Applicant Tracking System for Small Business – Here’s Why You Need One

An ATS helps manage your hiring in an efficient way, mainly by automating and streamlining the process

Carly Chalmers

Whether you’re just starting out or going through a growth phase, small business can often mean tight budgets. Every dollar counts, and things like an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) may seem like one of those expenses you don’t need. Before you dismiss it, let’s talk about how an ATS can help businesses of all sizes and budgets.

Here’s the thing to remember – a high quality ATS is an investment that’ll often pay for itself. By streamlining your hiring process, you’ll save lots of time and potentially reduce other hiring expenses. Keep on reading to find out exactly how an ATS can benefit your small business.

What is an ATS for small business?

The purpose of an ATS is to handle your hiring phase in an efficient way, mainly by automating and streamlining the process. Whether you receive job applications via email, job sites like Indeed, or text-to-apply, they’re all collected in a single dashboard. You won’t need to log into multiple sites to manage applications separately, saving you a lot of time.

On top of that, an ATS will handle some of the shortlisting work, saving you even more time. With HigherMe’s ATS, a FitScore is calculated for every candidate based on your requirements such as distance from location and availability. This feature cuts the number of applicants down to a more manageable group without you having to read through 100+ applications.

Want to learn more about how an applicant tracking system works? Read our post where we cover all the basics of an ATS.

Why use an applicant tracking system for your small business?

The hiring process involves many steps, documents, and communication back and forth. It’s not always straightforward. Even if you’re only a small operation right now, things can quickly become overwhelming without a reliable system in place. Necessary information might be scattered between emails, printouts and different platforms, increasing the risk of something slipping between the gaps.

You’ll end up spending too much time rectifying mistakes and getting things organized – and that’s precious time you could spend on scaling your business. That’s why an ATS can be very convenient, both for everyday practicalities and for the long-term growth of your business.

More than just a tool to manage applications

First of all, an ATS is a versatile and comprehensive system that does far more than just gather your applications in one spot. Of course, the specific features vary depending on the ATS you use, but many of them include these or similar features:

  • Managing your job postings and ad spend across multiple job boards
  • Using automated reminders and scheduling to book and confirm interviews (less time and frustration spent on no-shows!)
  • Handling your onboarding process, helping you stay compliant with a standardized process
  • Tracking each applicant's progress through the hiring process
  • Streamlining and standardizing the application flow, making it easier to read through each application

Automated processes will help grow your business

As a small business owner, you know your time is worth money. Every hour you spend sifting through applications, you could spend getting to know candidates and training them, which is more fun than screening résumés. That’s why automating tasks is so crucial if you want to have a successful business. It accelerates how work gets done while you free up time to do the important stuff.

Poor hires cost money

Hiring someone who ends up being the wrong fit for your team can be an expensive mistake. Not only do you have to spend time hiring and onboarding all over again, you’ll also need to train a new team member. And you’ve already invested time and money on someone who didn’t cut it.

Besides those factors, hiring the wrong person can damage your business reputation since a poor performing employee could lead to having unsatisfied customers. It also means a drop in productivity and potential profit as well. As you can see, finding the right people is a fundamental part of running a small business. A good ATS will help you do just that.

An ATS is typically cheaper than recruitment agencies

If the cost of an ATS is your biggest concern, consider how much a recruitment agency costs. By all means, they provide their own value, but an ATS is usually a way more cost-effective solution.

Depending on the roles you’re hiring for, recruitment fees for a small business are generally around $5k-$10k per hire. In some industries, the cost can be several times that. So if you’re looking to reduce how much you spend on your hiring process, an applicant tracking system for small business might be just what you’re looking for.