By Lars Lofgren
Applicant tracking software—better known as ATS software—is a tool dedicated to recruitment and hiring.
ATS software is used by hiring managers and HR departments for internal hiring needs. But it’s also trusted by staffing and recruitment agencies that work as a third-party between businesses and applicants.
Basic applicant tracking solutions have been around for decades. With that said, modern ATS software is the best way to manage recruiting and talent acquisition at scale.
Without an ATS system, businesses will struggle to recruit and hire top-level talent. Blindly posting jobs on your website and random boards is not efficient. In addition to reaching a wider pool of qualified applicants, ATS software makes it much easier to manage data from various sources, which typically poses logistical challenges at scale.
From small businesses to enterprise-level HR teams and recruitment agencies, this guide covers the best applicant tracking software on the market today.
The Top 7 Best Applicant Tracking Software
After extensive research and demoing, I’ve narrowed down the top seven applicant tracking software that I can confidently recommend. Continue below for more information about the features, benefits, pricing, and use cases of each one.
#1 – JazzHR — Best Overall Applicant Tracking Software
• Starts at $39
• Unlimited users
• Custom ATS solution
• 21 day free trial
• Get a free demo
JazzHR is our top overall recommendation for ATS software. Regardless of your business size, industry, or hiring needs, this software has you covered.
For internal hiring and staffing agencies alike, JazzHR has solutions for everyone.
One of my favorite parts of JazzHR is the unlimited user feature. Instead of billing you on a per-user basis, your entire team can use this software without any additional charges. All plans come with unlimited users.
With JazzHR, you’ll be up and running immediately. There’s no lengthy onboarding process, so you can start sourcing top-level talent upon sign up.
JazzHR is highly customizable. Every team has a unique process and different needs. You’ll have full power to tailor JazzHR based on your company’s requirements.
Top features include:
- Candidate sourcing
- Employer branding
- Collaborative hiring
- Compliance and reporting
- Interviews and assessments
- Job posting and syndication
- Job-specific recruiting teams
- Offers and e-sign
Let’s take a closer look at the JazzHR plans and prices:
- Hero — $39 per month
- Plus — $219 per month
- Pro — $329 per month
The hero plan includes three open jobs, which is fine for basic use and small teams. But it doesn’t come with full applicant tracking capabilities—just job posting and syndication. To get the most out of JazzHR, you’ll need to sign up for the Plus plan. Pricing for staffing agencies starts at $99 per month.
Request a demo and try JazzHR free for 21 days.
#2 – JobScore — Best Scalable Applicant Tracking Software
• Starts at $99
• Unlimited users
• One-click job postings
• 30 day free trial
• Start for free
JobScore has been an innovative leader in the ATS category for more than a decade. It’s currently used by over 1,000 active employers across 150+ countries. Overall, JobScore has helped process and sort 10+ million job applications.
I like JobScore because it’s easy to use and has plans for teams of all sizes. It’s easy for JobScore to scale with you as your team’s recruiting needs grow over time.
So even if you’re a small business right now, you won’t have to worry about getting a new ATS software when you need to hire at scale. You just need to upgrade your JobScore plan.
With JobScore, you’ll be able to post open positions on a wide range of job boards to source top-level applicants from a larger pool.
All JobScore plans come with the following features and benefits:
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited candidates
- Unlimited tags
- Unlimited notes
- One-click job posting
- Social recruiting
- Applicant tracking
- Hosted career website
Here’s a quick glance at the plans and pricing for JobScore:
- Start — $99 per month
- Scale — $299 per month
- Enterprise — Custom quote
The rates above are based on an annual contract. Month-to-month rates are available, and roughly 30% more expensive. The Start plan is perfect for small teams that don’t need to hire more than five positions simultaneously. The Scale plan can accommodate up to ten open job posts.
For larger organizations of up to 10,000 employees and advanced hiring needs, contact JobScore for a custom quote.
You can try JobScore free for 30 days; no credit card required.
#3 – WebHR — Best Cheap Applicant Tracking Software
• Starts at $2 per employee
• $0.50 for applicant tracking
• All-in-one HR software
• Discounts at scale
• Sign up for free
More than 25,000 businesses in nearly 200 countries use WebHR. It’s trusted by well-known brands like Nissan, Merry Maids, Jiffy Lube, Massage Envy, Servpro, and more.
