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Pros & Cons of Greenhouse: Analysis of a Popular Applicant Tracking Software

What are the pros and cons of Greenhouse?
The pros and cons of Greenhouse are centered on its robust feature set and pricing. It has a vast array of features for recruitment and onboarding, which can help companies improve and simplify these processes. Though Greenhouse lacks some features that other ATS solutions have and does not have fixed pricing, these are outweighed by its extensive feature set.

Recruiters and hiring teams today have to contend with the hiring market being more competitive. To keep up with the pace, they need to stay on top of trends like demand for digitalization, remote recruiting, and social media recruiting. The right applicant tracking software can help recruiters and hiring managers meet the demands of modern recruiting while keeping their own processes in tiptop shape.

In this article, learn about the pros and cons of Greenhouse, a powerful applicant tracking software packed full of recruiting and onboarding features. Readers can get an overview of the software, its useful features, and drawbacks so they can evaluate whether it is a good fit for their company or business.

greenhouse pros and cons

The talent acquisition space has seen widespread adoption of applicant tracking systems (ATS), with more than 98% of Fortune 500 companies now using an ATS solution. Recent figures indicate that the ATS market is poised for steady growth. According to a ResearchAndMarkets report, the growth of the applicant tracking systems market is expected to be at 7.3% compound annual growth rate. One factor that is driving its growth is the ease of integrating an ATS with various productivity tools. These include email clients that allow users to schedule interviews without switching tools as well as social media platforms where recruiters and applicants can easily reach out to one another.

An ATS not only makes the job of recruiters a breeze, but it can also contribute to employee experience. According to LinkedIn’s Global Trends Report for 2020, 94% of talent professionals said that employee experience is one of the very important worldwide recruiting trends. Companies are doing this by collecting feedback and actively collaborating with employees in a bid to boost retention and improve their employer brand. Other important trends are people analytics (85%), internal recruiting (82%), and having a multi-generational workforce (74%). With the right ATS, companies can configure hiring strategies to accommodate emerging trends while ensuring that the processes work for them and their unique needs.

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Global Recruiting Trends

Global Recruiting Trends
Employee experience: 94%

Employee experience

94%
Global Recruiting Trends
People analytics: 85%

People analytics

85%
Global Recruiting Trends
Internal recruiting: 82%

Internal recruiting

82%
Global Recruiting Trends
Multi-generational workforce: 74%

Multi-generational workforce

74%

Designed by

Greenhouse Overview

GreenHouse dashboard

Greenhouse is an applicant tracking software that allows companies of all sizes to create a structured hiring process and achieve their diversity and inclusion targets within cloud-based and mobile platforms.

Whether an organization needs to hire 10 or 100 employees, Greenhouse can be leveraged by small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises alike. SMBs can use Greenhouse to streamline their hiring process, while enterprises can rely on it as their company grows. Ideal users of Greenhouse include recruiters and hiring teams and other stakeholders in the recruitment and onboarding processes.

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One of the main benefits of Greenhouse is that it gives organizations the opportunity to create structured hiring processes, that are consistent and fair regardless of the candidate’s background. It also helps companies build a more inclusive workplace by providing tools that mitigate bias in all stages of the recruitment process. Lastly, its vast ecosystem of pre-built integrations allows companies to easily add Greenhouse to their hiring tech stack. This lessens the friction of adopting the new solution to existing apps.

Greenhouse also has mobile apps that allow users to make hiring decisions wherever they are. For one, the Greenhouse Recruiting app lets users review applications, view upcoming interviews, access interview kits, and more.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Greenhouse for a more in-depth understanding of its features.

Detailed Greenhouse Review

Key Features of Greenhouse

  • Candidate tracking
  • Automated task management
  • Job listings
  • Multi-channel sourcing
  • Team collaboration
  • Name pronunciation
  • Candidate scorecards
  • Candidate experience surveys
  • Onboarding feedback
  • Onboarding plan
  • Onboarding tasks
  • New hire signature
  • Countersignature
  • Customized information collection on documents
  • Core reports
  • Custom reports
  • Events app
  • Recruiting app
  • Customizable permissions
  • Open Harvest API

Pros and Cons of Greenhouse

Structured Decision-Making Features

Today, employers must find creative ways to find employees online and offline. With a structured hiring process in place, hiring teams know the key attributes to look for in a candidate even before they post the job. These features cover various stages of the recruiting process, from sourcing to application review to interviewing and candidate roundup.

The process starts off with the role kickoff meeting, where recruiters and hiring managers define the business objectives, skills, traits, and qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as his roles and responsibilities once employed. Once they agree with these attributes, Greenhouse users can create a job on the platform. They have the option to copy from an existing job, use a sample job with pre-set scorecard attributes and interview stages plan, or start from scratch using a blank job. Next, they can proceed to create scorecards to ensure consistency in evaluating candidates. With Greenhouse, users can select the focus attributes to include in a scorecard, which can be broadly grouped into skills, personality traits, qualifications, details, and technical skills. Users can also configure reminder emails for the evaluator to answer the scorecard at any stage they choose.

greenhouse scorecard

Greenhouse allows users to create a scorecard in various stages of the recruitment process.

