Why do many recruiting teams have to use spreadsheets? Forward-thinking companies leverage the best business management tools for everyone else.
I’m talking about best-in-class software products. The kind built for a specific purpose from the ground up. There are systems for CRM, project management, accounting, tech support—you name it.
Yet the hiring team struggles with old technology and ad hoc systems.
Spreadsheets may have been cutting-edge in 1985, but there is no reason to use them now.
Applicant tracking software is affordable and easy to implement. It improves recruiting so dramatically it’s a no-brainer for business owners. Yet the adoption rate is lower than for many other types of software.
Let’s look at all the reasons that spreadsheets for recruiting are ridiculously scary.
Spreadsheets Don’t Meet The Needs of Recruitment
Spreadsheets are designed to store and organize data. Applicant tracking involves loads of data. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. It also involves ongoing communication among all parties. This includes the applicant, hiring team, talent sourcing agencies, and managers. You have to log each separate interaction into the spreadsheet.
Spreadsheets aren’t integrated with your email system. This is a big drawback. But spreadsheet problems don’t stop with an inability to handle hiring communication.
Recruitment has a marketing component as well. Spreadsheets don’t sync with job boards or your careers site.
They can’t screen applications and advance potential hires through the process.
Spreadsheets Cripple Collaboration
Successful hiring requires real time collaboration. Spreadsheets don’t show where a candidate is in the hiring process. They don’t provide an easy way to enter interview notes or rate applicants.
Unless they are cloud-based like Google Docs, they don’t allow for centralized access. Do you need to improve collaboration to improve hiring outcomes? Spreadsheets aren’t going to cut it.
Spreadsheets Are Vulnerable to Human Error
Spreadsheets use manual data entry. As such, they are susceptible to human error. Their inability to detect and prevent errors is one of the scariest things about them.
Studies reveal that average spreadsheet error rates can be as high as 88%.
Companies of all sizes are at risk of spreadsheet errors. JPMorgan Chase, for example, suffered a $6 billion (yes, with a ‘B’) loss due to Excel errors.
Spreadsheets Take Too Much Time
Inaccuracy isn’t the only problem with spreadsheets. They’re also too dang slow. Entering each piece of data into the appropriate cell is painstaking.
If you are trying to shorten time-to-hire (and who isn’t?) you need a better option.
Companies who use spreadsheets are losing applicants because their process drags on. The fastest hirers are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Spreadsheets Don’t Create a Great Applicant Experience
If you want to cater to applicants, spreadsheets aren’t the way to go. They don’t allow you to respond immediately to applicants. You can’t trigger precisely-timed auto-emails. Applicants can slip through the cracks.
Spreadsheets Don’t Let Your Company Shine
Spreadsheets don’t let candidates see everything that’s awesome about your company. They don’t expand your company brand to your recruitment presence. An applicant’s first impression is of an outdated application process. Candidates aren’t wowed by a manual system.
If the hiring process turns them away, you can’t draw them in with a fat benefits package or any other perks. A cumbersome hiring process is a major liability if you are trying to attract top candidates.
Why use a system that is slow, tedious, and vulnerable to errors?
Smart Automation Designed For Recruitment
An applicant tracking system (ATS) solves each of the spreadsheet problems we’ve discussed. ATS’ automate each component of the hiring process. This provides a better experience for both the candidate and everyone on the hiring team.
Respond Quickly to Hiring Needs
When you have an opening, simply write a job posting and the system takes over. ATS’ post to multiple job boards with one click. Candidates see your posting the same day you create it. There’s no delay.
An ATS Does The Heavy Lifting
An ATS can track hundreds of applications and resumes. For multiple openings simultaneously. You don’t have to enter applications manually. Nobody falls through the cracks.
There are no economies of scale with spreadsheets. Entering one hundred applications takes one hundred times longer than entering one. It’s scary that so many business owners still use them!
Applicants Always Know Where They Stand
Improved communication makes the process better and faster. Customized auto-emails keep each applicant informed throughout the hiring journey.
ATS’ Weed Out Unqualified Candidates (Fast!)
