How much does an Applicant Tracking System cost in 2024?

HR Manager discussing Applicant tracking system cost

Updated: 1/3/24


If you landed on this page, chances are the query, ‘applicant tracking system cost,’ is what led you here. That’s not surprising. Studies show that two of the biggest business challenges in 2024 will be around recruitment and cost. Hiring and retaining the best talent is critical in today’s landscape. And recruitment automation is one way to boost your hiring efforts.   

In this article, we discuss Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). ATS makes it simple for companies to manage the application process. It securely stores all applications, and automates certain tasks associated with recruitment. This significantly saves time for businesses, especially those within the SMB space.  

But how much does it cost? What features are included in ATS? And is it best to get an ATS as a discreet solution, or as part of a complete HR system? These are all queries we regularly get asked here at Access PeopleHR. And in this article, we aim to address such queries and give you a balanced overview, helping you make the best decision for your business.  

How much does an applicant tracking system cost?

The average cost of an applicant tracking system (ATS) starts at around £2,500 pa. 

For more advanced functionality, the cost of an applicant tracking system will increase to up to £10,000 pa. In the UK, the price of ATS can be different depending on what the software can do and how big your business is. It also depends on how many people will use it.  

The average cost for HR software (which includes ATS) is around £7284 pa (for 100 users). You may be thinking, ‘woah, HR systems are way more expensive than ATS!’  

But don't forget, when you get an HR system, you also get a lot more features. Examples of these include (but are not limited to: 

  • Payroll functionality 
  • Time and attendance software 
  • Appraisal software 

To find out more about HR software features, read our related article.  

Despite these added features, this isn’t to say HR software is the better option for you. It just means that you get more functionality for your investment – hence the increased cost. 

To learn more about how much HR software costs, you can read our guide called "How much does a HR system cost?". The guide talks about factors affecting the cost and how to see if the investment is worth it.  

How to compare ATS prices and features

There are several ways that you can go about comparing applicant tracking system costs (UK). One way is to search online for reviews and comparisons of different software options. This can help you understand what they can do and how much they cost. It can also be helpful to directly contact software providers and request pricing information or demos of their products.  

Some of the top Applicant Tracking Systems are: 

  • Pinpoint 
  • Greenhouse 
  • JazzHR 

As a business, you should firstly identify what you need and how much you can spend – before looking at the cost of an applicant tracking system.  

To determine your needs, create a pros and cons list of each ATS you are interested in. Closely evaluate what features you get for your investment. This will help you narrow down your options and allow you to align your expectations with your budget.  

It all comes down to your existing and projected recruitment aims. As an SMB, ask yourself: 

  • How many new hires do I want to make over the next 3-5 years? 
  • What aspects of recruitment are taking up most of my time? 
  • Do I need advanced functionality, or will we get by on a basic package? 
  • Do I need support with other aspects of HR, and not just recruitment? 

You may find that your recruitment needs aren’t that complex. Therefore, you may not need the most advanced ATS on the market (if any ATS at all).  

What features are included in the cost of an ATS?

There are a variety of features that are typically included in the average cost of an applicant tracking system. These can vary depending on the specific product and provider. The following features are what’s included in PeopleHR’s integrated ATS. Use this as a baseline of what you should consider when researching different ATS for your business: 

  • Job posting: You can post job listings to various job boards and social media platforms from a single location. It integrates with recruitment sites like Glassdoor.  
  • CV management: You can organise and search through CVs that have been submitted for a particular job listing. 
  • Interview scheduling: You can schedule interviews with candidates and send out calendar invites. 
  • Communication: You can help ease communication between hiring managers and candidates via a portal for sending and receiving messages. 
  • Reporting and analytics: You can obtain metrics on the performance of the hiring process. This includes how many candidates are in each stage of the recruitment process, from shortlisting to the very final stages of the interviews, so you can see exactly how long it takes to fill a position.  

Note: This is a baseline of features that you should consider when discussing applicant tracking system cost. Some providers may offer more features than what's listed above. It's also important to look out for specific features that align with your business's needs and process. 

Is it best to get an ATS with HR software?

When considering whether it’s best to get an ATS with HR software for your business, there is no simple answer. It will depend on a variety of factors relating to your business’ unique needs. There are numerous pros and cons to purchasing an ATS within a human resources (HR) software package. We will aim to cover this now.  

3 benefits of integrated HR and ATS software: 

  • Saves time and effort. You won’t have to go back and forth between different systems. This makes the process of hiring more efficient and less confusing.  
  • Provides more insights and improves overall process efficiency. This is in relation to data analysis and communication. 
  • Helps companies ensure that all the necessary data is collected and kept in the same place. This makes it easy to find and reference information about candidates. It can also help with compliance with various regulations. 
  • You get more for your investment. An HR system with integrated ATS means you get a bunch of other features, including, absence management, performance review software, workflow management software, HR data and analytics (and more).  

However, there are also some cons to be aware of when purchasing an ATS within an HR software package. One downside is that it may not be as customisable as standalone ATS. In other words, you may have to accept some of the default settings that may not align with your business's needs or processes. Also, it may be more expensive than standalone ATS, as it includes more features than just applicant tracking. 

It’s important to do your own research and compare different options to make sure that the ATS you choose aligns with your business's needs. 

Next steps

When discussing, how much does an applicant tracking system cost, your first consideration as an SMB will be… Choosing between a standalone ATS, or HR software which includes ATS functionality 

The price you pay will depend on the size of your business, how many hires you plan on making and the type of functionality you choose.  

Choosing an ATS is an important decision for your business and it's vital you take the time to find the right one. The cost is an important factor but don't make it the only factor. A cost/benefit/analysis of applicant tracking systems is necessary. The best ATS is the one that will support your business processes and goals effectively.  

If you’re interested in People HR’s advanced applicant tracking functionality as part of our HR software solution, why not take advantage of a free trial? This is the best way to experience the software before making a purchasing decision. Not only will you experience the ATS available to you, but a free trial will also uncover the additional functionality you’ll gain with an integrated HR system.  

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Gareth Moss
By Gareth Moss New Business Sales Team Leader

Gareth Moss is a New Business Sales Team Leader with nearly a decade of experience in the Access PeopleHR product. Gareth specialises in serving those within the SMB market, and his passion lies in helping businesses streamline their HR operations. Before transitioning into his current role, Gareth was a HR software product trainer, making him your ‘go to’ guy for all things PeopleHR.