December 2, 2016

Workable vs. ZipRecruiter: A Non-Comparison Post

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Tags: HR

One recruiting software tool can be vastly different from the next, and comparing Workable vs. ZipRecruiter proves that. 

Here are some analogies I came up with:

  • ZipRecruiter = hammer; Workable = tool shed
  • ZipRecruiter = apple; Workable = apple tree
  • ZipRecruiter = microphone; Workable = audio soundboard
  • ZipRecruiter = a tube of paint; Workable = the art supply store

You get the picture. What’s important to remember here is that each of these products is useful in its own right, but you’re not going to use them for the same purpose. Both are in the recruiting software category, but that’s about where their similarities end.  

Workable calls their product “The most popular applicant tracking software.” Although they don’t define a sample group, there are quite a few five-star reviews on the web. People seem pretty happy using Workable’s complete, end-to-end applicant tracking system

ZipRecruiter, on the other hand, provides coverage for your job postings on major job boards and a searchable database of candidates. Think of it as a job posting tool, rather than an applicant tracking system.

Just to warn you from the outset: This is going to be an unbalanced comparison when you look strictly at the number of features. That aside, both products have high satisfaction ratings for what their features provide. Here we go. 

Candidate Sourcing

ZipRecruiter candidate views

ZipRecruiter shines at this. Actually, candidate sourcing is ZipRecruiter’s primary feature. Upload your job description to their platform, and ZipRecruiter will push that description to hundreds of paid and free job boards. You do have to provide a zip code or other location identifier, but you can source candidates from anywhere in the world.

ZipRecruiter boasts a database of over nine million job seekers where you can search for candidates and go after the best. They also send a daily email to candidates where your opening can feature prominently. Some extras in this category include a hosted Careers page you can easily add to your website, social media sharing, and “boosted” posts that rise higher in the overall listings.

Workable provides technology resources to help you promote your job opening on your site and within your social network. The platform offers a hosted Careers page that automatically updates when you make a change to the position in Workable, and you can build a custom jobs tab on your Facebook page.

Use the Workable People Source browser app to source candidate information from social media and public online data into a central view. Workable provides syndication to premium job boards, and you pay per applicant rather than per posting. They also provide a shortlink for every job, so you can post on job boards outside of the Workable network.

When choosing between these pieces of software, you should consider how strong your current network of candidates is and whether you want to source from outside that network. ZipRecruiter can connect you with candidates that you might otherwise not reach. Workable gathers potential applicants from the corners of your network or who already have some knowledge of your company.

Resume Handling

Both of these options provide pre-screening questions that your applicants must answer prior to submitting their resume. These questions immediately remove candidates who don’t meet the job requirements, which cuts down on the amount of time you spend reading unqualified resumes. Both Workable and ZipRecruiter have features to organize, tag, and view your candidates’ resumes. They also offer automated and personalized email responses to send to candidates when they apply for a position.

Workable has a resume parsing tool that can pull experience and education data from resumes and upload it into a candidate profile that houses all of the applicant’s data. ZipRecruiter lets candidates upload resumes to keep on file, and their overall profile helps you search the database.

ZipRecruiter’s capabilities do not extend beyond resume organization. If you have a current workflow for scoring and interviewing candidates, you’ll need to export your data and upload it to that system.

Interview and Beyond

Workable Candidate CRM

After sourcing your candidates, Workable turns into a CRM for your applicant pool. It connects to your calendars, email, and your actual CRM so you can provide a single view of candidates across all systems. With these capabilities, you can schedule interviews, provide feedback, email candidates, and score responses. A mobile app provides access to the Workable CRM and interview tools, so you can update your candidate profiles and give feedback to your entire team from any location. 

Run your entire hiring process through Workable, including background checks through the Checkr app and even EEO compliance auditing. Built-in analytics and reporting help you find your most reliable sources of candidates, speed your hiring process, and build better human capital. All of these features mean that your hiring and recruiting professionals can work within one system, from sourcing to hire.


Workable vs. ZipRecruiter is hardly a fair comparison, since the two products address different aspects of the recruiting process. Workable is a great product for managing sourcing, applicant tracking, and hiring. ZipRecruiter is a job posting tool for expanding your hiring network.  But then, if you’ve never used either, you wouldn’t know that. 

If you still have questions, visit our product selection tool, or call one of Technology Advisors for a free consultation. 

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