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.

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