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How Much does Applicant Tracking Software Cost?

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I hate cocktail menus at chain restaurants.

You know the kind of places I’m talking about; the restaurants that always seem to pop up in airports, or near big sports stadiums, or at tourist attractions. They always have $10 hamburgers and some kind of Mexican appetizer to add “color.”

And their cocktail menus are always bereft of prices.

how much does ats cost

They must do it to trick you into ordering some overpriced, colorful drink that’s more sugar than booze, because they know if you saw that it cost $13.99 you’d balk. So I always have to ask, before ordering something off that menu (because, let’s face it, I’m a sucker for drinks with umbrellas), what it costs, because I hate being surprised when the bill comes around.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to know ahead of time what buying applicant tracking software might cost you. You don’t want any kind of sticker shock when you go to purchase a new ATS for your company. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer when it comes to ATS pricing. Besides the fact that there are several different pricing models, your specific requirements are also a big factor in how much you’ll pay. However, we can break down the various pricing models so that when you get quotes, you can compare apples to apples.

Here, in order of popularity, are the different cost drivers you can expect to find when shopping for applicant tracking software.

1. Pay-Per-Recruiter

This is the most common pricing model and means you typically pay a flat fee each month based on the number of recruiters and hiring managers you have using the system (sometimes the amount is different for each user type). There may also be a one-time setup or implementation fee with this model.

Price Range: Around $60-$100/user/month.

ATSs with this pricing model:

2. Pay-Per-Employee

Many ATSs price based on the size of your organization, and use number of employees as a measure to gauge that. This means, regardless of the number of users, you will be charged based on the total number of employees in your company.

Price Range: $4-$7/month/employee. However, costs go down significantly (to the $0.20 range) as employee numbers rise into the thousands.

ATSs with this pricing model:

3. Pay-Per-Job Opening/Applicant

Some ATSs will determine their pricing levels based on how many jobs you have open at any particular time, or how many total applicants/resumes you have in the system. Oftentimes this is used in conjunction with some other pricing model like number of recruiters or employees, or a one-time setup fee. This typically doesn’t count archived job openings or inactive/dormant resumes.

Price Range: $5-$19/job opening/month and $0.01-$0.20/resume/month.

ATSs with this pricing model:

Bonus: Other Models

Additional pricing models you may run into include one-time flat license fee (ex. Newton Software), and free but with premium HR and recruiting services on offer (ex. iKrut). The first one will often be used in conjunction with one of the other models above (for instance, a one-time fee for setup plus a monthly per-recruiter fee).

Other Cost Drivers?

Have you seen any other applicant tracking pricing? What models did I miss? Any recommendations of colorful cocktails for me to drink? Add them in the comments 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.


In this new ATS free version is limited with quantity of users (up to 10). The good news is that if you have more than 10 users, you don’t have to pay per user, price is fixed wether you have 11 or 150 users! Both free and paid versions provide all available features: postings to popular job boards, video-interview, customized career page, questionnaires, candidates comparison. iOS and Android applications etc.

I-Applicants is extremely easy to set up, very professional, and the most cost-effective we’ve found yet. We’ve been using them for about 5 years and couldn’t be happier!

All good points but don’t forget to talk about support and post implementation costs such as changes to forms or workflows, data requests, etc. Questions like – if leadership makes an organizational change, will we be able to make those changes ourselves without vendor help or will we be charged for the changes? Their is cost and then their is the total cost of ownership which is a better number for comparison of different systems.

JP this is a fantastic article and so are those drinks with the little umbrella’s.
JP I’m actually looking at this article from a different viewpoint. I’m not in the market, but rather trying to assess the frequency of potential use within my state. Why you might ask, so I can better assess what my clients might bump into when applying for jobs. ATS has certainly evolved over the last five years in the ability to read different format styles of resumes. Have you ever done any research on this issue? If so, could you guide me in that direction?

Hi Deborah, we haven’t yet done any research in this area, but you can see a general (not state-based) breakdown of the popularity of certain talent management solutions here:

And we’re working on similar research for applicant tracking systems. has a new ATS that runs from $300-$500 a year depending on the number of current employees. We can bundle the ATS cost with creating an online application based on the company’s current application.

0-99 Employees – $300/ yr ($500 if we create an online application).
100 + Employees – $500/ yr ($700 if we create an online application). for details on our current pricing.

We offer a big discount for “not for profit” organisations.

North America * – $99 USD per user, per month
UK/Ireland * – ‎£49 per user, per month
Australia/New Zealand * – $99 AUD per user, per month.

All other international locations * – $99 USD per user per month.
*At the time of writing this post.

We offer a full Application Tracking System with full Recruitment Software functionality – we post to hundreds of international job boards and are adding more all the time.

Social media sourcing and tracking, plus a lot more – check us out for a free trial or ask us for a demo.

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