Recruiting professionals working in industries such as finance, IT, healthcare and more often feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete their work. So, it’s pretty obvious why they opt for a small company applicant tracking system to streamline their hiring process. This way they can focus on other important things.
Most of the small firms have started using Applicant Tracking Systems that ensure the candidate applications get organized and categorized properly rather than getting misplaced in the hands of a preoccupied worker.
Working of ATS
This new HR recruiting technology has many variants available in the market but the core workings remain the same. The ATS helps filter unwanted resumes and that significantly reduces the amount of time spent on resume screening and sifting through applicants who are unsuitable for the job. ATS also helps keep track of the applicants and their skill sets, which in turn helps to build a talent database that can be useful for another job opening in the future.
Expectations from ATS in a Nutshell
- ATS offers customizable search criteria that allows the recruiter to eliminate unsuitable applications.
- The software provides a more concise group of qualified applicants for every job opening.
- Less time is wasted on mundane activities such as reading and deciding whether to keep a resume or reject it.
- Lowers the recruiting budget.
- An ATS automatically posts new jobs to online job boards whenever a job position becomes available.
- Tracks and monitors the application progress.
- ATS provides a good amount of data and statistics which help measure the effectiveness of every recruiting process and make improvements accordingly.
- ATS offers easy access to all applicant data which eventually helps to build a talent pipeline.
- ATS saves time and boosts efficiency of the recruitment team and enhances hiring and recruitment processes at various levels.
Read More: Features of ATS
Avoiding the Downside
ATS, on one hand can be a time saver but it could also be rife with pitfalls. This may prevent the organization from connecting with top-notch applicants who are actually desired by the company. Below are a few tips that could help a small company applicant tracking system avoid failure.
1. By Maintaining a Consistency Within the ATS
If the small company applicant tracking system includes an online application, the information should be obtained in a consistent format. The recruiters should program some mandatory fields in the online application which must be completed in order to apply. This further makes it easier to sort, review, search, and compare the professionals who have responded to the job application. ATS will automatically eliminate the incomplete applications.
2. Setting Proper Parameters While Resume Searching
Companies can use the ATS to rank the applicants according to their experience, education, and skill level. This, in turn, makes things easier as the HR Manager can now focus on the applicants who are more likely to succeed in the advertised job position.
If the parameters set are too limited, the ATS may reject or give low rankings to qualified candidates. For example, by defining the required experience too specifically, the recruiter may lose out on potentially successful applicants who have a diverse experience in various industries.
3. User Friendly Applicant Tracking Systems
Sometimes the ATS may turn out to be a bane for job seekers. A badly configured or poorly programmed ATS may malfunction or time out frequently. It may be incompatible with certain browsers and cannot be accessed from mobile devices. Poor navigation may frustrate the job seekers causing them to abandon the process.
The biggest loophole in any small company applicant tracking system is when applicants apply for a specific opening and they never hear back. This further adds to a bad candidate experience and the candidate may strike off the company’s name in his/her preferred list of employers.
It is very important to select a good ATS in the first place itself. An ideal ATS is configured accurately to promptly notify or send acknowledgement to the candidates stating that they have successfully submitted the application.
Even if the candidates are eliminated or did not make it to the next round, the ATS should be programmed to notify them without any delay. Plus, a good ATS stores the interested professional’s information in the database for future reference.
4. Applying for Multiple Job Openings in the Same Company
It is true that most of the ATS save the eliminated resumes for future reference but they also make sure that the applicant does not apply for more than one position at a time. The reason is the way ATS are programmed. An ATS saves the resumes on the basis of a unique email-id. If a candidate applies for more than one position, the
small company applicant tracking system considers the application a duplicate copy and automatically discards it. This could be problematic as the applicant could be qualified for two job positions and even more, he/she could be better suited for the second one.
The company should, therefore, get the ATS customized by the developer or in-house development team so as to be able to accept the same resume for multiple job openings.
5. Keywords Play an Essential Role
A recruiter doesn’t actually have a lot of time to scrutinize each and every new application. HR Managers are continuously looking for ways to rapidly narrow down the search to the perfect candidate. An ATS does the same by eliminating many applications in the blink of an eye, ultimately easing the recruiter’s workload. A small company applicant tracking system accepts the application and categorizes it based on the keywords. But irrespective of how qualified the candidate is, the application may not be considered if it does not contain any keywords. The company may lose out a talented and well qualified candidate just because the resume was not tagged properly.
The keywords for filtering should be used wisely so that an ATS does not miss out on a great resource by mistake.
6. Unexpected Results
No technology is perfect. ATS can ease the workload of the recruiter and improve the results but all this depends completely on how compatible the resumes are with the software. This lays the foundation of many pitfalls that pop up along the way. The way in which the ATS reads and processes the information has to be right, it can only process the things it can read or has been programmed to accept.
Below mentioned are some of the potential issues often encountered with a small company applicant tracking system:
- The ATS eliminates every resume it fails to read or interpret.
- It results in missing out on some potential great hires when the resumes are eliminated without even being read.
- The ATS is programmed to accept only one type of format i.e. MS Word.
- The ATS is unable to read any graphics or images.
- All this results in incorrectly categorized data and a poorly organized talent pipeline.
All this adds a layer of limitation which decreases its overall value to the hiring process. This can, however, be avoided by conducting thorough market research before buying an ATS. Before making any investment the recruiter should know the features of the ATS and whether it can be customized or not. Also, the small company applicant tracking system should be programmed to accept the resumes in any format.
7. Switch to SAAS
Most recruiters are still using desktop versions of the ATS which need more infrastructure as well as additional security to safeguard the data. This certainly increases the cost. The best way out is to opt for SAAS i.e. software as a service based ATS. Here the companies do not need any extra infrastructure as everything is online. The main advantage is that the data can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. No extra penny needs to be invested for the security as the servers are fully secure with multiple security levels.
The decision of getting an ATS onboard rests with the specific desires, needs, and demands of the company. The ATS makes the tedious process of hiring more affordable, efficient, and manageable. ATS turns out to be easier for the recruiters who know how to handle even the downsides of the ATS and get the best out of it.
Best Small Company Applicant Tracking System for 2019
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