Blog post

What is the value of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for Hiring?

As software vendors, we’re always claiming our Solutions deliver value for money, excellent Return on Investment and generally deliver a more efficient, pleasant life.

Prospective customers are understandably more cautious. It is important to access your recruitment management system options carefully before committing to implementing any new tool. Especially solutions involving Talent Management and Acquisition. Plus, it is fundamental to be conscious of the type of brand experience your hiring, onboarding and general People Management processes offer.

However, not all Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are the same. Forget the monstrous enterprise versions. In this context, we’re only talking about small businesses, SMEs and agile companies.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Cost Benefit Analysis

Sizing up an ATS usually involves some Cost Benefit Analysis.

‘What’s the upside of deploying a system like this?’

‘What are the downsides and risks?’

‘What do we stand to lose if we don’t?


So what are the costs associated with recruitment? And what savings are there to be made?

If looking at ATSs, you should start by adding up what you’re paying now. No, not just the obvious recruiters’ fees (15% of annual salary) and job board ads or admin costs in terms of time spent. But the cost of missing out on the right people to achieve your organisational goals without losing them to the competition.

Look how much an ATS for small businesses costs and you’ll see instant ROI!

If you’re a small, agile, growing business, where roles are often shared – for example, where operations or admin or Owner Managers are responsible for hiring and ‘HR’ – then you’ll need help from a dedicated application more than a professional.

Sorting, shortlisting and responding to candidates is also particularly time-consuming. Ask your team if you don’t already know this. Plus, you need a consistent standard of on-brand, timely and well-pitched messages to advise candidates if they’re successful or not at each stage of the process.

You might also like to analyse the typical lifecycle of a new vacancy to refine your process from the creation of the job description, output of the ad, shortlisting and interviewing through to the final appointment and onboarding. (Will your solution integrate with a wider HR system at this stage?)

We call systems that do all of this ‘end-to-end recruitment software.

Employees in Office Meeting

Reporting insights will illustrate what you need to adjust in your pitch, process – and the personnel responsible for recruitment.

But the most important thing, ironically, about automation in this context is the opportunity to deliver a more human experience when there are finally person-to-person interactions and to be more proactive about sourcing candidates Surely that’s what the best talent expects!

Why Should Your Business Have an ATS?

  • Being agile to rapidly push out of job descriptions to free and paid boards (you know, the same ones the recruiters you pay to use) in tandem with a swift and seamless integration into your careers page
  • Keeping control of brand messaging using customised forms and communications
  • Never letting anyone slip through the cracks of manual systems
  • Fast, effective screening of applicants (check boxes confirming valid certifications or permits etc.) to quickly build lists of eligible candidates to shortlist
  • Time efficient, in-app Collaborative notes for hiring managers to share alongside star ratings to speed up the shortlisting process without email ping pong and confusion
  • A smart database to suggest strong, but unsuccessful candidates for alternate or future positions (yes, one just like the recruiters that charge you a % of the successful hires’ salary use)
  • Freeing up time to focus on talent retention and proactive recruiting of the best talent
  • Tapping into you and your team’s network via Social Media sharing and using referral campaigns to incentivise strong leads for superstar candidates
  • Savings on recruiters’ fees and job ads
  • Accurate reporting on the process and refining it so the best talent is found – and fast
  • Use of automation to increase the quality of the human side of hiring interaction
What is the value of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for Hiring? was last modified: March 13th, 2024 by Adam Coleman

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