Small businesses want what’s best for their customers and their employees—things like affordable product prices and competitive wages—and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy bottom line. To save expense in pursuit of those goals, they may pass on investments in new business technologies. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can be one such overlooked investment. This software, which helps automate and organize the hiring process, may not be top priority when a small business thinks they can get by with an existing manual approach.
However, investing in an ATS can actually be what’s best for the small business, its customers, and its employees. Here’s how.
Recruiters that use an ATS find they can get more done, faster, thanks to automating tasks that would otherwise be redundant and time-consuming. These can be tasks like manually inserting candidate information into an Excel sheet, composing a new email for each candidate at every stage of the hiring process, or finding ways to effectively store candidate information over time. An ATS can streamline each of these tasks, which helps explain why businesses that use an ATS are 40 percent more productive than those that do not. Better hiring productivity can ultimately mean more resources to invest into other areas of the business. Companies who adopt recruiting software report an average growth of 13 percent year-over-year.
Over the course of time, hiring at a small business can amount to large quantities of applications, resumes, candidate communications, and federal hiring forms. Where will all of that information live? For those with a manual process, these important pieces of the hiring process might live in local computer drives or filing cabinet. This can make organizing and properly preserving information inconsistent, and may pose compliance complications. Employers found to be noncompliant can in turn face a myriad of undesirable consequences, including hefty fines and lawsuits.
An ATS, on the other hand, is built to support recruitment compliance. In addition to providing the ability to address EEO and OFCCP within the online application, reporting features make it possible to pull information about the end-to-end hiring process, to easily generate audit trails. An ATS can also ensure information is stored in the system for the proper amount of time mandated by law. While an ATS never guarantees compliance—the employer’s actions determine that—it can make staying compliant more feasible.
Adopting an ATS today can be a big win for the business tomorrow. With an ATS already in place, when small businesses mature and job postings double or hiring expands across new locations, recruiters aren’t overwhelmed–they already have technology built to grow with them. ATS providers that offer cloud-based solutions make it really easy to scale and expand resources as the demands of hiring increase.
As small business hiring needs grow, so too does the importance of cultivating a strong employer brand. Employers want every future hire to be someone who shares the business’s core values, so that the ‘magic’ that fostered growth in the first place doesn’t fade. That’s why an ATS’s configurable, branded career portals and advanced screening capabilities are valuable to leverage. Greet job seekers with an online career portal that showcases what the business stands for and why it’s a great place to work and brand with engaging images or a video that shows a day in the life of an employee. Or, screen for particular competencies by running a search in the ATS to filter candidates by responses to specific assessments questions, like experience in customer service.
When considering the full impact of an ATS, it becomes evident that investing in an ATS can set small businesses up for success by creating opportunities to better serve their applicants, employees, and customers.