If your organization has never used an applicant tracking system before, you might be curious about the telltale signs that it might be time to buy applicant tracking software. In today’s Whiteboard Chat, Jeff Hallam shares his insight on the most obvious indicators that it may be appropriate for a small- to medium-sized business to implement a recruiting software solution for the first time.
Hi there! Today we’re going to take a look at something that comes up quite a bit as I’m out talking with organizations. And that usually kind of revolves around, for those who aren’t already very large…how do I know if I’m large enough; or, how do I know when the time is right for me to need an applicant tracking tool?
And so today is really just designed to give you some helpful things to keep in mind or some considerations so that you’ve got some warning signs to consider as to when might the time be right for your particular company. So, the obvious one is if you are doing more hiring. And there is no set benchmark, there is no set number of hires. If you hire more than this or fewer than that, it is or isn’t right for you. More often what I find is that it’s relative. It’s relative to what we’ve done before, it’s relative to what we’ve done up to this point, and so for everyone there seems to be this line of demarcation that once we cross that, this becomes a lot more problematic than it has been prior.
So as you continue to grow and you have more openings out there, that is almost always going to be a surefire way to help you kind of keep that in mind. Secondly, if you are seeing instances where candidates are applying, and you’re finding yourself kind of scratching your head and saying I think I’ve heard of this person before. Or, I think we considered them before. Or, other people are looking at the resume and saying “oh, we’ve talked to this person prior.” That’s almost always a good sign if you don’t have a ready way to keep track of that, and if you think about an Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Outlook folders, or worse yet even just a stack of resumes you might be keeping in a file folder somewhere…that becomes really difficult to cross reference when you have more than a handful of those in there. So again, that’s almost always a good way to know that if that’s happening with more frequency, that means you probably have more openings, you’re getting more candidates. It might be time to look for a more effective way to keep track of those folks.
This is one of those things that comes up a lot…this need to involve hiring managers. So, when you find yourself at a point where it’s becoming more cumbersome to let hiring managers weigh in on certain candidates, it’s becoming more difficult to track and log what their feedback is…who we interviewed, who did we not, why do we not want to interview them or why do we want to interview them…again, that’s typically where Outlook spreadsheets, Excel spreadsheets, Outlook subfolders I should say…those types of things become very difficult to share bits and pieces of with hiring managers who are only focused on a certain opening. So, in other words if I have three openings and I only want Manager One to see this list of candidates, Excel and Microsoft Outlook folders aren’t really designed to do that in a very efficient way.
So again, as you’re finding yourself getting to that point, others are getting involved, and you want their input…almost always going to be something that will tip your hand that it might be time to look at a solution like ours. And then finally if your applicants are hearing crickets. And again, just by way of notice, that is a cricket. The idea here as much as we make light of it is that can be problematic at two different levels…so certainly it can be problematic if you have good candidates and you want to move them along in the process but you’re not getting to them quickly enough. Those folks, if they don’t hear a response very quickly, they’re likely moving on to the next opportunity. And you certainly don’t want to lose access to them. So that’s what we mean on the one side of the fence when we talk about them hearing crickets.
On the other side of the fence though, are the people that you are clearly not moving forward with. When you don’t have an automated tool like an applicant tracking software piece available, it becomes very difficult to keep applicants up to date with where they are and communicate with them effectively. And so even though you may not be worried about them as a potential hire, you don’t want to give those folks incentive to speak poorly of you out in the employment marketplace. Certainly we all have a brand to our potential customers, but that branding also extends over to the employment side of things. So, whether you are talking about your better applicants or your not so good applicants, having a ready way of keeping them apprised of where they are, what the next steps are, and where they fall in that process…is going to be very critical to making sure that you maintain a good presence in the employment brand space out there, and avoid giving people incentive to speak poorly about you to others. So again, hopefully this has been a nice help just to give you a few quick indicators. These aren’t the only ones by any means, and they may not be the exact ones for you…but certainly something to keep in mind as you continue to grow and your business gets to points where you might be considering something like this.
For more information about how ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking system, please visit our resources section.