During the interview stage, users can make an interview plan in the Greenhouse platform to ensure that they are testing candidates for the skills that are reflected in the scorecard. After the interview, users can send applicants a survey where they can provide feedback on whether or not their interview experience was a positive one.

Bias Mitigation Tools

Leadership statistics show that companies with a diverse workforce tend to be more innovative than those companies that are less diverse. Organizations that aim to have a more inclusive workplace can turn to Greenhouse’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) solution to achieve their goals. Greenhouse has an array of inclusive tools to help companies make the hiring process equitable and fair.

At the outset, Greenhouse has a name pronunciation feature that allows candidates to create a recording of the correct pronunciation of their name. It also gives them the chance to indicate their preferred personal pronoun so the hiring team can address them properly. With this, candidates feel valued, which leads to a positive impression of the employer’s brand.

During the sourcing phase, users can configure inclusion nudges when editing a job post, adding a referral, or when setting up auto-reject or auto-advance application rules. When creating a job post, the inclusion nudge can remind recruiters to focus on required qualifications for the role and what language to use to ensure that the job post will be engaging to the target demographic.

In addition, Greenhouse allows users to configure tools that eliminate bias, one of which is inclusion nudges. With an inclusion nudge activated, users will get reminders to remain objective by keeping in mind qualifications and criteria relevant to the job when evaluating candidates. Users can choose to activate this in various components in the hiring process, from the time of adding referrals to application reviews and creating scorecard summaries.

When the hiring process begins, recruiters can create an interview kit to ensure that all candidates come prepared and know what to expect. This eliminates the advantage other candidates might have who have personal connections within the company. Moreover, when it is time to conduct take-home assessments, users can make the tests anonymous so the candidate’s work will be graded fairly.

Employee Onboarding

The Greenhouse Employee onboarding solution allows hiring managers and stakeholders to work together to ensure that new hires are eased into their roles in an orderly way. Teams can create an onboarding plan on the platform so they know the persons responsible for certain paperwork and other onboarding tasks. They can also set up an email workflow so the new hire knows what to do when he or she reports for work. With this, users can adopt onboarding checklists and best practices into their company’s standard operating procedures.

greenhouse onboarding

Users can set up onboarding criteria in Greenhouse for a smooth transition for new hires.

On the other hand, there are some ATS solutions that let one compare the performance of an employee with another. Other solutions also allow managers to track down different types of employee benefits. Users who want to see features beyond onboarding might see Greenhouse’s lack of these features as a disadvantage.

Intuitive Report Builder Tool

One advantage of implementing the Greenhouse solution is that it comes with an easy-to-use Report Builder tool that assists recruiters and hiring managers to make data-driven decisions. The tool includes a Report Dashboard where users can see widgets for average time to fill, average time to hire, and average time in stage. There are also tabs for other metrics like offers and hires, recruiting efficiency, sourcing, and pipeline health.

greenhouse report builder

The Greenhouse Report Builder tool features various kinds of core reports.

Aside from prebuilt reports, Greenhouse also allows users to build their own reports or build one from a template. When building from a template, users can choose from native reports then apply filters to tweak the report to their own needs. On the other hand, one can also build reports from scratch by selecting a category and then applying the filters and making edits as one sees fit.

Large Integration System

Greenhouse works with a wide range of apps, boasting over 360 pre-built integrations with HRIS and onboarding tools, job distribution, sourcing, screening tools, and more. Integration with BambooHR for instance means that employee data is synced between the two systems for easier onboarding. Recruiters and hiring managers can also automate interview scheduling with the Calendly Integration. Moreover, with the Payscale integration, users can see salary reports straight from the new job setup flow in Greenhouse.

Customized Pricing

Greenhouse offers three pricing plans: Essential, Advanced, and Expert. Included in the Essential plan are the core Greenhouse Recruiting features such as applicant tracking, structured hiring, team collaboration, and more. On the other hand, the Advanced plan has all the Essential plan features but with single sign-on custom reports, and other features thrown in. As for the Expert plan, it includes all Essential and Advanced plan features but with unlimited events, expert data configuration, and enhanced security and performance. No matter what plan you choose, clients are assured that pricing is based on their hiring needs.

One con about a custom pricing plan is that one will not know pricing details upfront; one would have to talk to an account executive to get an idea. This might be disadvantageous to those interested in the solution when they are trying to compare Greenhouse to different ATS solutions with upfront pricing schemes. The pricing plans also do not have a free trial, however, interested parties can request a demo from the vendor.

Weighing In on Greenhouse

Recruiting teams and hiring managers who are looking for a robust ATS may see Greenhouse as a viable solution that fits their business needs. The Greenhouse recruiting solution promises to make the hiring process more streamlined through features like interview plans, scorecards, and interview kits. Greenhouse’s inclusive features also help hiring teams eliminate bias to achieve their diversity goals. Once candidates are taken in by the company, the Greenhouse Onboarding solution ensures that the transition to a new workplace will be smooth and orderly for the new hire. While there are some disadvantages, such as the lack of features beyond onboarding and the lack of fixed pricing plans, these are more than offset by its extensive feature set.

At any rate, a good ATS solution should evolve with the times. It should allow recruiters and hiring managers to keep up with the latest recruitment trends even as it lets them to focus on what could be improved within their processes. The Greenhouse solution is capable of this and more, making it a platform worth exploring.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.

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