An ATS stores resumes and provides an easy way to score them. You create personalized screening questionnaires for each position. Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates before you even look at their application.
Your ATS delivers a pool of qualified candidates soon after you receive the first bunch of applications. The system continues to add to the pool throughout the process.
The ATS handles everything that doesn’t require a human brain—all the busywork and data entry. You spend your time performing hiring tasks that require critical thinking. (You’re a brilliant hiring genius, aren’t you?)
Improved Collaboration = Improved Recruitment
Disparate recruiting systems hamper collaboration. With an ATS, every member of the team can share notes in a centralized location. This alone can shave days off the decision-making phase.
An ATS Makes You Look Good
You can’t excel with Excel. ATS’ create a professional applicant experience. This is becoming more and more important in today’s labor market. With an ATS, you won’t lose any candidates because of an unprofessional or confusing hiring process.
Customize your ATS with company branding. Your hiring and marketing presence will be seamless from the candidate’s point of view. Your organization shines from the very first ‘We’ve received your application’ email.
Your Company Needs A Mobile-Friendly System
When researching ATS’, pay attention to whether they work on small screens. A mobile application process enlarges your pool of potential hires. According to Monster, U.S. job seekers perform one billion job searches from mobile devices each month.
Ready To Upgrade Your Hiring Process?
SwipeClock ApplicantStack meets the recruitment needs of small to mid-size businesses. 2500+ companies use ApplicantStack to achieve better hiring outcomes. Start a free trial today and learn how ApplicantStack can help your company with every component of the recruiting process.
We are well into Q2 2019 but there are still some worthwhile HR conferences on the calendar. If you are thinking about registering, don’t delay. Rates go up in the weeks just before the conference.
Why Attend A Human Resources Conference?
The Human Resources profession is broad and dynamic. To be successful, you need ongoing training. In both your core specialty and all the peripheral skills you use daily. HR conferences provide an intense educational experience neatly packaged in a couple of days.
If your job requires you to keep a certification up-to-date, this is an easy way to do it. Most HR conferences allow you to earn HRCI or SHRM credit.
A conference also gives you a welcome break from your day-to-day routine. You will return with new tools (and new perspectives) to tackle the HR problems at your company.
Networking with peers is also invaluable. You can discuss issues in-depth and gain insights from your counterparts in diverse industries and locations. (A connection you make may also yield a job opportunity down the road.)
Here are ApplicantStack’s picks for the best conferences from May – December 2019.
1. World at Work 2019 Rewards and Compensation Conference
- May 6-8, 2019
- Orlando, FL
- For: HR generalists, compensation and benefits specialists, compliance managers
2. Inclusive Diversity Conference: HR Call to Action Conference
- May 6-7, 2019
- San Francisco, CA and online
- Host: HCI (Human Capital Institute)
- Earn HRCI and SHRM credit
3. APA 2019 Annual Congress
- May 14-18, 2019
- Long Beach, CA
- Host: American Payroll Association
- For: Professionals who work in payroll, accounts payable, HR or accounting technology, benefits
4. ATD (Association for Talent Development) 2019 International Conference & Exposition
- May 19-22, 2019
- Washington D.C.
- Online rate ends May 14
- For: HR specialists and generalists
- Keynote speaker: Oprah Winfrey
5. HCI 2019 Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference
- June 10-12, 2019
- Denver, CO
- Host: Human Capital Institute (HCI)
- Earn SHRM Credits
- Topics covered:
- Workplace Strategy
- Business Acumen & Metrics
- Global HR
- Compensation & Benefits
6. SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) 2019 Annual Conference
- June 23-26, 2019
- Las Vegas, NV
- For: HR generalists and all specialties
- Keynote speakers: Martha Stewart, Brene Brown
- Entertainment: Lionel Richie
- Earn SHRM credits
7. World at Work Executive Compensation Forum
- July 28-30, 2019
- Denver, CO
- For: Compensation specialists
8. HCI 2019 Employee Engagement Conference
- July 29-31, 2019
- Denver, CO
- Host: Human Capital Institute (HCI)
- For: HR professionals interested in employee engagement programs
9. California HR Conference
- August 19-21, 2019
- Long Beach, CA
- Host: Professionals In Human Resources Association
- Early rate ends May 31
- For: California-based HR generalists and specialists
- Earn HRCI and SHRM credits
10. HR Florida Conference and Expo
- August 25-28, 2019
- Orlando, FL
- Host: HR Florida State Council
- For: Florida-based HR generalists and specialists
- Earn HRCI and SHRM credits
11. 2019 Learning and Leadership Development Conference
- Conference: September 10-12, 2019
- Course: September 12-13, 2019
- Boston, MA
- Discount rate ends May 19
- Host: Human Capital Institute (HCI)
- For: Talent acquisition specialists, corporate coaches
12. Texas SHRM Global HR Conference
- September 11, 2019
- Houston, TX
- Host: Texan Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)
- For: Texas-based HR generalists and specialists
13. 2019 Ohio HR Conference
- September 18-20, 2019
- Columbus, OH
- Host: Ohio SHRM State Council
- For: Ohio-based HR generalists and specialists
14. ASHHRA Annual Conference and Exposition
- September 21-24, 2019
- Chicago, IL
- Host: The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration
- Special rate ends June 30
- For: Human resources generalists and specialists who work in healthcare
- September 24-26, 2019
- Austin, Texas
- Host: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions
- Early rate ends June 26
- For: Businesses that develop and market technology-based recruiting products and services
- Corporate TA executives and recruiters
- Applicant tracking system providers
- Data and analytics companies
- Job boards/search engines/aggregators
- Online publishers
- Recruitment marketers
- AI and machine learning companies
- Staffing firm executives
16. IPMA-HR International Training Conference
- September 22-25, 2019
- Miami, FL
- Host: International Public Management Association for Human Resources
- For: HR generalists and specialists
17. Talent Connect
- September 25-27, 2019
- Dallas, TX
- Host: LinkedIn
- For: Human resources generalists and talent acquisition/development specialists
18. HR Technology Conference
- October 1-4, 2019
- Las Vegas, NV
- Host: LRP Publications, Human Resource Executive
- For: Professionals who work in HR technology
19. CUPA-HR Annual Conference 2019
- October 20-22, 2019
- Aurora, CO
- Host: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
- For: Human resource professionals working in higher education
20. CWC 2019 Compliance Conference
- October 23-25, 2019
- Nashville, TN
- Host: The Center for Workplace Compliance
- For: Members of the host association The Center for Workplace Compliance (Membership information can be found on their website)
21. 2019 Strategic HR Forum
- October 27-29, 2019
- Boston, MA
- Host: SHRM Executive Network HR People & Strategy
- For: Senior HR professionals
22. The HRSouthwest Conference
- October 27-30, 2019
- Fort Worth, TX
- Host: Dallas HR
- For: Southwest U.S.-based HR generalists and specialists
23. HR Comply
- November 14-15, 2019
- Nashville, TN
- Host: Business and Legal Resources
- For: Senior HR professionals, executives, business owners, employment law specialists, compliance managers
How To Get The Most Out Of An HR Conference
Research the classes and presenters. List the sessions you want to attend. If you are bringing team members, divide and conquer. You may be tempted to attend sessions as a group (we hope you are friends), but you will miss the concurrent events. Maximize your investment by spreading out. You can share what you learned with scheduled co-training after the conference.
Write down questions you want to ask the speakers. When you get to the conference, review your notes and questions so you don’t forget anything.
How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Go
Plan ahead. Research conferences early. This will give you time to get approval (and craft your pitch). Follow company policy for conference requests. Write a letter to the decision maker if required. Keep it short and to the point. Include the questions you are planning to ask presenters. Explain how each class/workshop will solve an HR problem in your company. If you are in charge of the departmental budget—make sure you allocate the funds for registration, travel, and lodging.
10 days. That’s how long the most desirable candidates are on the market before being hired.
Why is this a critical statistic in the HR world? Because successful companies track time-to-hire.
If you aren’t currently tracking time-to-hire, it’s a good time to start. High-demand candidates are being snapped up quickly in today’s competitive hiring market. Employers that shorten their time-to-hire gain many advantages.
