The right applicant tracking system (ATS) provides so much more value than just automating the process of collecting applications and storing resumes for future use. While these two features might be attractive enough to some companies, they barely scratch the surface when it comes to improving recruiting success.

The benefit of an ATS extends far beyond automation and storage. For starters, an ATS is no longer an option for small business. It’s a necessity if they expect to attract and compete for skilled workers. An ATS is essential if a business expects to be fully staffed with quailed workers.

Here are reasons why an applicant tracking system adds value and a competitive advantage for your business.

No Rock UnturnedRecruit from Multiple Sources

Attracting enough qualified worker in today’s job market requires simultaneous sourcing through multiple channels such as social media, job boards, print, and your company career site.  Many companies, especially small businesses, tend to focus on the one single big boulder theory.  They believe if they roll it over they will find the qualified worker pot-of-gold. Single source recruiting just doesn’t work anymore.  A successful sourcing strategy in today’s market requires turning over a field of stones, looking for the diamonds in the rough.

Screen Faster

Unfortunately seeking those diamonds in the rough increases the flow of unqualified resumes too. The “resu-mess” that often results overwhelms and consumes many recruiters and HR.  Screening applicants manually is time consuming and inefficient. The sorting and filing of thousands of applications isn’t productive.  An ATS can automate sourcing multiple applicant markets and sort, screen, and qualify more candidates faster.

Build Internal Talent Pool

For many small businesses, recruiting is a just-in-time function.  Recruiting begins when a job opening occurs through an employee termination or new job creation.  But with time to hire ratios increasing, that means delays in filling positions.  With quit rates rising and skilled and dependable workers in short supply, starting a new campaign each time a job vacancy occurs is ludicrous.  Over time, an ATS helps a business build its own internal talent pool upon which it can draw when openings occur.

Measure, Measure, Measure

A significant but overlooked advantage to using an ATS is the ability to measure and monitor results.  For example, a company needs to use multiple sources but not all sources will be equally effective or even necessary for all positions.  Knowing which sources work best for one job or one location will save time, money, and resources. Measurement and monitoring allows recruiters to find those “fields of qualified applicants” that reap the best employees. Tracking applicants and monitoring results through spreadsheets are effective but horribly inefficient and inaccurate.

Maintaining a fully staffed workforce is not for the faint of heart. But it’s a critical all-important strategy for growing a business.  Full employment within a business takes a full blown commitment to reaching applicants from multiple sources, sorting out the unqualified effortlessly, engaging the qualified quickly, and building an internal talent pool of qualified workers.  The right ATS can meet all these needs efficiently, effectively, and affordably.