How an ATS is Better than Spreadsheets

Companies see the value in specialized solutions for most aspects of their operations. Project management, email and social media marketing, account management, and customer relationships all get the focused attention they need. But what about hiring? Unfortunately, that critical process—the one that keeps the company rolling—often gets left on the side of the road.

In a typical small or medium-sized business (SMB), the hiring manager is left to develop their own system for shepherding job listings, applications, and the interview process. This often means turning to the tools on hand: standard email and Excel spreadsheets. But these were not designed for the specific needs of talent acquisition and their use can make your job more difficult, more time consuming, and less effective.

Starter Tools (and Their Weaknesses)

Email is the starting point for your interaction with a candidate, but it can only get you so far. Moving key information out of email is an essential part of effective project management, and the same holds true for the hiring process. Anything stored in your inbox, or another folder in your email app, will quickly get washed away by the daily flood of messages. The same goes for any communication among members of your team as you discuss a candidate. Processing inquiries and applications is a must. But where to put the information?

A spreadsheet makes perfect sense. That’s what most people use, right? Yes, it is. And it can work for a while. Excel might get you through the process of filling the position that is open right now. It may even work for the next few. But the time you spend on administrative tasks will be significant and, over time, you will have little to show for it. Many applicants will be forgotten, résumés will be lost, and there is little chance of gaining insight into the numerous candidates who are interested in your company. This is especially true as you begin working with multiple roles and pipelines, because Excel was not designed to scale as the size of your candidate pools increases. For that, you need an applicant tracking system (ATS).


Seven Strengths of an ATS

This brings us back to those specialized solutions that are being used for other parts of your business. If you’re like many SMBs, you’re using Mailchimp, Basecamp, Trello, Asana, Hootsuite, Salesforce, etc. What about your HR staff? Replacing their patchwork solution with an ATS can give them the power that your sales, design, marketing, and customer service teams are already using to put your company at the top.

Here are seven reasons an ATS beats spreadsheets and email:

  1. Designed specifically for hiring.
  2. Centralizes candidate information.
  3. Allows for easy collaboration and feedback.
  4. Reduces time to hire.
  5. Creates a pipeline of talent.
  6. Surfaces the right hire at the right time.
  7. Tailored to your needs as an SMB.

An ATS takes into account the specific needs of, and challenges faced by, hiring managers. For those operating in Japan, ZooKeep is an excellent example of this. Crafted by people who understand the hiring needs of SMBs—not just in general but as they pertain to the Japanese market—ZooKeep provides a streamlined tool kit which creates a holistic process that simplifies talent acquisition operations. Everything you learn about a candidate, everything you need to know to make the best choice—it’s all right at your fingertips and accessible to everyone on your team.

Invest in Talent

Setting up an ATS and unleashing its power may take a bit of time, but not as much as you might think. And it’s time well spent, because with a safe, secure, centralized home for all aspects of your talent acquisition workflow, you’ll see real improvements in many key performance indicators, including:

  1. Time to hire
  2. Candidate satisfaction
  3. Quality of applicants
  4. Depth of talent pool
  5. Company reputation

Spreadsheets and email can keep you rolling down the road, but they won’t deliver the power and speed needed to send your business soaring. If you’re ready for a hands-on look at what an ATS can do for you, book a free demo today at: