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The Top 8 Free/Open Source Applicant Tracking Software Solutions

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You know what’s great? Deep fried Oreos at the state fair.

top 8 free open source ATS

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).

1. OpenCATS

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.

The dashboard for OpenCATS.

The dashboard for OpenCATS.

Differentiating features

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.”

Useful links

User forums

2. iKrut

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.

An example of iKrut's microsite.

An example of iKrut’s microsite.

Differentiating features

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.

Useful links

Demo microsite

Free eBook: The Essential Guide to Buying an
Applicant Tracking System

3. Softgarden

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.

Reporting within Softgarden's ATS.

Reporting within Softgarden’s ATS.

Differentiating Features

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).

4. JobScore

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).

Post to multiple job boards within JobScore's solution.

Post to multiple job boards within JobScore’s solution.

Differentiating Features

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.

5. Recruiterbox

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.

Part of Recruiterbox's dashboard.

Part of Recruiterbox’s dashboard.

Differentiating Features

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.

6. SmartRecruiters

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.

Applicant tracking in SmartRecruiters

Applicant tracking in SmartRecruiters

Differentiating features

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.

7. Zoho Recruit

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.

Easily publish job openings in Zoho.

Easily publish job openings in Zoho.

Differentiating features

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, is free, with the option to buy services from partner vendors or recruitment campaign media from

Tracking a candidate's status in Qandidate.

Tracking a candidate’s status in Qandidate.

Differentiating features

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.

Pros/cons 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.

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About the Author

JP Medved

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J.P. currently works as a Content Editor at Capterra, a privately held technology and online media company focused on bringing together buyers and sellers of business software. He is a graduate of Georgetown University where he founded The Georgetown Federalist. Follow him on Twitter at @rizzleJPizzle.


We’ve used Recruiterbox in the past and loved it. Ease of use is astounding and the way it integrates into our existing (one page design) website was awesome! Full disclosure, we DO work with Recruiterbox in other capacities, but I was really impressed. It’s actually HR software that a non-HR person can use!


Great to hear of your experiences. I haven’t used the software myself, but have definitely heard good things from others in addition to your comments.


Hey J.P thanks for featuring softgarden on your list of free applicant tracking software! Just a heads up for those of you of haven’t used it yet, the 5 hire deal has now passed. You can however, still use the software for one hire at a time completely free of charge. So actually the amount of people you hire for free is now limitless! Check it out over at the softgarden website, we look forward to seeing you and welcoming our non-German clients too 😉 Selina at softgarden

I would like to kindly you provide an update for the JobScore description. Your article is not current about our offering but still contributes to new signups – I thank you for that!

I would be happy to provide new copy for you to update the posting + a discount to any of your readers as well.

Please reach me directly @

Hi Austin,

Happy to make updates as offerings change. Just emailed you!


Hi JP,

Thank you for gathering all this information in an easy to understand format. I am in the market for an ATS. This article will be very helpful in my decision making process.


Brent, glad to hear it!

You may also be interested in our interactive directory of ATS solutions, complete with a tool that allows you to filter by feature and platform:

Need to mention who offer a free Starter version

[…] Capterra’s overview of 8 open source or free applicant tracking systems […]

I’d like to mention . Free version provides all features (postings to popular job boards, video-interview, customized career page, questionnaires, candidates comparison etc) for up to 5 users.

Great additions Martin and Katya, thanks!

JP, thanks for listing these Top free/open-source ATS’s. We referenced your post in this broader piece on the Top 50 Applicant Tracking Systems (

Thanks JP for a very useful article!
Here in Latin America we use the Talentsquare as ATS for our specific graduate campaigns all over Latin America and it works really well. Candidates love it and we recruiters do too! I would definitely recommend Talentsquare and suggest you check it out on

Greetings from Latin America!

Rob, great post, some very interesting data over there. We’re right in the middle of research for a “Top 20″ list of ATSs based on size, popularity, # of customers etc.


Another great, free option I wasn’t aware of, thanks for the find!

[…] ATS Tracking System Tester- Nowadays, most resumes go through computerized Applicant Tracking System software before ever being seen by a human. It would be good to have your resume tested for a similar job to get an indication of how it will perform. If you look hard enough you may be able to find a free one, if not, hey-maybe a recruiter can help?” […]

Hi JP – I am an HR Professional with many years experience and was recently hired by a growing electronics recycling company to start-up the HR Department. I have absolutely no budget! I am so happy to have found your article! Your article and review of opencats is spot on. The IT Director checked it our first before allowing installation and he was very impressed with how clean the the code is and could not believe it was open source. As for the functionality, I have used high dollar systems that don’t work half as well! I love it!


Really good stuff on the site. I am at a crossroads, because we are a fairly new company and recently started out with Smartrecruiters. Some of the features I thought was key; were multiple concurrent. Since recently joining and given they have recently decided to change their plans. We are moving away from it because we cant afford the new model offering of that supports a minimum 10 users. We only need one user, able to house candidates/resumes, create multiple job postings, link to our website and whatever little other features that could be handy for managing it for a start up until we begin to win business which means we would then need a more robust recruiting database.

Try CandidATS open source ATS which is improved version of OpenCATS 0.9.1 at

Could you have a look at It’s a new dutch ATS. Do you think it’s a good service?

Thanks in advance,

We are upgrading our website as well as our front/back office solutions so this blog was extremely helpful. Capterra provides a fantastic service by helping business professionals – who are not necessarily IT or HR experts – make educated choices with regard to enterprise solutions. Excellent service. I’m a fan!

CandidATS now inbuilt docx and doc support. Now you can use CandidATS in shared server also.

Thank you for the article. I would like to contribute by listing one more free ATS. In fact, Calibrace is a Free Talent Acquisition and Management Product that belong to the third generation.

It offers a free version, paid and a 30 days full trial of the paid version. The free version is limited to 5 active Jobs, an there is no cap on resumes. All their premium features like Targeted sourcing, Intuitive validation are available in the free version as well. However, Intelligent reports are limited to only 1 custom report and the advanced referral module called Calibrace Prefer is available in paid version alone.

Check out How Calibrace work –

Here’s another Free applicant tracking System that just arrived on the scene lately. Visit RecruitersMap to learn more.

I am not sure weather this is the right place to open my discusion.

I am planning to build my own Applicant tracking system, so i have questions regarding that.

1. can i purchase a complete ATS code from a company and change the UI and launch it ? Is this a good ides?

2. if i am developing my own ATS combining all features available in the market. what would be my budget to get this completed?

3. What technology i can use ? it should be my selling point.

4. what would be the time line and team strength involved in getting this completed successfully?

[…] ATS Tracking System Tester- Nowadays, most resumes go through computerized Applicant Tracking System software before ever being seen by a human. It would be good to have your resume tested for a similar job to get an indication of how it will perform. If you look hard enough you may be able to find a free one, if not, hey-maybe a recruiter can help?” […]

We currently use Jobsoid . Have tried some ATSs mentioned in the post, but had issues with their costs and support. Jobsoid is fairly straightforward with their pricing. Had got in touch with their support. They gave our entire team a 30 minutes free training as well. Have a good experience for the past few months.


do one of these tools give the possibility to import Data from excel files?

Thanks in advance for your support


Hi Jeanne,

Most of these tools will allow you to manually upload data/resumes/candidates from your existing records.

[…] Capterra’s overview of 8 open source or free applicant tracking systems […]

[…] your disposal (there are even more here). In addition to proprietary solutions, there are also many open source projects (i.e., free tools) you might want to consider—particularly if yours is a smaller […]

[…] ATS Tracking System Tester– Nowadays, most resumes go through computerized Applicant Tracking System software before ever being seen by a human. It would be good to have your resume tested for a similar job to get an indication of how it will perform. If you look hard enough you may be able to find a free one, if not, hey-maybe a recruiter can help?” […]


I am looking for an offline windows based ATS. Apart from Open CATS, any other offline products which is a little easier to install.

We target Students coming on to job market hence at anytime need to keep track of at least 50-100 CVs per job posting.


Hi Solomon,

Unfortunately all the others on this list (beside OpenCATS) are web-based.

However, there are several open source/offline options if you look at broader HR systems. Many of these have recruiting-specific modules and functionality as well, including A1 and Deskera:

Please also try for fee open source edition


Another free ATS to add to the list! Fitzii has just changed it’s model to offer unlimited FREE use of its fully featured ATS as part of a broader hiring platform, which also includes access to services like job ad writing and video interviewing, the predictive Fitzii Assessment, and discounted rates on premium job boards. Learn more at

Very helpful. But do any of these sites allow you to upload a resume or applicant details if you simply get a resume from an employee referral or though regular networking? Also, want to use one that is mainly for internal use/tracking – which one caters to that?

Hi Anne, I think all of these offer manual resume uploading. As for internal use/tracking, OpenCATS will probably have the most customization options from this list, but just about any of these that allow you to build a custom careers page could be used on an internal intranet rather than publishing to external job boards.

Our team over at Ongig just released our Applicant Tracking System Market Share Report for 2016. The report includes top 70 ATS’s, fastest growing ATS’s, and also insights on free ATS’s and top ATS’s used by startups:


This is really good information, Though as a startup would like to have few recommendation as there are lots of stuff here. Appreciate if anyone can help to choose ATS with no cost or Minimal cost.


We used OpenCATS for several years but became concerned at the complete lack of development. In mid 2015 we discovered that a small software developer,, had picked up development under the CandidATS name, and now use that.

CandidATS is basically the same as OpenCATS except it’s maintained, albeit slowly. Given it’s completely free , slow development is acceptable. In any case it’s a relatively simple application with relatively simple objectives (storing and searching candidates, resumes, job pipelines etc.) so for us the major concern is addressed by Auieo, namely fixing minor issues, ensuring compatibility with MySQL and PHP updates etc.

For any serious recruiter, CandidATS provides an excellent, very stable and free, standalone ATS solution. I fully recommend it.

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