Jack Pearson owns an advertising firm in Portsmouth, NH. He started with just two people – his wife and himself. In six short months, and three contracts later, he was in the market to hire five people. He put up the openings on a couple job boards and his LinkedIn and Facebook pages. He got about 75 resumes in his email inbox in one work week. Between his wife and him, they spent a lot of late nights sorting those attachments and short listing candidates that he wanted to interview, and replying to them.

Jack needed to spend a lot of his time with clients and wanted to get those handful of candidates in the most efficient way. Now, hiring is a human process – after a point – there are no shortcuts. But when Jack heard about an online tool that could simplify this entire manual process from posting the opening, to scheduling and communicating with candidates in one central place – he was excited.

An online applicant tracking system is the “hiring war room” for your company – no matter how big or small you are. It helps you organize job applications to your company. You need not receive resume attachments in your email and open each one. With email, there is a chance of losing some attachment if you get a lot of mails, and also there is no easy way to share notes on a resume with your team. Further, such a system allows you to create your opening and publish the same on the web in a professional looking careers page. Once you receive an application to the same opening, that candidate’s resume is automatically searchable in this system.

Jack and his wife used such a system for every subsequent hiring cycle and it was also easy for them to transition the hiring process to the HR person they hired 8 months later. Everything was organized by openings and candidates in this online database. Previously, Jack was pained by email and excel, but when he switched to the software, his manual efforts reduced by 70% and he could make faster hiring decisions.

There are lot of online, monthly subscription tools that can help us manage our businesses more efficiently, whether it is for hiring, sales, customer service or project management.