Tracking the applicants

How much did it take to find your last employee? We already know that employee turnover can have a big impact on a business’ bottom line, but so can hiring new employees–whether in time, productivity, or maybe cash. consistent with researchers, it can cost employers $4,000 on the average fill a single open position. Multiply that by what percentage open roles your business has now, and it’s going to be no small investment. So why does hiring cost so much?

Consider everything that goes into finding and hiring new employees: writing employment description, posting on job boards, keeping track of each application, paging through resumes, calling back and forth with candidates, holding interviews–the list goes on. And even once you do find your star candidate, there’s no guarantee they’ll accept. It can all start to feature up quickly, especially if you’ve got a manual hiring process.

That’s why more and more small and mid-sized businesses–along with 98% of Fortune 500 companies–are turning to applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage their hiring process. Just making this one change can help businesses of each size double-down on efficiency, find better candidates, and obtain them in the right roles, fast.

We’ve put together all-you-need-to-know guide to assist you do the same. discover what an ATS is, how it works, and what sorts of ATS platforms are available today.

What is an applicant tracking system?
So, what’s an ATS? For starters, it isn’t only one thing. It’s a kind of software, or collection of digital tools on one platform, that helps you discover , interview, and hire new employees–all during a single place. Using an ATS makes it possible to manage every step of the hiring process right from the screen of your desktop or mobile .

An ATS also acts as a repository for all of your applicant data and automates your communication with potential candidates. In some ways , it’s a lot in common with a CRM, or customer relationship management system. No have to go hunt down a post-it or type up email responses to each individual applicant.

Your ATS has all of your candidate information, and counting on the software, also can be used to automatically confirm a candidate’s application has been received, keep them up so far on when their application’s status changes, or prompt them to verify an interview time.

How applicant tracking systems got started
If you haven’t used an ATS, you’ve got likely used Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed, or another online career board to share employment posting–and that’s where ATS platforms all began. Before ATS came on the scene 20 years ago, the closest thing was a fax machine and a file . Businesses posted jobs within the newspaper, then candidates faxed in their resumes and canopy letters. HR managers printed them off, tracked applicant information by hand, and kept paper files.

Then came the web . By the mid-90s, candidates were responding to job postings on electronic job boards like Monster and interacting with hiring managers directly from their computers. Employers could reach entire new networks of candidates, making it hard to stay up with a now-worldwide applicant pool.

Recognizing how the hiring process had essentially changed overnight, “e-recruitment systems” began shooting up to help employers start digitally screening candidates and store applications. These e-recruitment systems ultimately evolved into the varied ATS platforms used by millions of businesses today.

Now, ATS platforms are a growing–almost given–part of how the typical employee gets hired at businesses of every size.

How ATS impact each stage of the hiring process today
It’s not an exaggeration to mention that having an ATS can dramatically change how you hire. on the average , alittle business with 8 employees can save $10,000 just by using an ATS.

Along with adding to your bottom line, using an ATS can translate to raised efficiency, productivity, and quality of hires. 83% of recruiting professionals say using an ATS has helped them hire faster, and 78% say it’s increased the standard of the candidates they hire.

Here’s how an ATS makes it possible through every phase of hiring new employees:

Raise your hand if you’ve got multiple spreadsheets sitting on your desktop for every job opening–and are dreading going through and updating every single one. With an ATS, you’ll create job postings for each opening and see all your open roles in one place.

An ATS can ensure your job postings get seen. Share jobs on Facebook, Twitter, job boards, or through an immediate link to start collecting applications. Some online job boards also provide custom integrations with different ATS platforms to form it easier for candidates to apply.

Cloud-based ATS platforms allow applicants can apply from any device. this is often crucial, as almost 9 in 10 job seekers decide to use their mobile phones to search for jobs, but 40% abandon their application if the appliance system isn’t mobile-friendly. additionally to digital applications, your ATS also can help you manually upload any walk-in applicants.

Tracking candidates
No more folders or fax machines. All applications are automatically uploaded to your ATS, so you’ll easily take a look at the newest resumes and decide which ones you want to share with other team members. You and your team can see which candidates still have to be interviewed, and add feedback to every candidate’s application as you review.

