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The Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for SMBs

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The Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for SMBs
Orla Doyle
6 minute read
HR Technology & Analytics

The pandemic has profoundly changed the way we work, and in many cases for the better: such as the case with HR. For a long time, HR had digitisation on their to-do lists, but it was the pandemic that accelerated this intended project. It feels that almost overnight, employees started to work remotely from home, which led to distributed teams.

The challenges of virtual collaboration and the need to access data emerged. The longer the pandemic continued, the more companies faced difficulties keeping their complete workforce, as they were not able to continue bearing all the personnel costs. The consequence were lay-offs and a record number of job seekers.

Now two years on, companies have overcome the initial shock and temporary inability to act, and they slowly have started to go back to a normalisation phase. However, the story doesn’t end here: this is where the real challenges start. Professionals around the globe acquired a taste for working remotely and the pandemic has led to a change in values among many of them. Companies must therefore ask themselves how they respond to the changing needs of job seekers and what is important to successfully attract talent. Professionals started to rethink the work they do, the impact it has, and the value it brings.

As the economy starts to grow again, professionals will have more choices about the work they do, and at which company they want to work. Companies need to have a quick and transparent hiring process, an authentic and eye-catching employer branding as well as a valuable and gapless communication with candidates. All together with the sole goal of boosting candidate experience and winning the top professionals. Exceptional candidate experience is key to success, especially for SMEs to outperform large companies with unsaturated budget for employer branding initiatives.

Although the motto is "quality before quantity", companies must now act quickly and recruit new staff again. They need to fill X amount of positions in under X amount of time and are forced to further cut costs in HR, more precisely the recruitment budget, which involves costs for postings on job boards, rectifying wrong hiring decisions, a heavy reliance on recruitment agencies and reducing the cost of hire.

With a digital recruiting solution that automates a lot of the manual work, it is possible to free up existing recruiters or HR from administrative tasks, leaving more time for the important things: Finding the best people.

Take a look at the 10 most important benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), that will ensure more efficiency in HR, a reduction of cost and time to hire, and increase of quality of hire.

#1 Gapless, cross-departmental communication on one central platform

One of the best aspects of an applicant tracking system is that it allows for better communication within your recruiting team and other parties and stakeholders. Easily screen candidates, send messages about specific applicants that are accessible to multiple people or assign tasks with a timeline. In addition, all team members can leave notes, provide feedback, score interviews, and update an applicant status so that everyone on the team can access and share the same up-to-date information.

#2 Make quick, informed, and unbiased decisions

With recruitment software, you can view the entire applicant history and make an informed decision that is accessible to all team members. The ability to view comments, feedback and communication with the applicant allows for a transparent decision-making process. You don't have to worry about information getting lost or misplaced, you can easily access it in one central hub, resulting in a faster decision-making process. Create custom application forms with smart questions as well as AI powered CV scoring to rapidly shortlist the most suitable candidates.

#3 Boost your employer branding

An attractive employer brand has never been as important as it is today. A strong employer brand can make all the difference when it comes to attracting both active and passive candidates to your company. With an ATS you can measure, analyse, and improve your employer branding strategies. Create branded job postings, excel with customized emails and an eye-catching career portal.

#4 Save valuable time – because: time is money

Is there anything more valuable in the working day than time? Saving time means saving money and creating opportunities for new areas of growth. By storing all information in one place, an ATS eliminates the possibility of duplication and prevents tasks from stalling due to lack of information. By automating certain processes, you can easily schedule interviews or kick-off automated workflows. This will enable you to improve processes, reduce time-to-hire and greatly enhance the candidate experience.  

Looking to upgrade or invest in an ATS system? Download our ATS buyers guide to ensure you find the system best fit for your company.


#5 Better overview of all applications

By storing all your applications in an applicant tracking system, you have all the information you need in one place. You can quickly switch between applications, compare candidates, update a candidate status, filter candidates and search for candidates without leaving the system. In times of remote work, this is worth a mint.

