An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software application that helps businesses store, track and manage job applicants throughout the recruitment process. 

ATS can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the features and functionalities they offer. On the other hand, there are free ATS options too for you to try. 

The cost of an ATS can vary depending on the features and functionality required. However, most ATS providers offer subscription-based pricing models, which means that the cost is typically based on the number of users and/or the number of job openings.

From a basic ATS that let users post job openings online and collect and store applicant information in a database to an advanced ATS that offers features such as resume parsing, candidate screening, and interview scheduling - you can get any ATS that suits your needs, based on your budget.

How much does an ATS cost - A detailed comparison How much does an ATS cost - A detailed comparison

ATS Pricing Model

There are different pricing models that ATS comes with. The following are the most popular ones:

1. Pay-per-job model

Some ATS vendors operate on a pay-per-job model. This model works based on two options. 

Jobs you don’t fill will be archived after a certain time period after which you will no longer be charged, but any outstanding applications or resumes will stay active in your system. Pay-per-job model costs typically vary from $100 to $500 per active position. There may be additional recruiting fees or prices per resume. This model suits best if you hire consistently.


2. Pay-per-recruiter model

Most applicant tracking systems are priced on a per-recruiter basis, meaning the ATS cost is typically based on the total number of recruiters within the company. Keep in mind that each recruiter may need their own login and access to different features or functions within the ATS system. Therefore, the cost may vary depending on the job title and your company's specific needs. 

The pay-per-recruiter option is ideal for companies that have an established hiring team that doesn’t change much. Costs are likely to still remain predictable through this service. The average monthly cost per user is between $60 and $100. There may be an extra charge for set up or activation.


3. Pay-per-employee model

The pay-per-employee model is based on the current size of your business and how much it contributes to your success. The cost will be determined by the number of people working for you at any given time because that's what matters in terms of determining a monthly fee.

The cost per employee for small to medium firms is normally $4 to $7 per employee, however, for bigger enterprise-level companies, the cost per employee can be as low as $1 per employee. This solution is best for small start-ups and enterprises with a large number of recruiters.


4. Flat fee model

In a flat model, you receive the ATS for free but with conditions applied - the ATS comes with a limited set of features and suits small businesses that have budget constraints. This can be a godsend as you can pay only for what you need, resulting in lower total costs. In a nutshell, you can do precisely what large businesses do (conduct assessments, screen resumes, schedule interviews, and so on) even when your investments are low.

Depending on license options, the cost can range from $350 per month to a larger one-time fee, with an additional installation fee if applicable. 


5. Free and open-source model

If you have a tight budget, you'll be relieved to learn that certain ATS are completely free. Too good to be true? You can download and keep free and open source ATS software for as long as you want, use it whatever you want, and you owe no one anything. But there is a catch (of course!). No cost obviously means no tech support, so this solution is best if you have someone in-house who knows how to debug software. The only other (not always available) option is to discover a user community online with whom you can discuss common problems. 

Also, keep in mind that just because the software is free doesn't mean you won't have to pay money for it at some point. Total cost: $0

Which Pricing Model Works the Best for You?

There are several elements that can impact which pricing plan is appropriate for your business. Before comparing pricing choices, consider the size of your firm, the capacity of your HR function, your future development objectives, and your specific hiring needs. 

Understanding which features are most important and how your hiring team will utilize an ATS will aid in determining which pricing model is most appropriate. 

ATS Software Cost Comparison

Choosing the best-priced ATS can be a tough nut to crack and that’s why we have listed some of the ATS software options available with their corresponding pricing too. 

1. Freshteam

Freshteam comes with a smart, affordable applicant tracking system that helps recruiters source, track and hire the best talent for your business. 

With Freshteam, you can parse resumes and create candidate profiles, create a branded career site, build talent pools to nurture potential candidates, schedule and conduct interviews, roll out offers and do a lot more. 

One key feature is its recruitment automation with which you can automate up to 75% of recruiting workload. With curated and custom hiring reports delivered promptly, your hiring teams will have things sorted pretty well! Also as a bonus, you can get onboarding set up for the selected candidates too. From customized onboarding workflows to 90-day checklists, you can do everything.   

Freshteam ATS has a unique pricing model where you pay only for what your business needs and upgrade as it grows on a per-employee basis. The four plans are a free-forever plan at $0/month, a growth plan at $1.20/employee/month, a pro plan at $2.40/employee/month and an enterprise plan at $4.80/employee/month - so, a plan for every stage your business is in! Check the pricing plans here.

How much does Freshteam ATS cost How much does Freshteam ATS cost

2. Homerun

Homerun is an online hiring tool whose pricing starts from €0/month. Then, there is a light plan at €55 per month paid yearly, a basic plan at €99 per month paid yearly and a plus plan at €159/month paid yearly. All plans have a free trial.

3. Jobiak

This AI-powered recruitment marketing tool comes with a three-tier plan for SMBs: tier 1 at $100/month, tier 2 at $235/month and tier 3 at $450/month. For enterprises, there are four tiers: tier 1 at $1060/month, tier 2 at $1875/month, tier 3 at $3500/month and tier 4 at $4875/month. 

4. Oleeo

It is an applicant tracking and recruiting solution that leverages machine learning. Pricing is client-based and not upfront.

5. Hirestream

Hirestream is an ATS whose pricing starts with a free-for-one-year plan. Other plans are: basic at and business at $60/month and an enterprise plan which is client-based.

6. Hello Astra

Hello Astra’s AI-enabled talent recruitment and management platform starts with a basic plan at $19/month per user. The other plans are: plus at $59/month per user and pro at $139/month per user.

7. AviaHire

AviaHire is a recruiting platform that comes with three plans, namely  Lite, Premium and Pro. The pricing is not revealed upfront and is client-based. 


This ATS uses predictive AI and the pricing starts from €0/month. The standard and pro plans are client-based.

9. Arca24

This AI-powered recruitment platform does not reveal its pricing upfront and is client-based. Some sources say the pricing starts at $120.  

10. TrackTalents

It is an ATS and recruitment software that leverages semantic matching algorithms. Pricing is quote-based and depends on the number of users, number of bulk emails per month and the number of SMS per mail required.   

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is ATS worth the investment?

Yes, it is worth the investment to choose the right ATS that fits your business requirements and budget. At a monthly cost ranging from zero to a few hundred dollars, you can create a more consistent experience for everyone involved in the hiring process, from recruiters to candidates. Ultimately, it is one of the best things you can do to improve your brand's reputation. As it helps with attracting and retaining higher talent, it's a win-win situation worth investigating.

2. Which ATS gives the best features at an affordable cost?

You can check out Freshteam’s smart and investment-worthy ATS which comes with powerful recruitment automation features. It helps reduce up to 75% of a recruiter’s workload by taking care of all transactional activities through preset workflows. Moreover, all it takes to sign up, set up the tool and start hiring in just 10 minutes.