Talent Management
Recruiting Software

What Does Recruiting Software Cost?

Published by in Recruiting Software

What’s the most frustrating thing about sales taxes?

No, it’s not that they’re way too high.

Or that they unfairly target the poor.

Or even that they’re so often wasted on boondoggles like government shrubbery and park district bobbleheads.

It’s that, unless you’re going around calculating 8.25% of every listed price in your head, you don’t know what they actually are until after your items are rung up at the register.

I’ve been caught short plenty of times, and had to run to the car for an extra quarter or two, because the $9.49 item I brought a $10 bill to pay for turned out to actually be $10.37 after tax.

It’s the not knowing that’s the worst.


And that’s the same with recruiting software. When you’re about to purchase something as crucial to your business as a recruiting system, you want be armed with as much pricing knowledge as you can find. Otherwise you may be caught short by unexpected costs, or hidden fees.

There’s no single way to estimate the recruiting software cost for your business. This is because there’s no single way software vendors calculate prices, and also because many costs will change depending on your organization’s specific needs and size. That said, the majority of recruiting software falls into one of the following three pricing models. Use these to inform your search for a solution, and to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

1. Pay-Per-Recruiting Manager

This is, far and away, the most popular method for pricing recruiting software. You pay either a one-time or, more likely, a monthly fee based on the number of recruiting managers/users you have on the software. Sometimes you’ll also see an installation fee, paid one-time.

Price Range: Usually in the $50-$100 per user per month range, or as a one-time cost, from $250-$1,000 per user.

Recruiting software with this pricing model:

2. Pay-Per-Hire

Though not as popular a model as “pay-per-recruiting manager,” this one is starting to see more adoption from software vendors. With pay-per-hire you only pay when you actually hire someone. This is ideal for seasonal businesses who only hire at specific times of the year, and who thus won’t have to pay a monthly fee during those months they’re not hiring.

Price Range: Typically in the $200-$500 per hire range, one-time.

Recruiting software with this pricing model:

3. Pay-Per-Employee

Typically aimed at HR departments of larger firms, this model usually does not price based on number of users, but instead on the total size of your company. This can be ideal if you expect to have both employees and hiring managers accessing the software.

Price Range: In the $4-$8 per employee per month range, though you can get better deals as your number of employees grows (e.g. in the $0.25-$1 range per employee if you have tens of thousands of employees)

Recruiting software with this pricing model:

Other Pricing Models

You’ll likely encounter a few other pricing models out there, sometimes mixed in with the above three, or sometimes used on their own.  These include everything from free (like Qandidate.com), to pay-per-job opening (like Hiring Steps).

Have you encountered any pricing models I missed?  Add them below!

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

About the Author

JP Medved

JP Medved

J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.



Comment by Kristjan Kristjansson on

Great post @rizzleJPizzle. It can be quite frustrating not knowing what the price is long-term. At 50skills, we have two options. For employers, we base our price on the number of employees. For agencies, we base it on the number of active jobs.

I’m open to hearing other models, but think is the most straightforward ones I have heard about so far when it comes to hiring and recruiting.

Comment by vivek sharma on

My company, HumanTelligence, is actually working on a product that directly impacts 3 of those levers that you talk about for where HR can begin to impact employee engagement: Recognition, Career Development, Personal Accomplishment. I’d love to get your take on what we’re up to possibly over the phone or just via email. Happy to share more info with you if you’re interested!
Below is the link to schedule a demo and grab 1 month free access to the tool. This can be your first step to life’s best work.
Thanks again for sharing your insights,


Comment by JP Medved on

Hi Mukul,

You’re right. I do mention “free” in the “Other Pricing Models” section, but I do think that model is growing, as evidenced by the higher number of free options out there.

For instance we did a piece on free ATSs two years ago, and that list has only grown since:


Comment by Mukul Agarwal on


You have correctly mentioned the 3 most common types of pricing model when it comes to using a Recruiting Software.
There is another kind of pricing model catching up in the market, that can be names as ‘Freemium Model”.

In this users are not charged to sign-up or use the basic features of a recruiting software, however in between there could be some important value-added-services that are helpful in pushing the recruitment process; and hence can be charged for some price.

I believe this is a perfect way to let users experience what a recruiting tool can do for them, instead of asking payment upfront.

You might want to have a look on the tool like – http://www.applicanttrackingsystem.co/


Comment by JP Medved on

Hi Perry,

I do think pay-per-hire will gain in popularity, but mainly because consumers will demand it. I think there’s an incentive right now for vendors to base pricing on company size and # of recruiters, because this ensures steady revenue even when the company isn’t hiring at that moment. However, I do think a results-based model makes more sense for users and that the industry will eventually move that direction.


Comment by Perry Oostdam on

Thanks for the post @rizzleJPizzle. Interesting to see the different pricing models. You think pay-per-hire will gain on popularity? At Recruitee, we base our pricing on the amount of active (that is open) jobs. The company size or # of recruiters doesn’t matter. We’re open to other ideas, but so far we think this is most straightforward.

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