What Is Time-To-Hire?
Time-to-hire is one of the most important recruiting metrics. It is defined as the number of days that pass from when you contact an applicant until you hire them. The initial contact could be the result of the candidate applying or outward sourcing.
Some organizations track time-to-fill instead of time-to-hire. The distinction is that time-to-fill starts the clock from the day you post the opening. The time-to-fill measurement can reveal slowdowns before a candidate applies. After the candidate applies, they both measure the same processes.
Cost-per-hire and quality-of-hire are additional KPIs frequently used along with time-to-hire. The three metrics help companies improve their recruiting outcomes.
Why Should You Track Time-To-Hire?
The obvious answer is ‘So you can shorten it.’ Let’s break it down.
1. Tracking Time-To-Hire Measures Recruiting Efficiency
Time-to-hire measurements are most useful when they track each step in the recruiting timeline. This allows you to pinpoint which workflows slow things down. Is it during the resume review phase? Does scheduling interviews take longer than it should? Does it take the applicant too long to complete the skills assessment?
A long, cumbersome hiring process is a hassle for applicants. Over half of jobseekers lose interest in a company if they believe the hiring process takes too long. Of course, ‘too long’ is a subjective evaluation. In a survey conducted by Robert Half, 4 out of 10 applicants said 7-14 days is too long! In the same survey, 23% of participants said they would wait for just one week to hear back from a potential employer.
Contrast these perceptions with real-world timelines. In some industries, the average time-to-hire is 40 days.
3. Tracking Time-To-Hire Helps You Improve Your Recruiting Processes
Companies who want to shorten their time-to-hire create a plan. A good plan will address systemic problems in the hiring process. You can’t identify the problems without tracking time-to-hire.
How Does Slow Time-To-Hire Hurt Your Business?
A lengthy hiring process doesn’t only reveal problems with your operations. It reflects poorly on your corporate culture.
‘Most of the top talent are fast and accurate decision-makers, it is highly likely that they will view slow hiring decisions as an indicator that once on the job, business decisions will be made just as slowly.’ -Dr. John Sullivan, Talent Management Expert
How Do You Measure Time-To-Hire For Multiple Job Candidates?
Hiring managers can use a calculator, spreadsheet, or applicant tracking system (ATS).
To use a calculator, add up the number of days from initial application to offer acceptance. Record the totals in a document. When you have tracked it for several applicants, you can compare by applicable variables. These include position, department, supervisor, and job boards used. Look at the breakdown of the workflow. Which processes take longer than they should?
With a spreadsheet, you can use the built-in calculator to tally days spent in each phase. Enter each phase (or task) in your hiring process in a row or column. Enter the number of days for each phase, per applicant. Add all the cells in the ‘number of days’ to reach a total. Compare and contrast as described previously.
The calculator and spreadsheet method require manual data entry. It is tedious and time-consuming. If you are doing a lot of manual data entry, let us show you a better way.
This brings us to the ideal method.
What’s The Best Way To Track Time-To-Hire?
Since you are on the ApplicantStack blog, you won’t be surprised to learn that we recommend an applicant tracking system (ATS).
We have the perfect solution: ApplicantStack Recruit.
ApplicantStack: A Better Way To Track Time-To-Hire
ApplicantStack Recruit is an affordable, web-based solution for candidate sourcing, evaluation, and hiring.
Why Use An ATS To Track Time-To-Hire?
Companies that use ATS’ are more likely to shorten their time-to-hire. Many recruiting teams that use an applicant tracking system can hire for a position in 10 days or less!
An applicant tracking system:
- Automates hiring processes
- Measures their effectiveness
- Helps you fix problems
Tracking time-to-hire is just one feature of an applicant tracking system.
How Do I Identify Roadblocks That Slow My Time-To-Hire?
In your ATS, run a report that shows how long each hiring phase takes. These are the workflows to concentrate on. Do you need to assign the task to another user? Do you need to send more reminder emails? Are you waiting too long for manager approvals?
How Does An ATS Remove Process Bottlenecks?
