Does your desk or office look like this? 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? 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 prospects—or 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 can work for you.
Then one magical day about 12 year ago, I read an article on SHRM’s web site 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 that would sell our CEO on the idea. 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! The next challenge was to sell it to our reluctant hiring managers. Once again I met little resistance and had them fully engaged in no time.
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.
- 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.
- Make a list of the negatives and positives of your current recruiting process. The negatives will certainly outweigh the positives.
- Estimate the loss of revenue to the company for the average time your jobs go unfilled. (CEO’s really get this one!)
- Compare items 1, 2 and 3 with the time and approximate cost when these same steps in your recruiting process are automated.
- Finally, summarize your business case with an exhaustive list of the benefits. I’ve included many benefits below.
- Allows candidates to quickly and easily apply to your organization.
- Can facilitate high-volume recruiting while remaining cost-effective.
- A highly configurable, scalable solution that can configure to our unique hiring management process and capable to accommodate our evolving needs as our organization grows or our processes change.
- 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
- Allows recruiters to quickly search the database on all information, and by specific parameters.
· 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.
- Build Brand Identity and Awareness. A strong brand can generate trust that will drive applicant traffic and enhance your talent pool.
- Allows recruiters to easily post career information to the company Web site.
- 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.
- Capable of pre-screening candidates with elimination questions in order to indicate those who meet basic qualifications for the position.
- Improved communications with applicants and hiring managers.
- Establishes an environment that effectively informs, will unify all the users and streamline the organization’s operations.
- 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.
- Readily available support team, dedicated to manage company and user issues while employing industry best practices.
- Highest level of support available at no charge to your company.
If all else fails, give your management a list of your competitors who are using an applicant tracking system—that should get their attention!