7 Top-Rated Affordable Recruiting Software

By: Barkha Bali on January 30, 2024
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To find the right candidates, recruiters have to sift through an overwhelming number of resumes, coordinate multiple interviews, and collaborate with different stakeholders—from hiring managers and team leaders to senior leadership. Recruiters also play a crucial role in implementing new strategies to enhance the overall candidate experience. Relying on manual methods or spreadsheets for these processes may lead to oversight of potential candidates or unwarranted delays. The solution? Recruiting software.

Due to the range of options available at various prices, every small business can purchase recruiting software regardless of their size or budget. But how do you identify software that offers the best value for your budget?

This article lists seven top-rated affordable recruiting software based on verified software reviews and pricing found on vendor websites. Per our research, we’ve considered products priced less than $40 per month as affordable software and arranged them in ascending order of their prices.

We’ve categorized these products into three groups: stand-alone recruiting tools, HR suites with recruiting capabilities, and applicant tracking solutions with recruiting features. Regardless of the category, all tools include the core recruitment software features—candidate management, interview management, and job posting.

1. WebHR

WebHR is an HR suite with candidate sourcing, job publishing, and interview scheduling features to simplify recruiting. It lets you post jobs on your company website, job boards (e.g., Indeed, LinkedIn), and social media platforms to reach a wider pool of candidates. You can build a centralized database of applicants, categorize them based on roles and skills, and access their information for future opportunities. You can set up pre-screening rules to filter out irrelevant applications based on keywords, education levels, or work authorization. Once hiring is complete, you can let new employees self-record personal information on the onboarding dashboard and upload the required documents.

Product features of interest:*

  • Messenger: Use the built-in chat feature to exchange quick updates, questions, or feedback with colleagues, hiring stakeholders, or candidates.

  • Interview tests and forms: Create various interview tests, including aptitude and skills tests, personality assessments, and customized tests for specific positions. You can also design custom interview forms to capture essential candidate information, such as hiring feedback and evaluations.

  • Recruitment reports: Generate reports on key recruitment metrics, such as time to hire, cost per hire, and source effectiveness. These reports help identify hiring bottlenecks and assess the efficiency of recruitment channels.

Starting price: $2 per employee, per month (five employees minimum)

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Call, chat, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider WebHR?

WebHR could be a suitable option for recruitment teams looking to streamline candidate communication. In addition to real-time notifications about the application status, the platform offers a built-in messenger that allows recruiters to communicate job requirements, share feedback or updates, or answer candidates’ questions. Recruiters can also compose, send, and receive emails directly within the WebHR interface, without switching to a separate email client. This centralized communication streamlines collaboration between recruiters and applicants, preventing information silos and misinterpretations.

Analysis performed January 2024**

WebHR

WebHR

4.29 out of 5 stars

525 reviews

2. Zimyo

Zimyo is another HR suite with multiple features to support recruitment. It lets you build a career page where candidates can apply for open positions. It also allows you to post job requirements across job boards, including Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. You can create job description templates and save them in a centralized location for future use. You can also build a library of customized questions to conduct skill assessment tests for different roles.

Product features of interest:*

  • Bulk resume parsing: Analyze and extract key information from resumes, such as work experience, education, and skills, to auto-populate candidate profiles with relevant details.

  • Remote proctoring: Use a webcam with audio support to monitor candidates during remote assessments. Proctor-enabled assessments employ security measures, including facial recognition, screen monitoring, and keyboard activity tracking, to maintain the authenticity of test results.

  • Two-way feedback system: Leverage the two-way feedback dashboard to allow candidates and interviewers to rate and provide feedback to each other after interviews.

Starting price: $3 per user, per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Call, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Zimyo?

Zimyo is worth considering for recruitment teams that want to prioritize feedback from interviewers as well as candidates. Its two-way feedback system enables candidates and interviewers to leave feedback and comments for each other once the interview process is complete. Candidate feedback, for instance, could highlight the interview process’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential biases to help recruiters optimize their hiring strategy. Similarly, candidates can gain valuable insights into their interview performance and communication style through interviewers’ feedback.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Zimyo

Zimyo

4.48 out of 5 stars

29 reviews

Pro tip

Look for recruiting features specific to your industry or niche. For example, tech-focused recruiting software should have advanced skills-matching algorithms, portfolio review tools, and integration with talent pools such as Indeed and LinkedIn Jobs. Similarly, platforms built for mass recruitment in industries such as retail or hospitality should offer streamlined interview scheduling, automated reference checks, and bulk onboarding tools.

