As HR, it is your role and responsibility to ensure that you are hiring the top talent for your organisation. This can be a complex process and one that costs a lot of time and money, particularly for internal recruiters. The trials and tribulations of internal hiring are all too familiar to HR teams and hiring managers, from candidates backing out of processes to information not marrying up.

While you’ll be able to see the cost and time benefits of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), others in leadership teams who aren’t involved in the recruitment process won’t have the same insight. The recruitment costs at each stage of the hiring process will be the decisive factors. As HR, you’ll need to be able to build a strong case for why investing in an ATS will benefit your hiring process and talent acquisition.

Simply, does the ROI of an ATS outweigh existing recruiting costs? In short, yes. At Hireserve, we want to show you exactly how to build a business case for an ATS in your organisation. Boasting the benefits of streamlined workflows, communications and organisational tools, your ATS business case will show employers exactly the benefits that an ATS can bring to the table.



  • Building your business case
    • Calculate the cost-per-hire
    • Find out your budget
  • Where exactly in the hiring process can an ATS reduce recruiting costs?
    • Candidate discovery
    • Quality of hire
    • Candidate experience
  • Presenting your case


Building your business case

Calculate the cost-per-hire

In order to build an effective business case for an applicant tracking software, you first need to calculate the average recruitment costs of recent hires. Calculate how much money is spent on hiring, both internal and external. Internal costs of recruitment include salaries or hourly rates, and external costs such as job board postings or recruitment agencies. Go through all of your new hires in the past year and figure out how many hours were spent on shortlisting, interviews, final rounds and whether you entered into salary negotiations.

These vital pieces of information will help you to understand your organisation’s cost per hire and inform the cost benefits of investing in an ATS. Without an efficient ATS, HR can spend more than double the time on recruitment and talent acquisition. Using Hireserve’s ATS system, Linconshire County Council saved 18 days from their usual end-to-end recruitment process.

Recruitment is no doubt an expensive process, and it can also cost a company a lot of money as they wait to fill the roll. With an ATS to help streamline and simplify the recruitment of your perfect hire, it can help to save money by filling the role faster, and with a higher quality candidate.


Find out your budget

Without knowing your budget, you cannot effectively build a business case for an ATS.

Figuring out your budget for recruitment, combined with the cost per hire can demonstrate the ROI benefits by directly comparing how many resources could be saved using the system. If your current recruitment budget is significantly higher than the cost of implementing an ATS, alarm bells should be ringing.

It’s also important to remember that an ATS is a long-term solution for internal hiring, the ROI of an applicant tracking system will increase exponentially with every hiring process it streamlines.


Where Exactly in the Hiring Process can an ATS Reduce Recruiting Costs?

We’ve spoken generally on the time and cost savings of an ATS throughout the recruitment process, but we hear you, you want specifics. So will your CEO.


Cost Savings of an ATS in Candidate Discovery

Save Your People Time Using a Hiring Manager Portal

An applicant tracking system simplifies and automates the recruitment process through key features such as hiring manager portals. This helps to cut time costs by allowing recruiters to create job vacancies with a few clicks, or use pre-existing templates.

An ATS streamlines the workflow for hiring managers and employers by automating early stages of the application process. Applicant tracking systems can provide pre-employment questionnaires and basic reading performing tasks that can help to filter out qualified, and non-qualified hires much faster.

Unsuccessful Candidates CVs are stored on the portal, allowing employers to find potential hires for future job roles. Hireserve’s ATS has an integrated shortlist functionality that helps employers easily find previous applicants that may be suited to a new role. This can greatly cut recruitment costs as it prevents HR having to start the process of recruitment from scratch.

An intuitive Hiring Manager Portal enables your people to sift through CVs quickly and build talent pools for future processes, saving valuable time resources.


Find the Perfect Applicant Faster with Multiple Job Boards and Social Integrations

Finding the right applicant can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. An effective applicant tracking system will integrate with multiple different job boards to find your prefect applicant from a pool of resources. Job board integrations help recruiters to not only broaden their search but also ensures that applicants are able to easily find the roles they are looking for. This can help to cut costs by speeding up recruitment from both ends: applicants can find you faster, and you can find them.

