1 HR Technology for Small Businesses How to Benefit from an Applicant Tracking System
2 Growing your small business requires getting great people involved from the beginning. Hiring high quality talent gets your business off the ground and sets the stage for future success. Small Businesses According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses, having fewer than 500 employees, represent 99.7% of all employer firms 1. Further census research shows that 79% of all firms in the U.S. have no payroll, and another 17% employ less than 10 people 2. Don t let the numbers fool you, however. Small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees, have created the majority of the job growth in the past 15 years 1, and are at the cornerstone of innovation. Small businesses hire 43% of all high-tech workers, including scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and many others 1. When it comes to hiring and recruiting, small businesses have many challenges. In order for any company to be successful, having the right people in place is a key factor. Recruiting is important at any firm, but it is even more critical at start-ups and small businesses as they struggle to maximize return on staffing investments. With having hundreds or thousands of employees, it s easy to get by with a few C players. Small businesses, however, are too lean to tolerate sub-par performers. Every hire counts, because a single bad hire can cause incredible damage. Small Biz Facts: Fewer employees means wearing many hats and handling tasks more efficiently Nearly 28 million small businesses in North America Competing with larger, more recognizable organizations in the war for top talent! Applicant Tracking Systems Traditionally, it was believed that applicant tracking systems (ATS) and HR technology only benefit large companies. Industry changes and technological advances have made applicant tracking systems feasible, affordable, and even necessary for small and very small businesses. According to HR technology blogger Steve Boese, There is almost no reason why even the smallest, least technically capable organizations and HR departments can t take advantage of at least some level of automation to better manage the recruiting process. Applicant tracking systems have moved out of the realm of big corporations and made its way into human resources departments across all segments and industries. Gone are the days when folders, spread sheets, and filing cabinets were considered viable systems for recruiting high-quality talent. With nearly 28 million small businesses in the U.S., the war for top talent is becoming increasingly competitive, and losing qualified candidates in paper piles isn t acceptable anymore. During the hiring process, it s essential to stay organized. HR technology can help. How Small Businesses Benefit From an ATS Many small and very small businesses often hesitate to invest in new HR software because it can be difficult to quantify the benefits received from automating many 1 U.S. Small Business Administration. "FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions." U.S. Small Business Administration. U.S. Small Business Administration, Web. Mar <http://web.sba.gov/faqs/faqindex.cfm?areaid=24>. 2 Compeau, Marc. "Defining Small Business." Forbes. Forbes, Web. Mar <http://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2011/10/22/defining-small-business/>.
3 processes. Below is a list of advantages associated with implementing a talent acquisition solution. Employment Branding Large firms have well-known products and have the advantage of an employment brand that s already well-established and more easily attracts the very best applicants. Start-ups and very small businesses have little to no name recognition, possibly no dedicated recruiters, and an informal recruiting process, making growing your business and attracting top talent a special challenge. Several tools are available to increase your employment brand and value among potential applicants: 1. Branded Career Portals Career portals are built to match your company s branding, giving potential applicants a sneak peek at your company culture. Right from the start, companies can provide a friendly and immersive candidate experience. Online career sites also allow for the online submission and storing of resumes, CVs, cover letters, and other requested forms. Career sites also allow you to add job descriptions with flair. Include pictures, videos, and a compelling story around your company and the specific open position what its main tasks are, how it impacts the business, what interactions can be expected, etc. 2. Social Media Integration Best Practice: Branded career portals, social media integration, and employee referrals show that your organization is progressive and innovative. Many HR technology applications also integrate with social media networks like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, allowing potential applicants to submit their social media profile to a company in a few easy steps. Recruiters can then view candidate profiles in real-time within their systems. That means that the recruiter has immediate access to the most up-to-date candidate information any time. Additionally, Recruiters can display available jobs on company social media pages with very little effort. This not only expands the company s recruitment reach but also shows other interested parties, such as potential investors, the company s growth strategy. Passive candidates, customers, and fans then have the ability to browse and share open positions through their favorite social site. For example, jobs can be posted on Twitter timelines or Facebook walls.