3. Ceipal ATS

Ceipal is an AI-powered applicant tracking system with candidate sourcing, engagement, and selection features to standardize the recruitment process. It lets you create a branded career portal for your website. It offers automated resume analysis, skill assessments, and compatibility scoring to identify the most qualified candidates and shares their profiles directly on the recruiter dashboard. You can design and schedule automated email sequences for candidate communications, including application status updates, interview invitations, and candidate rejections.

Product features of interest:*

  • AI-driven passive candidate sourcing: Identify and attract candidates not actively looking for a new job but open to the right opportunity. This feature helps proactively engage high-potential candidates before they become active job seekers.

  • eBoarding: Onboard new hires digitally by having essential paperwork, such as employment contracts and tax forms, completed electronically. This feature reduces paperwork and enhances the onboarding experience.

  • Recruitment analytics dashboard: Visualize KPIs related to your hiring efforts, including time to hire, cost per hire, offer acceptance rate, and candidate source effectiveness, on a dashboard. Analyzing this data helps identify bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and better allocate resources to improve talent acquisition performance.

Starting price: $4 per user, per month (25 users minimum)

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Call, chat, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Ceipal ATS?

Recruiters looking to expand their talent pool and nurture future talent pipelines could consider Ceipal ATS for its passive sourcing feature. It helps identify professionals who aren’t actively looking for new jobs but might be open to opportunities that align with their career goals. This approach is beneficial for improving the long-term talent acquisition strategy by establishing connections with high-potential individuals, even if immediate conversions are low. By nurturing these talent pipelines, recruiters can stay ahead of competition and be the first choice when the passive candidates eventually enter the active job market.

Analysis performed January 2024**

CEIPAL ATS

CEIPAL ATS

4.62 out of 5 stars

1139 reviews

4. Keka

Keka is an HR suite that offers various features to standardize the recruiting process. It lets you post job openings on different job boards and manage them from within the software for centralized control. It also allows you to source candidates from other channels, including social media and internal databases. You can automate the scheduling of candidate interviews, coordinate interview timings, and send invitations to candidates. Additionally, you can create requisition forms with the details of job vacancies, including job titles, responsibilities, and qualifications, and define the sequence of stakeholders who need to sign off on the new hire requisition.

Product features of interest:*

  • Pre-employment tests: Assess candidate skills and aptitude through standardized screening tests. You can choose from a pre-built test library or create customized assessments for specific roles.

  • Offer letter management: Use pre-installed templates or customize existing templates to draft offer letters that mention the salary, designation, department, and other employee benefits to which candidates will be entitled.

  • Internal job board: Create an internal job board, accessible to only employees, to post vacant positions and accept applications internally.

Starting price: $5 per employee, per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Call, chat, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Keka?

Recruiting teams that want to create a well-defined candidate approval workflow to ensure transparency in hiring could consider Keka. The platform enables recruiters to set up the sequence of approvals for each job vacancy. When a candidate applies, the software automatically routes the application to the relevant hiring decision-makers based on the predefined approval chain. This process includes setting up approval stages, assigning roles and responsibilities to specific stakeholders, and defining the qualifying criteria for each stage.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Keka

Keka

4.37 out of 5 stars

70 reviews

Pro tip

Assess the assessment management capabilities of the software. It should allow you to create, share, and manage candidate assessments in different formats, such as online tests, PDF files, and Word documents. Also, consider your target audience and the types of assessments most relevant to them. For example, emphasize coding challenges and technical skill assessments if you’re focusing on tech recruitment.

5. Sage HR

Sage HR is another HR suite on our list. The platform offers a drag-and-drop pipeline interface to visualize the stages of your recruitment process, such as application review, candidate interview, and offer delivery. You can create custom landing pages for specific hiring campaigns or roles. You can schedule candidate interviews directly from the system and automatically sync the schedules with iCalendar, Outlook, and Google calendars. You can also generate reports to measure various recruitment metrics, such as time to fill, hiring velocity, referrals, and activity levels (e.g., number of resumes downloaded or outreach attempts).

