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Product Review

Ashby Review 2024

Stackfix's expert review of Ashby - the hot new ATS on the block.

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Steph Leung

Stackfix Expert

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What is Ashby?

Ashby is the hot new ATS on the block. 🔥

While it’s relatively new to the scene (Ashby was founded in 2018) - it’s already been turning heads, with names like Airtable, Duolingo and Notion already customers.

But is Ashby right for your business? To give you the answer, our testing team talked to the team behind Ashby, interviewed Ashby users and gave it a go ourselves. After a full month of research, here's Stackfix’s take on Ashby.

Stackfix's Verdict

Strengths

Excellent candidate sourcing functionality

Powerful and highly customisable interview scheduling functionality

Best-in-class reporting functionality

Weaknesses

Takes time to implement and up-skill your team

Lacks some advanced features

No free trial or self-serve option

Best for

Businesses with a moderate to high hiring volume (>3 positions open simultaneously)

And/or focused on sourcing in-demand talent, and value powerful reporting

Less good For

Businesses with a low hiring volume (<3 open positions at a time)

And/or who want a tool that is easy to use

What does Ashby do?

Ashby is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). ATS’s help organisations manage and track job openings and candidates. Specifically, most ATS’s (including Ashby) enable you to:

  • Create a job opening
  • Post your job to external job boards e.g. LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor
  • Store candidates information and documents
  • Set up a pipeline to track which stage a candidate is in

But Ashby does so much more than that. Notably, it allows you to:

  • Source and nurture new candidates by sending email sequences
  • Ask candidates questions on the application form, and automatically reject candidates based on their answers
  • Enable candidates to self-schedule interviews based on the interviewing team’s’ availability
  • Send candidates an offer letter
  • Deep-dive into recruiting metrics with custom reports and dashboards

What does Ashby look like?

Strengths

Excellent candidate sourcing functionality

We're kicking off with one of Ashby’s top strengths - its excellent candidate sourcing capabilities. If your business conducts high-volume candidate outreach or competes for in-demand talent (like hunting for engineers in Silicon Valley), then Ashby might just be the one for you.

Ashby’s Chrome Extension for sourcing new candidates is hands-down the best one we’ve come across. Here’s what you can expect:

  • One-click sourcing: With just a single click, you can add a candidate's profile to Ashby from any webpage, be it LinkedIn, Twitter, or Github. In comparison, most other ATS’s Chrome Extensions will require you to manually add candidate details/ upload a PDF of their LinkedIn profile, which is painfully time-consuming.
  • ‍Instant email sequence: You can also instantly enrol a candidate in a personalised email sequence. Ashby looks up the candidate's email address, and you can swiftly decide the sender and the copy (including whether to utilize an existing email template, or craft a new email). And the best part? All this can be done in Ashby’s extension - so you never have to leave the webpage you're on.
Demo showing Ashby's add to email list from LinkedIn
Find email. Add to Ashby. Draft Sequence. Start. And you’re done setting up a personalised, email sequence to a candidate - in just under 20 seconds.

In addition, Ashby provides a comprehensive overview of your teams’ outreach activities. You can easily track which candidates have been contacted, who’s responded and add them to a job opening.

Ashby's sequence page showing the metrics (such as sent, open, clicked and replied) that are provided for outreach sequences to candidates.
Easily keep an eye on key metrics such as sequences sent, open, click, reply and conversion rates - so you can nail the perfect email sequence to convert that top candidate!

Powerful & highly customisable interview scheduling

While self-scheduling tools like Calendly are great, they don’t quite cut it for larger teams who need to keep track of a large pool of potential interviewers and the flexibility to bring in different interviewers according to their availability.

Picture this: you're scheduling a final interview. You need any C-suite member, AND a senior Engineer or Product Manager with over three years of experience, AND the candidate's line manager. Who do you pull from each team to sync up schedules?

Trick question - because that’s exactly what Ashby allows you to do.

Ashby's page to configure who should interview candidates from an internal pool of interviewers
Set up an interview exactly how you’d like it with powerful filters & conditional logic.  If multiple C-suite members are available, Ashby will randomly assign one of them to the interview.

Once you've set everything up, Ashby can generate a Calendly-like link that reflects the combined availability of your interview panel, so candidates can book in an interview themselves. Of course, if you enjoy the nostalgia of manually scheduling an interview, the option is there too.

What’s more, Ashby gives you granular control over your interview availability. You can set your minimum scheduling notice, buffer times, and even indicate keywords so that informal meetings like a "coffee chat" don't get in the way of booking important interviews.

