Applicant Tracking Systems for Small Businesses

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Depending on the position you are hiring for, a recruitment campaign or job posting can generate a candidate pool hitting the hundred or more mark. If you are hiring for 20 positions, that is 2,000+ candidates that you will have to log, track and keep notes on at any given time. With that in mind, how many organizations are still using spreadsheets and manual processes to manage their applicants?

A recent study by software consulting company Software Advice found that while the number of companies utilizing manual methods has declined since last year, 61 percent of their customers were managing their applicants with spreadsheets and email. Most of the companies surveyed were in the small business sector (76 percent). As companies grow out of traditional methods, they seek the time-saving and streamlining capabilities of an Applicant Tracking System.

“The need to increase efficiency and organization was still the top reason buyers provided for purchasing a new ATS—although fewer buyers gave this as their primary reason for seeking software in 2014 (37 percent of buyers) as compared to 2013 (45 percent).

However, the percentage of buyers seeking software due to company growth almost doubled in 2014. In 2013, only 11 percent of buyers noted they were looking to purchase software because their current system was unable to support the growth of their business. In 2014, 18 percent of buyers said this was the case.”

Unemployment rates have been steadily decreasing since the high of 10 percent in October 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current rate is 6.1 percent. This shows that we are slowly climbing out of the hole the recession left us in, as more business continue to add jobs. The increase of open positions correlates with the need for better ways to manage hiring processes, especially in the small business sector. With less manpower and resources available to help grow the business, automating processes and aiding in talent acquisition should be at the top of the priority list. With the number of systems available on the market, the price to implement an ATS has become more affordable.

Software Advice (SA) started asking their buyers what specific features they would like to see in their ATS software. As businesses grow, new features are needed to assist in ways that may not have been necessary at inception, so even if you have a current ATS, you should be looking to increase the number of features you utilize or upgrade to software with more capabilities. SA’s conclusion was that “for small-business ATS buyers, the ability to automatically post open positions to job boards and their company careers page through the software was the number-one requested feature—no matter what method they were currently using to track applicants through the hiring process.” Managing and editing job postings can be a consuming process, eating up valuable time employees could be spending on more important tasks. “About one-third of buyers (32 percent) also wanted their new ATS to have a searchable database of applicant profiles that they could sort through using specific keywords. In third and fourth place, respectively, were reporting capabilities (31 percent) and candidate tracking (29 percent).”

Applicant Tracking Systems are not just for large businesses. Small businesses can become more efficient and may grow more quickly with the implementation of these affordable resources. Interested in learning more about BrightMove’s recruiting and staffing software? Click here for a free trial!

For the full report from Software Advice, click here.

Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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