…then how, you might ask, is investing in technology like an Applicant Tracking System going to help?

We’ll agree, it’s a considerable investment. But if you’re finding that the cost of your recruitment is causing you real pain, an ATS could actually help to alleviate some of the issues you may be facing.

If budget is your biggest recruitment challenge, read on.

Are you finding it hard to keep track of your recruitment spend?

In a busy in-house recruitment department and with multiple recruitment campaigns on the go, using manual methods to monitor your ROI can be challenging.

With an abundance of candidate and job data, plus a comprehensive reporting suite, an Applicant Tracking System can help you to measure metrics such as your cost-per-hire for a particular job.

Source reporting is especially useful if you need to analyse the effectiveness of certain advertising platforms or social media spend, whilst reports like time-to-hire can help you to ascertain whether improving the efficiency of some elements of your hiring process could also contribute to lower costs.

Take away: If mapping your recruitment spend and tracking costs is important to you, make sure you ask a supplier to demo their Applicant Tracking System’s reporting capabilities in depth.

Are you wasting resources with routine tasks?

The manual elements of your recruitment process – think reviewing applications, sharing CVs, scheduling interviews – can be a real drain on your team members’ time.

An Applicant Tracking System takes laborious tasks like these and automates them for a smoother and quicker process.

Let’s look at screening your candidates, for example. If you have a high volume of applications and the majority of them are landing in your general recruitment@your-company inbox, that’s a lot of emails to open and attachments to download and save.

You then may face a two-part screening process. In the first instance, you’re likely to have to review whether candidates meet crucial criteria such as eligibility to work in the UK before further shortlisting those with suitable skills and experience.

The alternative? Pre-selection questions can help you to see at a glance candidates who cannot progress through to the next stage, whilst sharing options with your Hiring Managers saves on internal email traffic back and forth.

What’s more, you can browse and search for candidates quickly within your ATS, and should be able to preview CVs and supporting documents from within the system, instead of needing to download and open in another window.

From screening and selection to acknowledging applications and sending bulk candidate communications, an ATS can help address your budget challenges by reducing the time it takes you and your team to complete manual processes.

Take away: If you do receive high volumes of applications, or notice that certain vacancies are receiving large amounts of unsuitable applicants, ask a supplier to focus on their Applicant Tracking System’s screening capabilities during the demo. Also ask about the user-friendliness of the system – it’s got to be quick and simple to use every day!

Are you spending too much on agencies?

Typically, we’d expect to see the implementation of an ATS to reduce agency usage by around 50% – although this is, of course, based on individual circumstances.

An Applicant Tracking System is not a sourcing tool, but it can help to reduce your reliance on recruitment agencies. From a more engaging careers site and stronger candidate experience to a greater reach and visibility of your vacancies across social media, an ATS can have a significant impact on your talent attraction.

Some Applicant Tracking Systems also provide an agency portal. This helps organisations who are still using agencies to better manage their processes and agency relationships.

Take away: Ask a potential supplier if they have an ROI calculator tool to help you understand more about how much you could save on reduced agency usage.

Despite being a potentially significant investment upfront, an Applicant Tracking System can help you to defeat one of your biggest recruitment challenges: budget.

With the right system you should be able to take better control of your recruitment spend, reduce time and resources spent on low-value, manual tasks, and you should be able to reduce your reliance on recruitment agencies.

Ultimately, the right ATS for you should deliver a healthy ROI. And if it doesn’t, talk to your supplier as they may be able to offer you some further guidance and advice to help you get the best out of your system.

Find out more

Looking for more details about how an ATS can help you screen candidates?

Discover 3 other ways an ATS can save you money

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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.