Can a Small to Mid Size Company Like Yours Afford an Applicant Tracking System? Selling an ATS to Management

Can a Small to Mid Size Company Like Yours Afford an Applicant Tracking System? Selling an ATS to Management

Selling an ATS to Management

Does your desk or office look like the photo above?

Are the resumes you’ve received waiting for your attention or have you already reviewed and separated them with sticky notes by name, date received, or function?

Selling an ATS to Management

How to organize resumes your company receives is an on-going dilemma for us recruiters.

If you have them alphabetized by name, you have no idea how old they are or what kind of background they have.

If you organize them by date received, you have to sift through all of them to find the applicants with the right credentials.

Maybe you have the stacks labeled unqualified, potential or top prospectsor hold, call or sign off?

Probably the best solution is to list each and every applicant on an Excel spreadsheet before you file them away.

No matter how you try to organize them, manual resume files are just not efficient.

I remember it used to make me feel better if they were filed in a cabinet, so at least I didn’t have to visually look at the stacks every day and everyone, including my boss, had the impression that I was really organized!

That’s where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can work for you.

But is Selling an ATS to Management the right strategy for you?

Then one day, I read an article on SHRM’s website about online applicant tracking systems.

Could it be?

Has someone really come up with an efficient way to track all the resumes I receive?

I was the Recruiting Manager with a small company and I remember thinking the software must be expensive because it actually automates the hiring process from end to end – from how candidates view openings, submit resumes and complete online applications to scheduling interviews and securely storing resumes.

After contacting a couple of applicant tracking system vendors to inquire about price and implementation, I realized maybe I could put a business case together selling an ATS to management.

At this point, I had nothing to lose!

I outlined all of the benefits and return on investment (with a little help from our financial guy), compared it to our current manual process and presented it to our CEO and my Manager.

The rest is history!

I couldn’t believe the positive “it’s a no-brainer” response I received and immediately signed up!

Conclusion

If you’re having the same “our company can’t afford it” thoughts that I did, you might be very surprised to learn that your company can’t afford not to have one. The HR Managers of small to mid-size companies I talk to know how valuable an applicant tracking tool is but continue to have reservations about how they can persuade the decision makers in their company. So, I’ve put together 5 easy steps on how to sell the idea.

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Step 1:

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Map out each step of your current recruiting process and put an approximate time each takes and an approximate cost. Include things like, approving new jobs, posting new jobs, receiving and reviewing applicants, pre-screening and interviewing applicants and making offers.

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Step 2:

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Make a list of the negatives and positives of your current recruiting process. The negatives will certainly outweigh the positives.

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Step 3:

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Estimate the loss of revenue to the company for the average time your jobs go unfilled. (CEO really gets this one!)

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Step 4:

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Compare items 1, 2 and 3 with the time and approximate cost when these same steps in your recruiting process are automated.

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Step 5:

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Finally, summarize your business case with an exhaustive list of the benefits. I’ve included many benefits below:

Top 15 Benefits of an Applicant Tracking system:

  1. Allows candidates to quickly and easily apply to your organization
  2. Can facilitate high-volume recruiting while remaining cost-effective
  3. A highly configurable, scalable solution that can be configured to your unique hiring management process and capable of  accommodating your evolving needs as your organization grows or the processes change
  4. Improved reporting capabilities: many organizations are challenged with determining their total spends on vendors, sourcing, and comparing metrics. Coordinating through a single source will allow for accurate centralized reporting
  5. Allows recruiters to quickly search the database for all information, and by specific parameters
  6. Includes a Reporting Center that enables users to run ad-hoc reports and save criteria for future use, as well as run industry standard reports, including cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, source effectiveness, and more
  7. Build Brand Identity and Awareness. A strong brand can generate trust that will drive applicant traffic and enhance your talent pool
  8. Allows recruiters to easily post career information to the company website
  9. EEO/AAP Compliant – Capable of capturing, tracking, and reporting voluntary EEO data, while remaining in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the EEO/OFCCP
  10. Capable of pre-screening candidates with elimination questions in order to indicate those who meet basic qualifications for the position
  11. Improved communications with applicants and hiring managers
  12. Establishes an environment that effectively informs, will unify all the users and streamline the organization’s operations
  13. Includes a Communication Center to facilitate communication among recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates. Also allows users to schedule appointments, leave notes and interview feedback, to send mass messages, and auto-respond to applicants upon receipt of resume
  14. Readily available support team, dedicated to managing company and user issues while employing industry best practices
  15. Technical support available at no charge to your company

Finally, if all else fails, give your management a list of your competitors who are using an applicant tracking system—that should get their attention!

