ATS Cost Comparison: 4 Most Common Pricing Structures

How much does applicant tracking software cost? How can I compare prices?


Many organizations are looking into applicant tracking software (ATS) for help with attracting, reviewing and hiring candidates.

ATS solutions provide a simple and paper-free way to handle the recruitment process, and they’ve improved a great deal recently.

Here, we’ll explain the basic costs of ATS and compare products to give you an idea about industry standards for pricing.

How is ATS Priced?

An ATS solution can be adopted by any business to help organize applications.

There are four common ways vendors price their solutions:

1. Pay per Recruiter

This pricing model charges based on the number of employees who will have administrative access. These accounts allow users total control to post jobs and view candidate information. Recruiters are the standard users in this pricing model, and pricing this way can lead some solutions to exclude hiring managers from having their own accounts.

Intended Client: Small to mid-sized businesses with recruiters in HR who take care of the majority of hiring needs rather than hiring managers.

Sample Pricing:

  • Crelate: Crelate considers its users to be recruiters in HR. The vendor has a basic package priced at $65/user/month and a professional package with the option for hiring managers to access the solution at $80/user/month.
  • Exelare: This vendor offers two options that are both priced per user per month. The standard option is $79/month up to 3 users, $69/month up to 10 users and $59/month for 11+ users. The premium is $109/month up to 3 users, $99/month up to 10 users and $89/month for 11+ users with additional features such as data hosting and custom reports.

2. Pay per Position

Some vendors will offer pricing based on the number of open requisitions in your organization. This pricing method typically accepts unlimited applications for each job and allows an unlimited number of users to have access while charging for a capped amount of openings each month. ATS vendors that charge based on open positions are also more likely to focus on posting openings across job boards and will have fewer features for screening candidates, such as video interviewing capabilities.

Intended Client: Small to mid-sized businesses that are comfortable with capping open positions, but also hire regularly enough that there will always be open positions each month.

Sample Pricing:

  • Jobsoid: Jobsoid’s pricing is based on the number of job openings each month with limited users. The solution is free for one posting, $50/month for up to 3 openings, $100/month for up to 10 openings and $250/month for up to 50 openings.

3. Pay per Module

This pricing model only exists for unified HR solutions rather than best-of-breed solutions. It’s offered by vendors that may also offer solutions for onboarding, training and talent management. These vendors often have a complete Human Resource Management Software (HRMS) suite and might not allow their ATS to integrate with other HRMS solutions. So clients must purchase their HRMS and either pay for the whole suite or individual modules.

Intended Client: Enterprise-sized clients that are willing to invest in an all-in-one solution to handle the full employee life cycle, from hiring to retirement.

Sample Pricing:

4. Pay per Employee

Paying per employee was once the most common way for vendors to price their ATS solutions, but has changed recently to favor other methods listed here. Many applicant tracking software vendors will still request the total number of employees who work at your organization. Based on this number, vendors offer a price quote to match the size of your organization. Because this information is just used for an estimate, it’s often just a first step in totaling the costs. Custom pricing is usually offered above a certain number of employees, such as 1,000+.

Intended Client: Any size business can typically use ATS solutions with this pricing structure, although large and enterprise-sized businesses may benefit the most from employee-based pricing.

Sample Pricing: We currently don’t have any examples of this pricing structure.


Bottom Line

Many ATS vendors will offer a mix of certain pricing plans. For example, a vendor might charge based on each user per month, but will also offer features for opting into at a later time.

If price is a pain point, a flat job opening per month fee is often the least expensive option.

If you’re unsure whether the cost of ATS is a worthwhile investment, check out The Definitive Guide to ATS for the need-to-know details before buying.

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