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4 Key Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System for SMBs

Quick look: Recruiting top talent remains a challenge for many organizations, and recent research shows the time to fill a vacant role has increased by four weeks year-over-year. Luckily, an applicant tracking system (and the recruiting services offered by some PEOs) can help SMBs remain productive, cost-efficient, and fully staffed.

Recruiting is an ever-changing and evolving industry. Over the last few years, priorities such as an enhanced candidate experience and employer branding have completely changed how companies attract and hire talent. But perhaps the biggest change in talent acquisition has been the rise of recruitment technology—most notably, advances within applicant tracking systems (ATS).

According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), an ATS “is the backbone of recruiting technology, a core platform that collects and stores candidate resumes as well as automates job postings and other manual tasks common to the recruiting function.”

While an ATS isn’t new technology, many companies have revolutionized what specialized recruitment software is capable of accomplishing, how it looks and feels for both recruiters and candidates, and how hiring can be made easier and more efficient.

There are many benefits of an applicant tracking system for recruiting teams and entire organizations, but four stand out from the rest:

1.  Increase recruiting productivity and results

Recruiting can be time-consuming, especially during a persistently competitive labor market. With talent acquisition becoming more challenging, recruiting teams must maintain productivity. This is where an ATS can prove to be a great investment.

Recruiters who must manually enter data spend much of their workday performing this task. That means less time to recruit candidates for open positions, which leads to longer time-to-fill rates and less return on investment for the organization. However, companies with an ATS tend to experience a speedier hiring process.

This is because one of the primary functions of an ATS is to take many of the administrative tasks away from recruiters, freeing them up to spend their time finding and hiring top talent. With all this extra time, recruiters and talent acquisition teams can focus on identifying the right candidates.

2. Boost cost efficiency

Increased productivity often means increased profitability. With recruiters spending less time on administrative tasks and more time recruiting the right way, positions are filled faster. When the right people are hired into an organization, performance and results improve, significantly impacting the bottom line.

Depending on the role level, it can cost a company thousands of dollars per unfilled position. Additionally, recent research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half found that hiring managers report it taking 11 weeks to fill a vacant role, up four weeks year-over-year.  An ATS helps recruiters and organizations shorten time-to-fill and decrease the likelihood of unfilled positions.

An ATS also helps reduce the chances of making a mis-hire, which can be even more costly than an unfilled position. A focus on recruitment fosters a healthy candidate pipeline of qualified talent. Think about what a company can do with all the savings from investing in an ATS.

3. Stay compliant

Employment law requires human resources (HR) and recruiting teams to be more careful than ever when hiring new talent.

Manually entering recruiting processes and data into software is tedious for recruiters, and even the smallest errors can lead to serious compliance issues. This is especially true for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) information. An ATS is designed to collect and manage sensitive information to make it easier and less stressful to stay compliant. Turning to a professional employer organization (PEO) that provides recruiting services may also help.

A modern ATS has built-in automation features designed with compliance in mind and most support the automated information sorting, storing, and sharing. Investing in an ATS is a great way to assist with your company’s employment law and compliance efforts.

4. Improve the candidate experience

Today’s job seekers have high expectations when it comes to the hiring process, and candidates have gained the upper hand when looking for new positions. If your application process doesn’t meet their standards, you can risk missing out on top talent.

One thing that is guaranteed to hurt the candidate experience is not offering a mobile-optimized application process. Candidates want and expect to be able to apply to positions from their phones and tablets. Using outdated software that prevents this will ultimately hurt your candidate experience and employer brand. Luckily, a modern ATS focuses on offering mobile-friendly and convenient application processes, enabling organizations to offer candidates a streamlined apply flow on desktop and mobile devices.

The candidate experience matters and reflects both your employer and company brand. The rise of social sharing has made it easier than ever for candidates to broadcast their experiences (good or bad) online and over 80% of candidates say that a positive experience influenced their decision to accept their job offer. Having the tools and software to offer a best-in-class hiring process is critical to business success.

PEO: all the benefits of an applicant tracking system—and more

To achieve your company’s talent acquisition goals, you must ensure your recruiting processes are designed for success. Providing a great candidate experience, boosting productivity, saving money, and staying compliant contribute to effective recruiting. A PEO can provide access to an ATS can help you accomplish these things (and more).

For example, ExtensisHR’s Applicant Tracking System streamlines the processes of posting to job boards, tracking applications, and assessing and communicating with applicants. This allows you to be significantly faster, more agile, and more competitive in finding and attracting the right candidates for your jobs. Specifically, the ATS enables small business leaders to:

  • Automate job posting
  • Communicate with candidates
  • Create offer letters from templates
  • Complete reporting
  • Take an applicant to an employee all in the same system

Additionally, ExtensisHR’s recruiting specialists can offer business leaders a 45-day recruiting service built using both human and artificial intelligence (AI) pragmatic solutions. The recruiting team will help you identify both passive and proactive candidates through AI-led sourcing and sponsored job ads, and you will receive:

  • A pool of candidates to review within the first week
  • Ongoing candidates based on adjusted search
  • Meetings to discuss search adjustments, candidate progress, and market trends
  • Dedicated experts to continuously source new candidates and provide applicants
  • ExtensisHR-led candidate introduction through email and calendar links

A PEO can also help small- and medium-sized businesses avoid unintended bias that may occur when using AI-based recruiting tools by retaining a complementary human element to provide context and steer clear of exclusionary practices.

Do you want to unlock the benefits of an applicant tracking system and the latest recruiting technology while maintaining a human approach? The recruiting specialists at ExtensisHR can help—contact us today to get started.

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