Three Reasons Using Spreadsheets and Email to Hire Is Costing You Time and Money

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You may be thinking, “spreadsheets and email have worked for me so far.” And, as a growing business, managing recruitment with spreadsheets may have worked fine for your first handful of hires. But as your organization grows, so must the tools you use.

So, where do you start? You’re going to want to look for an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS is software that enables companies to manage the hiring process. Getting your recruitment process out of spreadsheets and into an ATS will save you time and money – and reduce the stress that goes along with finding your next hire.

piles of paperwork

1. You’ve Already Outgrown The Spreadsheet / Email System

Chances are, by the time you’ve decided to create a spreadsheet to manage hiring, you already have a few people on your team. And if you’re involving any of them in the hiring process, everyone is expending valuable time looking at spreadsheets, forwarding emails and printing out multiple copies of candidate documents. Even if you only have 5 people on your team now, if each of them spends a couple of hours sifting through spreadsheets and emails regarding candidates, that’s over 10 man hours that could have been focused on revenue-generating activities.

Using an applicant tracking system can reduce that time by over 75%, freeing up employees to focus on their own work and not feel drained or frustrated that they’re spending so much time on filling an open position.

2. Potential For Human Errors

According to a recent article published on Marketwatch, almost 90% of company spreadsheets have errors. And all the back and forth – copying and pasting to enter information from an email or resume into a spreadsheet – leaves you open for mistakes.

Data that’s used to make personnel decisions needs to be accurate. And getting a candidate’s information wrong could also lead to some embarrassing or awkward moments for your team in the hiring process. Just a couple of minor errors could mean you could make an offer to an unqualified candidate or miss out on your next great hire.

With an ATS, you’ll leave the data entry up to the candidate, the person with the most invested in getting the information right.

3. Weak Reporting Functionality

Using a spreadsheet and email to track hiring makes it hard to tell which job board candidates saw your job posting and if paid job placements are bringing you strong candidates. While creating reports in a spreadsheet is possible, it takes time to set them up – and only the most advanced spreadsheet users can go beyond the basics.

Several ATS systems provide some sort of advanced analytics and include the ability to pre-screen, see which job boards are getting the most candidates, and execute EEOC surveys – saving you even more time and money in the hiring process.

Breaking Up With Spreadsheets and Email

Now that you’re ready to transition from spreadsheets and email to an ATS here are a few things to consider when looking for an ATS provider:

  • Ease of use – the system should be intuitive so anyone involved in hiring can get up to speed quickly.
  • Candidate tracking – the ability to track the source of the candidate (job board, employee referral, etc.) and track the candidate throughout the hiring process.
  • Sharing – it should be simple for managers to share information within the ATS, such as interview notes.

And lastly, take time to discuss internally before making a selection. This will ensure that the ATS you’ve chosen is the one that works best for your company’s needs and budget.

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About the Author


Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell is the Director of Marketing at HiringThing, an online application provider dedicated to changing the way small and medium businesses hire talent. Follow HiringThing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too!


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