10 Ways an ATS System Could Save Your Restaurant $10k

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June 8, 2022

An ATS system may be just the answer restaurants across the globe have been looking for. In an industry notorious for high turnover, finding a cost-effective applicant tracking solution is critical.

In this article, we’ll discuss 10 ways ATS systems could save your restaurant $10,000. After all, in all businesses, and especially restaurants, time is money. So, not only can an ATS system help you avoid spending countless hours on your recruitment and onboarding process, it can also save you the big bucks.

What is an applicant tracking system? 

An ATS system, also known as an applicant tracking system, is software used by employers and recruiters. An ATS tracks a candidate from the start of the recruitment process all the way through to the final hiring process.

ATS systems offer a wide range of capabilities, from full-service suites to the simple functionality of a database. The more advanced ATS systems provide tools that make it easier for companies to analyze, manage, and filter candidates.

Why do restaurants need an ATS System? 

One thing restaurants share in common is that they thrive on how they attract, hire, and maximize their top talents. Despite it being such a critical component to the success of a restaurant, most restaurants find the hiring or onboarding process a challenge.

A good ATS system will offer various capabilities to help a restaurant find, hire, and retain the most qualified candidates. Here are a few of the reasons restaurants need an ATS system:

Improving efficiency and lower costs.

In the restaurant industry, applicants move through the hiring process at a notoriously slow speed. Much of this has to do with a combination of effects, including things like:

  • Miscommunication with key hiring stakeholders
  • Poor collaboration across the recruitment team
  • Reliance on an inefficient manual process

The result adds up to extremely high time-to-hire and cost-to-hire ratios for your restaurant.

Throughout the candidate’s journey in the hiring cycle, an ATS system creates ample opportunity to automate historically manual processes. Not only are opportunities for communication increased but this opens up more visibility across the board to the entire staff responsible for recruitment.

Increasing the engagement of candidates.

A high-touch process can be achieved when advancing a candidate along the journey from first contact to start date. It’s common to hear of losing top candidates for positions due to poor engagement regarding interview schedules or slow response times all around.

An ATS system will ensure that touch points aren’t overlooked or forgotten. In the end, you'll achieve greater visibility across the lifecycle of every applicant.

Staying relevant and competitive.

ATS systems are something the top companies are already using. In 2019, 99% of the Fortune 500 companies were using ATS systems for recruitment. These companies already know they are achieving faster access to a wider pool of candidates by leveling the playing field with an ATS system.

Optimizing the onboarding process.

In an industry notorious for issues with productivity and retention, finding an ATS can help alleviate some of these woes. Increase overall productivity by ensuring that candidates accepting employment at your restaurant have access to all the information they need right from the get-go.

An ATS system helps to assist not only with the hiring process but also with streamlining the onboarding process. 

Sourcing and attracting qualified candidates.

Some restaurants find casting a wide enough net in the marketplace a struggle.  Since they lack the reach, they also fail in connecting with the top job seekers out there. And even those who have the reach may lack the critical data to help narrow down their searches. Finding specific candidates to fill their positions is a real struggle in these instances.

Thankfully, you can address these critical recruitment challenges with an ATS system. Some systems are so advanced they have been enriched with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to be able to:

  • Predict success factors in candidates
  • Assess and identify skill sets
  • Create a profile of the ideal candidate

Having the ability to predict success factors in candidates helps to maximize each hire, target specific job seekers, amplify brand recognition, and better understand candidate behavior on the channels and platforms they use the most.

How can an ATS System save restaurants money? 

Unsurprisingly, an ATS system will come with upfront costs, and it will also take some time to learn its functions. But, in the long run, you can look at it as a valuable investment into your restaurant.

An ATS system can save restaurants tens of thousands of dollars. Here’s how.

1 - An ATS helps you hire faster. 

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) releases the Human Capital Benchmarking Report to help quantify some of the figures behind hiring new employees. According to the SHRM, it takes 42 days to fill an open position for the average company. Another shocking figure released by this report is that the average cost-per-hire is currently $4,129.

In other words, if you are looking to hire 3 people or more, ever, an ATS will save you $10,000 or more there alone.

Because ATS software helps filter, manage, and analyze clients so that you don’t have to do it yourself (or pay someone else to do so), you can help expedite your hiring process. When you automate your hiring process, you can save time and money.

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2 - An ATS System helps you hire better candidates.

When it comes to hiring for your restaurant, you want to ensure you find the most qualified candidates. Thanks to the advanced technology found within an ATS system, you can closely analyze candidates before even meeting them.

Your ATS system will help sift the most qualified candidates from the seemingly endless influx of applications you may receive, but it will also help to encourage passive candidates to apply.

An ATS system helps make the job application process as easy as possible, promoting applications from more candidates. Additionally, ATS systems enable employee referrals utilizing online job boards and social media.

Although it’s hard to quantify the value of a quality employee vs someone who isn’t a high performer, we estimate that a good server can sell at least 10k more product than an average server per year.  Another way an ATS can help save you 10l

3 - An ATS System allows you to customize your job posting.

Ultimately, an ATS system serves to help you make better hiring decisions faster. Part of this has to do with the ability to customize things from your end.

Allowing you to customize your job posting is one of the many benefits of an ATS system. Your company will likely have individualized hiring flows for different positions you are looking to fill. The hiring process for an entry level position is going to look different than that of a manager or director, for example.