The cherry on top? You can save all these settings as a reusable template. So, scheduling your next final interview is just a few clicks away.

Ashby's interview scheduling functionality
Schedule an interview by sending a Calendly-like booking link to candidates with reusable and customisable email templates.

Best-in-class reporting

Finally, meet Ashby’s fan favourite feature - its robust analytics functionality.

You’ll find all the staple recruiting reports in the “templates” section, such as time-to-hire, offer acceptance rate, conversion rates by stage.

But where Ashby truly outshines the competition is in the interactivity and customization of these reports. It allows you to filter and group data by any data field. This level of flexibility lets you dig deep to find the exact data you need, and best of all, you can even visualize the data without the need to export it or use another BI tool.

Ashby's powerful reporting dashboard showing metrics for applications by source, interviewer load, time in stage (by job) and conversion rates (by department)
Ashby lets you set up customizable dashboards with all the insights you need and share it with different stakeholders, keeping everyone on the same page.

Looking to easily view candidate volume by stage across departments? Done. Want to drill down into candidate NPS by hiring manager? Absolutely. Need to compare conversion rates of candidates originating from different sources like events versus job boards? Ashby has got you covered. This level of detailed analysis is surprisingly absent in many ATSs, which often require data exports for such tasks.

Weaknesses

Takes time to implement and up-skill your team

Ashby is a powerful ATS designed for handling high-volume hiring, but with its power comes a complexity that requires time and effort to master.

For example, setting up the platform is far from quick. Before you can advertise your first job, you'll need to meticulously set up a series of templates and learn how to link them together to form a complete hiring process.

Ashby's interview and scheduling section. Shows 11 settings tabs that must be worked through
Take the “Interview and scheduling” section, for instance - you’ve already got 11 settings tabs to work through.

To give you an idea of how many hoops you'll need to jump through to set up a single job opening. Say you want to include a 'Case Study' as a individual interview stage, you’ll have to:

  1. Create a new interview plan in settings with one of the stages being a "case study".
  2. Set up "case study" as an interview type in another tab.
  3. In the same tab, set up your interview kit, which includes a feedback form and instructions for interviewers.
  4. Set up a "case study" email template for candidates to invite them to the interview.
  5. Now, you set up your job.
  6. In your job's interview plan, link the case study interview you just created. Select your interview panel, and tweak your communications and scheduling settings.
  7. Finally, when you move a candidate to this stage, you can select the case study email template you created earlier.

That’s quite a list, isn’t it? In comparison, some ATS’s let you do all this in one straightforward workflow while setting up a job.

So, if you're considering Ashby, make sure you're ready to invest time in setting up and up-skilling yourself and your team. On the bright side, Ashby does provide handy training materials via its “Ashby University” Notion page. We found it a lifesaver while testing the platform.

A notion page which holds Ashby's help articles ("Ashby University")
Navigating Ashby wasn't always as smooth sailing as we'd hoped. When we put Ashby to the test against other ATSs, we found ourselves spending quite a bit more time scouring through Ashby's help articles.

Lacks some advanced features

Despite its power and versatility, there are areas where we wish Ashby could just go the extra mile. In particular, we noticed a few advanced features offered by competitors that are absent in Ashby:

  • Candidate Comparison: Some ATSs offer the ability to pull up candidate profiles side-by-side for quick and easy comparison.
  • Weighted Candidate Scorecards: Some competitors allow you to assign weights to individual questions on candidates' scorecards. This way, you can calculate an overall score based on weighted skills, such as communication (30%), critical thinking (20%), and technical competency (50%) - which is helpful to prioritize critical skills and traits when evaluating candidates.
  • Fully Automated Interview Scheduling: In Ashby, when you move a candidate to a new stage, you get a prompt that the candidate "Needs Scheduling". But, it still requires you to manually open the candidate's card and send the interview invitation email. A nudge towards complete automation would be a welcome change.*

*Insider sources tell us that fully automated interview scheduling is a high priority on Ashby’’s development roadmap though.

No free trial or self-serve option

Finally, note that Ashby is gated behind a sales call to get a demo and platform access. It also lacks a free trial for you to test out the platform before you fully commit.

Best for

  • Businesses with a moderate to high hiring volume (>3 positions open simultaneously)
  • And/or focused on sourcing in-demand talent, and value powerful reporting

Less good for

  • Businesses with a low hiring volume (<3 open positions at a time)
  • And/or who want a tool that is easy to use

Wrapping up

Ashby is a powerful ATS that shines in high-volume hiring with standout sourcing and reporting features. That said, it’s not a simple product - so be prepared to invest time in learning and implementation.

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