For today’s startups, there are several things required to succeed. The first and the most important thing is a great idea. The second and only marginally less important thing is an ability to operate efficiently and at speed. For that reason, no startup can ignore any approach or technology that saves them time and money if they hope to survive.

That’s part of the reason that startups have been so quick to embrace robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI). In truth, there is no end to the ways that startups can gain an advantage by turning to technology in their daily operations. One of those ways has to do with how startups find and hire the talent they need to thrive and grow. That’s because a growing cadre of companies now offers applicant tracking systems in a SaaS model it’s perfect for small, growing companies. Here’s a look at why an a SaaS company can be a game-changer for startups and what their options are.

Why Use an Applicant Tracking System?

Startups, more than any other stage of the company, rely on talented workers to build out new products and establish their markets. That makes building out a human resources (HR) department as close to a must-have as you will find for an average startup. At the same time, research reveals that as much as 70% of today’s 35-and-under workforce would prefer a job at a startup to an established company. That means the HR departments within startup businesses have their hands full with eager job applicants ready to join their cause.

The problem, however, is that screening all those potential new hires takes time, and that costs money. If there’s anything most startups can ill afford, it’s spending significant portions of their operating budgets on anything other than building viable products and lines of business. Using a SaaS system makes it possible for a small, agile startup HR department to handle the torrent of applicants, each opening attracts and provides benefits including:

  • Centralized Resume Storage
  • Providing Searchable Talent Databases
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Greater Hiring Transparency
  • Automated Applicant Pre-Screening

In short, a SaaS can take care of the time-consuming work it takes to narrow down candidates for a position by reading and ranking applicant resumes with little to no intervention. Also, most resume builder services now format their output, expecting it to be read by HR, so it just makes sense to use one.

Choosing the Right Startup

As mentioned earlier, there’s no shortage of SaaS and cloud-based systems aimed at startups and other small companies. It’s a growing and vibrant segment, filled with enough solutions to meet any startup’s needs. The major players include:

1. Hire by Google

For years, Google has offered a small business software suite that aims to be a comprehensive solution to the needs of growing companies. It made sense, then, when they added Hire by Google to their G Suite business offering. The system provides users with a fully-integrated hiring solution that does everything they could need. Major features include:

  • Posting openings on multiple job boards at once
  • Automated online profile search to assemble candidate data (finds things like LinkedIn and GitHub profiles)
  • Automated resume keyword highlighting
  • Smart interview scheduling
  • Click-to-call and automated contact logging

Put simply, Hire by Google automates much of the repetitive processes involved in hiring, and does it in a single neat, attractive interface. As a bonus, it’s a natural fit for any startup that uses the other G Suite solutions, since it’s fully integrated into Gmail and Google Calendar.

2. Zoho Recruit

As a company, Zoho is known as the place to go for business software solutions aimed at small businesses. The Zoho Recruit platform has a SaaS solution for that same market segment. What makes Zoho Recruit such an attractive proposition is the fact that it provides all of the basic features a startup could need in an ATS, and it integrates with all of Zoho’s other small business management software. Best of all, the basic version comes free of charge for a single user managing one active job, making it a no-brainer for a startup just building out their HR staffing and processes. Major features include:

  • Advanced candidate data search
  • Centralized job posting management
  • Centralized resume storage
  • Automatic resume parsing
  • Built-in online career portal for job seekers

Like Hire for Google, the main draw is the fact that Zoho has software solutions for everything a startup needs, and they all work together. Zoho Recruit is also one of the more affordable ATS solutions out there, so it will serve its purpose while not draining precious startup funds, too.

3. Greenhouse

One of the things that startups often struggle with is how to build a workplace culture that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. That’s what the Greenhouse ATS solution aims to help with. It does so by being one of the most data-centric ATS systems available to the startup segment, including built-in analytics and reporting tools that are second to none. Better still, the Greenhouse software ecosystem is all about HR, so the platform also offers an onboarding component, CRM functionality, and tools purpose-built to root out unconscious bias and create consistent applicant evaluation processes. Major features include:

  • Automated job postings on multiple job boards, as well as social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Automatic application screening with user-customized selection criteria
  • Interview scheduling and reminder systems
  • Advanced analytics tools and reporting functions

Taken together, the Greenhouse ATS solution provides everything the modern startup needs to find candidates from all kinds of different backgrounds and to build a healthy workplace culture that will stand the test of time.

4. Bullhorn Staffing and Recruiting

Every startup wants to become the next market unicorn. That means that no two startups are likely to do things the same way, or have the same needs in an ATS system. Bullhorn Staffing and Recruiting offers an ATS solution that covers all the standard bases – and has a robust third-party integration marketplace that aims to cover every outside-the-box use case imaginable. Major features include:

  • Unlimited user interface customization
  • Compatibility with Salesforce automation
  • Automated candidate search
  • Huge list of available feature integrations

The only major downside to the Bullhorn solution is that it is among the priciest options in the market. The high price tag does mean, however, that any startup that chooses this solution won’t ever outgrow it, because the endless customizations allow it to scale up to an enterprise-class solution that would be right at home in today’s biggest corporations.

The Bottom Line

Any of the above solutions would make an excellent addition to a startup’s HR arsenal. They all act as force-multipliers, allowing fewer HR staff to stay on top of endless floods of job applicants, and see to the voracious talent needs of a growing business. They all accomplish that without being cost-prohibitive, too. The bottom line is that in a world where startups live and die based on their ability to iterate, grow, and evolve efficiently, an ATS is a natural fit. And now that the SaaS market seems to be offering ATS solutions for all manner of startup needs, they should take advantage of it and make sure to stay ahead of the curve – and the competition.

Andrej Kovacevic

Andrej is a dedicated writer and digital evangelist. He is pursuing an ongoing mission to share the benefits of his years of hard-won expertise with business leaders and marketing professionals everywhere. He is a contributor to a wide range of technology-focused publications, where he may be found discussing everything from neural networks and natural language processing to the latest in smart home IoT devices. If there's a new and exciting technology, there's a good chance Andrej is writing about it somewhere out there.