Over the years, it has been noted that many questions and queries have been posted by candidates and even employers regarding the fair selection process by an applicant tracking system. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions pertaining to the working of small company applicant tracking systems such as how it reviews the candidates and benefits offered by an applicant tracking system to the employer.
Every coin has two faces. If the ATS speeds up the recruitment procedure, no wonder there are some cons related to it. But those can be worked around easily with some smart moves by employers. Let’s take a tour and understand some ATS basics. Then, we’ll clear up some misinformation and assumptions about this very crucial and important component of an HR system.
What Is an ATS?
In layman terms, ATS is just a software that stores the information collected from job applicants’ input. It is developed to serve the recruiting needs such as application tracking, resume filtering, emailing etc. Once the data is collected, the profile of each candidate is visible to every person on the recruitment team. All the applications can easily be sifted by the ATS and the hiring team can easily identify the most suitable candidate for the job based on the criteria set by the employer.
Small Company Applicant Tracking Systems?
Time is money. Many small companies believe that they hire so infrequently that they don’t need any help or additional software for applicant tracking and they can manage on their own.
In today’s world, for every single job opening more than 250+ job applications are received and reviewing each and every application costs time, money, and effort. The same time can be used to understand the candidate better in the personal interaction/interview round.
Companies are growing and so is the competition. Growing and performing well are the two key KPAs for every startup or small company. Bringing an ATS on board makes sense in every respect.
Why Do Businesses Use Them?
If an ATS is properly configured, it can help organizations of all sizes accurately identify and acquire talent according to their needs and save them money and time. The data is readily available online and can easily be accessed from a remote location as well.
An ATS offers a well-organized database through which the hiring manager or the recruitment team can review the candidate data and can communicate, coordinate, and schedule interviews over a common platform.
Even the data of the candidates who are not selected remain available on the online servers which can, therefore, be used for future prospects.
Applicant Tracking System Costs
ATS is ruling the HR space!
Each and every company is striving to have their own bespoke ATS. An ATS may range from free to thousands of dollars or per month subscription-based ATS etc. Some need to be downloaded on a computer while some do not need any infrastructure or additional cost such as SAAS based ones. Mentioned below are some options that are preferred by companies these days.
- Free Software
Many of the free software has fewer professional features but they are sufficient for a small business. These features can be expanded in due course of time as per the need/growth of a company. Employers can track open jobs, qualified applicants, etc.
- Job Boards
There are job boards available online that are free and paid ones. There are monthly billings or annual billings for the paid job boards. The charges may depend on several factors such as the number of job ads, job posts, or resumes.
- Recruitment Software
Recruitment software doesn’t just keep track of applicants and maintain a candidate database. It also help post the jobs online by integrating with social media platforms and job boards. The cost is determined by company size, the number of users, and other factors.
- Professional ATS
A professional ATS integrates with the organization’s HR and payroll systems. These ATS are fully scalable, robust, and 100% secure.
There are many professional ATS which offer a free trial before you buy the product.
Looking for an ATS with a free trial? Click here to avail a 15 days free trial.
Pros of Using an ATS
- Better Candidates: ATS makes the application process much easier. It boosts the number of applicants and helps the recruiter make a choice from a wider talent pool.
- Faster Hires: An ATS saves time as it help customize searching, filtering, emailing the candidates, and maintaining a well-managed database of candidates.
- Increased Collaboration: An ATS allows the managers and interviewers to contribute together towards the hiring process.
- Improved Employer Brand: Having an easy, mobile-friendly, and fair application process helps promote the organization as the best place to work and fetch a number of positive reviews.
- Boosts Candidate Experience: ATS makes the complete hiring process properly channelized and organized. Notifications are sent to the candidates at each level. The candidates are free to choose their interview slots as well. All these factors boost the candidate experience.
Disadvantages of ATS and How to Overcome Them
Here are some of the cons of ATS. With smart and intelligent operations, these cons can be trounced.
As ATS is professional software and if it is designed exclusively for the recruiting firms, it tends to be costly. The best options for small companies are free versions or a trial version they can try out before committing to the expense of ATS.
Most of the small companies need just the basic features and not an ATS that is fully overloaded with useless features. There are many features that are not required by small companies such as client billing, recruiter reports, etc. Most of the time in a small company there is a single person handling all the HR operations, so having a “feature-rich” ATS may not be a prerequisite for every company.
- ATS searches
There is an assumption that the ATS perform searches based on keywords, job titles, and skills mentioned on the resume. Everything depends on the configuration of the ATS. The company may also program the ATS using some “knockout” questions such as years of experience etc. The candidates not meeting the minimum criteria are eliminated. But their data does not get deleted and is placed in a “knockout” pile where it can be used again.
Most of the small company applicant tracking systems can’t read resumes that are not ATS optimized. The ATS isn’t able to read the bullets, special characters, tables, graphics, formatting, etc. This information may appear as an unformatted paragraph to the recruiter. The ATS now days are using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques which helps the ATS to overcome the keyword lacking resumes or social media profiles of the candidates.
- ATS accepts only PDF format
There are many ATS on the market that accept only PDF or WORD format. Resumes in any other format are rejected instantaneously. The new and latest ATS have the ability to read resumes in any format. The only way to overcome this is that the companies should update their ATS software. The organizations using the online versions of the ATS have better access to updated and latest available features of the ATS.
If the companies are using the older versions, it is better to inform the applicants to submit their resumes in word or PDF format beforehand or in the job ad itself and not use any kind of graphics, tables, or special characters.
- All ATS are the same
No, all small company applicant tracking systems are not at all same. Each one differs in functionality or complexity. Every company tends to have a bespoke ATS which blends perfectly with their HR software. No two ATS offer the same functions and features as they have been customized to cater to different needs of the organization.
- ATS rejects the resume based on length
It is a feature that can be pre-set in the ATS. If the ATS has been configured to reject the resumes of more than one page, it does. The root cause of most of the misconceptions is due to the configurations made by the ATS operator. So, the configurations and the settings must be made wisely so that good information doesn’t get misfiled or ignored.
- The candidate needs to apply to LinkedIn and ATS separately
Most of the candidates have to apply separately to social media websites and ATS (company’s career page). The reason is that the companies don’t have the updated software or the desired feature. There are many additional features available in the ATS that allows the organization to connect with the candidate’s social media profiles as well as different job boards. Companies such as Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder use the LinkedIn’s “Quick Apply” function to forward the candidate’s LinkedIn profile as well as a resume to the hiring company.
An applicant tracking software is exclusively an HR tool that is designed to make the hiring process faster, easier, and more efficient. Every growing company, be it a small one, startup, or one with a high turnover rate, definitely needs an ATS. If the small companies aren’t sure whether they need it or not, use the free trial option provided by the ATS companies.
Free Small Company Applicant Tracking Systems
Using the right online recruiting software for your business can save you lots of time and money! Thankfully, Recruiteze is here to help you!
Recruiteze is our free small company applicant tracking system that allows candidates to easily apply to be added to your database immediately. End-users can access candidate resumes online and make changes quickly. This is only the beginning and our cloud-based recruiting systems offer so much more. Give Recruiteze a try and start hiring smarter!