Many people delay purchasing their first small business applicant tracking system because they think it will be difficult. That shouldn’t be the case. With some research, and a free trial, you could find an applicant tracking system perfect for your budget that you’ll feel comfortable using. It’ll only be a plus!
Purchasing Your First Small Business Applicant Tracking System
Before Even Looking for an Applicant Tracking System
Evaluate your hiring goals.
Do you want to attract more candidates, better candidates, or both? Do you need to improve your hiring times? Do you want to improve your screening process?
Whatever your hiring goals, you need to define them before selecting an applicant tracking system. Otherwise, you won’t know what you need.
Don’t worry if you feel you don’t know how to 100% define your hiring goals. They are meant to grow and change over time. If you realize a couple of months from now that something else is also really important, that’s fine. In fact, it means you’re closely monitoring the situation and in a better position to really optimize your hiring.
And the right applicant tracking system choice can bend with you.
How to Select a Small Business Applicant Tracking System
It isn’t wise to rush through the selection process. There are many, many applicant tracking systems out there, and you could buy one that wastes your time and your money and makes you feel frustrated with the whole idea. Clearly, you don’t want that.
There Are Many Pitfalls to Avoid
Too high a cost – Of course, you don’t want the small business applicant tracking system to be too expensive because you may not be able to keep using it.
Contracts – Nobody likes contracts because they lock you in. If you want to upgrade or downgrade, you can’t. If you want to get different software, you can’t. This can make using an applicant tracking system a pain or a waste.
More features than you need – First, more features often means a higher cost. Second, more features means more to learn and more headaches. You’ll enjoy your applicant tracking system more and be better able to use it if it contains the features you want and need without many more.
Missing features you need – You’re getting a small business applicant tracking system to help you optimize your hiring process. This means your business has specific needs, and they can’t just go unaddressed. Whatever applicant tracking system you choose has to have features to fix all your business’ individual pain points.
Poor customer service – You don’t want downtime. If something goes wrong, you need to be able to trust that you can get prompt thoughtful help so things can return to normal as quickly as possible.
You just don’t like it – People have preferences about software like they do everything else, and things like aesthetics, the “feel” of it, and the brand can make or break the relationship. You can learn about the brand online and through word of mouth, but aesthetics can only be seen in pictures or by using the program, and the feel of it can only be achieved through trials, demos, and purchase.
How to Avoid These Pitfalls
The first step is the least fun part. It’s where you scour the internet for small business applicant tracking systems to evaluate.
Do be aware, if you aren’t already, that applicant tracking systems for large businesses and ones for small businesses are not the same. So don’t fear that you’ve got to wade through a ton of ones that are too much for you. Vendors and review sites should make a clear distinction between applicant tracking systems for different sized businesses as their needs are very different.
Read customer reviews of small business applicant tracking systems to see what real business owners like yourself are saying about their experiences with it. You can get an excellent idea of what the software can do for your business by hearing people’s stories and advice about using it to address their goals. If you discover things that didn’t work so well for them, and that same issue is going to impact your business’ goals, you can mark that software off your list.
While checking out all the small business applicant tracking systems people recommend, make sure to jot down the features they offer. Match up the features and their intended use to determine which ones you need.
Then, you’ll want to prioritize these features based on whether they are crucial to your hiring goals, would be nice to have, or you don’t need them.
Once you’ve collected a list of applicant tracking systems, you’ll need to compare your prioritized feature list to the features each software offers. This is where you start to make your search simpler again because you can weed out a bunch of them. It’s nice to scratch things off a list.
After you’ve narrowed your list down to those with the right features, you’ll have more investigating to do.
- the vendor doesn’t do contracts
- their customer service policy sounds good and is backed up by customer reviews
- they offer industry standard or better security
If you’ve still got multiple applicant tracking systems left to choose from, and you probably will, you can use the following criteria to help narrow them down:
- choose vendors who offer unlimited use on the most features
- customization of as many features as possible
- reporting and analytics
- free trials and demos
Try Out the Small Business Applicant Tracking System Before Purchase
You should only consider a small business applicant tracking system that offers a free trial or demo of the software. Preferably, they’ll offer both. You may not feel the need to use both, but it shows the vendor is considerate enough to allow potential customers the option to kick the tires in the way that best suits their individual needs.
Free trials let you either have the product exactly as you would if you purchased it for a limited period of time or to have a partial version of it. Either one is intended to let you can see how you feel about the software before buying. The full free trial for a limited period of time is the most accurate test. Free trials are a good option for people who like to do things themselves and want to take their time learning as they feel like it.
Demos let you see the product in action while discussing everything with an expert. This is a good option for people who feel more comfortable having a guide and being able to ask questions. It might be impossible or simply waste too much of your time trying to figure things out alone.
If you try a free trial and still have questions, it can be very helpful to then ask for a demo, if the vendor offers them, to help you overcome the parts you’re struggling with.
You can even use a free trial early in the research process to get a better understanding of what features do. Sometimes no matter how well someone has tried to explain something, you just can’t “get” it without seeing it for yourself.
Taking It Out of the Virtual Box
Many people worry that their new small business applicant tracking system will be hard to install or setup. This is not true.
If you install any software on your computer, you can install a small business applicant tracking system.
And the setup usually just consists of connecting accounts, such as the applicant tracking system to the job boards you use, and customizing it to your business. It should be pretty easy, but if you have difficulty, you could consult customer service.
If you’ve ever used a software or even a social media platform that asked you to fill in boxes or check boxes to make it work like you want it to, you’re prepared to set up a small business applicant tracking system.
Purchasing your first small business applicant tracking system is not nearly as hard you might expect. The research to make sure you get it right is the most difficult part and that’s basically because it’s tedious. You’ll want to make sure you’re buying an applicant tracking system with the features you need, that it doesn’t require a contract, and that it offers quality customer service and security. And you’ll want to select one that offers free trials and demos so you can understand what you’re buying before you make your purchase. They’re easy to install and setup. You’ve probably already done things like it several times before. So, don’t let an expectation of difficulty stand between you and the many benefits of a small business applicant tracking system.
Best Small Business Applicant Tracking System for 2019
Recruiteze offers efficient recruitment tools to help HR and recruitment professionals meet the staffing future head on. Our small business applicant tracking system allows you to parse, format and easily navigate candidate information, so your online recruitment process is more efficient. You get a custom careers page and application system, which ensures your candidate experience is top-tier. Stop doing recruitment the hard way, and start using Recruiteze today.