Product features of interest:*

  • Application form builder: Design and create custom application forms tailored to the specific needs of each job position. The form builder supports different field types, such as text fields, dropdown menus, checkboxes, and file upload options. These can also be customized to collect personal information, work experience, education, skills, and other relevant candidate details. 

  • Custom scorecards: Create custom application scorecards with criteria that match specific role requirements. These scorecards allow you to objectively assess candidates and identify individuals with the skills and attributes most suited to each position.

  • Referral management: Track employee referrals, visualize their progress on the recruitment dashboard, and calculate and offer incentives for successful referrals.

Starting price: $5.50 per employee, per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Call and help center

Who should consider Sage HR?

Sage HR is worth considering for businesses that want to prioritize employee referrals as part of their recruitment strategy and streamline their referral process. The platform allows recruiters to oversee the entire referral process, from candidate submission to hiring decisions. Recruiters can create unique links for each employee to share referrals. They can use a dashboard to provide referral instructions and guidelines to employees, set up automated incentives or bonus programs to motivate employee participation, and display the applicant status of each referred candidate. 

Analysis performed January 2024**

Sage HR

Sage HR

4.44 out of 5 stars

344 reviews

6. Manatal

Manatal is a stand-alone recruiting tool that leverages AI to import candidate profiles from LinkedIn and LinkedIn Recruiter via a Chrome extension. It scans job descriptions, extracts each role’s core skills and requirements, and cross-references results with your talent pool to identify best-suited candidates. You can use customizable criteria to filter the recommended candidates and shortlist your top choices. Additionally, you can post openings on various job boards, including Indeed, Monster, Careerjet, and JobStreet.

Product features of interest:*

  • AI-assisted recruiting workflow: Leverage AI to create job descriptions and job-specific recruiting workflows, coordinate interviews, and enable candidates to self-select interview times.

  • Recruitment CRM: Track and manage candidates, from prospecting to onboarding. You can use the recruitment CRM to store all candidate data and communications (e.g., jobs applied, calls, emails, text messages).

  • Collaborative hiring: Use built-in chat functionality to communicate with team members and stakeholders, discuss specific candidates, share feedback, and make collaborative hiring decisions. This feature also lets you add custom application access permissions for various stakeholders.

Starting price: $15 per user, per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Chat and knowledge base

Who should consider Manatal?

Recruiters looking to improve the time to hire (i.e., number of days between a candidate applying for a job and accepting a job offer) could consider Manatal. Its AI-assisted features, including candidate recommendations, interview scheduling, and a job description generator, automate multiple repetitive tasks to save time and resources. Additionally, Manatal provides a Chrome extension that directly imports candidate profiles from LinkedIn and LinkedIn Recruiter, helping find potential candidates with the right skills. The Chrome extension also enables recruiters to automate the process of adding new candidates and creating their profiles within the system.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Manatal

Manatal

4.68 out of 5 stars

133 reviews

7. Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit is another stand-alone recruiting software that lets you create and publish job openings on your website. You can also post vacancies on job boards such as Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Monster. It offers a semantic search that helps shortlist candidates from your database using keywords and tags that match job openings. Its resume parsing tool scans resumes in your email accounts and extracts key information such as work experience, education, and skills to automatically populate candidate profiles with relevant information.

Product features of interest:*

  • AI-powered smart matching: Use AI to match candidate profiles to job descriptions based on relevant skills, qualifications, and work history. This feature also analyzes candidates’ personality traits and communication styles to assess potential alignment with your company’s culture.

  • Recruitment forecasts: Predict future recruitment needs based on historical hiring trends. The software helps anticipate periods of high demand for specific skills or positions by analyzing factors such as seasonality, industry trends, and historical data. 

  • Candidate management: Manage the candidate lifecycle, including resume parsing, application tracking, and communication management. You can use the candidate management dashboard to organize candidate information, track their progress through different stages of the recruitment process, and communicate with them.

Starting price: $25 per recruiter, per month

Billing cycle: Annual

Customer support options: Call, knowledge base, and live chat 

Who should consider Zoho Recruit?

