A common question people ask when approaching an ATS provider is: “how much does an applicant tracking system cost?” The answer is challenging because many variables come into play when buying applicant tracking software. This often leads to the answer that no one wants to hear: “it depends.”
But let’s put that answer aside for now, and begin by helping you understand the variables that impact cost. Then, I’ll give you a good idea of the pricing your organization can expect.
Applicant Tracking System Cost Basics
Most pricing for applicant tracking software is based on the following criteria:
- Size of the organization (based on sales or employees)
- Number of locations and/or users
- Hiring volume
- Other complementary products wanted (employee onboarding software, video interviewing, etc.)
Below is a listing of some of the more common features that may be of importance to your organization. Pricing will typically fluctuate based on which of these items you need for your company:
- Branded career portal to match your company website’s look & feel
- Ability to post positions to free or paid external job boards
- Configurable employment application process for applicants (i.e. external, internal and two-step application options)
- Custom screening questions to help identify qualified or more desirable applicants
- Affirmative Action reporting capability for OFCCP compliance
- Job requisition management to automate your internal approval process for new positions
- Social media tools to leverage both corporate and employee social relationships to drive more applicants to your open positions
- Ability to share applicants with others – both users and non-users
- Customizable process to organize and categorize applicants
- Mass update/change capabilities when managing applicants
- Other solutions that may be optionally embedded into the applicant tracking software tool (background checks, drug screens, employee assessments, etc.)
The final component in determining price for applicant tracking software is understanding what restrictions or limitations exist in the solution. These limitations typically exist in lower-priced or “free” tools and are listed below:
- # of open jobs at a given time (often 3 or fewer)
- # of applicants in the system (often 200 or fewer)
- # of system users (often just 1)
Similarly, many providers offer different tiers of pricing based on which features you need and what limitations you’re willing to accept. Be sure to understand exactly what you get in these “Gold” vs. “Silver” vs. “Bronze” packages. Otherwise, you may end up with a higher price tag or less functionality than you anticipated.
Applicant Tracking System Cost Scenarios
Now that you understand some of the parameters, let’s look at some examples of pricing. Please keep in mind, these are only examples and are not meant to provide definitive figures for your particular situation.
- Scenario 1 — under 50 employees, single user, no more than 3 jobs listed and fewer than 100 applicants
- Here you might expect to see little to no implementation fees and anywhere from $50 to $200 per month in ongoing access fees.
- Scenario 2 — 100 to 200 employees, 3 users, unlimited jobs and unlimited applicants
- Here you might expect to see $0 to $500 implementation fees and anywhere from $150 to $400 per month in ongoing access fees.
- Scenario 3 — 300 to 500 employees, 10 users, unlimited jobs and unlimited applicants
- Here you might expect to see $300-$1,000 implementation fees and anywhere from $300 to $650 per month ongoing access fees.
As you can see, shopping for an applicant tracking software solution isn’t a simple task. Determining if you’re really comparing “apples to apples” takes time and due diligence. I hope this helps in your efforts to find the best solution at a fair price for your HR department’s and company’s needs.