Before purchasing a small company applicant tracking system, you’ll want to learn all the things you need to consider to select the right one. Applicant tracking systems, also referred to as an ATS, vary a great deal in their features, their cost, their payment plans, customer support, and ease of use. Without proper research, you may end up with an ats that you can’t use effectively or one that has too many features you don’t need and costs you too much, which means you’ll probably have to get rid of it. We’ll go over what you can expect from an ats to help you choose the right one for your small business. Get creative with your hiring game by using Recruiteze. Start your free trial of our powerful online recruitment systems today.
What Makes a Good Small Company Applicant Tracking System?
One thing to consider when choosing an applicant tracking system is how many places it can be used.
There are many aspects of this to think about:
- You’ll need to know if it works properly with the internet browser you use, and any other you are likely to use.
- If anyone else will be using the ATS, will they be able to use it with their browser?
- Can all job applicants use it with their browser?
- Is it responsive, meaning it functions properly on both desktop and mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones?
This is not as difficult as it seems, an ATS will tell you if it is responsive, that’s how they will word it, and they’ll list all the browsers they support. The more browsers they list, the more likely they’ll be to cover anyone who needs to use your ats and its features.
You may be tempted to rule out this consideration too soon because you are thinking only of your usage and that you will only want to use your ats on your desktop computer, but you are probably going to want to use a career portal and other candidate-facing features. Most candidates use mobile devices in their job search. If everyone who comes to your career portal or reads your job descriptions can’t use them because they’re on a mobile device, or they can technically use the feature but it’s so miserable that they won’t mess with it, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential hires.
Effective Resume Functions
Applicant tracking systems offer many life-changing resume functions. You’ll want to become familiar with them to know which ones to prioritize when selecting an ats for your small business’ unique needs.
Applicant tracking systems can:
- Bulk upload stored or collected resumes.
- Automatically upload new resumes.
- Parse resumes to sort them by skills, history, and more.
- Format resumes for easy reading.
- Associate candidates to the appropriate job or hiring manager.
- Search resumes by many criteria.
- Deduplicate to ensure each candidate only appears once in the system.
- Track a candidate’s progress through the interview process.
These features save you so much time in managing, reading, and interacting with candidate resumes. Tasks you used to have to painstakingly do yourself can be done automatically, resumes can be made to all look alike so you read them quicker and without confusion, specific candidates can be found easily, and the interview process can be organized and therefore quicker and more efficiently managed.
You can also have more control over diversity efforts and internal affairs with resume parsing. If your applicant tracking system removes words such as the names of certain schools or the applicants’ name, you can improve diversity efforts. If you want a partner’s input on a candidate without them being able to contact the candidate themselves, you can ensure this doesn’t happen by removing their contact information.
Do More Within the ATS
The more functions your applicant tracking system does within the system itself, the more streamlined your efforts will be and the more time you’ll save. If you have to perform a task to source, recruit, interview, and onboard, an ats could potentially help you do it and the more of these functions can be kept within this one system, the easier and more effective your life will be. Otherwise, you might have some tasks taken care of by the ats and others still done manually, or you might have to purchase multiple applicant tracking systems to do what another single system could do.
These are some of the ATS functions you should consider being included:
- Automatic candidate resume acknowledgment
- Automatic candidate rejection
- A notes function so information is viewable with the resume
- Candidate tagging
- A candidate contact history viewable with the resume
- Career portal
- Job descriptions
- Email template creation
- Sourcing candidates
- Tracking new hire onboarding steps
Be on the lookout for as many of those features as possible within your budget and other ats considerations.
Expect more of your ats. It is quite possible to find ones, such as Recruiteze, that offer features with no limitations. If you get ready to bulk upload resumes, you should be able to upload as many as you need. Any amount of resumes you need to handle should be supported. The same is true with any function of your ats; get one that does more, at least, or all, if possible.
Even more important, well nothing can be more important than how many resumes the ats handles, but more important in general than unlimited, is the ability to customize. If your ats can’t be customized to your business’ needs, it is going to be less efficient and you’re going to miss out on powerful branding opportunities.
Look for more custom options in your ats, such as custom:
- Email templates
- Candidate workflow management
- Job codes
- Careers page
- Job applications
It’s important to have reports and analytics so you can measure progress. You’ll want to know how many resumes you’ve received, where they came from, your application to interview ratio, and how long your hiring process takes so you can control things like hiring times, hiring costs, candidate experience, and diversity.
Your ats also needs reporting that can be broken down into different periods of time with varying metrics to get an actionable understanding of your hiring process.
Research the reporting options of an ats you’re interested in and try to pick one with a combination of more reporting features, a reporting structure that looks appealing to you, and one that doesn’t so sound complicated that you are likely to not use it. A small business probably won’t need as many reporting features as a larger company so there’s no point in bogging yourself down with too much to learn and navigate.
Training and Demos
An applicant tracking system is only as good as your ability to use it. Look for an ats like Recruiteze that provides demos and even screen share training, upon request, to ensure you are empowered to use the system to its fullest. A knowledge base is also helpful for giving users extensive information to answer questions on their time, whenever needed.
Ensure that the ats you are considering has at least one of these options.
Applicant tracking systems handle sensitive data, so they need to be secure. Read the information about any ats you are considering to determine that it protects your data from being stolen or lost.
Here is an example: Recruiteze’s own data security policy:
“All your data is stored on Azure Cloud, which has 3 levels of redundancy. The database is backed up to the latest 5-minute period. Check out this article on data security to see how your data is secured.”
You’ll want to research both how the ats promises to protect your data from hackers and how it backs up your data to prevent data loss. The more protection you can get for your budget and other considerations, the better.
Has the Features Your Company Needs
Pay for what you will use and not what you don’t. Small companies don’t need as many features as large companies, so don’t assume that you have to buy the most popular, expensive, or feature-packed ats. It’ll be harder to learn, harder to use, and more expensive without really suiting small business needs.
Make a list of features for all the applicant tracking systems you are considering and weigh out which features are most important to addressing your needs versus the cost of the ats.
Fits your Financial Needs
Applicant tracking systems can be subscription based or billed by the month. Consider your desire for either payment arrangement when selecting an ats.
Further, an ats vendor with multiple rates and plans helps you choose the plan that most fits your needs. Some have free options that may be perfectly fine for your needs as well as several other plans for varying features and numbers of users, should you need one of those. This way you pay only for what you need.
Also, avoid ats vendors who don’t provide a price upfront and ask you to reach out to them for a custom quote. You should see full transparency about prices and contracts, or lack thereof.
Applicant tracking systems can be very versatile, so do yourself a favor and choose one that is. If you want to add users, remove users, change plans, or even move to a new ats vendor, it’s much more advantageous to be able to do so without cost or headache. Look for declarations on their site that you can change these things without penalty.
Check ats vendors for their customer service policies and their reputation for customer service so that when something goes wrong or when no matter how much you try to educate yourself, you still don’t understand something, you can reach out to someone for personalized help.
Be aware that even a single vendor can offer varying support types with each plan they offer. Consider the different customer service offerings when choosing a plan.
Ultimately, a good small company applicant tracking system is the one that serves you best. This is determined by a variety of factors including the ats’ features, the pricing, and the support the vendor offers. Research applicant tracking systems carefully, use free trials when offered one, and compare features and pricing to find the best ats for your needs. Best Online Recruitment Systems | Recruiteze
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