You know what’s great? Deep fried Oreos at the state fair.
You wanna know what’s even better? Free deep fried Oreos at the state fair.
Just about everything that’s awesome on this planet can be made more so if you’re not the one footing the bill for it. Jet-skiing? Cool. Jet-skiing for free? Totally wicked! Bacon wrapped Krispy Kreme donuts? Ok. Bacon wrapped Krispy Kreme donuts for $0? Get in my belly!
In the spirit of free stuff, and with apologies to Robert Heinlein, I’ve crafted a list of the finest free applicant tracking software solutions you’ll ever find. That’s right; all of the below are available for zero dollars and no cents (presented in no particular order).
OpenCATS is an open source ATS that can install on any local Linux or Windows server and is then accessible through a browser interface. It can also integrate with popular CMSs like Joomla and has an active community supporting further development. OpenCATs was originally built as an enterprise ATS and targets HR professionals, recruiters and staffing and placement agencies.
OpenCATS has all the main features you would expect in an ATS, including resume management, reporting, and candidate tracking through the entire hiring process.
It’s open source so it’s free, and you are allowed to modify the software to your heart’s content. However, that also means there’s no one entity to turn to for support, and unless you’re tech savvy or can hire someone who is, you may run into issues installing, integrating, and running this software. As the unofficial manual says, “the commercial CATS product is a highly polished, professionally supported, hosted software service. OpenCATS, on the other hand, has somewhat less functionality, is installed on your server(s), and is supported only by you — with some help from the development community.”
iKrut is a free (but not open source) applicant tracking system that you can access through the web as a SaaS (Software as a Service) product. iKrut has no paid versions but makes money by partnering with vendors who offer premium HR and recruiting services through iKrut.
iKrut integrates with 20 free job boards, and it will also build a microsite for your business that automatically populates a list of your current job openings across those sites. Then you can send applicants to the site to allow them to apply online.
Bulk actions, like rejecting multiple candidates at once, allow you to save time, and its integration with all the free job boards also ensures your openings will be seen without too much extra effort on your part. Lack of functionality with client records (like logging calls) means it might not be a great fit for larger staffing agencies.
Softgarden is a free applicant tracking solution, as long as you stay under five concurrent job postings and seven users. After that, it’s 299 Euros per month.
Softgarden comes replete with in-depth recruiting analysis/reports, coupled with a slick interface and a robust collaboration environment for rating and assessing candidates.
Good integration and package deals with job boards and an intuitive rating/collaboration system between hiring managers. That said, it is a relatively unknown software outside of Germany, where the company is located and where most of their customers seem to be as well. I couldn’t find any U.S. presence, though the site is in English (and the blog as well).
JobScore is a web based ATS, free for up to three concurrent job postings. After that, it’s $99 a month. You also have the option to purchase credits if you want to view resumes from the JobScore resume database (you can also share ten resumes to the network in order to view one).
All the usual features are here (one-click job posting to the free job boards, reports, manager feedback on resumes) as well as integration of a jobs page into your existing website and the above-mentioned resume database (which is not, however, free, unless you are willing to share some of your resumes to the network in exchange for viewing applicants already listed). Integration with Google Apps is a nice plus, as well.
The free version is limited to only three concurrent job postings, though the ability to trade unused resumes for access to a database of (according to JobScore) 1 million potential applicants is an attractive one.
Recruiterbox is a web-based applicant tracking solution. It’s free for up to five users, one concurrent job posting, and up to 200 total applicants. After that, it’s $60 a month.
Recruiterbox boasts a hosted careers site, plus the ability to upload resumes in bulk and customize your recruitment workflow. It also integrates with Google Apps.
Good integration with specialized recruitment sites and social networks, plus it has a sophisticated notification system. Unfortunately, options for customizing the hosted careers site are limited, and, in addition to only allowing one concurrent job opening, there’s no data export in the free version.
Similar to iKrut, SmartRecruiters has a free version that makes money off of third party partners (like Monster and LinkedIn). The free version is limited to 50 resumes per month, and then you can purchase credits (starting at $95 for 750 resumes) to view more. Additionally, SmartRecruiters does offer paid versions of the software, starting at $250 a month, that include priority support, training etc.
SmartRecruiters allows you to post a job to “hundreds” of job boards in a single click, with a clean user interface and has integration with social networks that lets candidates apply directly from a company Facebook page.
Responsive support (via forums and phone) and clean design, including the ability to use the software’s full functionality in the free version are definite pluses here; whereas no ability to export and a potentially weak reporting capability are some negatives.
This is a free version of Zoho’s web-based Recruit software, which is limited to one recruiter and five concurrent job openings. After that, it costs $25 per recruiter per month.
Integration with Google Apps and Zoho CRM provides a more seamless experience for contacting applicants, and built-in custom email templates make communication with applicants much easier.
Aimed at an enterprise market, Zoho Recruit is very customizable but potentially overly complex for some. Zoho’s great integration with their CRM functionality is potentially offset by the limitations of the free version (including no ability to mass email).
Using much the same model as iKrut and SmartRecruiters, Qandidate.com is free, with the option to buy services from partner vendors or recruitment campaign media from Qanddate.com.
Qandidate’s unique selling points include its free, hosted career site, the ability to publish job openings to job boards and social media sites, and a modern UI with all candidates viewable in one place at a glance. It’s also optimized for the language and legal requirements of the European market.
Qandidate.com has some good bells and whistles, and the interface is clean and easy to use. However, limited templates for the hosted career site and for emails to candidates hamper the CRM aspect of the software.
What other free or open source ATS products do you recommend? Share them (or your bacon wrapped donut recipes) below!
Looking for Applicant Tracking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Applicant Tracking software solutions.