidates can explore new job opportunities without leaving the company.
Workday’s opportunity marketplace highlights all of your open positions in one place, making it easy for your current talent to identify roles or short-term opportunities for development or permanent placement. Source: Workday

Workday uses machine learning to analyze current talent pools, make recommendations, and even monitor skill deficiencies in the workforce to plan strategic marketing campaigns. Combining its talent module with the rest of its HCM suite makes it a great option to leverage your existing talent pool as either a cost-saving measure or a learning and development strategy.

Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience

Phenom also includes an entire module dedicated to the employee experience, with a similar talent marketplace and internal gig, mentorship, and career pathing features. You can also use it to help develop employee resource groups (ERGs) and promote open roles to diverse candidates.


Use SmartRecruiters instead of Workday if you still need an ATS and onboarding capabilities but don’t require an internal skills network database. SmartRecruiters offers equivalent AI-powered sourcing and marketing tools, like career sites and drip campaigns, to maintain a healthy talent pool.

Zoho Recruit: Best for SMBs needing scalability


  • Free plan and 15-day free trial.
  • Support for staffing agencies, such as client and vendor portals and collaborative reporting.
  • Integrates with other Zoho HR products, like Zoho People.
  • Localizes its career site in 27 languages to extend talent reach.


  • Forever free plan has a maximum storage of 256 MB, which may be limiting to some customers. 
  • You must purchase the top two tiers to access customizable reports and dashboards.

Zoho Recruit is the only option on our list with transparent pricing and features. It is also the most affordable, with a free version and a 14-day free trial. Plus, if you’re already using any of Zoho’s vast range of HR, financial, sales, or project management products, you can easily integrate Zoho Recruit to create a comprehensive enterprise solution.

Besides an ATS to help automate rote tasks and improve pipeline efficiency, Zoho Recruit also has features to show off your organization’s brand and attract potential hires. For example, with Zoho you can:

  • Build a custom-branded, SEO-friendly career site and embed it on your website.
  • Implement a candidate portal to simplify the application process and continually collect data for future hiring needs.
  • Automatically post to multiple job boards and social media sites at once.
  • Import data directly into your hiring funnel from social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Use its AI chatbot Zia to help candidates apply for open positions and keep them apprised of their application status.

More advanced features, like customized workflow automation and AI recruitment features, are only available if purchasing Zoho’s higher-priced Professional or Enterprise tiers. However, Zoho Recruit’s free plan allows you to craft your own career site to start brand awareness. As your hiring volume increases, you change plans to accommodate additional functionality.

Predictive analytics

Zoho’s predictive analytics allow you to plan for future hiring needs by analyzing past hiring data to forecast trends. You can even compare this data to current industry and economic data to plan strategic recruitment campaigns that stand out against your competition.

Résumé parsing

Zoho Recruit can parse résumés on behalf of the recruiter or candidate for better sourcing or application experience. For recruiters, Zoho can parse résumé data from LinkedIn, social media sites, and Outlook and add the appropriate data directly into their pipeline. Meanwhile, candidates can upload their résumés to Zoho’s Zia chatbot to scan and suggest roles meeting their qualifications.

Zoho Recruit's intelligent Career Assistant chatbot matches a candidate's resume with job openings.
Zoho’s Zia chatbot can parse candidates’ uploaded résumés, make suggestions for relevant jobs, and help them apply to increase your application count. Source: Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit is unique as it offers several different product tiers, including a free version, to accommodate varying recruitment needs. This makes Zoho Recruit versatile enough to fit the needs of small, medium, and large businesses needing to develop their recruitment market strategy and start hiring at scale.


TalentLyft is another affordable solution for small and medium businesses (SMBs) wanting to enhance their current recruitment marketing without turning to enterprise-level solutions. Starting at $40.83 per month for two active jobs, you get access to branded career sites, job posting syndication, and a Chrome sourcing extension to begin building up your talent pool.


On the opposite end of the scale, if you’re a recruitment agency, Recruiterflow is an affordable solution to start collecting and developing candidate pipelines for your clients. Its basic tier starts at $85 per month per user and offers career pages, client portals, and placement records.

Candidate relationship management software FAQs

Candidate relationship management (CRM) software is a type of software that helps organizations engage passive candidates as part of their overall recruitment strategy. These platforms aim to create a pool of vetted candidates that recruiters can tap at a moment’s notice when a new position opens.

Because CRMs collect a large amount of candidate data, companies traditionally add CRM tools to existing applicant tracking systems (ATS) or human capital management (HCM) solutions to accommodate high-volume hiring. However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can also use CRMs to build brand awareness and strengthen candidate-recruiter relationships.

Both candidate and customer relationship management software perform similar brand awareness functions to attract candidates or customers. However, candidate relationship management systems source and engage candidates through recruitment. Meanwhile, customer relationship management software finds and nurtures customers through sales.

While many good ATS platforms include some elements of CRM, their main goal is to optimize the recruitment process once a candidate enters the hiring funnel. ATSs allow recruiters to increase efficiency by collecting, screening, interviewing, and progressing or regressing candidates through the recruitment pipeline from a centralized platform.

In contrast, CRMs are more strategic. They help organizations develop a recruitment marketing strategy to attract candidates before they enter the funnel. They can also assist companies in identifying valuable skills in past or current talent to support succession planning and upskilling. 

There are several benefits to adding a CRM to your recruitment software toolkit, including:

  • Automates candidate outreach through email or SMS drip campaigns.
  • Optimizes candidate experience from application to hire.
  • Identifies untapped skills from current talent.
  • Provides advanced reporting and analytics to craft your candidate marketing strategy.

How to choose the top candidate relationship management system

The goal of a CRM is to help build up your talent pipeline to strengthen your brand and ensure a steady stream of qualified candidates as your talent needs change. While selecting the right CRM is ultimately a business decision around budget, hiring needs, and required features, our shortlist can start you on the path to finding the right solution.

  • Choose Avature if you need a comprehensive and customizable solution for your enterprise’s high-volume hiring.
  • Select iCIMS Talent Cloud to enhance the candidate recruitment experience for your medium to large business.
  • Pick Beamery for a stand-alone CRM to help elevate your career site.
  • Go with Workday Talent Management to identify and leverage talent from your current workforce.
  • Choose Zoho Recruit if you’re a small or medium business wanting scalable CRM capabilities.

However, if you’re still unsure if these solutions are right for you, check out our ​​Recruiting and Applicant Tracking System software guides complete lists of recruitment tools.

Jessica Dennis Avatar

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