If you’re in the process of selecting an Applicant Tracking System, you’re probably trying to work out how much an ATS is going cost you – without having to commit to spending significant time on the phone to salespeople or endless online research. But there is a valid reason that ATS pricing is not published across the websites of potential providers – there is a lot more to pricing than it may seem. And if you’re focused on costs alone, you’re not on the right track to getting the right solution.


Selecting applicant tracking software (ATS) for your organisation can often feel like crossing a minefield. If you’re in this process, you’re probably trying to work out how much it’s going to cost you and how to incorporate it into your recruitment costs. 

Chances are, you can’t commit to spending significant time on the phone with salespeople or endlessly researching online to figure out a fee for your new ATS. So, how much does an applicant tracking system cost? And how can you ensure you’re getting the most value for your money?

How much can you expect to pay for an applicant tracking system?

The annoying truth is that the cost of your system will depend on the functionalities you need and the size of your organisation. There are a lot of factors to consider when discerning your budget: how many job openings you have per year, your current recruitment processes and so on. Many ATS providers will offer a cost-per-user model, which can be great for small businesses, whereas others may offer a subscription-like monthly, quarterly or annual fee. 

Specific ATS pricing is not usually published across the websites of potential providers – and there is a lot more to ATS pricing than it may seem. If you’re focused on costs alone, you’re not on the right track to getting the right solution out there when it comes to ATS and HR software.

The question that you want to ask is: how much will an ATS save? 

ATS software automates and simplifies many of the menial tasks in your recruitment processes. A good applicant tracking system allows recruiters to oversee job postings, applicant profiles, talent pools to streamline your processes.

For instance, if you currently don’t have the resources to advertise and recruit in-house, you may turn to agencies to fill your vacancy. This will entail hefty recruitment agency fees per hire. If you have an effective applicant tracking system in-house, you may not need to use an agency to fill your role. If you’d like to investigate more on the benefits of internal vs. external recruitment, read more here.

Reasons to look at ATS pricing differently

Don’t conflate price and value.

A good Applicant Tracking System will absorb the administration that you’d otherwise need to employ someone to do. The savings available depend on how successfully a system will do this for you. The more complicated your hiring process is, the more functionalities you may need your ATS to do.  

If you’re having to manually set up multiple job boards, review applicants from different databases and manually schedule interviews; you can save hours of your hiring manager’s time using an ATS to streamline these administrative tasks. These are internal costs that never disappear. An Applicant Tracking System will effectively reduce the cost-per-hire for each new recruit. 

There’s every chance the ATS provider that charges the least will be offering a basic solution that won’t lighten your workload and you will end up having to pay extra for add-ons instead of a flat fee for a new ATS.

Pro tip: potential savings are as important as potential costs.

The better functioning the system, the more time and money you’ll be saving. Recruitment is an increasingly competitive field where candidate experience is becoming more and more crucial. A well functioning ATS will ensure candidate experience throughout the recruitment stages so you can attract the best talent. 

This is where choosing the right Applicant Tracking Software has little to do with the upfront price of the software and more to do with the functionality of the product and what it can do for your HR department.  Find out how automation is key to success in the hiring process. 

Pricing has many dependencies

There are many areas where ATS pricing will vary. Usually, a provider will give a bespoke quote based on your needs. It’s not easy to predict or give a price upfront without knowing the specific details of the organisation, but don’t let this deter you and be ready to ask for indicative pricing once you’re able to supply the relevant information.

What information do I need to get an accurate ATS quote?

Knowing your company’s needs will ensure that the Applicant Tracking System you choose doesn’t incur any unnecessary expenses. To get an accurate quote for your applicant tracking system, here are some of the examples of information you’ll need:

  • The size of your company
  • Current cost-per-hire
  • Current internal and external costs
  • Current overall recruitment costs

The ballpark figure of your ATS quote may be all you need to decide whether your department has the budget for implementing an ATS this financial year. It may be the case that your HR department may need to build a business case to get the system that is right for your organisation.

You may not even realise up until that moment how many of your hiring processes are ATS-friendly or how much recruiting software can save you. At Hireserve we are always happy to provide indicative pricing and have a no-obligation chat for this reason. We can guide you and recommend the best course of action, pricing model and Applicant Tracking System for your current recruitment issues. 

We’ve created a handy applicant tracking system ROI calculator to help you figure out just how much an ATS could save your organisation.  

About the author

Tristan Potter