Understanding the Features Offered by a Small Business Applicant Tracking System

It’s important to understand the features of a small business applicant tracking system when determining which system to buy. Each system can be quite different, and if you just pick one that sounds good, you might miss out on things you need and pay for things you never use. We’ll use the features of our small business applicant tracking system, Recruiteze, as an example to help you understand what you’re getting when you purchase an applicant tracking system.

Small Business Applicant Tracking System

Understanding the Features Offered by a Small Business Applicant Tracking System

Job Board Posting

Small business applicant tracking systems with automatic job board posting can save you a staggering amount of time in which you’d normally be doing nothing but submitting a new job opening to each job board you want it on. That’s a complete waste.

An applicant tracking system will usually include some feature to automate this process for you, but you want to learn how many job boards it will submit to so you can ensure it will meet your needs. Some applicant tracking systems may only automatically submit to one or a small number of job boards when you need to post to different boards or more boards than it handles.

Bulk Uploads

All of your old and new resumes need to be stored in one system to help you stay organized and so you can enjoy features like candidate search. To achieve this wonderful state, applicant tracking systems give you the ability to upload old resumes to your system. This feature is also helpful if you receive resumes from other sources than your careers page, such as emails from someone you know or results from sourcing software.

If you have to submit one or a few resumes at a time to an applicant tracking system, it is a time-wasting exercise that is counterproductive to the purpose of your system. Check the number of uploads the applicant tracking system you’re considering says it can handle at one time. Unlimited is ideal!

Resume Parsing

When a resume is uploaded to the system, old or new, it is scanned and turned into searchable information so the system can connect the candidate to a certain job or manager and make it possible for you to search them by a wide variety of parameters. No more sorting through resumes.

This process is performed automatically when you upload a resume or a resume is sent to the system from the careers page, and it only takes seconds.

Duplicate Prevention

If someone has sent you multiple resumes, rather than your system being disorganized by keeping each separate resume like they are multiple candidates, the system will combine the information for that candidate into one file so you can keep track of every dealing with the candidate and not think you have more candidates than you do. This is a major improvement in organization and efficiency.

You may be wondering how it does this. The system recognizes the candidate by their email address and groups all resumes with that email address into the same candidate file.

Candidate Workflow

A workflow is the path your candidate takes through the hiring process, such as applying, phone interviewing, face-to-face interviewing, and training. Small business applicant tracking systems track a candidate’s progress, helping you to stay organized and efficient, reduce hiring times, and appear more professional. You don’t have to keep up with the candidate’s progress yourself, saving you time and preventing errors. And if multiple managers will be engaging with the same candidates, they can instantly get up to date on the candidates’ status.

It is possible with some applicant tracking systems to customize the workflow to your business’ own hiring process. If this is important to you, ensure you that you can customize it and learn what can be customized about the workflow.


Information about small business applicant tracking systems will usually include the term, “responsive.” This means the software is responsive to the demands of the device it is viewed on. Instead of an interface staying the same size and format for pcs and smartphones and giving users a frustrating and potentially unusable interface, a responsive design allows the interface to appear differently on different devices so it works optimally no matter what device a person is accessing the interface with.

This is important if you plan to:

  • use your applicant tracking system on the go
  • if multiple people will be using the applicant tracking system and may use different devices
  • you’re offering an online job application to your candidates (you’ll want to do this)

Careers Page

A careers page is a portion of a business’ website dedicated to information about hiring. It may include job openings, contact information, a list of benefits, a corporate mission statement, or anything you want to include to make the hiring process smoother and build your employer brand.

A small business applicant tracking system can help with this by keeping your job openings in sync with the job openings you list on job boards and in your system.

It should also give you options to control how the page looks and what information is displayed. Learn what options are available to you when selecting your applicant tracking system to see what will most fit your needs.

Bear in mind that the more information you provide, the better candidates you’ll receive. This allows candidate to engage in self-screening, where they discover that they aren’t a good match before sending in a resume and forcing you to figure it out and notify them. It also fosters more excitement in the candidates who are good matches. When they learn more about your business, they become more passionate about working for you.

Online Job Applications

A small business applicant tracking system can offer electronic applications accessible from the careers page so applicants can apply anytime, anywhere, and their resumes will be submitted directly to the applicant tracking system’s candidate database.

This makes the application process much more rewarding for you and the candidate, and most of them expect it now because online job applications have become so common.

It is a good idea to consider how efficient the electronic application process is. If it’s irritating, they may lose interest and try out someone else’s that’s easier. The quicker and easier you make your application process, the more resumes you’ll end up with. This means having an online job application and checking it periodically to ensure it is easy to use. You’ll need to do this to be competitive.

Candidate Notes

When you read a resume for the first time, the second time, while conducting the phone interview, during a face-to-face interview, and while communicating with them at any time, you have thoughts or gain information you want to remember. Candidate notes give you the ability to jot this information down in the file with their resume so it can easily be found again whenever reviewing the candidate’s information by any manager who uses the system.

This is excellent for both organization and efficiency and proving compliance.

Email Templates

A small business applicant tracking system should give you the ability to contact candidates directly from within the system, making it an easy one-click step. They can also automatically respond to candidates with a rejection, an invitation to interview, or to provide more information about their step in the hiring process.

Email templates are the examples the system uses to send communication. Some of these may be premade by the vendor or customized by you. If it’s important to you to have customized ones and to customize certain criteria, you’ll want to check the options the system provides before purchase.

Reporting and Analytics

You can’t have an efficient hiring process without measurable goals. You won’t know how well it’s working or what needs to be fixed for it to work at peak efficiency.

Small business applicant tracking systems include reporting and analytics features to make measuring and comparing metrics really easy and to tie it into your automated application system.

Before purchase, you’ll want to learn more about the system’s individual reporting and analytics features. Some individual metrics may be more relevant or important to your business. You’ll also want to know how it displays the information, such as whether it offer results in any format you need like by day, week, month, and year.

Time Zone Configuration

Without time zone configuration, times listed for communications and such may be confusingly different from the actual times they happened where you live and work. An applicant tracking system is supposed to make life easier, quicker, and less confusing for you. Time zone math skills don’t fit into that well.


Features of small business applicant tracking systems can seem very confusing to a novice. You may not understand what they are or why you need them. It’s important to educate yourself on the features an applicant tracking system can provide, and what options they can offer, so you can select the right small business applicant tracking system for your business’ unique needs.