With 2013 well underway and year end accounts having been put to bed for the year, now is the time for business functions to begin inching their way forwards and planning and spending budgets for 2013.

With sector specific talent shortages showing no sign of relenting, and with the candidate market becoming more social media and mobile integrated, it could not be a better time for hiring functions to focus their budgets in the direction of a shiny new ATS to help streamline their hiring processes and to help bring their hiring practices seamlessly into the modern era.

To help any of you who may be in the market for your first ATS or maybe a replacement ATS, we have provided a list of 10 of the best ATS on the market today, in no specific order.

1.Bull Horn ATS and CRM; This is a market leading web based ATS which allows you to post jobs to your social network and jobs boards at the click of a button and which can also generate candidate shortlists from your social media connections. It helps you spot passive job seekers too and has  inbuilt employee referrals functionality.

2.SuccessFactors. This is a fully functional web based ATS. It contains powerful search and shortlisting functionality, along with the ability to automatically post to job boards. It also contains an interview question library and easily integrates with SuccessFactors workforce analytics software.

3.Kenexa 2X Brassring. This is a highly sophisticated ATS geared towards multinational organizations of over 5,000 staff. As you can imagine, it is a powerhouse of functionality which supports recruiters throughout the entire talent acquisition process.

4.ZohoRecruit. this is a great ATS for start-up organizations as it is free for 1 recruiter and has all the basic functionality of an ATS. After that it is $19 per recruiter per month. It is a powerful and extremely economical ATS for the start-up and small business.

5.iCims. this another best of breed ATS covering the full talent acquisition process and it enables you to not only post on jobs boards but to also search social media to identify candidates and incorporate them into the system. This product is aimed at mid market and up.

6.Resumator. This is another excellent full cycle ATS which is well suited to the small to medium size business market and is suitable for companies with less then 1,000 staff. It has flexible monthly pricing, meaning it can be used by start-ups and small businesses. It has good social media integration and comes with an inbuilt employee referral program tool.

7.Taleo.This is an enterprise ATS that is geared towards large organizations. They have a Business Edition product for firms with up to 5,000 staff, an Enterprise Edition for firms with 5,000 to 13,000 staff and a Large Enterprise Edition for firms with over 13,000 staff. Has all the bells and whistles. Includes social sharing functionality and mobile access integration.

8.Compass. This is an entirely web based, full cycle ATS built by recruiters for recruiters, although there is a staffing agency edition and a corporate edition and suits companies of all sizes but possibly more geared toward to the small to medium sized market.

9.Smart Search. This is a ATS and staffing management solution suitable for agency and in-house corporate use and is once again aimed at the small to medium sized company

10.Ascentis This is a fully featured and highly flexible applicant tracking system which has a careers portal, social sharing, candidate data analysis and even on-boarding. It is simple and easy to use and its a great tool for small and medium sized businesses.

And finally, if your business is not quite ready to invest direct budget into a new ATS, do not worry,  as there are plenty of good quality, free ATS that you can deploy in place of the paid ones – and which will still do a good job. Three such ATS that spring to mind are: Smartrecruiter, ikrut, and OpenCats .