The Benefits of Using an ATS for Small Businesses

August is a month of endings and beginnings. It’s the end of summer vacation season, the end of short work weeks/hours for some, and for kids it’s the end of summer break. But each of these endings brings new beginnings. And one of the biggest reminders of new beginnings is seen in almost every store and mall across the country: Back to school sales.

Parents and children everywhere are hitting the stores with their supply lists in hand to make sure they have the tools needed to succeed in the coming school year. And as technology advances, so do the tools needed. Where we might have needed floppy disks, today’s kids require USB drives. Computers and tablets have replaced word processors, which replaced typewriters. And who needs an encyclopedia in the age of Wikipedia?

Now you may be asking yourself, “What do back-to-school sales have to do with recruitment?” Well one of the new beginnings that comes with the end of summer is the increase in hiring activity many companies see at this time of year. At Simply Hired we want to navigate the ever-changing landscape of successful recruiting with you. As the recruitment industry continues to change, it is critical to embrace new technologies.  And as a recruitment organization, perhaps now is a good time to evaluate whether or not you have the tools needed to meet your hiring goals.

Are you still using spreadsheets and email as your primary recruitment tools? Are you storing resumes and cover letters in file folders on a computer without centralized access for hiring managers and recruiters? Are hiring managers still providing interview feedback on handwritten notes on a paper resume? If so, then it’s time to put an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) on your “back to school” supplies list.

While Applicant Tracking Systems are hardly new and have been used by many enterprise companies for the better part of two decades, many small businesses have yet to make the switch, with some studies indicating that less than 50 percent of American small businesses are using an ATS to manage their recruitment process.

Spreadsheets and other manual tools might have been a great way to manage your candidate lists 10 years ago, but thanks to the advent of job aggregators, social media and mobile job search apps, the number of candidates a single job posting generates often climbs well above 100. With just 10 open positions, there could be over 1,000 candidates whom you will need to review.

That’s a challenge for any organization, but even more so for a small business with only one or two people handling every part of the recruitment process without the benefit of a unified system to streamline each step.

Beyond the basic applicant information handling and storage, a good ATS can help automate processes and improve efficiencies across the entire recruitment cycle, allowing you to not only improve your results and reduce costs but also deliver a better a candidate experience. Some of the most important or useful features include:

  • Branded Careers Site
  • Candidate Communication/Feedback
  • Job Posting/Distribution
  • Interview Scheduling
  • Integrated Background Checks
  • Mobile Optimized Applications
  • Recruitment Marketing Analytics
  • Sourcing
  • Skills Assessment
  • Offer Management
  • Social Media Recruitment/Distribution

Now that you’re more aware of just a few reasons you should consider implementing an ATS and the benefits one can bring to your hiring process, our next post on this subject will help guide you through the basics of the vendor selection process and determining which system is right for managing your hiring needs.


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