In many cases, your ATS can provide a solution to recruiting process bottlenecks. Suppose there is a lag time between an application and the candidate receiving a confirmation email. If you are used to writing an individual ‘thanks for applying’ email, consider using the auto-email feature in the ATS.
All you need to do is write an email and the system will send it automatically when an application is received. Create an email for each position and hiring phase. Modify your template as necessary.
The candidate scoring process is a bottleneck for many companies. With ATS’, you create a questionnaire for each position. Score each question as appropriate. Include knockout questions that disqualify candidates. Knock-out questions help narrow the pool quickly.
When a candidate applies, they are automatically emailed the questionnaire. No lag time there. When they complete it and send it back, it’s time for the hiring team to review the scoring.
The questionnaires (and all other documentation) live in a centralized location—your web-based ATS. This is key if you’re used to paper applications.
Universal, Anytime Access
With electronic documents, each member of the team can access the system from any mobile device. The hiring manager, team lead, and department head can all review the applicant at the same time.
Each user can enter notes for all to review. Use checklists to show where each applicant is in the process. If everyone is dedicated to shortening time-to-hire, there will be no lag time here.
Intelligent Interview Scheduling
Interview scheduling can also lengthen time-to-hire. The most efficient system is for the applicant to choose a slot on an online calendar in your ATS. (Some systems integrate with third-party calendars like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.)
You set up the calendar to show slots the interviewer is available. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth texts, emails, or phone calls to coordinate a time. It’s simple, yet brilliant. Best of all, it shortens time-to-hire.
Add Onboarding For A Comprehensive Solution
Time-to-hire is only half the battle. Time-to-productivity is just as critical. If your onboarding processes aren’t working, improving time-to-hire is not enough. ApplicantStack Onboard brings our 10 years of expertise to your onboarding processes.
For more information about ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard, visit SwipeClock ApplicantStack applicant tracking solutions.
6 Minute Read
What Are Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)?
Applicant tracking systems are specialized Human Resources software that automate the hiring and onboarding process. Each solution provides a different set of features. Most systems collect, track, and filter resumes and applications.
1. An Applicant Tracking System Saves You (Lots Of) Money
Applicant tracking systems provide an impressive ROI. Companies of all sizes can save directly and indirectly. How much? A small company can save up to $10,000 in wasted time and effort using an ATS.
Another way companies benefit financially is by improving the quality of employees. An ATS help you identify top candidates and present an offer before the applicant is hired by a competitor. These high-demand employees drive productivity and innovation.
ATS’ help you fill positions faster. This shortens the time it takes for the new hire to generate revenue. ATS with onboarding tools further shorten the time-to-productivity.
When it comes to administration, ATS automation is truly impressive. Systems can handle hundreds (even thousands!) of applications, resumes, and other workflows. Not only do you save on the cost of labor for the hiring team, but you also free up their time.
They can use that time on improving hiring strategies. Improved hiring strategies can then help your business grow even faster
With the strategic use of an ATS, you can become the budget hero in your company.
2. Your Competitors Are Using An ATS
If you haven’t implemented an ATS, take note. 98% of Fortune 500 companies and at least 66% of large companies use it. The adoption rate for small companies is lower, but growing quickly. Last year, it was estimated that 35% of small organizations use ATS.
Keep in mind that you are also competing with talent sourcing agencies. The ATS adoption rate for professional recruiters is nearly 100%.
3. Applicant Tracking Systems Can Quickly Narrow Down The Application Pool
First, you create a job posting. Your ATS posts it to multiple online sites (of your choosing). The applications start coming in. The system collects and organizes them in a central database. It creates a profile for each applicant.
As you know, job seekers format their resumes in a variety of ways. The ATS extracts the information and organizes it in the same format for each candidate profile. In the profile template, there is a field for each relevant piece of data.
For example, there is a field for each degree earned, each previous job title, and each skill.
This type of organization gives you searching superpowers. You can analyze and compare by work experience, education, or previous employers. Or job titles, skills, or demographic variables.
Let’s talk about resume filtering. The software uses keywords from the job posting. It matches the keywords with those found in the resumes. Consider how long it takes you to read one resume. An ATS can parse thousands of resumes in seconds.
