Save time with an applicant tracking system

Save Time With an Applicant Tracking System – 7 Free Options

For many businesses, hiring the right candidate can be a long and expensive adventure. Not only does a vacant position cost companies time and resources, the hunt for a qualified candidate can also add up quickly.

With the ever-changing recruitment landscape – and the increasing need to keep costs down – businesses are looking for a better approach. The strongest recruitment strategies minimize cost-per-hire, give job seekers a positive experience, and fill candidate pipelines quickly.

To do this, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) – software that automates and simplifies recruiting and hiring.

The right ATS can help you do things such as:

  • Coordinate your recruitment efforts across your entire organization
  • Streamline candidate tracking, evaluation, and communication 
  • Analyze your workflow to improve efficiency 

However, these systems can come with a high price tag — especially if you are recruiting a large number of employees. Some companies offer them as add-ons to human resource management systems (HRMSs). Others provide flexible subscription services that can be configured to meet your organization’s specific needs. Most have a free version or free trial period available.

Whether you’re new to recruitment software or thinking of switching to a new tool, consider using a free applicant tracking software to streamline your process.

Here are seven of our favorite free applicant tracking systems and a summary of the features they offer.

CompanyIdeal ForKey Free Features
Zoho Recruit‘s end-to-end ATS is part
of its recruitment platform.
This integration might be too much for the needs of a small business.
Large companies in rapid expansion– Users: 1
– Job postings: 1
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: 1 – Zapier
– Career site setup
SmartStart is a free version of
SmartRecruiters enterprise talent
acquisition site. The system is a
powerful social media recruiting tool
for small to mid-size businesses.
Small to mid-size businesses
interested in recruiting via social media
– Users: Unlimited
– Job postings: 10
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: Multi
– Career site setup
iKrut is heavily used in the startup community. This easy-to-use system has a comprehensive range of free functions, from thorough reporting to building a branded career microsite.Startups with ever-changing recruiting needs – Users: Unlimited
– Job postings: Unlimited
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: Social
– Career site setup
– Reporting: Basic
OpenCATS, an open-source ATS
solution, requires a bit of technical
knowledge to configure and lacks
direct customer support.
– Users: Unlimited
– Job postings: Unlimited
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: Job boards
Sprout, Freshteam’s free ATS, helps
small companies stay organized with
basic applicant tracking, interview
scheduling, and integration with
Google services.
Companies with up to 50 employees– Users: 50
– Job postings: 3
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: Email
– Career site setup: Basic
MightyRecruiter‘s features help you
find and recruit top talent.
MightyRecruiter also offers assistance
in job description creation.
All types of organizations looking to
recruit online
– Users: Unlimited
– Job postings: 29
– Candidate management
– Team collaboration
– Career site setup
Recruiteze allows companies to
manage job candidates all in one
place, making posting jobs, finding
candidates and filling positions easily. The free system, however, lacks
essential features such as a careers
page, candidate workflow, online job
applications, and bulk resume upload. However, you can try some of the
advanced features while on a free trial.
Companies looking to start simple and make recruiting more sophisticated
over time
– Users: 1
– Job postings: Unlimited
– Candidate management: up to 500
– Team collaboration
– Third-party integrations: Multi
– Career site setup

Are free ATSs as good as paid versions?

The answer is: It really depends on your needs. Do you handle scheduling? Do you do background checks? Do you want to automate candidate communications or CV management? Are candidate proficiency assessments a part of your process? Whatever your specific needs, there are technologies out there with the features you are looking for.

Once you’ve found a program that can handle your specific needs, we recommend taking a look at these other important features:

  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Feature customization 
  • Flexibility and control
  • Intuitive user interface
  • System accessibility and integration
  • Workflow automation


As you have probably guessed, there are dozens of ATSs on the market. Finding the right one for your needs can be a process of trial and error.

No matter which system you choose, as your recruitment process matures, you may need to upgrade your subscription to continue to see its time-saving benefits. The key to success is to think of your choice as an investment, making sure you choose software that will grow with your changing needs.

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