Hiring at a small business usually involves a collection of spreadsheets, emails, and various siloed tools. As the business grows — and with it, the need for new members on your team — this haphazard process often doesn’t scale, causing stress for both the hiring team and your candidates.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a natural solution to this problem: It consolidates and streamlines common hiring processes, saving you precious time and energy. But finding the best applicant tracking system for a small business often presents a big challenge. With so many options on the market, it’s difficult to know which ATS would be worth the investment, especially if your budget is already tight.
This short guide will direct you toward the right ATS for your organization by helping you determine what kind of system you really need, both now and in the future. We’ll also cover some of the most popular features included in small business-friendly ATS’, so you know what you should prioritize during your research.
What should a small business-friendly ATS offer?
HR professionals trying to find the best applicant tracking system for their small business may quickly get frustrated by long lists of potentially unnecessary features. If you’re in charge of talent acquisition at a small business, you’re probably not looking for HR software that offers everything but the kitchen sink — you’re looking for software that makes your job easier.
There are three specific things that small businesses should seek out in an ATS, all of which are mission-critical to streamlining the hiring process — and crucial for supporting your recruiting efforts long-term.
Time-savings: With a small business comes a small HR team — sometimes a single person — juggling candidate data, interview scheduling, and posting new job openings across different job boards. Tracking your tasks between multiple tools is incredibly time-consuming. With an ATS, all these steps are consolidated into a single location, saving valuable time by reducing the need to constantly switch between tools or tabs.
Inclusion of the whole team: It’s next to impossible for HR professionals at small businesses to handle the entire recruiting process themselves. You need to lean on hiring managers and company leadership to conduct interviews, give feedback, and train new employees. Applicant tracking systems make this collaboration easier by providing “seats” for everyone, so no matter who’s involved, they’re able to log in, add their input, and see the latest candidate updates. HR professionals can then focus on the important task of keeping the interview process on track — not uploading information from interviewers, who don’t have the right permissions to use a tool.
Integration with G Suite: Many small businesses use G Suite calendar, email, and spreadsheet tools since they’re a low-cost and team-friendly alternative to other productivity suites. Thankfully, many ATS’ like Hire by Google integrate with G Suite to save even more time and effort. For example, if you schedule an interview in your ATS, it will automatically be added to Google Calendar — there’s no need to add a calendar reservation manually.