4 3. Employee Referrals Established companies will agree that their best source of qualified talent often comes from effectively leveraging their current workforce. As a general rule, smart people associate with other smart people. HR professionals consistently point to employee referral programs as one of their strongest and most cost-efficient sources from which they hire. Applicant tracking systems ultimately make it simple to develop and implement a robust employee referral program. For example, current employees can share existing jobs with friends and family through and social media. Then, an ATS can track the source from which a candidate enters your platform as well as tag the employee that referred them. Save Time and Money Attracting candidates and collecting resumes is only half the battle! Many employers spend a significant amount of time manually sifting through resumes, screening, and interviewing dozens and sometimes hundreds of applicants. With this many applicants, employers often cannot read each resume individually. As a result, employers must question how many highcaliber applicants have been overlooked. As a solution, employers can use applicant tracking systems to pre-screen and identify qualified candidates quickly and easily. 3 An applicant tracking system takes virtually all the manual data entry and resume screening away from the hiring process, allowing you to focus less time and 4 funds on growing your business. Additionally, if you work in an industry with high turnover, hiring can be a never ending process. It can be difficult to keep up with the constant stream of resumes. Automating your hiring process keeps you organized so you can manage this process efficiently. 5 Much of the initial screening time, and in turn, cost, is eliminated with an ATS. Statistics: The average time-to-fill across all industries is days 3 Recruiters can spend 30% of their time on manual data entry 4 Small Businesses have highest average cost-perhire: $3,655 5 The average cost of turnover in very small businesses is $8,000/employee 6 3 Ross, Jamie. "Staffing Metrics: Time to Fill Can Kill Prospects of Landing Top Talent." SHRM. SHRM, Web. Mar <http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/staffingmanagement/articles/pages/timetofillcankilllanding TopTalent.aspx>. 4 Wheeler, Kevin. "What s In a Recruiter s Day?." ERE. ERE, Web. Mar <http://www.ere.net/2005/01/19/whats-in-a-recruiters-day/>. 5 Success performance Solutions. "The High Cost of Hiring the Wrong Person." Success performance Solutions. Success performance Solutions, Web. Mar <www.supersolutions.com/thehighcostofhiringthewrongperson.asp#axzzldzgxvoir>.
5 Build a Candidate Database Over Time 6 With a database of resumes collected through your ATS, you ll have access to contacts when you need to fill current positions or new openings. Companies that focus on actively recruiting are considered the strongest and most viable, but building an effective pipeline to sustain such an effort goes beyond collecting and managing resumes. Effective pipelines are composed of qualified candidates ready to work at a moment s notice. Ideally, pipelined candidates have already been screened and you are just waiting to match them with the ideal opening. Track Compliance Despite the importance of the OFCCP s evolving regulations, many organizations are still struggling with manual EEO data entry and timeconsuming, inefficient report generations. Applicant tracking systems allow for automatic collection and storage of a broad range of applicant-related information, making it easy to track and report EEO data in compliance with federal regulations. If your company be selected for an audit, comprehensive reports can be produced instantly. Typically, small businesses see their smaller budgets, especially in their human resources departments, as an obstacle that keeps them from taking advantage of HR technology and truly recognizing their value. Bersin & Associates noted: Today s ATS is really an integration platform, which not only is used to track incoming resumes, but also connects to sourcing tools and services and job boards. All these business areas are like planets in the solar system of Talent Acquisition, and to some degree the talent acquisition system is the sun. Software-as-a-Service makes targeted human resource technologies accessible and affordable, helping small human resources teams function like a full-fledged department. How icims can Help icims is one of the fastest-growing vendors of Talent Acquisition Software. icims has clients in all industries and sizes. icims Talent Platform provides small businesses with flexible tools that help them attract, hire and manage the best talent, giving them an edge over the competition. icims key differentiator is our commitment to customer service and the customer experience. icims is extremely proud of its 4 year running 97% customer satisfaction and renewal rating. Its award-wining customer experience is a result of advanced support offerings, which include a multi-tiered customer support team, frequent virtual trainings, and our interactive icare Customer Site. To learn more about the icims, call or take a look at our demo at: 6 Success performance Solutions. "The High Cost of Hiring the Wrong Person." Success performance Solutions. Success performance Solutions, Web. Mar <www.supersolutions.com/thehighcostofhiringthewrongperson.asp#axzzldzgxvoir>.
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