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Recruitment software streamlines the recruitment process and makes life easier for both recruiters and candidates.

G2 highlights that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use some form of recruitment software, and 94% of recruiters say software positively impacts their hiring process.

However, recruitment software uptake among smaller businesses, SMBs and SMEs remain low, and some 50% of all businesses don’t use any software. Moreover, recruitment software is often pricey, and there are many options.

Recruitment software boosts productivity and provides candidates with a great candidate experience, enhancing engagement and retention. In addition, free software equips businesses with valuable tools without significant investment.

This is a guide to the best free recruitment software.

The benefits of recruitment software

Free recruitment software is better than no recruitment software, that’s for sure.

As recruitment specialist Eli Franklin states, using recruitment software such as

“an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is necessary if you want to keep up with the ever-growing competition in the recruitment industry. It can significantly reduce your workload and streamline the hiring process.”

Here are some of the benefits of using recruitment software:

1: Organisation and planning

As the old adage goes; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Recruitment requires rigorous organisation, especially given there are over 250 applications on average for each job, ranging into the thousands for high-demand jobs.

Recruitment software provides a single source of truth for all recruitment tasks and processes, which helps keep workflows neat and organised.

2: Access to information

When teams rely on email alone, sharing data often becomes messy and convoluted.Chat software like Slack can help but isn’t designed to deal with recruitment workflows.

complete guide to free recruitment
Above: Recruitment software makes it easier to access information

Recruitment software provides all team members with easy access to the same source of information.

3: Collaboration

Team collaboration is essential in recruitment, enabling teams to organise and delegate tasks ranging from initial screening to interviewing, offering and onboarding.

Recruitment software allows team members to be tagged on specific tasks while also providing a birds-eye view of the entire pipeline.

4: Improved candidate experience

All of these benefits lead to a better candidate experience. For example, a positive candidate experience increases the chance of someone accepting a job offer by 38%.

complete guide to free recruitment
Above: A good candidate experience boosts the chances of someone accepting a job offer

In addition, the efficiencies that recruitment software unlocks benefit both the business and the candidate, leading to higher engagement, productivity and retention.

5: Monitoring

Effective recruitment software allows for monitoring across multiple departments, job roles and team activity. It allows hiring managers to easily track the status of all jobs, candidates and tasks. Simultaneously, recruiters and managers can collaborate quickly in one space, rather than across multiple platforms.

It’s hugely valuable to find a recruitment software that provides insights to make informed decisions and speed up the hiring process.

Free recruitment software: the main features

Recruitment software refines and streamlines the entire recruitment process and may include prospecting and candidate outreach, managing inbound applications, application tracking, candidate relationship management, screening, offers and onboarding.

There are other more specific tools, too, like diversity management tools and psychometric testing. In addition, businesses are shifting to virtual recruitment, and increased focus on diversity, inclusion, and bias-free screening is changing the game.

Most free recruitment software offers the following core features:

1: Job posting tools

Recruitment software should contain features to simplify posting jobs. Rather than posting jobs to all different channels separately, you create the vacancy in the software and create a link that sends candidates to the same form.

The best kind of recruitment software enables teams to create vacancies in the tool and copy them into any channel, e.g. job boards, social media, company website, etc.

Then, when candidates complete their applications via the recruitment software, their names and details are automatically logged for applicant tracking and management.2: Application trackingApplication tracking is the mainstay of recruitment software, enabling businesses to sort resumes and manage applications rapidly with the help of filters and automation.

complete guide to free recruitment
Above: Application tracking software makes it easier to manage recruitment strategies

Once applications are sorted, teams can start delegating tasks to screen candidates further. Again, collaboration and scheduling tools are essential here, helping teams break down tasks into a smoother, bitesize workflow with in-built task tracking.

3: Progress tracking

Recruitment software simplifies the process of tracking application progress when applications have been collected, sorted and pre-screened. Candidate relationship management (CRM) enables recruiters to organise and track individual applicants.

Teams typically build short-list and send interview invites to candidates, schedule times, and track responses. This requires task delegation and sharp visual workflows, which only a select few recruitment software offerings provide.

4: CV Screening tools

Screening tools are often separated from recruitment software, as their scope is sizeable, and they benefit from being standalone tools.

But good recruitment software should help recruiters log screening dCata into their centralised recruitment database for tracking and analysis.

5: Alerts and monitoring

Discovering recruitment bottlenecks to increase future efficiency helps businesses lower cost-per-hire and provide a swift onboarding process to improve employee retention.

complete guide to free recruitment
Above: Alerts and monitoring keep recruitment processes on track

Data analysis tools help teams speed up their processes from outreach to onboarding. Look out for a software that includes a smart alert system, so you can make sure members are promptly informed if tasks are outstanding or messages/responses are unanswered.

Recruitment software pitfalls

Free recruitment software is not all built the same. There are some downsides or ‘red flags’ to free software that might prove tricky somewhere down the line.

1: Human decision-making is paramount

While automation and AI relieve human teams of burdensome tasks, human decision-making is crucial to recruitment.

There have been several high-profile recruitment controversies involving Big Tech like Amazon, where AI-powered recruitment tools perpetuated or caused bias against women and minority groups.

Automation features should be used carefully. Opt for a software that emphasises team collaboration and control when making important recruitment decisions.

2: Too many features hinder rather than help

Some recruitment software is insanely complicated, making it tricky to onboard team members onto the software and challenging for them to use it effectively.

complete guide to free recruitment
Above: Too many features can bog teams down

Good-quality recruitment software should be simple and streamlined to drive efficiency without bogging users down in unnecessary features.

3: Inadequate collaboration tools

Collaboration tools are central to excellent recruitment software. Without a fluid workflow for assigning, delegating and tracking tasks, the entire pipeline can collapse.

Many free tools lack sophisticated collaboration tools, which makes it hard to network with larger recruitment teams.

Heavy reliance on AI, too many functions and inadequate collaboration tools are too common in free recruitment software. They lead to bottlenecks in the process, lengthy planning and problem- solving sessions and overall, a whole lot of stress. The solution?


Our software is designed to fit around your processes and needs, so you can oversee, track and implement your recruitment process efficiently.

What Hiringmaster do?

HiringMaster is a hiring management tool that helps you operate your hiring as project management by simplifying the process into actionable tasks. You can track, collaborate, and visualise your hiring in real time, keeping away from messy spreadsheets.

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Free recruitment software is better than no recruitment software, with some caveats. The best recruiting software provides tools that benefit the entire pipeline, from job posting to candidate management and onboarding.

In addition, features should be efficient and easy to use, reducing bottlenecks and enhancing usability for the entire team.

Hiringmaster addresses these pain points and more.

We offer a free trial that allows businesses to try out the entire feature-packed platform without obligation. Modernise your recruitment strategies with Hiringmaster to reduce cost-per-hire and boost candidate experiences, engagement and retention.

Free recruitment software is better than no recruitment software, that’s for sure.

The best recruiting software provides tools that benefit the entire pipeline, from job posting to candidate management and onboarding.

In addition, features should be :

  • efficient and easy to use
  • reducing bottlenecks
  • enhancing usability for the entire team.

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