Businesses looking to adopt a proactive recruitment strategy to anticipate peak hiring periods and attract top talent could consider Zoho Recruit. Its forecast functionality analyzes past recruitment data, such as the number of hires during peak seasons or for specific projects, to identify patterns in the required skills or competencies. Additionally, it analyzes data on industry-wide hiring trends (e.g., AI growth in the IT industry) and market demand for specific skills to predict future staffing needs. This dual approach aids in accurately predicting future staffing needs and ensures recruitment teams are well prepared for upcoming talent needs.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Zoho Recruit

Zoho Recruit

4.45 out of 5 stars

882 reviews

Pro tip

Check the collaboration capabilities of the software. Most recruiting platforms include built-in chat, audio and video calls, link sharing, and automated email notifications, among other tools to support collaboration between candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers. These tools also ensure all stakeholders are promptly informed about any updates or changes in the application status.

How much does recruiting software cost?

Recruiting software tools can cost as low as $1.02 per month or up to $499+ per month, depending on various factors—features, number of users, infrastructure requirements, business size/type, training availability, deployment options, integrations, and storage. Most recruiting solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trials: Range from seven to 30 days and give users access to either all or limited features of the software. These no-cost trial plans are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free versions: Offer limited access to basic software features. These free plans are ideal for small-business recruitment teams or individuals on a budget.

  • Entry-level plans: Start at $1.02 per month and offer access to standard features. These are suitable for small businesses with basic recruiting needs, such as job posting, candidate management, basic screening, and reporting.

  • Mid-tier plans: Range from $12 to $159 per month and offer advanced features such as advanced reporting tools, candidate engagement tools, and customizable dashboards. These are suitable for businesses that have outgrown basic recruiting tools but don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level systems.

  • High-end plans: Cost more than $499 per month and offer a range of advanced capabilities, including unlimited features from entry-level and mid-tier plans, robust automation, predictive analytics, and custom talent pipelines. These plans are suitable for large enterprises with complex recruiting requirements.

Hidden costs associated with recruiting software

Besides the license, additional costs can include:

  • Implementation and training: These comprise data migration, customization, and employee training costs. They can be substantial, especially for complex systems or large organizations.

  • Data migration and integration costs: Moving data and connecting with other systems might require extra funds.

  • Software upgrades: Additional costs may be incurred for software upgrades to access the latest recruiting features and security patches, ensuring the software remains up to date and functional.

Frequently asked questions when selecting recruiting software 

Ask these questions to software providers to ensure you choose the best recruiting software:

  • Does the software automate interview scheduling? 

HR recruitment software with built-in features for scheduling candidate interviews eliminates switching between various websites or applications. It also automatically sends interview invitations to candidates, saving you time and effort. Some systems also provide a self-service portal for candidates to schedule interviews at their preferred time. 

  • How does the software secure candidate data?

Ensure the recruitment software encrypts all candidate data at rest and in transit. Look for industry-standard encryption protocols such as AES-256, which uses a 256-bit key to encrypt as well as decrypt information, making it virtually uncrackable. Other security features to consider include granular access controls to limit data access and user activity logging to identify who accessed what information and when.

  • Can the software scale according to my hiring needs? 

As your business grows, so will your hiring needs. Before shortlisting any recruiting software, check how easily it lets you add or remove users as your team grows. Does it offer different pricing tiers based on the number of user seats? Look for a tool that offers flexible user plans without significant price jumps. Also, check if the software can handle an increased volume of applicants without any performance issues and manage multiple hiring campaigns simultaneously, even for high-volume positions.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Software Advice within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of Jan. 12, 2024). 

  • Include the core features of recruiting software: candidate management, interview management, and job posting.

  • Meet our market definition for recruiting software: “Recruiting software helps recruiting, staffing, and hiring agencies manage their operations by maintaining a database of applicant and job information.”

  • For products that met the first three criteria, we assessed the monthly subscription price and found the average price to be $40—we considered only products with publicly available pricing information. Based on our assessment, we then shortlisted products with a monthly subscription price lower than $40 for this article.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of Jan. 12, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from recruiting software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor’s website.

**We selected products for this article based on their average ratings as of January 2024; however, the article displays each product’s current average rating, which may differ if more reviews have been left since our analysis.

Editorial independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Note: Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s recruiting software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them. Only products with publicly available pricing information, as of Jan. 12, 2024, were considered for pricing calculation.