12 Best Free Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) In 2023
February 08, 2023
Any given job posting can attract up to hundreds of applications. How does one sift through them and pull out the candidates most suited to the next round? Using free applicant tracking systems, of course!
An ATS lets you keep tabs on each candidate and sort them by various parameters with the click of a button. If you are on a limited budget, however, or just dipping your toe into the ATS world, you might well be wondering, ‘what are the best free applicant tracking systems for me?’
In this article, we round up the top tools in the market that you can use and enjoy benefits from without paying a dime. But first, let us dive deeper into the basics:
Essentially, it is a tool that allows companies to easily filter and sort candidate resumes and prioritize the most suitable ones for a given job posting.
An application tracking system enables recruiters to store all candidate details and track their application statuses on a single dashboard while sending out auto-notifications to those shortlisted or rejected.
By automating a large fraction of the selection process, both paid and free applicant tracking software saves time and eliminates the risk of human error or bias. Today, about 90% of fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to simplify their hiring.
An ATS can go all the way from a barebones deal to a full-service software loaded with features and aesthetic details. Some are free, and some are paid, and what you pick depends entirely on your needs and your budget.
Most free online applicant tracking system plans come with a good range of features to turbo-charge your recruitment, including:
All of these serve to save your HR team’s time and labor for the parts of recruiting that require human input. There are, however, certain features you are likely to miss out on with free ATS software. The limitations include:
Despite the cons, free applicant tracking systems are a great starting point if you are looking to streamline your recruitment process but do not want to invest in a paid tool just yet. That is why we have put together a list of the best free applicant tracking systems out there.
Some of these are free for life, while others are limited-period trials. Shop around for the one that suits you best.
This is a cloud-based HR software packed with features and is ideal for companies with a maximum of 50 employees. With the free plan, you can access robust applicant tracking and reports for up to three job postings per month. In addition, you get a basic career site, a recruitment inbox, and an employee directory.
If your company is in the recruiting/staffing business, Zoho is the way to go. Users can source, track and select the best candidates across multiple platforms with ease and automate tasks like updating interview status and sending emails.
Even the free version has cool integrations such as job description templates, background checking software, and evaluation management.
Gartner rated this the #1 recruitment software in 2021, and for a good reason. With one of the most straightforward user interfaces around, reviewing applications and making hiring decisions becomes a breeze thanks to this simple applicant tracking system.
You can do a 15-day free trial for any three pricing plans before choosing or using the free basic plan in perpetuity.
This end-to-end talent acquisition tool is ideal for fast-growing firms due to its scalability and ease of use. It has a SmartStart free version that allows up to ten active job postings at a time for companies with up to 250 employees.
The ATS software has you covered for free, from pre-integrated assignments to interview scheduling to onboarding support.
This highly scalable ATS is designed to make recruitment easier for small start-ups and solopreneurs. It also has highly positive ratings on software review site Capterra.
Unlike many of the other free applicant tracking systems, you get to access the free version of BreezyHR forever. You can only have one active position and talent pool at a time, but that is fine considering the many advantages you get.
This is a fast, extensible ATS designed for companies looking to hire the best tech talent anywhere in the world. Its key selling point is its ability to connect recruiters with the top talent in under 48 hours. It also caters to tech candidates looking to work remotely or relocate abroad.
This superlative ATS is apt for hiring tech talent quickly, especially if you are an early-stage start-up looking to hire more.
With smart interviewing scheduling, comprehensive candidate tracking, and easy communications, Jobsoid makes hiring easy even for those new to it. There is a free version you can use for life, as well as free trials for each of the premium plans.
This is one of the most flexible ATS options and is suitable for companies where HR is looking to collaborate with the rest of the company to hire better. The free trial offers excellent integration options for workflow management, recruitment goal checking, and other internal HR processes.
This is another great free ATS to start with, featuring a user-friendly interface, mobile compatibility, integrated onboarding, and branding tools. It is apt for those wanting to focus on employer branding as it helps you create an attractive career site that is mobile-friendly too. There is no free version as such, but you can try out the entire software for 14 days.
This agile ATS is designed to empower your HR team, emphasizing self-service and collaboration. A centralized dashboard allows easy process automation, and the intuitive hiring pipeline enables faster decisions.
The free version is perfect for companies with up to 50 employees, and you can try the paid plans for free as well.
This is a great ATS that is entirely free to use and designed for small businesses working in industries that have a history of discriminatory hiring practices.
It has powerful reporting features that keep you compliant with Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) norms. It also allows recruiters to create a list of screening questions, rate and rank candidates, and customize email templates for candidate communication.
If you are a recruiter or company looking to build a strong referral program, JobScore is the way to go. It is an all-in-one recruitment platform with a free plan that lets you post unlimited job openings (paid as well as unpaid) and reach a total number of candidates.
Most significantly, it lets you run an employee referral program that rewards employees whenever a referred candidate is successfully hired.
Given the limitations of free applicant tracking systems, it is understandable that not everyone might want to opt for them. The tool may be more cost-efficient, in fact, to pay for some extra features and enhance the recruitment experience. Here is when a free ATS might be the right choice for you:
Otherwise, and especially if you are looking to grow and expand rapidly as a team, it might just be worth investing in paid solutions.
In conclusion, free applicant tracking systems may have limitations on what they can do. Still, they are certainly an excellent place to start if you want to move beyond manually trawling through resumes.
With simplified job postings, easy candidate filtering options, and automated candidate-employer communication, you are well on your way to hiring faster and better, even before upgrading to a paid ATS. Good luck!
Asavari is an EiR at Adaface. She has made it her mission to help recruiters deploy candidate-friendly skill tests instead of trick-question based tests. When taking a break, she obsesses over art.
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