WebHR is an all-in-one cloud-based HR solution.
The platform has tools for things like time and attendance, payroll, benefits administration, e-sign, onboarding, background checks, and recruiting.
For those of you who are looking for a complete HR solution, applicant tracking with WebHR is a cheap add-on.
WebHR starts at just $2 per employee per month. But the cost per employee is reduced based on volume. For example, the rate drops to $1.90 for 100 employees, $1.50 for 100 employees, and $1 for 1,000 employees.
The base plan comes with base modules for:
- Time and attendance
- Employees database
- Onboarding and offboarding
- Leaves and PTO
- Social HR
- Employee directory
- Employee self-service
- Dynamic dashboards
Add the WebHR applicant tracking system to your plan for just $0.50 per employee. You won’t find a cheaper rate on the market today.
#4 – Bullhorn — Best For Staffing and Recruitment Agencies
• Manage clients at scale
• Manage invoices
• 100+ pre-integrated tools
• ATS and CRM for agencies
• Request a free demo
While many applicant tracking solutions have tools and features for recruiting agencies, Bullhorn is built specifically for staffing businesses and recruiters.
With Bullhorn, your agency will be able to manage clients at scale. You can even fill jobs and automate the onboarding process from a single source. Bullhorn also makes it possible to invoice your clients and calculate bills for things like time tracking and more.
Bullhorn is actually branded as an ATS and CRM system since you’ll be managing clients in addition to applicants.
Top features and benefits of Bullhorn include:
- Email integration
- LinkedIn integration
- Mobile recruiting
- Passive active tracking
- Dashboard reporting
- Job data capture
- Resume parsing
- Candidate search
The Bullhorn marketplace has 100+ pre-integrated solutions that you can use to customize the software to accommodate your needs. Overall, Bullhorn is robust, easy to use, and built to scale.
With that said, I’d only recommend this software to staffing and recruiting agencies. Technically, it could be used for internal recruiting, but there are better options on the market for ATS in-house. Bullhorn will be overkill for HR departments and in-house hiring managers.
The rates for Bullhorn plans are not available online. You’ll need to contact the Bullhorn sales team to request a custom pricing quote.
#5 – BambooHR — Best HR Software For Applicant Tracking
• All-in-one HR software
• Recruiting and onboarding tools
• List new openings with ease
• Team collaboration tools
• Get a free quote
BambooHR is an all-in-one solution for human resources software. In fact, it ranks second on our list of the best HR software on the market today.
With BambooHR, your human resources department and hiring team will be equipped to handle all of your recruiting and onboarding needs. It’s an excellent way to organize application information throughout each stage of the hiring process.
You can use BambooHR to send offer letters directly within the platform. The software also has team collaboration tools for recruiting, automated alerts, and a seamless experience between desktops and mobile apps.
Posting open job positions is easy. With just a few clicks, you can attract top-level candidates from a wide range of job boards and sites, like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
From recruiting to hiring and onboarding, BambooHR is with you each step of the way. Plus, as a full HR solution, you’ll be able to manage new hires for their duration with your company.
BambooHR has two packages—Essentials and Advantage.
Unfortunately, the applicant tracking software is not available with the entry-level plan. So if you’re just looking for applicant tracking and don’t need all of the extra HR features, BambooHR probably won’t be the best solution for you. You’ll end up paying for extra tools you don’t need.
Pricing is not available online. Contact BambooHR for a free quote.
#6 – Ascendify — Best Enterprise-Grade Applicant Tracking Software
• Talent acquisition and development
• Predictive assessments
• Recruitment marketing tools
• Talent pipelines
• Request free demo
Ascendify specializes in talent acquisition and talent development for large organizations. This enterprise-grade ATS software is a top choice for well-known brands like Cigna, Cisco, Panasonic, GE, and Marriott Hotels.
The solution is designed to assist businesses throughout the entire hiring, onboarding, and employee management process.
Your recruitment and hiring department can attract top-level talent with career websites, talent pipelines, diversity programs, employee referrals, and more. It has everything you need for recruitment marketing.