This process weeds out the candidates who don’t have the necessary qualifications and it delivers a pool of qualified candidates before you need to read a single resume!
4. ATS’ Can Post To Multiple Online Job Boards
With an ATS, your job posting gets maximum online exposure. Most will post to LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Monster (just to name a few) with one click. While you’re at it, post it to your social media sites and careers page.
You create the job posting in the ATS, and the software takes care of the posting. This is a huge timesaver for busy hiring managers.
5. Applicant Tracking Systems Improve Collaboration
You are more likely to find high quality candidates if multiple stakeholders can weigh in.
But if expanding the hiring team slows down the process, the top candidates will lose interest. They will seek out firms that move faster.
ATS databases enable effective collaboration. Each decision maker can enter notes and applicant ratings. (The rating system is customizable, by the way.) Mobile apps allow recruiters to access the ATS from any internet-enabled device. Some systems include video interviews that team members can watch at their convenience.
6. Applicant Tracking Systems Can Help You Comply With Labor Laws
To say that recruitment compliance is complicated is an understatement.
The laws are always in flux and they vary by location, industry, and business size. Small companies have fewer resources to ensure that processes are compliant.
ATS help you comply with regulations related to hiring. Vendors update SaaS systems to stay current with hiring regulations.
In addition, ATS generate reports to protect you in case of a legal challenge.
For example, suppose a rejected candidate alleges discrimination. Don’t worry. Your ATS has the documentation to validate your legal hiring criteria.
SwipeClock ApplicantStack is the intuitive ATS of choice for small to mid-size organizations. View a free demo today.
By Liz Strikwerda
ApplicantStack’s new Indeed Sponsored Jobs integration boosts job visibility and analytics
At ApplicantStack, we’re always looking for ways to help employers find the right talent, fast. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Indeed and launch our new Indeed Sponsored Jobs integration. The integration lets you promote your jobs on Indeed using ApplicantStack, and gives you the performance data you need to optimize your hiring.
Shine the spotlight on your need-to-fill roles
While all of your public jobs in ApplicantStack are searchable on Indeed, as jobs similar to yours are added, older postings naturally “fall back” in search results and lose visibility over time. To give your jobs greater visibility on Indeed, you can pay to promote them as Sponsored Jobs. Sponsored Jobs appear prominently in Indeed’s search results, and they receive up to 5X more clicks 1.
Track and analyze your sponsored campaigns
This new integration brings you the robust data and analytics you need to evaluate your Indeed Sponsored Jobs campaigns. Because you will use a company-specific Indeed account to sponsor jobs, you’ll have access to their Employer Dashboard. The Employer Dashboard lets you see the clicks, applies, and other metrics associated with your sponsored campaign.
Easily measure and share campaign ROI
Your Indeed Employer Dashboard gives you the data you need to assess campaign performance.
See at a glance how many times your sponsored jobs have been seen and clicked on, and what your average cost per click is, so you can confidently report on current performance, and use that data to help plan future sponsored campaigns.
When you create new jobs in ApplicantStack, you’ll be asked if you want to sponsor them before you post. If you don’t have an Indeed account, you’ll be prompted to create one when you sponsor a job. Once you’ve completed your first sponsorship in ApplicantStack, visit https://ads.indeed.com/job/ads to verify that your campaign is live and your account is set up correctly.
Want to sponsor an existing job? You can start today in just a few easy steps:
1. Choose the job(s) you want to sponsor in ApplicantStack
2. Click “Sponsor Job on Indeed”
3. Select your budget (and provide a phone number if you’d like Indeed to call you)
4. If this is your first time sponsoring, visit https://ads.indeed.com/job/ads to verify that your campaign is live and to complete your one-time account setup
If you have questions about this new integration, please contact us via the support portal link within your account.
For questions about Sponsored Jobs on Indeed, you can contact them via email at email@example.com or visit their Help Center.
Please note that a valid Indeed account is required before your Sponsored Job campaign can go live, so be sure to verify that your account is set up correctly at https://ads.indeed.com/job/ads .
1 Indeed data (worldwide)