#6 Inclusion of applicants in a talent pool

With an ATS, companies can also offer candidates personal services, such as sending interesting job postings by e-mail or a status query of their application. This creates transparency and is positively received by candidates. To retain candidates who were not successful in the interview or for candidates who recommend themselves through a speculative application, applicant tracking systems offer the possibility of including these applicants in a talent pool. Candidates are thus signaled interest in their person and both sides can stay in contact.

#7 Easily publish and share job ads

Automatically upload and share your job postings on various job boards, social media, individual channels, etc. with an ATS in just a few clicks. You no longer need to manually set up an account for each channel and worry about monitoring each channel individually. You can also see the success of the ads and channels in the ATS analytics.

#8 Better use of the budget

An essential aspect of any recruiting process for SMB’s is the budget. But if you don't have the opportunity to analyse all aspects of your process, can you really use your budget wisely? For example, you probably send your job ads to several channels, but which channel is the most successful? If you know such facts, you can better allocate your budget to the right channels, keywords, and target groups.


#9 Time and cost savings and transparency for recruiters

An applicant tracking system is particularly advantageous for recruiters. The more applications, the greater the savings effect. Experience has shown that HR departments benefit from the structured data they receive through electronic recording. The database can be searched more easily. Duplicates and multiple applications can be recognised immediately. The elimination of manual entry of information also reduces the error rate.

#10 Don’t worry about GDPR compliance

Data protection is a hot topic in recruiting. As the new GDPR regulations are implemented in Europe and data protection becomes more and more important globally, it is essential to find a way to handle your sensitive data legally and effectively. An applicant tracking system that is GDPR compliant can be a great help for recruiters who are unsure of how to handle data.

How SMB customers have automated critical recruiting tasks, saved time and scaled growth — with Occupop

BoyleSports a retail bookmaker with outlets across the UK and Ireland, was highly reliant on agencies, as they have only received few applications via their own website, although they had many open roles in various locations. By introducing a digital direct hiring strategy, and using the programmatic recruitment software within Occupop, BoyleSports HR team is now running their own intelligent digital recruitment marketing campaigns. This led to a 50 % increase in direct recruitment an 80 % reduction in reliance ton agencies.

PREM Group a leader in the hospitality industry in the UK and across Europe, had a lack of structured processes and a predominance of manual processes, which made it hard to manage the high-volume recruitment hiring. By implementing Occupop, PREM Group executes a more structured hiring process which led to 20 hours saved / week on administrational work and automated their GDPR compliance mandates.

Ainscough, a crane hire company, was stuck with a clunky piece of legacy software with which they had many challenges, such as poor candidate experience, poor exposure on the market, limited number of quality applications, slow to use with complicated functionality. Since using Occupop, Ainscough managed a 12 days reduction in time to hire and a 364% increase in applicants.

BestDrive had to post each job individually on each job board with was time-intensive and quite expensive. With the help of Occupop, they had an instant solution and were able to streamline their hiring process and attract quality applicants fast. This has led to 90% savings on recruitment costs, and they cut the time-to-hire from 1 month to 1 week. 

Interested to learn more? Click here to read more customer stories about how and investment in an ATS has helped SMB’s save time and money on recruitment.


Meet Occupop

Occupop is a beautifully simple recruitment software built for small and medium businesses. We empower our customers to become great at hiring through our smart hiring technology and suite of solutions that almost anyone can use. So whether you're a team of five or fifty, it only takes a few minutes to onboard your team members, set permissions, and start recruiting. If you think Occupop could be a good small business recruitment software solution for you, try it out today with a free 14-day trial.


Summary Points

The Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System ATS for SMBs

  1. Gapless, cross-departmental communication on one central platform
  2. Make quick, informed, and unbiased decision
  3. Boost your employer branding
  4. Save valuable time – because: time is money
  5. Better overview of all applications
  6. Inclusion of applicants in a talent pool
  7. Easily publish and share job ads
  8. Better use of the budget
  9. Time and cost savings and transparency for recruiters
  10. Don’t worry about GDPR compliance
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