Talent Management

5 Best Free Applicant Tracking Systems

By | 10 min read | Published ; Updated on

Applicant tracking software manages the entire hiring process of a business.

Recruiters at a small or midsize business often face several issues at the time of hiring. These include wading through an overflow of resumes, analyzing documents, and organizing meetings and discussions to find the best match for a particular job role. Relying on an outdated hiring process can be time-consuming and also often lead to hiring errors.

To avoid this and cut the hiring process short, you need to consider applicant tracking software (ATS) that not only automates manual tasks but also allows you to access, track, and manage the progress of submitted applications.

Despite its multiple benefits, investing in an ATS solution can be a bit expensive. This article highlights the five best free applicant tracking software solutions (listed alphabetically) based on user reviews and ratings for businesses with budget constraints. (Read how we selected these products.)

/Check out the complete list of applicant tracking software in Capterra’s software directory.
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5 best free applicant tracking system
1

Breezy: Advertise job openings on over 50 job sites

Breezy is an online applicant tracking and recruiting software that automates time-taking hiring processes such as interview scheduling, email or text messaging, and reference checking for recruiters. The software offers career site templates that help you create a mobile-optimized careers page and customize it to add branding elements, current job openings, and other important details. Breezy offers multilingual support for career portals and helps you advertise openings on over 50 job sites, including LinkedIn and Indeed.

Once you’ve attracted a pool of candidates, Breezy allows you to organize them in a Kanban-style pipeline that represents the hiring stages of a potential candidate. There are several pipeline stages in Breezy, including applied, interviewing, disqualified, and hired.

The ATS solution also helps ease your offer management process via approval workflows, custom offer templates, and built-in electronic signatures. The tool integrates with several background check applications, such as Checkr, GoodHire, and Verified First.

Breezy offers customer support via phone, email, and chat.

*Analysis accurate as of July 2022
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Key Features:

  • Application management
  • Background screening
  • Candidate tracking
  • Feedback management
  • Internal HR
  • Job posting
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$143 per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drag-and-drop hiring pipeline in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/141702/Breezy-HR/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Breezy</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/141702/Breezy-HR/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
2

Freshteam: Offers job description templates for job postings

Freshteam is a human resource software solution that allows businesses to attract, track, and hire new employees. The software allows you to create a job requisition form containing important information, including the job role, budget, description, and employment type. As a hiring manager, you can further associate the requisition with a job opening and allocate recruiters to source candidates. Once you’ve created a job requirement, the platform allows you to publish your posting on multiple job boards such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

Freshteam also allows you to build a careers site to display the list of job postings. You can add branding elements and alter the URL as per your requirements. Additionally, the software allows you to preview your site on different devices before publishing.

The software offers over 50 job description templates that help you quickly create job postings for your careers page. Freshteam features an employee selection tool by the name of Candidate 360 that stores a complete record of every candidate, including their profiles, social handles, interviewers’ comments, and sent emails for easy accessibility.

Freshteam offers customer support via phone, chat, and email.

*Analysis accurate as of July 2022
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Key Features:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Approval process control
  • Collaboration tools
  • Compensation management
  • Employee database
  • Job posting
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$70 per employee, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Creating job requisition form in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/166825/Freshteam/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Freshteam</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/166825/Freshteam/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
3

Homebase: Offers applicant screening questions

Homebase is an employee scheduling, hiring, and communications tool that allows you to post jobs, track applicants, and onboard new employees. As a Homebase user, you can receive candidate applicants via a careers page, text-to-apply, and QR codes.

The software features a hiring dashboard for managing applicants. Once you’ve posted a job requirement on a job posting site, such as Google or Indeed, you can review applicant profiles, send messages to prospective candidates, and hire new employees directly from your dashboard. You can also shortlist qualified candidates using its filters ranging from employment status to distance.

Homebase also offers default screening questions that can be attached to a job post. These help recruiting managers identify and shortlist the best candidates for the role. You can add up to three screening questions to a job post.

Homebase offers customer support via phone, email, and chat.

*Analysis accurate as of July 2022
Most affordable
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Key Features:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Automated scheduling
  • Employee database
  • Employee profiles
  • Job posting
  • Onboarding
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$20 per location, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Job posting in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/212114/Homebase/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Homebase</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/212114/Homebase/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
4

Loxo: Features directory of over 530 million candidates

Loxo is an online recruitment and applicant tracking system that offers AI-driven recruiting to users. The platform features a proprietary directory of over 530 million people with verified phone numbers and emails. The software leverages artificial intelligence to update this directory that contains candidate details across 95 data sources.

Recruiters can use this repository to shortlist candidates by applying filters, such as titles, candidate experience, and location. Alternatively, they can use Boolean search that allows users to combine words and phrases to narrow down their search.

Loxo offers built-in features such as a drag-and-drop job pipeline and text messaging that help recruiters automate manual data entry. It also offers a chrome extension that allows users to add candidates directly from other websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and GitHub.

The software also allows users to post their job requirements, along with the job description, on multiple social sites. Loxo also features AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) that allows you to build a pre-hiring talent pool and track candidates.

In case of assistance, you can reach out to Loxo’s customer support team via phone, email, or chat.

*Analysis accurate as of July 2022
Best functionality
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Key Features:

  • Assessment management
  • Background screening
  • Candidate tracking
  • Job posting
  • Resume parsing
  • Resume search
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

Not available on vendor website

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hiring pipeline in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/165046/Loxo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Loxo</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/165046/Loxo/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>
5

Zoho Recruit: Uses AI-based assistant to rank candidates

Zoho Recruit is a talent acquisition software solution that helps automate the hiring process. The software offers an AI-powered assistant that helps you find the right candidate by assessing the skills required for a job, finding candidates with the right skill set, and generating a match score for each one of them. It also offers a semantic search that helps you shortlist candidates from your database using keywords and tags that match jobs in your pipeline.

Zoho Recruit features a resume-parsing tool as well that helps parse resumes in your email accounts, including Zoho Mail, Outlook, and Gmail, and transfer the candidate details directly to your database.

The ATS solution allows you to create, publish, and prioritize job openings on your website. You can also post job requirements on multiple job boards, such as Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Monster. Once you have received applications for a particular job, Zoho Recruit allows you to identify the source of your candidates and the hiring status of the shortlisted candidates with the help of Zoho’s candidate tracking system.

Zoho Recruit offers phone, email, and chat support to users.

*Analysis accurate as of July 2022
Visit Website

Key Features:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Application management
  • Background screening
  • Candidate management
  • Internal HR
  • Job posting
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$1,250 per user, per month (billed annually)

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Job boards in </span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/125768/Zoho-Recruit/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zoho Recruit</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/125768/Zoho-Recruit/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

How to choose the right applicant tracking software

Here are some important factors that you can consider before finalizing the right applicant tracking software solution for your business.

  • Check for resume-parsing feature: Resume parsing allows for automated storage and analysis of bulk resumes using AI. It helps save time for hiring managers since they don’t have to waste time looking at resumes of unsuitable candidates. Resume parsing filters out the most qualified candidates for the job using fixed parameters and promotes a non-biased hiring process. Before shortlisting ATS tools for your business, make sure that they have a resume-parsing feature for scrutinizing resumes.
  • Look for a careers page builder: A careers page is a section of your website that displays the list of active job openings and facilitates communication between the job seekers and the hiring team. Before you invest in an applicant tracking system, make sure that it allows you to build a careers site that is fully optimized for mobile. It should further allow you to customize your careers page using your brand elements, including logo, font, and colors.
  • Consider the cost to upgrade and additional charges: Though there are several free and open-source applicant tracking tools on the market, you might need to switch to a paid version at some point in the future. Before you invest in a free applicant tracking system, consider the cost and the pricing models offered by the vendor in case you need to upgrade. Also, make sure to consider any other additional charges that may come with the upgrade, such as the charges for a new setup, training, or tech support.

Common questions to ask when choosing free applicant tracking software

Here is a list of some common questions that you can ask the vendors before finalizing the best applicant tracking system for your business.

Does the software Kanban boards?

