Applicant tracking system

8 Tips for Choosing The Right Applicant Tracking System

Recruiting can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. If you run a small business you must likely hire a couple of new staff each month. The ideal scenario would be to use something that improves and optimizes your hiring process. 

That’s where an applicant tracking system comes in. Hiring software isn’t only for big companies and big-time recruiters. Startups and small businesses can benefit from using it as well.  An applicant tracking system (ATS) optimizes applicant experiences and frees up time.

The right applicant tracking software should fit your budget and hiring volume. It may be a standalone tool or part of a human resource (HR) platform. 

However, with a lot of options to choose from, selecting the right ATS can be challenging. Today, we’ll help you make the right decision by providing a comprehensive guide to choosing the right ATS for your small business.

What is An Applicant Tracking System

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that helps you manage the recruitment process, by collecting and organizing applicant information. 

It streamlines hiring by automating the administrative tasks associated with recruitment, such as posting job ads, screening resumes, and tracking candidate progress through the hiring pipeline.

Benefits of An Applicant Tracking System 

  1. Efficiency: Automates repetitive tasks, saving time.
  2. Organization: Keeps all candidate information in one place.
  3. Consistency: Ensures a standardized hiring process.
  4. Improved Candidate Experience: Facilitates smoother communication and timely updates.
  5. Data-Driven Decisions: Provides analytics and reports to refine recruitment strategies.

Key Features to Look for in an Applicant Tracking System

When evaluating ATS options, consider the following features that are particularly beneficial for small businesses:

  1. Ease of Use: A user-friendly interface is crucial. Your team should be able to navigate the system with minimal training.
  2. Customizable Workflows: The ATS should adapt to your unique hiring process, not the other way around.
  3. Job Posting and Distribution: Ability to post jobs to multiple job boards and social media platforms with a single click.
  4. Resume Parsing: Automatically extracts candidate information from resumes and populates it into a structured format.
  5. Candidate Database: A centralized repository for all applicant data, facilitating easy search and retrieval.
  6. Collaboration Tools: Features that allow team members to communicate and collaborate on candidate evaluations.
  7. Mobile Accessibility: Access to the ATS from mobile devices ensures that hiring managers can work on the go.
  8. Integration Capabilities: The ability to integrate with other HR tools and platforms you already use.
  9. Reporting and Analytics: Generate insights into the hiring process to identify bottlenecks and improve efficiency.
  10. Compliance: Helps ensure your recruitment process complies with relevant labor laws and regulations.
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Tips for Choosing the Right Applicant Tracking System 

Now for the best part. Here are the things to consider before choosing an applicant tracking system. 

  1. Assess Your Needs

Identify Pain Points: Understand the specific challenges you face in your current hiring process.

 Define Goals: What do you want to achieve with an ATS? Speed up hiring? Improve candidate quality? Enhance collaboration?

  1. Set a Budget

Cost Consideration: ATS solutions come in various pricing models – subscription-based, pay-per-job-post, etc. Determine what fits your budget.

  1. Research and Shortlist

Market Research: Look for ATS providers that cater specifically to small businesses. 

Read Reviews and Testimonials: Gain insights from other small businesses that have used the ATS.

Seek Recommendations: Ask peers or industry contacts for their recommendations.

  1. Evaluate Features

Must-Have vs. Nice-to-Have: Prioritize the features that are critical for your operations.

Request Demos: Schedule demos with shortlisted providers to see the ATS in action.

Trial Periods: Opt for providers that offer free trials so you can test the system with real data.

  1. Consider Scalability

Future Needs: Choose an ATS that can grow with your business, adding functionalities as needed.

  1. Check for Integration

Existing Tools: Ensure the ATS can integrate seamlessly with your current HR software, email systems, and other tools.

  1. User Support and Training

Customer Support: Reliable and responsive customer support is essential, especially during the initial setup.

Training Resources: Look for providers that offer comprehensive training materials and support.

  1. Evaluate Security and Compliance

Data Security: Ensure the ATS complies with data protection regulations and has robust security measures in place.

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Compliance Features: The system should help you stay compliant with hiring laws and regulations.

How to Implement

Once you’ve selected an ATS, consider these tips to ensure a smooth implementation:

  1. Plan the Rollout: Develop a clear plan for implementing the ATS, including timelines and responsibilities.
  2. Train Your Team: Ensure all team members receive proper training on how to use the new system.
  3. Data Migration: If you’re moving from another system, plan the data migration carefully to avoid any loss of information.
  4. Customize Workflows: Tailor the ATS workflows to match your existing recruitment processes.
  5. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly review the system’s performance and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and analytics.

What Does Success Look Like?

To determine whether your ATS is delivering the desired results, track the following metrics:

  1. Time-to-Hire: Measure how long it takes to fill a position from the moment the job is posted.
  2. Quality of Hire: Assess the performance and retention of new hires.
  3. Candidate Experience: Gather feedback from candidates about their experience during the hiring process.
  4. Hiring Manager Satisfaction: Get input from hiring managers on the ease of use and effectiveness of the ATS.
  5. Recruitment Funnel Metrics: Track metrics at each stage of the recruitment process to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right ATS for your small business is a critical decision that can significantly impact your recruitment efficiency and effectiveness.

Carefully assess your needs before selecting one. Pick something that meets your requirements. But with the various options available it’s good to start with a platform that offers a free trial to test the features.  BorderlessHR offers a free demo. Sign up today to get started.  

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