Best Open Source Applicant Tracking Software

Applicant tracking software (ATS) refers to software that helps your organization manage its hiring process, and to third party services which provide you with an interface so that they can handle your hiring processes on your behalf.

Open source ATS solutions, which make their source code public, generally fall into the former category. Open source solutions are a great choice for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and in some cases for larger organizations with their own IT department.

Because an open source applicant tracking system rarely comes with dedicated support (especially if it’s a free solution), they’re best utilized for simpler or smaller tasks, or managed by IT professionals.

Why are ATS Systems Important?

When you hire a new recruit, you’re either investing in your company’s continued or increasing success, or you’re creating a new obstacle to that success. Great hiring programs help to make your organization’s success a reality.

But in today’s highly competitive environments, many companies find themselves flooded with resumes and applications for every position.

You need a good ATS program so that you can sift through these applicants to sort the wheat from the chaff and strengthen your business.

Here are some of the best open source applicant tracking software we’ve found:


Key Features:

  • Application management
  • Applicant tracking
  • Jobs board integration
  • Resume database
  • Reports and analysis

A quick glance at the OpenCATS logo at tells you what this ATS is all about. Their tagline is “Open. Online. Free.”

Long the leader in the open source applicant tracking software solutions field, OpenCATS did suffer a bit of a setback in 2015, when development fell off and users became concerned that it wasn’t being maintained. However, this well-rounded ATS is headed back to the top with a “re-energised and active” development team.

As always, OpenCATS’s strengths lie in its ability to handle all basic ATS functions, even at the enterprise scale. It’s free forever, and completely open source, and integrates well with many established software solutions.

But, as is true of many (but not all) open source and free software options, OpenCATS struggles with a lack of support, although it has a relatively active community surrounding it. Visiting the community forums for aid if you have difficulties isn’t out of the question.

There is a related paid service, called CATS, which offers more features and support, but is no longer open source.


Key Features:

  • Applications management
  • Applicant tracking
  • Jobs board integration
  • Resume database
  • API

CandidATS branched off of OpenCATS some time ago. It’s known for having a larger feature set (i.e. it has an API, interview scheduling functions, and field level security, which OpenCATS does not).

However, it does seem to be less user-friendly, and more prone to bugs as compared to OpenCATS. You’ll probably need to be fairly confident in your software skills to manage CandidATS, at least at this point in its development, when it is still considered a beta version.


Key features:

  • Job management
  • Requisition management
  • Social media integration
  • Resume searches
  • Interview scheduling
  • Reports

Winrecruit is an open source ATS solution which offers both free and paid versions of its product. Its paid versions include Enterprise, and Consultancy and Corporate single and multi-user editions.

Winrecruit’s biggest “con” may simply be that it’s yet to gain popularity in the Western hemisphere. However, with free downloads and demos and active support (though answers may be delayed by 12 hours), this online ATS may start rising in the ranks!

Choose the Right ATS Solution Today

Finding the perfect ATS solution for your company means knowing what you need and knowing what’s out there. The right ATS solution could propel your hiring process to new and exciting heights, while the wrong one might increase turnover and lead to misspent resources.

It’s critical that you do your research and make a choice that truly suits your company’s needs. The right choice doesn’t have to be complex, and it doesn’t have to be expensive—it just has to be well-considered.

Whether or not you opt for open source, TopAdvisor can help you with this unbiased, comprehensive third party guide to applicant tracking options.