The customization aspect of an ATS system allows you to maintain this hiring flow. Create custom recruitment steps for each job posting and be able to consistently track candidates moving along the recruitment process.

Develop more effective job descriptions.

Stronger job descriptions are critical in capturing the attention of the most qualified candidates on the market. ATS systems often have templates to help develop job descriptions that will capture the attention your restaurant needs.

4 - You can safeguard from applicants re-applying at different locations. 

It’s not unusual to find candidates applying multiple times through various locations for the same position. Some people view the hiring process as a numbers game. Unfortunately, for anyone responsible for recruitment, this means sifting through countless duplicate applications and spam.

With the help of an ATS system, built in algorithms work to filter out any duplicates to avoid wasting your precious time. 

This is not only a win when it comes to saving time - but it can also help prevent hires that were previously let go or fired for decreasing morale or company productivity. A bad employee can cost an establishment thousands of dollars in lost revenue.  

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5 - You can manage hiring at multiple locations.

Restaurants are often in several locations, which means hiring for multiple stores can be very challenging. The recruitment and onboarding process for candidates across multiple locations is one you are likely to struggle with, especially when dealing with seasonal peaks.

An ATS system helps to eliminate challenges associated with managing your hiring across multiple locations. The system should offer multi-site functionality, which allows different levels of access throughout the company. In this system, regional directors (or equivalent) are able to monitor the hiring process across multiple locations. Similarly, store managers will only have access to their individual restaurant.

If you run more than one operation these savings can quickly add up - one person at three locations 

6 - You can integrate it with the rest of your HR system.

If you’re worried about adding yet another software system to your restaurant’s arsenal, don’t. Another benefit of using an ATS system is that it can integrate with the rest of your HR system for a flawless hiring process.

In the simplest form, your ATS system can feature website integration, making collection of resumes quick and easy. Beyond the basics, you can also find a system that integrates with existing software or HR systems you have in place.

Having an ATS system integrated with your existing HR system means you can seamlessly funnel applicants into your restaurant’s system. You can even go further and look into add other integration tools, including:

  • Background checks
  • Job boards
  • HRIS
  • Interview technology
  • Self-onboarding and digitization of documents

Having a system that integrates all of these tools into one means you can save countless hours through automation - hours that would likely add up to thousands each year.

The self onboarding functionality is the real treat as it features an employee onboarding wizard.  The task is no longer in your hands - it’s in theirs!  And every HR professional knows, great onboarding is linked to retention… speaking of.. 

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7 - You can improve retention.

Everyone in the restaurant industry is constantly battling with employee turnover. Unfortunately for managers, this means constantly being absorbed by the hiring process, which costs the company time and money.

To help minimize your risks with new hires and turnover, focus efforts on finding the right candidates from the get-go. Thankfully, ATS systems can help you accomplish this goal.

How? Employees are more likely to stay if they truly understand what the role is about when they apply, and are the right fit for the job before the join.  In using and ATS you can customzie settings to ensure you are seeking and finding the right fits for the job. 

8 - You can scale effortlessly. 

The term scaling refers to increasing revenue and size at faster rates than costs in your restaurants. Scaling, along with hiring, are two issues restaurant owners are constantly concerned with. So, wouldn’t you want to find the solution that allows you to scale your restaurant?

Finding an ATS system that works for your restaurant is one way you can successfully scale your business. While there may be a learning curve involved at first, the time and effort put into an ATS system will pay off tenfold.

Gain the proper tools to scale quickly while creating a successful and repeatable model when you take the time to find a good ATS system. 

Having a system that allows you to scale could be the ticket to increasing profits by 10k, 20k, 100k or more. 

9 - You can increase communication.

It’s crucial in all restaurants to improve communication between candidates and hiring managers. Unfortunately, for everyone involved, this is an area of recruitment in which nearly all restaurants fall short.

Hiring teams have become more spread out. One negative side effect of this dispersion is the increased struggle with efficiency due to lack of collaboration. With an ATS system, you will be able to customize things so that anyone involved in the hiring process can obtain access. They can see how far a candidate has come and what else they have to accomplish in the recruitment and onboarding funnel.

Having an ATS in place helps to remove some of the issues that arise from poor communication streams. 

Using and ATS that integrates with your interviewing software is another way to increase streamlining in your solution. 

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10 - You can interview for soft skills.

Hiring managers can’t overlook soft skills when interviewing candidates, which means that in the application vetting process there must be a way to analyze these attributes. Now, more than ever, hiring for soft skills is critical to the restaurant industry.

Turn your restaurant’s hiring manager’s attention away from screening and filtering and allow them to focus more time on soft skills. Characteristics like work ethic, creativity, and leadership may not come through in resumes, but in well-vetted candidates you will undoubtedly see these soft skills in the interview process.

Who can put a price tag on that? 

Our final thoughts on applicant tracking systems for restaurants.

Now that you know more about ATS systems, including what they are, why your restaurant needs them, and how they can save you money, it’s time to start looking for the right product. Above all, find something that integrates with your existing systems for a seamless recruitment and onboarding process for candidates.

We hope this article helped you understand how implementing a great ATS can help your restaurant save $10,000 (or more).  If you are curious to learn more about hiring or retention, book a demo with us today!

Want to learn more tips to employee retention? Download our free restaurant retention checklist here!

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June 2022


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