Applicant tracking systems are also able to integrate with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are a great place to target specific individuals who are looking for a job. It is a great place to advertise jobs that can help discover top talent that may not be looking at the job boards that your recruitment agency is posting vacancies on. You can post job advertisements to multiple job boards and socials directly through your ATS using automated workflows – saving you valuable time and the cost of posting to these platforms independently.

Widening your reach to find the perfect candidate infinitely speeds up your hiring process. Good news for time-conscious leadership teams.


Improving your Quality of Hire

Hiring the right person for the Job

It goes without saying that finding the perfect new hire saves you money in the long term, be it from increased productivity or a decrease in turnover. An applicant tracking system ultimately helps your company to hire the right person for the job. Using data from ATS recruitment software to track the progress of your hiring process helps you to pick the best candidate, helping to ensure a return on investment.


Never Recruit a Bad Hire Again

Bad hires can be especially costly for your business. Not only is the workload being completed inefficiently, recruiters will have to spend extra time searching for another candidate to refill that position.

An ATS helps to ensure that an HR are recruiting the right employees for the job. By allowing Hiring Managers to make notes throughout the recruiting process, easily track where previous applicants were removed from the process and narrow down criteria, an ATS helps to remove human error, or bias, ensuring the best candidate is selected.


Ensure You Give Every Potential Hire a Chance with Video Interviews

With Covid-19 making flexible working and remote work a standard part of work life, online interviews are becoming increasingly more common for recruiters. By eliminating distance as an issue for interviewees, Hiring Managers can ensure that they see every potential candidate and give equal opportunities in the hiring process.

Video and online interviews also cut recruitment costs by reducing the time needed for interviews, helping to make this stage of the recruitment process more efficient. An applicant tracking system with in-built video interviewing functionalities allows employers to conduct far more interviews than they would in person. For instance, Hireserve’s video interviewing function allows recruiter to send potential recruits automated interview invites directly from the platform, saving previous time.

This can help to build your business case for an ATS as this is one key feature that can help to make your talent acquisition process much faster, meaning roles are filled quicker and not as much money is spent advertising for job roles.


Assisting the Onboarding Process

Applicant tracking systems assist the onboarding of a new candidate by combining all of the information and documentation that a hiring manager will need into one, easily accessible feature.

Having access to all the starter checks and documents in one place helps HR to speed up the onboarding process, and ensure that there are no lags between the final interview and the first day. If any documentation is outstanding, this applicant tracking system helps to make quick and easy reminders through the portal to help speed up the onboarding process.

It’s a well-known fact that the onboarding process is a costly period for businesses. In your ATS business case, highlight the smooth transition from candidate to new hire an ATS can bring.


Improving Candidate Experience

Mobile- Friendly Candidate Experience

A study by Kelton Research found that 86% of jobseekers use their mobile phone to look for job offers, therefore it important to have a mobile-friendly ATS recruitment software in order to provide a positive candidate experience for these job seekers.

Enabling candidates to easily access their application from a mobile device is likely to attract more applicants and keep them engaged throughout the hiring process. Hireserve’s ATS goes one step further, with the functionality to send automated SMS reminders and messages to your potential recruits to connect with them on a more personal level.

If your candidate benefits from a positive experience in the recruitment process, they are more likely to accept the role if offered. Ensuring offered candidates accept a job offer saves you time and resources by preventing back-outs.

You may also be interested in: Top 5 recruitment software tools to improve your candidate experience


Present your case

An investment in an applicant tracking system can help to make your company more efficient in all areas of the recruitment process. Inbuilt recruitment tools will streamline manual process that will save time, and money. You have the facts, now all you need is a good cup of tea and to talk through ATS benefits with your leadership teams.

To discover Hireserve’s industry-leading ATS, book a demo with one of our friendly team.

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.