How to Know Which Small Company Applicant Tracking System Is Right for You

There is a lot of competition out there, so how do you know which small company applicant tracking system is the right one for your business? You don’t want to purchase one without the right features, that is too hard to learn, or isn’t flexible in payment or upgrading options. Read on to learn what you should consider to make a wise purchase.

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How to Know Which Small Company Applicant Tracking System Is Right for You

Different Kinds of Small Company Applicant Tracking Systems

There are many different applicant tracking systems to choose from. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the features they offer so you can compare them effectively. It’s also important to understand the various services that a vendor can provide to ensure you aren’t missing out on something that would make a huge difference in the usefulness, reliability, and affordability for your small company applicant tracking system. Features are crucial, but you can’t use even the best features if the software doesn’t work or you can’t afford it anymore.

Your Needs

Is the software meeting your needs? A snazzy new small company applicant tracking system isn’t doing you much good if it isn’t addressing the needs of your individual business. It may be a top-rated, excellent bit of software, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you or that your business will benefit from using it.

You’ll have to define what you need, whether that is to:

  • reduce hiring costs
  • improve retention rates
  • attract more, better candidates
  • improve candidate experience
  • make better hires
  • Improve diversity

People talk about how much help recruiting software and applicant tracking systems are, and it isn’t just talk. Small company applicant tracking systems can help your business tremendously, if you buy one specifically targeted to meet your needs. Otherwise, it’s just a pain in the neck and expense to boot. A poor choice of small company applicant tracking system could turn you off the software altogether and you could mistakenly miss out on the advantages of a really helpful tool.

You may need a combination CRM and ATS. Thankfully, many CRMs and ATSs combine features of the other type to meet business’ exact needs. This is why it’s important to understand the features, so you can determine the individual things you need rather than just checking for a term and assuming that software will be great for you.

The Right Features

Will you use most of the features? You want to limit paying for features you won’t use and don’t think you’ll need in the foreseeable future.

For a very small business, you may want to offer candidates the convenience of online applications, but have a fairly simple interview and hiring process that doesn’t require much need for complicated workflow features.

You may not need a lot of fancy features that have to do with sharing information between multiple managers if you do all the hiring yourself and don’t plan to have anyone else do it in the foreseeable future.

One of your primary reasons for wanting a small company applicant tracking system might be so multiple owners or hiring managers can collaborate wherever they are. If so, you can’t do without the capability for multiple users and responsiveness to all devices. Compatibility and integration with other software will also help.

It’s all about your business’ unique goals and needs and not getting misled into thinking a popular small company applicant tracking system is necessarily the right answer. It may not be the right fit for your needs, in which case it may be more irritating than a help and you may have to pay too much for it.


How many open jobs do you typically have per month? If you really do a small amount of hiring, you could benefit from online job applications and resume storage and you’ll like the automatic job board submissions and other such features, but you won’t have the same kind of demand for these features as someone who posts a lot of job openings on a regular basis. Enjoy it, but don’t worry about these features and pay extra for them, unless they’re an important part of your business’ goals.

All of our plans at Recruiteze feature unlimited jobs. Exciting! But if you were going to try to go with another applicant tracking system, you would need to check to be sure that the plan you want to buy handles the amount of jobs you need per month.

Reporting and Analytics

If you don’t currently do much reporting and analytics for your hiring, then you could learn a great deal about what kind of things to analyze or new ways to measure what you already analyze. Maybe you are tracking metrics in a spreadsheet and the automated measuring from a small company applicant tracking system could take extra work off your plate.

If you are currently using reporting and analytics in other software, you’ll want to learn the details of what any applicant tracking system you are considering offers to see how it compares to or complements what you’re already doing. It may be a better or worse version of an analytics feature you have somewhere else or it may add features you currently don’t have. For instance, Recruiteze’s analytics can be measured by the day, week, month, and year. You might not have that with your current analytics software.

The Right Budget

There are small company applicant tracking systems to fit any budget. Depending on your needs, you may be able to find free, $10 per month, or $40 per month plans. For some special situations, you may be able to get a custom plan.

Consider your hiring expenses, the obvious costs as well as indirect costs like training time, retention, and reduced productivity. You may discover while doing this that you can afford more applicant tracking system than you realized, when you consider the return on investment you may receive. Businesses waste a lot of money in indirect hiring expenses, slow time-to-fill rates, and rehiring from poor retention.

Unlimited Options

A business that handles a small number of resumes per month may not need unlimited options, so if you find a small company applicant tracking system without it that you otherwise like, it’s fine for your current needs. You particularly don’t want to feel like you have pay extra to get one that has it.

If your business has a moderate or larger amount of resume traffic, you’ll probably wish you had unlimited options for things like resume uploading and email templates. If you have to keep telling the software to upload resumes or post jobs to different job boards, it cuts into the time you should be saving by using an applicant tracking system. And if you need more than one email template but the software doesn’t allow for that, the software simply isn’t helping you.


No small company applicant tracking system is going to be perfect for you forever. Hiring trends and technology will change. The vendor will discover things that can work better about their software, and some take suggestions from their customers. You’ll want to be able to easily implement each new improvement so you always have the best software. Look into information about the applicant tracking system to see how they describe their policies regarding upgrades.

Your business will also change. You might want to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your software plan. Choose a vendor who offers monthly plans rather than contracts and one who allows you to switch plans and cancel any time without penalty. Everyone likes flexibility, but it’s particularly important for small businesses.

Free Trial

Make sure any small company applicant tracking system you are considering has a free trial option, preferably one where you have full use of the software for a limited period of time rather than one of those who give you limited features. It is pretty much impossible to guarantee software will work for you until you’ve tried it. You can’t imagine all the potential things you’d like to do with a feature that you may not be able to until you get in there and try to do it. You also can’t tell if you like the interface. This is important, like test-driving a car.

Look for a free trial and even a demo. A demo allows you to try out the software with the aid of an expert. This way you can ask questions and learn how things work without having to do it the hard way and then submit a support ticket. The free trials that allow you full access to the software for a short period of time are the most helpful.


Not every small company applicant tracking system can help your business. You have to choose the one with the right features, with flexible monthly plans, and a convenient upgrade policy. Define your business’ unique needs, such as whether you want to reduce hiring costs, hire better candidates, or improve diversity. Then educate yourself on the features offered by small company applicant tracking systems so you can determine which ones you have to have to reach your goals, and which ones are not necessary. You want to find an applicant tracking system that has the features you need and as few as possible of the ones you don’t need so you don’t end up paying for more software than you need.

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