Try ApplicantStack for free for 15 days! Click here!

Avoid the Catch-22 of Collaborative Hiring

Avoid the Catch-22 of Collaborative Hiring

Get the value of a collaborative hiring process without the HR management burden

Recruiting and hiring has a lot of moving parts — applications, screenings, background checks, interviews — the list goes on, and because of new trends in HR it’s getting longer. Then add to this mountain of work even more responsibility, as HR teams are being measured by the quantity and quality of new hires. The reality is a bad hire can cost a company upwards of $50,000, according to a recent Fast Company article. That’s a lot to contend with on a daily basis.

So, what does the market do? It reinvents the approach. In an effort to make the hiring process work better to gauge cultural fit and engage more employees in the vetting process, the collaborative hiring model has emerged as a major HR trend and today’s progressive employers in public and private sector are rallying around it. And it’s quite successful. So can HR breathe easier? Not quite. The collaborative process solves one problem, but can create another.

Everybody’s in, but who’s on first?

Gone are the days of the top-down structure with hiring managers solely in the driver seat. Interviews are conducted by team members across the org chart, thereby increasing employee involvement and investment and helping both sides of the table better understand each prospective employee’s potential. The benefits are great, which is why Google, Apple and the like are big fans of this process. We don’t disagree. (Those guys are hard to argue with.) But what is the impact of collaborative hiring on the HR department?

While effective, collaborative hiring introduces yet another set of moving parts for HR professionals to wrestle with on top of their existing processes. As the process takes on new life and many more drivers take the wheel, it can be difficult to accurately record feedback and capture a universal means of evaluating candidates, thereby increasing the workload on an already stretched-thin HR department.

Consider the way the process breaks down:

collabortivehiringequation

How is each comment quantified and recorded for each application?

How do HR teams determine agreement among the groups of employees involved in the hiring process in order to move forward with a smaller pool of candidates?

For many HR departments in colleges and universities and private companies alike, there are limited resources to deploy but countless departments to serve. The task can be quite cumbersome — but shouldn’t all HR departments, regardless of budget or size, be able to tap into the benefits of the collaborative approach without the burden?

That’s where technology helps HR departments streamline and get the best value out of collaborative hiring without the added stacks of paperwork and cumbersome tracking. Applicant tracking software can increase productivity for these activities and help HR departments find talented employees who embody the right values and meet the required criteria.

The Key to Gaining the Full Benefit of Collaborative Hiring

What to look for in a Technology Tool:

    1. Control the Process from Posting to Onboarding: The right tool provides the ability to manage the entire process more efficiently, reducing the paperwork from the beginning all the way through onboarding and all the communication from all the parties involved in the stages in between.
    2. Manage Communication in a Single Interface: There has to be a central repository that captures communication and allows HR to keep all new hires in one place so you know where everyone stands at a single glance. The interface can also capture notes from all stakeholders involved in the process so information can be easily shared among them.
    3. Score Applications: Modern tools provide teams with the ability to create custom scoring systems to unify the review process with a common language — making it less subjective.
    4. Applicant Tracking: Determining where a candidate is in the process can be difficult, particularly with so many people involved. Applicant tracking tools enable HR teams to move each applicant through the process, one step at a time and always know where they are, where they’ve been and what’s left to do.

 

The Results

Customers who use these tools in a collaborative process have been able to reduce the average hiring time by two to three months and on the front end save up to four hours posting each position. 

In the end, the collaborative process has a positive impact on the quality of new hires and the overall experience for existing and prospective employees. Likewise, it’s important to listen to HR experts who have designed and developed these robust tools to manage all the moving parts in the process and reduce the burden on HR teams. Applicant tracking tools are surprisingly cost-effective, some starting at $95/month with user interfaces that require minimal training time to be up and running.  With this in place, HR gains much-needed administrative support without a significant time investment and can get out of the Catch-22 cycle and go back to being the hero. 

Faith Bliga has nearly 30 years of experience in recruiting management. She successfully designed and implemented comprehensive recruiting and training programs for technical, engineering and scientific consulting firms. Faith is the National Account Manager for ApplicantStack, a web-based applicant tracking system.

System Updates to support new OFCCP Requirements

System Updates to support new OFCCP Requirements

ofccp

OFCCP Requirements : ApplicantStack has added the ability for all government contractors and subcontractors to document and collect quantitative information on the number of veterans who apply to their job postings according to the new OFCCP Requirements Veteran regulations effective on March 24, 2014.

