Applicant Tracking System

How Startups Scale Hiring Using Applicant Tracking System

With “The Great Resignation” coinciding with acute talent shortages globally, competition between companies wanting to reach the best talents has become increasingly stiff. 

While recruitment is critical for each and every company, it is even more vital for startups as it can mean the difference between the success and failure of the company.

This is particularly the case for startups that need to hire a large number of people fast, while at the same time having to make sure they are picking the right candidates. In some instances, all of this can take place with limited budget and few resources at hand. As each hire represents a substantial cost, sustainable growth is only possible if new hires generate positive value in the right direction over time, supporting the overall growth of the company.

It is at this stage of startup growth that applicant tracking systems come into play, as this software allows for easy and efficient management of recruitment operations. This, in turn, makes way for better and faster sourcing and better decision-making, which ultimately leads to lower recruitment costs and higher quality candidates.

What Is An Applicant Tracking Software?

Technology continues to upgrade at a record pace. These upgrades are supposed to help businesses function more efficiently as well as streamline operations.

Among these wide-ranging technological upgrades is the HR technology known as an Applicant Tracking Software or ATS system. What it essentially does is help recruiters find the right candidates by speeding up processes, such as sifting through a mountain of applications and filtering out the most qualified and suitable applicants.

The system covers the entire hiring process following any customization done based on the needs of your HR department. Once programmed, the system provides your HR department with an organized and standardized recruitment process.

It lets your department connect and track all the documents that your candidate submits, including but not limited to resumes, cover letters, and any notes compiled during the interview period. After that, the HR department’s next task - which is to compare documents from all candidates - becomes a lot easier.

The best applicant tracking softwares are typically easy to use, in that it requires minimal involvement from your IT department to set it up. The setup can be managed by your HR team themselves. Once up and running, your hiring process would run smoother and continue to help find you find the right candidate quickly and efficiently.

Why Do Startups Need An Applicant Tracking Software?

It is often said that in business, time is money, and if you are spending a lot of time looking for the right employees, you are not using that time to make any money. Then you may be losing money if you are spending too much time trying to recruit good people. This scenario would take a turn for the worse if - in the rush to hire fast - the wrong candidates are hired.

What an ATS can do for businesses, especially those at the startup phase, is streamline that process to make it more efficient and targeted. An ATS comes equipped with multiple features that help you set the criteria for hiring in your startup. It can help, for example, to power up hiring for niche verticals using AI, help you send out information more efficiently through mass emails and promote open positions across multiple job boards simultaneously. 

With HR technology like the applicant tracking system, communication with candidates becomes swiffer, which more accurately reflects the fast-response nature that startups are known for. This improves overall candidate satisfaction as they are not left waiting too long for a word on their application. Whatever the outcome of their application is, candidates are informed quicker so they can plan their next move.

With the applicant tracking tools, the hiring process is streamlined, results are generated a lot faster and you can get back to more important tasks.

MORE: Browse through our collection of ready-to-use job description templates to get you started on your hiring process.

How ATS systems work

The system is fairly straightforward. You or your HR team create a list of keywords. Then, when a prospective employee submits their résumé and other supporting documents, the applicant tracking system (ATS) begins parsing their contents in search of those keywords.

Once the algorithm has identified certain words, the resumes and supporting documentation are forwarded to the individuals in charge of recruitment. A single interface is used to store all of the documents, videos, interview responses, and other important hiring documents that were collected throughout the hunt for new employees.

These team members can then evaluate the candidate's files, make notes, express their opinions, and send out e-mail notifications to the candidate. This allows the whole recruitment team and hiring managers to all be up to date when it comes to each recruitment process.

In addition to all of this, the ATS system preserves the information and makes it possible for you to refer to it at a later point in time. It also helps you build up a pool of potential candidates who may be approached at a later date, if and when new opportunities become available in your organization.

Steps recruiters can take to scale up the hiring process with an ATS 

1. Be Clear About The Job’s Requirements

When it comes to hiring for a new role, you must first determine which positions need to be filled, what qualifications are required to fill those positions, and how many individuals you need to hire in total.

It can be tempting to just market the most positive aspects of a job to make the position appear more appealing to potential candidates. However, this isn't the wisest course of action. It's best to present the job holistically - perks, growth opportunities, and general expectations - from the beginning.

After that, you must decide which documents your organization would require from candidates and where you will store them.

2. Create A Structured Process

Once you have completed the foundational work we mentioned earlier in this article, you will need to become more organized and tie up the loose ends. In other words, you must standardize the process so that all candidates submit the same information and meet the same qualifications, and so that the system of hoops they must jump through is less complex.

You must develop standards for evaluating talents for all open positions, as well as a strategy for analyzing the talent you are attracting. Creating this system will assist you in expediting the hiring process as well as identifying the most qualified candidates.

3. Assess Value to the Company’s Growth Plan

In many cases, small businesses employ a small number of people. When you have a small team, each employee contributes significantly to the value of the firm while also having a substantial impact on its culture.

Recruiters in startups need to gauge whether a possible candidate would add significant value to the company or not, therefore making this aspect a crucial part of the recruitment process for small or fast-growing companies. Apart from the candidate's ability to offer value, the company's culture must also be explained to them before they can be considered for the position.

