Online Applicant Tracking System vs On-Premise ATS

Recruiteze - online ats vs on-premise ATS

Recent global developments with COVID-19 are forcing recruiters to re-strategize the recruitment approach. As a result, it is time to transition from on-premise ATS systems to cloud-based applicant tracking systems.

The far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in many hiring professionals reassessing the top ways to perform the recruiting business. Article by the notable author Laurence Hebberd, Account Executive at Link Humans, stresses the importance of employer brand and candidate experience.

Recruiting has become more like marketing where you need to tap the audience, of which more than 75% is passive. Therefore, there is now an urgent need to change the recruiting endeavors’ technical aspects to sustain and stay competitive in today’s market.

Recruiting has become more like marketingv

Manuel Heichlinger, LinkedIn’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition, shares his views in a post by Ushma Mistry, one of the prime authors on the top blog Theundercoverrecruiter.

He stresses staying connected and keeping candidates engaged in attracting and retaining them. It is essential to develop a sense of belonging within applicants at every touchpoint, adding the famous talent acquisition expert.

The world today needs to change the recruiting landscape and reconsider its technology stack. So let’s make these things easier for you to make the right decisions appropriately in time.

When choosing an applicant tracking system, there are a host of things to consider, the first is to choose between an online ATS or an on-premise ATS.

Server-Based ATS: Here, the software is installed in servers hosted on your premises, and you have to pay for the license, updates, etc. It is also known as on-premise ATS.

Cloud-Based ATS: Here, the software resides online and can be accessed 24/7 via the internet. It is available as a subscription paid either monthly or annually.

In this article, we will discuss:

  1. Reasons to choose online ATS over On-premise ATS
  2. When should you choose online ATS
  3. In which situation you should choose On-premise ATS
  4. Comparison table between online ATS and On-premise ATS

Now that we know the two delivery models for the ats software. Here are the top five reasons why you should choose a cloud-based ATS:

  1. Access
  2. Maintenance, Updates, and Downtime
  3. Security
  4. Scalability
  5. Spend


Easy access

Accessing an on-premise ATS outside the office requires an IT professional’s help to open up appropriate ports and firewalls. If this is not done correctly, it may provide access to your sensitive data to hackers.

With a cloud-based applicant tracking system, the recruiters need the internet and a device to stay connected anywhere, 24/7. This ability to access the ats from anywhere and any device help the recruiters react quickly to the candidate’s responses or client requirements.

Read More: 12 Benefits of an Online ATS.

2. Maintenance, Updates, and Downtime

Maintenance, Updates, and Downtime

Most cloud-based ATS provide an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which is pretty much impossible with an on-premise ATS. In addition, cloud ATS vendors continuously release new features, bug fixes, and security updates since they do not have to manage multiple software versions.

On-premise ATS vendors have the problem of managing multiple versions of the software, which will make it hard for them to keep adding new features and updates to the software.

3. Security

Tight security

Initially, everyone was concerned about data security with cloud-based software, but now most on-premise software is migrating to the cloud. In addition, cloud vendors offer better security features than on-premise vendors since they have to manage one software version.

Security experts are always working to address any security issues for cloud-based software. If the cloud software is hosted on the secure servers of Windows Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, or IBM cloud, these prominent vendors offer additional layers of protection to your data.

How an ATS helps to Make Better Hiring Decisions

4. Scalability


One of the most significant benefits of cloud software is it can scale on-demand based on your usage and needs. As a result, it is easy to upgrade or downgrade your subscription based on your current needs. On-demand scalability is critical in this current climate of business uncertainty.

Here are a few tips to improve your in-house Recruitment Process

5. Spend

Control your spend

There are many additional costs associated with an on-premise ATS. However, in today’s scenario of COVID-19, when companies are planning for cost-cutting, cloud-based systems are a perfect choice.

These systems are much more cost-effective than server-based ATS. The companies can quickly scale up and down the subscription plans as per their requirements.

Why do you need a costly infrastructure or annual licensing fee when you can get everything right in your budget with cloud-based ATS.

Switching to cloud-based in these times is 100% safe and secure.

