Why choose ApplicantStack for your Applicant Tracking System?

Why choose ApplicantStack for your Applicant Tracking System?

Recruiting Software Applicant Stack Applicant Tracking System

Applicant Tracking System

2 min read

There are many ATS’s on the market today.  Where do you begin to find the one that is right Applicant Tracking System your company needs?

Since 2009, over 2,500 companies have chosen ApplicantStack (Applicant Tracking System) to automate and streamline their recruiting process. We created ApplicantStack, a simple, easy-to-use, gets-the-job-done software that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

It’s not another thing to manage, but the tool that helps you manage your day.

We speak HR, it’s in our blood. We spent our careers in human resources, bogged down with paperwork and craving more time and
resources.  Now we’re on a mission to give organizations the tool we always wish we had.  We wanted something that is:

  • Easy to use
  • Configurable / Flexible
  • Affordable

ApplicantStack’s Applicant Tracking System Features:

  • Plans starting at $95 a month with no binding contract or long-term commitments – see our pricing page
  • Web-based system requiring no installation or programming on your part
  • Easily configured to mirror your current or desired recruiting process
    • Simple enough to start using the day you subscribe with our guided startup wizard
  • Interfaces with all major job sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, Stack Overflow, CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and JuJu
  • Easily post jobs to your social media feeds such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • We offer integrations for assessments, background screening, home care management, payroll services, video interviewing, and more
  • Seamlessly accept candidate applications via Indeed Apply or LinkedIn profile
  • Users and candidates can access ApplicantStack from any mobile device
  • Candidates can upload their resume and files using their Dropbox or Google Drive files
  • We also have great reviews that you can see here.
  • Many more features

See our Features page here for more information.

As a result, ApplicantStack offers many features to streamline your recruiting and hiring process.

 

 

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!

How an Applicant Tracking System can help you Prescreen Candidates

Frustrated by reading a lot of resumes of unqualified candidates? Is narrowing your qualified applicant pool taking up most of your recruiting time? How can you efficiently prescreen the candidates? You want to know how to recruit efficiently!

You are not alone! Most of the prospective customers I talk to ask if our applicant tracking system can assist with prescreening applicants.

It’s no surprise that as an employer in today’s job market, with relatively scarce jobs and large numbers of available candidates, you are inundated with applicants who don’t meet your requirements. You may have to sift through hundreds of resumes to find qualified candidates for a job.

While the applicant’s cover letter may include a well-crafted overview of their most relevant work experience and their resume may reflect the skills, experience and buzz words listed in your job posting — anyone can look good on paper!

So if the candidate has represented themselves pretty well on paper, your next step is probably going to be a telephone screen. This stage in your process can take days just to connect by telephone or email delaying your process and adding additional expense to your company. Now on top of everything else, you’ve got a frustrated hiring manager!

Why not consider an automated step before you ever get to the prescreening methods mentioned above? During the application process, online prescreening questions can be used to filter through unqualified job seekers, enabling employers to spend their time looking at a short list of the most qualified candidates. If executed properly, prescreening can save recruiters and hiring managers as much as 30% to 50% of their time.

If you’re fortunate enough to have chosen an applicant tracking system that has this functionality, you can develop a list of questions that include the “must have” experience for the job. They can be yes/no, multiple choice, or text answers that can actually be scored. You can give value to different answers and even add knockout scores!

Customer feedback about the ApplicantStack pre-screening feature includes comments like:

  • “Eliminates undesirable or unqualified applicants”
  • “Dramatically reduced our time to hire”
  • “Allows our recruiting staff and hiring managers to spend their time focusing on the most qualified candidates”
  • “Reduced our cost of hiring by eliminating extra hours spent conducting phone and personal interviews, using costly assessment tools and doing unnecessary background checks”
  • “We were able to communicate more quickly with applicants who didn’t meet minimum qualifications, reducing phone calls to check on their status”
  • “Reduces legal liability because all applicants for the same position are asked the same prescreening questions”

Don’t ignore this valuable feature of your applicant tracking system. Once you get comfortable with creating appropriate questions and scoring the answers, you will be amazed at the benefits!

How to evaluate Applicant Tracking System (ATS) vendors

Is an Applicant Tracking System right for you?

Small to medium size companies (50-500 employees) are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in today’s job market. Our current economy has created the need for companies to cut back their expenses while competing for top talent in a high unemployment environment. It is not unusual for the individual responsible for attracting, hiring and retaining talent to be wearing several “hats” and finding it more difficult to balance their current work load. The recruiting process, like any other business process, requires a series of steps and necessary actions that will lead to a successful hire. The steps in the process are time sensitive, paper intensive, bound by legal considerations and often require the time of multiple individuals. Companies are finding the following challenges difficult to overcome.

  • High volume of resumes with no efficient way to accept, review, store and manage them
  • Cumbersome or inefficient internal communications
  • Inability to access information quickly and report on recruiting metrics
  • Leaving vacancies open for long periods of time
  • Losing qualified applicants due to inefficient resume management
  • Duplication of recruiting efforts between various branches, divisions and managers
  • Excessive maintenance and support with homegrown technology
  • Inefficient tracking, if any, of EEO-OFCCP compliance data

It makes sense to automate steps in the recruiting process to free up time to focus on important business issues. Finding the right technical solution that meets the needs of an organization can be an overwhelming task. With so many applicant management products in the market today, it is imperative to examine current internal processes to determine needs before committing to a product that doesn’t meet those needs or pay large amounts for a product with features they will never use. An HR Manager/Recruiter can take the following steps to determine which applicant tracking system is best for their organization.