Ascendify’s software allows you to personalize content based on applicants. You can automatically match certain skills into unique talent pipelines and identify where they’ll be the best fit.
The software adds a strategic level to your onboarding and hiring process, which is crucial for large companies.
Ascendify automatically creates predictive assessments for applicants. This tool helps predict what learning gaps exist between the applicant’s skills and the requirements of the open jobs. The feature estimates how long it takes for people to learn and perform at the highest level.
Ascendify is secure, scalable, and reliable, with a 100% uptime guarantee. It’s robust enough for highly configurable workflows but simple enough for end-users. In addition to the ATS software, Ascendify also offers enterprise consulting, training, and support.
Pricing is not available online. Just fill out a quick form to request a free demo and quote.
#7 – Recooty — Best Free Applicant Tracking Software
• Free for 3 active listings
• Schedule interviews
• 20+ job boards
• Branded career page
• Start for free
Aside from having an awesome name, Recooty is arguably the simplest applicant tracking software on the market today. It’s easy for anyone to use, even if you don’t have any prior experience with recruiting software or ATS.
More than 4,000 businesses worldwide trust Recooty’s ATS. It’s even used by big brands like Trello and Uber.
Beyond applicant tracking, you’ll also be able to review applications, add comments, create a shortlist, and schedule interviews.
Use Recooty to create a branded career page on your website. Post new openings to 20+ job boards like ZipRecruiter, Facebook, and CareerJet.
In addition to its simplicity, Recooty is extremely affordable, which makes it a popular choice for small businesses.
- Basic — Free
- Pro — $29 per month
- Ultra — $49 per month
The free plan is perfect for those of you who don’t need more than three active job postings.
For single users, the Pro plan can accommodate up to ten active job posts. Recooty Ultra is available for up to 25 active job boards, 25 users, and multiple locations.
If you’re in the market for a simple and cost-efficient applicant tracking software, Recooty will be a top choice for you to consider.
How to Find the Best Applicant Tracking Software For You
Generally speaking, there is no “best for everyone” ATS software. Everyone has unique needs for recruiting and applicant tracking.
To find the best applicant tracking software for your business, there are certain factors that you need to evaluate while you’re shopping around. I’ll break down these elements in greater detail below. This is the methodology that we used to narrow down the software in this guide.
Hiring Volume and Frequency
How often do you hire new employees? How many employees do you hire at once?
A business that hires less than ten employees per year and never has more than three active openings won’t have the same needs as an organization that hires dozens of employees each month. Most ATS software has some type of cap or restriction on how many open listings you can have at once.
Furthermore, recruiting at scale is obviously more complex to manage, which will require additional tools and features to stay organized.
Not all ATS software is created equally.
Some software is designed for in-house hiring. These tools are intended for use by hiring managers or HR departments.
Alternatively, there are other solutions on the market geared towards staffing and recruitment agencies. Those tools will have features to help your team manage multiple clients across various industries, in addition to tracking applicants.
Human Resources Features
Depending on the size of your business, you might be in the market for an all-in-one human resources solution. This type of software will have additional tools for things like onboarding and managing employees after the initial hiring process is over.
If you don’t need HR software, there’s no reason to pay extra for a complete HR solution. You can look for applicant tracking as a standalone product instead.
Applicant tracking software is designed to improve efficiency within your organization. While it’s tough to put a price on that, you should still find a solution that fits within your budget.
We’ve seen ATS software as low as $0.50 per employee as an add-on to HR software. There are also plans as high as $300+ per month. Most of you will likely fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
For basic use and low-volume hiring, you can always take advantage of free applicant tracking software.
What’s the best applicant tracking software on the market today? JazzHR is our top overall recommendation based on its performance, flexibility, and price. But there are plenty of other alternatives to consider for specific use cases.
If you’re on a tight budget, check out WebHR or Recooty.
For ATS software built to scale, try JobScore. BambooHR is our top recommendation for an all-in-one HR software with built-in ATS tools. Staffing and recruitment agencies should use Bullhorn. Ascendify is the best enterprise-grade solution.
Regardless of your business size, industry, or hiring frequency, you can use this guide to find the best applicant tracking software for your needs.