There are so many options when purchasing a small company applicant tracking system, or ATS, that it can seem quite daunting. Rather than jumping right in and reading the features and benefits each system boasts, it may seem a bit simpler to go into it prepared with a bit of a formula in mind.
Which Small Company Applicant Tracking System Is Right for You?
The Formula to Choosing a Small Company Applicant Tracking System
You have to weigh out the features, the ease of use, and pricing to determine which small company applicant tracking system is right for you.
Of course you’ve got to have the right features. The system won’t do you any good if it doesn’t perform the functions you need.
You also don’t want it to have too many features you don’t need because it raises the cost and makes it harder to learn to use.
Ease of Use
An applicant tracking system shares some things in common with a car. Bear with me, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. An ATS is a tool and one that you’ll rely on. You need to be able to do what you need to do on it without distraction and maybe even to enjoy it. It should simplify your life, not add troubles or be such a pain that it doesn’t feel like it’s simplifying anything. For this reason, how a small company applicant tracking system “feels” when you use it is very important, like driving a car.
If you really hate the interface for your applicant tracking system because it looks so ugly, you don’t understand it, it requires too much clicking or complicated moves, or whatever reason, it won’t feel like it’s simplifying your life. In fact, it may add frustration. That’s not right at all.
Cost is important and so are payment options. Small businesses particularly need flexibility because their needs may fluctuate a great deal.
This makes it important for you to find a small company applicant tracking system that has all of the features you need and want, or at least the most crucial ones, at a cost that is reasonable for you to pay. This isn’t as hard as you would think because applicant tracking system vendors have calculated the prices of their small business offerings to meet these customer needs.
You also want to avoid contracts like the plague. Nobody likes contracts, but they’re particularly harmful to the small business owner who may need to upgrade, downgrade, or even cancel their applicant tracking system plan at any time. If you get locked into a contract that looked fine six months ago, but is now too costly, you may lose your cost savings from your applicant tracking system. And what if your business grows and you need to hire more people or use more advanced features but you are locked into a contract? Your applicant tracking system will be providing only part of the benefits you want and need.
Putting It All Together
Evaluate your business’ hiring needs, perform the research to learn which small company applicant tracking system features address those needs, utilize free trials and demos before purchasing an applicant tracking system, and avoid contracts.
You could make this step easier by writing down the features and benefits you want and then making a mark beside each one for the small company applicant tracking systems you are considering.
Here are some features that you might want to particularly pay attention to. Don’t just check to see if the system offers the feature, research the specifics about the feature.
Automatic job posting when you create a new job opening
When you create a new job, your applicant tracking system can automatically share that job opening with all of the major job boards. If you can have that, why not have use it? It saves so much time and headache, and that’s the point of an ATS.
Be sure that the applicant tracking system you’re considering has this feature and make note of how many job boards it says it connects with automatically.
Compatible with Other Software and Devices
Do you already use hiring software or other office software? Would you like to or need to use your applicant tracking system while on the go? Will you be sharing the system with another owner or hiring manager within your business who will want to use it at another location or on the go?
For any yeses that you may have just said aloud or silently, you need to investigate the applicant tracking system’s compatibility with mobile phones and tablets, operating systems, and other software like Microsoft Office.
Applicant tracking systems should offer you the ability to search your candidates. Definitely get one that does. You should also consider how much control you have over the search and what parameters it can search by. The more of them, the better.
Analytics and Reports
You’ll probably want a small business applicant tracking system with analytics and reporting. What’s not to like? The only good reason not to have this is if you already have such a great analytics and reporting setup somewhere else.
But you don’t want to just read the features list and go, “Oh, they offer analytics and reporting” and stop there. You also want to see how it displays its results and which metrics it measures for you. They need to be meaningful to your business.
It’s hard to come up with a reason why you wouldn’t want your applicant tracking system to have a careers page feature. Even if you already have an excellent careers page, your small company applicant tracking system can automatically update your job openings for you.
Take the time to learn more about how it helps you build your careers page, what you can customize on it, and more.
This is one of the most convenient features of an applicant tracking system. If you tell the system what keywords represent the ideal candidate and what parameters to look for, it can rank candidates as high matches or low matches and automatically reject candidates. Some applicant tracking systems will notify the candidate right away that they aren’t being hired so they won’t waste their precious time waiting to hear that the possibility isn’t being pursued. It is also possible for the applicant tracking system to notify candidates that they are being moved through the hiring process.
Check to see that the applicant tracking system does offer this, how you can customize the messages it sends, and how much control you have over how it ranks candidates.
Multiple Email Templates
You could find yourself in a bit of a mess if your applicant tracking system only lets you create one email template and you find yourself needing multiples to send to different hiring managers or to different candidates. Check before purchase to see if it allows you to create multiples, or if you don’t need this feature right now, that you can easily upgrade when you do.
Make sure the applicant tracking system you are considering offers candidate workflows to show you where candidates are in the hiring process. This makes it wondrously easy to keep up with the progress of each candidate.
Also make sure you can customize the workflow to your business’ needs.
Most of the time you won’t want limits. If you can get unlimited bulk upload, unlimited email templates, unlimited job requisitions, and so on, without having to pay a lot to have it, why limit yourself?
Test Drive It
The applicant tracking system vendor should offer at least one of the following, a free trial, a demo, or a free version of their software. This way you can discover for yourself what the features really do, not just a description of it. You can also see things no one can tell you like how it “feels” to use the software. Some software is just irritating to you.
Some small business applicant tracking systems offer monthly plans rather than contracts. Look for these. These monthly plans should allow you to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. Ensure that they do.
Looking for the right small company applicant tracking system can be daunting. It might seem simpler to you to go into it with this simple formula: compare the features, the feel of the software, and the pricing plans. You want the features you need but not many of them that you don’t need, software that you enjoy using and understand how to use, and monthly plans with the ability to upgrade and cancel any time. This formula helps you achieve the benefits you are looking for in a small company applicant tracking system without risk.
Free Small Company Applicant Tracking System
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!