Spreadsheets or ATS: Is the switch worth it?
Suggesting moving to an ATS from spreadsheets is often faced with a lot of pushback. “Our process works great for us,” “We built it to fit our needs exactly,” they are told with great pride. If you have responded with either of these lines to an ATS advocate, let me paint you a picture:
It started small. You were a team of one, you built a fantastically personalized and precise system for tracking applications on spreadsheets. At your scale, it works flawlessly.
Fast forward one or two years. Your company is scaling, and your boss tells you to hire 4 or 5 more recruiters to help keep up with the growth. You have hundreds of applicants to review every week, and keeping things up-to-date and in the right place in your sheets is starting to become time consuming. Five recruiters join the team, and you spend at least a week onboarding them, and several more making sure they are using the system properly.
Fast forward one more month. One of your new recruiters misuses an automation. Confidential applicant information is sent to the wrong place and shared publicly. You may have broken GDPR compliance. It was a small mistake but now your company could be faced with a 10 million euro fine, or worse. Your company takes a hit, and because you were the one overseeing the whole process, your job is now on the line.
Spreadsheets are great with one person. Can work with a few people. But rarely scale beyond that.
But, come on – switching from spreadsheets to an ATS – do we really need to? Can't we wait a little longer?
Don’t wait. Here’s why:
If your business is thriving, then your team is growing - it's inevitable, and, unless your business fails (which I hope is not something you’re anticipating), it's never going to get easier. An entire system simply shouldn't break if an incorrect value is inputted or a formula is altered or deleted.
As mentioned above, data privacy is not something to mess around with. Unhappy applicants whose data has been leaked is one thing, but the consequences of GDPR noncompliance, as well as other noncompliance issues, can become a big pain in your side very quickly. Without a secure system, it's far too easy to accidentally violate these rules, and the consequences are dire.
When hiring more than five people a month, you need features like automated, personalized messaging, candidate self scheduling, and automated candidate qualification to provide a great candidate experience and not completely overwhelm your recruiters. With the right ATS and reasonable hiring volume, your hiring metrics will naturally improve.
At the end of the day, ATSs are designed to make your recruiting team as successful, low-stress, and efficient as possible. The software and their support teams are on your side.