When it comes time to form a final decision, your ATS can facilitate your compare candidates to previous hires and look for any red flags, like availability or job history. Once you’ve decided, you’ll notify candidates about next steps and send updates to all applicants letting them know the position has closed. Some ATS platforms also include integrations together with your current scheduling app or time clock software. You’ll have already got new employees’ information in your system, making it easy to feature them to the current employee schedule.

Types of ATS

There are quite 200 types of applicant tracking systems to choose from, and that they aren’t slowing down any time soon. Experts predict the ATS market are going to be worth well over $1.81 billion within the U.S. by 2023. Finding the proper type of ATS for your business can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

First, there’s a difference between a stand-alone ATS and recruiting software. Recruiting software includes quite just ATS tools and functions like an actual CRM. it’d also sometimes be referred to as a human capital management (or HCM) system. confine mind that an ATS is reactive, and only kicks in once you’ve received a candidate’s application. In contrast, recruiting software or a CRM helps you identify and pursue potential prospects or candidates who haven’t applied yet.

If you’re a hiring manager with dozens of roles to fill and searching for candidates with high-demand skills, a recruiting CRM could also be a better fit. If you would like to get a handle on your hiring process, processing applications, and fixing workflows, a stand-alone ATS is probably going all you need.

Stand-alone ATS can either be hosted locally or on the cloud. this suggests your ATS is either accessed only on a desktop and installed on your computer, or is cloud-based and may be accessed from anywhere. There’s also open source ATS, meaning that the ATS software is out there for anyone to use at no cost. But there’s a catch: you’ll need the technical skills to be ready to manage it and write code (plus, there’s no support line to call).

What else to think about when choosing an ATS
ATS pricing can vary wildly, from zero to many hundred thousand dollars. However, the typical cost for a paid ATS platform for a company of under 10 employees is about $3,000 annually. Pricing can depend upon multiple factors: type of platform, number of users, level of support, the list goes on. As mentioned above, it are often also possible to get an ATS at no additional cost using open source software or as part of other employee management software you already use. Your timesheet tracking and employee scheduling software provider may provide an ATS free .

Employee experience
If a program is tough to use, employees won’t want to use it–and that goes for any workplace software. The goal of an ATS is to form the hiring process simpler, less complicated. If you introduce an ATS that’s too complex or difficult to figure with, it’ll only slow your team down (or they’ll avoid using it altogether). When you’re considering an ATS, ensure it’s user-friendly and easy to learn.

Candidate experience
Your employees won’t be the sole ones using your ATS system. All of the above also applies to your candidates. With a clunky or difficult ATS, your hiring process may discourage top candidates from applying–and you’ll never even realize it . Tech issues alone can cause 60% of candidates to abandon their job applications. Your application process has an impression on your business in the long run, no doubt . Up to 44% of workers who didn’t hear back in the least when they applied for a job said their opinion of the company worsened.

Remember: efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. Beyond simple use for employees/candidates, ensure your ATS fits into your current tools and doesn’t add extra work. Many ATS integrate with online job boards, social media, email, and file storage tools like Google Drive or Dropbox. Before you select an ATS, discover how it integrates into the rest of your hiring resources.

How to decide if you need an ATS
Investing in an ATS (in cost or time) may be a decision you can make by asking yourself the following questions:

How much time per week do you (or your employees) spend uploading, posting, and sharing new job openings to online job boards or social media?
Per week, what percentage hours do you spend communicating with staff about candidates and in how many different forms?
How often are you watching resumes? How much time per week do you spend looking at resumes?
From inputting to organizing candidates’ contact information, how long does this take per candidate?
How much time per week do you spend following up with candidates, handling logistics, or scheduling interviews?
What is your employee turnover rate?
How satisfied are you with the standard of your most recent hires?
If you’re unsure on your answers to any of the questions, take a better look at your hiring process. See if you’ll set a baseline on how long it takes to hire a new employee. Track what percentage hours you spend a week posting on job sites, communicating with candidates, organizing their information, and dealing through resumes.

Small business owners are the foremost critical part of a business’ success–yet spend 40% of their day on non-revenue-generating tasks like hiring new employees and payroll management. it’s going to seem silly, but even typing out your address eats up valuable time. What else could you set back into your business if even a few of those tasks were automated?

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