  1. Document the current recruiting process to determine what is working and what is not working. Track how long it takes to fill new positions and what financial impact the inefficiencies have on the company’s revenue.
  2. Gather a small group of stakeholders together to share this information and discuss possible solutions. Stakeholders might include a major decision maker on financial expenditures, the individual responsible for recruiting efforts who knows and understands the pain points, and a hiring manager who is impacted by the inability to find good people in a timely fashion and within a budget he/she can tolerate.
  3. The group should collectively make a list of goals and compile a list of features they consider to be necessary to achieve their goals. Once they have identified what it is they need the system to do, they have the criteria on which they will evaluate the large pool of products available. Here is an example of General and Specific goals which could come out of this meeting:

General Goal:

Lease an affordable real time, Web based system that requires no technical maintenance, will shorten the recruiting cycle, reduce the cost and time to hire, and result in an improved, qualified applicant pool.

Specific Goals:

  1. Scalable and configurable to allow for company growth and/or change
  2. Streamline and improve communications between hiring managers, recruiters, and applicants regardless of their physical location
  3. Ability to access information quickly
  4. Reduce legal exposure
  5. Measure results and track recruiting metrics including costs
  6. Requires no assistance from the internal IT staff
  7. Provide a more positive experience for the applicant
  8. Compatible with our current HRIS system
  9. Able to implement in a short period of time with little disruption to our business
  10. Automated download of existing job descriptions and resumes

Based on these goals, the company should develop a more detailed list of criteria on which to evaluate possible vendors. Use knockout factors and/or required features to short list the firms that best meet the criteria. Include wish list / Nice to Have features as part of your evaluation which are “icing on the cake” of a possible solution.

Speed up your Application Review Process with an Applicant Tracking System

We’ve all been there before. You have a stack of resumes or employment applications on your desk and a looming deadline to fill a position. Whether they are paper applications, emails or electronic files, the task is just as daunting. Somewhere in this stack is a perfect candidate for your position, but to find her you need to sort through all the less qualified ones.

Thankfully application review doesn’t have to be such a manual process. An automated job application system, if set up correctly, can be a tremendous help in reviewing resumes and job applications more quickly and ensuring that your top candidates don’t fall through the cracks. And it doesn’t take as much time as you might think to set up a good automated system that makes your review process much quicker and more efficient. Here are some elements of an automated job application system that can help you speed up your application review process.

Setting up an Online Application

Collecting job applications through an online application process, rather than email or paper, is the first step to making your application review process quicker and more efficient. On an online job application you can ask candidates to fill in information and answer questions that can help you quickly determine if they are a potential match to your job, often without requiring you to even read their resumes. It is much easier and quicker to scan through a table of answers or filter/sort based on what you are looking for.

For example, if you are only looking for local candidates, by collecting information on a candidate’s location you can quickly filter/sort and remove applications that are not in your local area. Similarly, if you are looking for somebody with a certain degree or professional certification, you can ask this on your online application and then quickly see which applications match your criteria and skip or remove the ones that do not.

Of course, for your online application to be useful you need to be able to customize the questions and add your own company or job-specific questions. With ApplicantStack you can build your own questions with the Questionnaire Builder and attach them to your online application page. And if candidates do not fill out the questionnaires during the online application, you can always send them an email with a link to complete the questionnaire and add it to their application.

Resume Parsing

Even with an online application system, you will still likely receive resumes from candidates directly, usually by email. So your system will ideally be able to import these resumes and parse useful information from the resume automatically. At the very least, your automated system needs to be able to extract all text from a resume for searching later, regardless of its file format (i.e. Microsoft Word®, PDF, RFT, HTML, etc). Most automated systems that support resume parsing will also be able to extract the contact information from a resume, and this alone can be a tremendous time saver. Rather than having to re-key the contact data from the resume into your database, you will already have the person’s contact information from the resume.

ApplicantStack has a resume import mechanism where you can import resumes that you receive from candidates. You can upload resume files or even emails you receive from candidates with resume attachments into the system. All resumes are automatically parsed and the candidate’s contact information is extracted automatically.

Screening Applications

Nothing is more frustrating than looking through a stack of applications and finding that the majority don’t meet the minimum requirements for the job. To save you from having to sift through all these unqualified candidates, you can implement simple screening rules for your applications. One way to do this is to build rules that assign each candidate a score based on their answers to your application questions or resume content.

For a simple example, if your job requires a college degree, you could ask the candidate on the online application if they have a college degree. You could then build a scoring rule that “knocks out” candidates that answer the question as “No”. When you look at your applications in your database, you can filter out all the “knocked out” candidates and focus your attention on the ones that pass your minimum job requirements.

When building rules based on the resume content, you need to be careful that you don’t make your rules too strict. It’s tempting to try to build a comprehensive set of rules that will effectively “match” a candidate to a job automatically. But the reality is that resumes come in all kinds of formats. If your rules are too strict you will often weed out a large number of candidates who may be perfectly good matches to your job but don’t have a resume in a format that the parsing engine understands.

Browsing your Applications

Even with an online application, resume parsing and screening rules, at some point you will need to actually dig in and review the applications and resumes. At this step a well-designed database browser is crucial. Once you set your filter and drill in to look at an application, you need to assess how quickly you can:

  1. Flag and/or determine the next steps for this application,
  2. Bring up all the different parts of the application (i.e. question answers, resume, cover letter, etc), and
  3. Move on to the next applicant.

In many systems, just moving to the next candidate requires multiple clicks – go back to your list, possibly reset your filter, scroll and determine where you were in the list, and then click the next person.

ApplicantStack was designed to make the process of browsing your applications quick and easy:

  1. Setting the next action for a candidate or assigning a rating only takes a couple of clicks.
  2. All data is displayed on the same screen, including the resume preview (i.e. no need to open the resume file).
  3. You can move between applications with Next / Previous links without having to go back to your list.