Hiring tools such as the ATS typically help recruiters identify candidates that would best suit their company’s growth phase based on specific attributes that would indicate if they are capable of meeting new challenges and are qualified to perform the duties of the post. 

4. Shape the Employer Value Proposition or Employer Brand

Company branding is a critical component that has a substantial impact on the finding, recruiting, and retention of qualified people. In the end, it all boils down to how your company's image is presented and viewed by those outside your organization. In order to hire the greatest and brightest people, you must first establish a strong employer brand and then implement effective recruiting methods to attract them.

Candidates have gotten pickier in terms of the kind of company and culture they seek to work in. Even before responding to a job advertisement, candidates tend to be more interested in learning about the company's culture and employee or customer feedback. There are websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and others that allow employees to voice their opinions on the company's culture, wage benchmarking, and other related topics. 

A strong employer brand, therefore, is imperative when attempting to attract the best candidates. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including social media modeling, culture shaping, and corporate social responsibility programs, to mention a few.

Having a strong employer brand also helps inform the applicant of the type of organization to which they are applying. For startups without a full-fledged employer brand just yet, the company’s career page is a starting point where photos, employee growth stories and successes can easily be published and featured. This gives candidates a sense of the company's identity as well as the direction to which it is heading. Learn how to enable a career page on Manatal here.

Developing the employer brand early is key for startups wanting to attract strong candidates while competing with larger organizations. This identity will assist in attracting applicants who seek an alternative to working for a large corporation where their skills and accomplishments may not be as visible as they would be in a startup.

5. Take a Data-Driven Approach to Hiring

The use of data to drive hiring enhances both your strategic and tactical plans, and helps you devise sharper methods for attracting top candidates. This is particularly pertinent for startups wanting to scale. An extensive review of your existing strategy might help you evaluate whether or not your methods and plan need to be improved. 

An assessment of recruitment strategy can make use of a variety of data measures, some of which are listed below:

  • Time it takes to find and employ the right people for each position
  • Average cost per hire
  • Percentage of emails that get a response
  • Average response rate of job candidates

6. Use Social Media For Hiring

Social media has changed dramatically over the last decade, and recruitment teams have not been immune to this transition. There are great benefits in using social media to recruit passive candidates. About 55% of job seekers say that social media is more helpful in their search than traditional methods. Using social media to advertise job openings can help you find the right people for the positions you're looking for. 

To get you started, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Groups are essential for making the most out of LinkedIn. Recruiters need to join suitable forums and networks to spread the word about open positions and corporate news.
  • It's important to keep people up to date on what's going on at your company. Also, you can use employee testimonials to boost your company's reputation. Social media visibility will assist to attract and hire top people, allowing for a more efficient hiring process.

7. Organize Regular Meet-Ups

Create social and professional meet-ups for current employees to engage in  recruitment strategies, especially in startups. Involve your key staff in company events. Your best advocates are loyal employees. This allows them to learn more about your firm and even apply for internal positions.

8. Offer Lucrative Pay With Bonuses

Companies like Apple and Amazon are every job seeker's dream. These companies are popular not only for the jobs they offer but also for the work atmosphere and benefits.

Employees seek companies that do not interfere with their personal lives. It's time for businesses to go beyond 9-5 workdays and adopt a more flexible strategy. Many organizations are offering perks to recruit and keep excellent employees.

Frequent relaxing sessions involving activities like sports days, meditation, yoga, food festivals, etc. can also help engage employees and promote an employee-friendly culture.

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An In-Depth Look At Manatal ATS

There are plenty of top ATS systems on the market today but to scale fast and effectively, Manatal has become the go-to for startups out there. Here are a few key aspects to help you get to know the system. Click here to see even more.

1. Easy To Use Interface- This system has a drag and drop function making it easy to compile a list of candidates for one job. Their motto is one job, one page.

2. Candidate Profiles- Another easy-to-use feature is that it allows you to store all interactions and documents with a specific candidate at one specific place. You can review at your leisure to see where they would fit best in your company.

3. Powerful Search Tools- Whether using the advanced or boolean search tools, you’re guaranteed to find the best candidates from your database.

4. Mass E-Mail Feature- Instead of doing the work yourself, this system does it all for you and can reach hundreds of different e-mails at the same time. Plus, you can track responses and see how effective each campaign is.

5. CV Management- Upload and store your candidate's resumes or CVs. Once uploaded you have quicker access to the documents and can re-evaluate candidates. This can be done no matter the size of the pool of resumes your company receives.

Transforming The Way You Hire

A fast-growing company has many aspects to look into rather than spend too much time on an outdated hiring process. The right applicant tracking system will help streamline the process, make it more efficient, and save time and money. This is especially true for startups that do not have the resources or a dedicated recruitment team and are unsure about hiring the right employees.

Technology is making the corporate world a little easier to navigate, and it is giving you more time to devote to other, more essential projects. Startups now have a fighting shot against the big boys, thanks to these ATS systems.

With Manatal’s ease-of-use and AI recommendation engine, recruiters in startups will be able to reduce time spent on finding the perfect match for the organization and improve the team’s productivity. What would usually take days or weeks can now be accomplished in mere seconds. Our solution also lets you customize notifications so you stay on top of the things that are most important to your team and the company.

Start your 14-day Free Trial today (no credit card required) and leverage Manatal to begin scaling up your recruitment operations.

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