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Why an Applicant Tracking System is Necessary For Your Small Business

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As a small business owner, you don’t always have the luxury of affording the software that your competitors may use to improve their processes. You learn pretty quickly that you have to do more with less in order to stay ahead of the competition. Because of this, you have to pick and choose what expenses you’re going to invest in since every dime counts. By definition, you have a smaller budget than larger corporations and are forced to operate on a much more frugal structure. This often means that small business owners sacrifice seemingly pricey software options and opt for more manual processes because they appear to be cheaper on paper. This is particularly true when it comes to the hiring process.

Organizations have been using paper processes for their hiring purposes for decades, which is why this is typically the last area business owners are looking at to make more efficient by implementing an online solution. However, it’s more important than ever to streamline your hiring processes to ensure there is constant communication between candidates and employers. A quality Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help you keep track of all your applications, offer efficient correspondence to candidates, keep all your records in the cloud, and still not break the bank.

Cost vs. ROI


The prospect of adding yet another expense into your budget can be daunting, but with a little research into what the cost is compared to what it will save, you very well could come out saving money in the end. Consider how much time is spent sifting through every resume you receive, checking qualifications and experience, and sorting them out respectively. Wouldn’t it be significantly easier to have a software that does this all for you? You can have the system flag specific questions and easily pull resumes that have what you’re looking for and even set up automated correspondence with your candidates so your hiring managers don’t have to email every applicant. The time spent on these manual processes will be allocated to more important tasks.

What’s more, you will spend far less time in the recruiting process from start to finish. You’ll be able to find quality candidates and move them through the interview process much faster. By increasing the efficiency of your hiring process, you largely reduce the cost of turnover. Additionally, your ATS will offer you an intuitive, automated hiring workflow that will provide you with higher qualified candidates. At the end of the day, this not only relieves the many headaches that hiring can cause, but the software practically pays for itself!

When small business owners were asked about the main reasons they invested in an Applicant Tracking System, the primary responses were job postings, resume management, applicant ranking, searchable applicant database, and note-taking.   


Source:  Enterprise Resource Planning Software Buyer Report


Company Growth

If you’re planning on having your company grow in the coming years, now is the time to invest in an ATS software. By having a system all set up while you’re still relatively small, you will be able to easily fill multiple positions at a time when your company starts to expand. What’s more, administrators within your company will already be familiar with the system so they won’t have to be trained on the software on top of all the other work that comes along with company growth. With a few experts on the software already placed within your company, they’ll be the perfect people to help scale your business when the time comes.

What Features You Should Look For

So what exactly does a quality Applicant Tracking System do? Well, in addition to sorting, storing, and organizing all your job postings and applications, your ATS software should have the ability to flag either (or both) good and bad questions, provide email correspondence with the click of a button and allow you to task other decision makers to take action.

Flagging Questions

With a system that allows you to flag questions, you’ll be able to segment your applicant pool and immediately weed out candidates who are not qualified for the position. You can also flag questions or phrases that help you find the right candidates based on certain skills or qualifications. For example, if you want to find an applicant who is proficient in a certain software, you can flag the name of that software and any application or resume that mentions it will be pulled automatically.  

One-Click Correspondence


I’ve mentioned this a few times, but in my opinion, the best part of an Applicant Tracking System is the one-click email correspondence feature. Your ATS should allow you to set up standard emails to easily send to applicants at any point of the interview process. This means you can send your rejection emails to candidates that don’t meet your qualifications, request other candidates to come in for an interview, and send follow-up emails to thank them for their time. This is helpful because you’ll always have records of who receives emails that you can recall later on if necessary. Additionally, it will create a better experience for all of your applicants, as it can be very frustrating for job seekers to not hear back from employers. Small businesses cannot afford the negative impact from disgruntled applicants, and one-click correspondence is the best way to ensure communication to your applicant pool.

Task Other Decision Makers

To build on the importance of communication, an ATS software can help keep all your decision makers in the loop throughout the hiring process. With a proper Applicant Tracking System, you should be allowed to move candidates through the interview process by tasking others to take the next steps when possible. For example, perhaps you have a supervisor that is charged with screening candidates with a phone interview. They can forward along any applicants that he or she thinks would be a good fit by setting up a task for the hiring manager to reach out and set up a face-to-face interview. This keeps all parties involved in the loop throughout the hiring process and keeps a digital log of all communications.

Your team should strategize about the additional features your ATS software should contain. By determining what aspects of your current operations are weak points, you can find a solution that strengthens your process overall. If you currently have a payroll and HR software, reach out to your account representative and see what kind of Applicant Tracking System they have available. The solution should offer all of the features above as well as customized hiring workflows, instant analytics, and task reminders. Want to learn more about what Dominion can do to streamline your hiring process? Learn more about our Applicant Tracking System below!


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