Switching to cloud-based in these times is 100% safe and secure.

When should you choose an on-premise ATS?

In this cloud age, the only reason you should think of an on-premise ATS is if you already have existing IT Hardware Infrastructure that you can leverage without requiring additional capital investment.

You already have the required network security in place to thwart any type of attack. You can either manage the ATS software installation yourself or have an IT person manage the system.

When should you choose an Online ATS?

When should you choose an Online ATS?

You do not have the required IT infrastructure or IT personnel to manage your ATS on-premise. You do not want to manage the software upgrades, and you do not want to make the required capital investment to support the infrastructure needed for the ATS.

We discussed at a high level some considerations to keep in mind.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison table that can guide you to choose the best solution for you:

On-Premise Applicant Tracking SystemOnline Applicant Tracking System
High Initial Investment – Any type of On-Premise software that has to support more than one user has to be deployed on a Server. A server requires the hardware, the server software, an IT person who can set up the server, and the network’s security needed to keep your data safe.It can usually be set up without even requiring the vendor’s help if it is a modern online ATS. However, even with some complicated systems, it cannot be more than $250/- one-time setup Fee.
Do not have to pay for upgrades – What this means, if you do not want upgrades, you do not have to pay the upgrade fees. You can make do with the base software as long as you do not feel the need for an upgrade. This makes it a one-time fee literally.Either you need it or not, the online ATS providers will be releasing updates to the software. Upgrades are part of your subscription fees.
There will be no limits on the amount of data and resumes you can store in your on-premise system.Usually, you will have to pay for exceeding your quota of data storage. It is dependent on the subscribed plan, but there is always an upper limit.
Setting up and deploying an on-premise ATS can take longer due to all the different hardware, software, network, and personnel requirements.You will be up and running as soon as you sign up for the FREE Trial. 10-15 minutes.
Data secured within the corporate firewall – It is as secure as your network.Data is on the cloud – Depending on the cloud provider, security could be much better than on-premise. Read our article on how to choose an online applicant tracking system.
You will need additional hardware, software, and network infrastructure investment and setup if you have to scale. With this model, if your business is growing and you add more users, all the extra infrastructure. However, if the company reduces for some reason, you are stuck with all the infrastructure you have invested in.Provides a lot of elasticity to scale up or scale down. You can add more users or reduce the number of users with just a click of a button. In addition, you will pay only for your usage.
Backup Data – This should be a big concern since you are responsible for backing up your data regularly. If you have not backed up your data and your hard disk crashes, you will lose all your important data, which you have carefully built over some time.Most cloud systems have three levels of redundancy. What this means, every file you store on the cloud makes three copies onto three different disks. Also, the data stored in the database is usually backed up every 5 minutes. So there is very little chance you will lose more than 5 minutes’ worth of data anytime.
Disaster Recovery – For most small businesses, there is no disaster recovery infrastructure or plan. If there is an act of God, which results in you not having access to the premises. You cannot work from anywhere until you can access the premises. This could also result in the loss of critical data.Cloud providers have disaster recovery plans and can quickly shift the load to different unaffected regions. So you are a user who is not worried about all this. You always have access to your data and can stay productive.
You may not be able to access your on-premise software from any device.An online ATS can be accessed from anywhere and any device as long as you have an internet connection and a browser.

Now that we have gone through the pros and cons of on-premise and online ATS. You should read our other articles on how to choose an online ATS.

What to look for in an Online Applicant Tracking System?

Most Useful features for an Online Applicant Tracking System

Online ATS

Online ATS - Recruiteze

Suppose you are looking for a cloud-based ATS. For example, Recruiteze is an online ATS for businesses and staffing agencies to manage their entire recruitment lifecycle in one place. Recruiteze is cloud-based and available anywhere with an internet connection.

With Recruiteze, you can post and publish your jobs to numerous job boards, including Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Google Jobs, Facebook Jobs, and Glassdoor. You can also manage your career portal, set up screener questionnaires, process applications, manage your notes and communications using an ultra-modern user interface. Try Recruiteze free today!