Product promotions typically tout all the things “XYZ” does. But that’s not always the whole story. What something doesn’t do can make it exactly right for your needs.

Take an applicant tracking system (ATS). For a clean, succinct way to capture, track and hire top-notch candidates, you don’t need a complicated service with lots of bells and whistles. After all, you’re not a global company like Amazon, Wal-Mart or Citigroup, with a massive hiring volume and long list of requirements.

Here are 5 features with today’s complex applicant tracking systems that are overkill (and overpriced) for your needs:

1) Resume scanning to screen candidates

With this feature, a business can conduct keyword searches to identify certain skills and qualifications on scanned resumes. This is typically language from the job description, because this is what you’re looking for in a candidate. The ATS will rank candidates based on the number of keyword matches from the search.

Small business concern: This feature is designed for large businesses that receive hundreds of resumes for a single opening – and use recruiters to screen them as quickly as possible. As it is, companies that rely too heavily on keyword searches may eliminate candidates who still deserve their attention. On the flip side, candidates may try to game the system and “keyword stuff” a resume. Further screening, including interviews, is needed.

2) Postings to multiple job boards and social media

By integrating with job boards and popular social networks, certain applicant tracking systems can help businesses get vacancies in front of more people.

Small business concern: Though it’s a positive objective, this type of feature can add to the cost – and is more in line with big businesses with ample budgets. Plus, different systems integrate with different sites. It serves no purpose to advertise a job on Facebook if your desired candidate doesn’t use it.

3) Branded career portal

This feature pertains to customized career pages on your website where job applicants submit materials and complete other steps in the application process.

Small business concern: Because of the time and expertise it takes to develop (and update, as needed) a coordinated career portal, the cost can be significant. Your image may be evolving and not dependent on this level of customization. Instead, you can easily post your job application on your website, avoiding the upfront time and maintenance.

4) Affirmative action reporting for OFCCP compliance

With detailed reporting and analytics, businesses can create EEO-1 reports and other affirmative action reports. Hiring-related statistics can be gathered, as well, cost per hire, time to hire and number of applications received.

Small business concern: This level of in-depth government reporting may be unnecessary for a small business with 50 or fewer employees, or one that doesn’t have $50,000 in federal contracts.

5) Real-time calendar sync for interview scheduling

Calendar connectivity can help businesses schedule interviews automatically. It shares availability with candidates and lets them pick the slot that works best for them. Some systems also provide video interview capabilities for businesses interested in conducting off-site interviews that go a step beyond phone calls.

Small business concern: With these types of add-ons, the cost of an applicant tracking system can increase considerably. Again, businesses with smaller candidate volume can get by without these features, while also preserving their budget.

An Important Point About Cost vs. Value

It’s easy to get lost in feature matrixes when you’re comparing applicant tracking systems. But think hard about your current processes and what you’re trying to accomplish – simplicity or complexity? Consider what functionality 80 percent of your hiring team will use 100 percent of the time.

Keep in mind, too, that the pricing for applicant tracking systems is typically based on the size of your business, the number of locations and/or users, as well as your hiring volume. For example, a business with 300 to 500 employees, 10 users, unlimited job openings and unlimited applicants could expect to pay up to $1,000 in implementation fees and anywhere from $300 to $650 in monthly fees.

With the right ATS, a new member of the hiring team can jump in and catch up on what’s happened so far in less than an hour. Everything is consolidated and available for quick access.

However, if you’re a business with only a few open jobs at any given time, and don’t expect to receive more than 75-100 resumes for a position, you can get valuable applicant tracking functionality … for a lot less. You need a simple, affordable system that helps you capture and screen candidates, contact them, and interact efficiently with everyone on your hiring team.

Through a concise, organized workflow, the Applicant Tracking Smart App creates a practical hiring roadmap and speeds up your internal process, so you can secure the right hire, quickly. In addition to a concise, sequential process, the app provides a means to collaborate and communicate with everyone on your hiring team. And because it’s important to follow through with candidates, the app also allows you to email applicants directly.

With a focus on ease, simplicity and affordability, the Applicant Tracking app creates a consistent, collaborative system that supports your hiring efforts from job opening to offer – all for just $60 a year. Bigger than that, it helps you accomplish your #1 priority: finding the best candidate!

Key Takeaways
  • Most applicant tracking systems are designed for big businesses
  • The more complex a system, the more you can expect to pay
  • Simplicity and affordability are top priorities for small businesses
  • An applicant tracking system can streamline your hiring process, affordably
  • The Applicant Tracking app provides an organized workflow and practical tracking for small businesses