Government Contractors can now customize the veteran portion of the default ApplicantStack EEO form found under Settings in their account. Government Contractors can add additional Veteran Status Options with definitions.

OFCCP Requirements

For more information about OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) at the United States Department of Labor, visit:  https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/

or the following Help Center article: OFCCP

Contracts — Good for Companies, Bad for Customers?

We are receiving inquiries from frustrated customers who would like to switch applicant tracking vendors but would have to buy out the months they have left on their current contracts and face the possibility of losing all of their applicant data. Their dissatisfaction usually comes from the lack of customer service and support they were promised rather than the functionality of the system. One small company is actually entering into litigation to cancel their current contract and have the stiff penalty for canceling waived.

My guess is the software service companies who lock you into long term contracts are interested in keeping your business while they try to keep up with the ever-changing, enhanced technology and outstanding service of their competitors. If they don’t live up to the expectations they promised—no worries—they charge you a penalty for leaving and get paid anyway! Whatever their logic, you’re stuck with an inferior product or service. Whatever happened to integrity, reputation, and genuine concern for the customer and solving their problems? Call me old fashion, but I hate the thought that the ease of technology has replaced a solid work ethic and reliability.

As a National Account Manager, I’m proud of the customer service ApplicantStack promises and delivers without the need to lock our customers into a contract in return for their loyalty. In fact, we are so confident in our ability to promptly respond to customer needs and fix a problem when something goes wrong, we don’t have any contract at all. You can actually subscribe to our service on a monthly basis, with no penalty for cancellation. If we don’t deliver or can no longer satisfy your needs, you can not only cancel but easily download all of your data and take it with you at any time. Now that’s confidence!

Customers evaluating web-based applicant tracking services should be weary of signing a “long-term” contract. In this unsettled economy, how can companies predict what their revenue or needs will be one or two years down the road. If you’re being offered a discount or some other perks for committing long term, I suggest you know what happens to the contract when the vendor doesn’t hold up their side of the agreement or if your company downsizes or is bought by a bigger company that has their own service. Stiff penalties, expensive legal battles and the challenge of starting all over, will give you little flexibility and will have a negative impact on your business.

What are Applicants Saying About Your Company?

As a company, I’m sure you are working hard to create positive relationships with all of your customers. We all know how important it is for future business and possible referrals. You might even be making a huge investment by engaging a public relations or marketing firm to assist with your market positioning. Did you ever consider that your applicants are customers too?

Are you giving applicants the same respect and creating a positive experience for them during your application and interview process?

According to a recent Gallup Panel Survey, too often the answer was no. In fact, half of job applicants who mention specific frustrations say these aggravations give them pause when considering the possibility of working for these prospective employers.

The survey asked a targeted sample of job seekers a series of questions about various aspects of their search for employment, including the parts of the process they deem most frustrating. The sample consisted of those who are currently unemployed and seeking a job as well as those who are currently employed full time or part time and have searched for employment in the past six months. These prospective candidates shared their frustrations about their interactions with possible employers, aggravations that can lead job seekers to form negative opinions about these organizations and their brands.

If you’ve searched for a new job recently, you know that the task can be overwhelming—especially in an employer’s market, where there is an abundance of applicants applying for the same job. Results of a bad job search or continuous poor interviews can actually destroy an applicant’s confidence and cause feelings of despair. If you examine your current communications with interested applicants or candidate’s you’ve actually interviewed, can you confidently say your company is creating a positive image and building positive relationships with your applicants? Do they wait months to hear back from you, if at all? Do you send them a response when they initially apply and let them know the next steps in your process? Do you let them know early on in the process when they don’t meet your minimum requirements so they aren’t holding on to false hopes that they are being considered? What do you think these applicants are saying about you to their colleagues and other professionals in the market?

One simple solution to building a more positive image with applicants is to improve your communication and follow up. It takes so little time and can go a long way to create good will and enhance your reputation as an employer of choice or a great place to work. The most common reason we don’t communicate enough with our applicants is we’re just too busy to respond promptly to everyone who applies or interviews with our company, especially if we don’t consider them appropriate prospects.

A good applicant tracking system can totally automate the process for you eliminating the lack of time and limited resource challenges all recruiters face during their hiring process. Ideally, you can create email templates in your system and trigger them to be sent at certain critical stages of your process — when an application is received or rejected, requests for available dates and times for phone screens and interviews, or a request for more information. Keeping your applicant informed about where they are in your process will eliminate telephone inquiries, which you definitely don’t have time for, and will create a much more positive experience for your applicants. Remember, applicants are customers too and they’re impression of you as an employer can either enhance or hurt your reputation.