Kanban board is one of the most sought-after features to look for in applicant tracking software. It helps you visualize the recruitment process using cards and columns. In the case of an ATS solution, these columns are usually named as applied, hired, interviewed, on hold, and shortlisted. You can add candidates to these columns based on their hiring stage and drag and drop them to a different column as they progress through various stages. Before you shortlist a tool, make sure that it offers a Kanban view to help you visualize job applications in the pipeline.

What are the available integration options?

An applicant tracking system needs to integrate with other enterprise apps for an efficient hiring process. ATS integration not only facilitates the sourcing of candidates but also ensures that applicants move through the process faster and the right candidate is selected for the job. Before you finalize an ATS tool, make sure to check that it integrates with your current human resource management software, social media platforms, and third-party communication apps.

Does the software support posting on multiple job boards of your choice?

Job board posting is an essential feature of applicant tracking software. Before you finalize a free applicant tracking system, make sure to ask the ATS provider about the job boards supported by the software. Select a platform that allows you to create and publish job requirements on multiple job boards. It would be even better if it allows you to post open positions on all these boards at one time.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


​​At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products have to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of July 14, 2022). We selected five products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software—not a trial version you have to purchase after a certain amount of time to get the full experience.
  3. Meet our definition of applicant tracking software: “Applicant tracking software allows organizations to easily manage the hiring process by maintaining a database of applicant and job information.”

The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews (as of July 14, 2022).

The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade (as of July 14, 2022).

Product research for this article was contributed by Himanshi Arora.


Looking for Applicant Tracking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Applicant Tracking software solutions.

About the Author

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor is a writer at Capterra. She helps small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews for top-rated software products. Prior to Gartner, she worked as an assistant content manager at InfoEdge India Ltd. She has also worked in company law, aviation, and real estate. She is a published author and has contributed to various magazines and websites. During her free time, she enjoys reading.

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Comments

Comment by Nanda Kishore on

I am looking for Recruiter Tracking System. Can anyone advice me best application.

Comment by Daniel Mccartney on

Hey Halden,
Great informative article !
Thanks for sharing some free and open source applicant tracking software. I would like to suggest you to add iSmartRecruit in your list, It provide multiple features like Import and Parse Resumes, Organize All Candidate Information and Automatic Reminders & Alerts More Visit http://www.ismrtrecruit.com

Thanks !!

Comment by Alexander Tikhonov on

We use ViolaRS https://violars.com/en.html . It is free and very functional.

Comment by Paraj Sharma on

Hi,
Thanks for this article. I couldn’t find the free version of SmartRecruiters. Is there anyone who recently downloaded it successfully? Thanks

Comment by John Coote on

Hi Halden
Very informative article here. When you next update, please consider adding Pipeline to your list. http://www.datahousesoftware.com/pipeline

Comment by Nick Misa on

Hi JP, Great list of Top free/open-source ATS’s.

We referenced your post in The Top Applicant Tracking Systems Annual Report (2017) (http://blog.ongig.com/applicant-tracking-system/the-top-applicant-tracking-systems-annual-report-2017)

Avatar

Comment by Sol Saguaro on

When applying for a high-level position with a favorite nonprofit, I discovered that its “free” application management software — ApplicantPro — is actually a frontend for refer.io, a spam marketer. I was asked if I wanted to receive additional job offers. Thinking they meant from the nonprofit; of course, I clicked yes. And then…

Not only did refer.io capture all the personal information I entered (including a confidential cover letter), it also scraped my LinkedIn profile for additional data.

It wasn’t ten minutes after submitting my application that I started getting spam mail from refer.io (which fallaciously suggested they were coming from the nonprofit) and — coincidentally? — from another spammer with a familiar pitch. (The jobs they offered were really crummy, nothing to do with my interests or skills, e.g., Avon sales.)

Watch out for free application-management software! This isn’t any free lunch. I promised confidentiality, but if it got out that the nonprofit had been used by the spammer to capture applicants’ personal information, it would be very bad juju.

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[…] tri manuel alors que le nombre de CV est élevé, d’autres privilégient un ATS gratuit qui offre moins de service. Mais attention, même avec la gratuité, il peut y avoir des coûts […]

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