• The promise of ATS platforms like Fountain is automating away the heavier, time-consuming steps in recruitment to enable HR professionals to focus on more essential tasks.
  • The firm also launched Fountain Source recently, a suite of sourcing products and services that include new direct integration with Indeed.

The “Great Resignation” trend where employees are leaving their jobs at a higher than usual rate continues persistently.

As per a survey by PwC, 20% of the employees said they’re likely to switch jobs in the next 12 months, while some 35% plan to ask their employers for a raise in the next year. The reasons are multiple – workers list a lack of opportunities for advancement and fewer benefits among their major complaints.

Irrespective of the cause, the withdrawal is squeezing the hiring market across various industries, from restaurants to tech and retail.

The high likeliness to leave roles is burdening HR organizations, most of which expect hiring to become a considerable challenge for the rest of the year.

This has propelled companies to run campaigns in the software market for solutions, particularly Applicant Tracking System (ATS), with attributes that promise to align aspects of the job candidate search process.

Sean Behr, the CEO of ATS vendor Fountain, said, “The Great Resignation has been extremely difficult on the hourly workforce, with COVID restrictions adding complexity to how hourly workers can execute their responsibilities. Most importantly, the Great Resignation compounds the challenges in the hourly workforce.”

Sean Behr also said, “If you are part of a ten-person team staffing a restaurant or working a shift in a warehouse and two people resign, the remaining eight people need to do 25% more work just to stay on target. This leads those eight people to be even more likely to resign, and you get a downward spiral.”

One of the primary beneficiaries, Fountain, renewed interest in ATS.

Recently, the company announced that it had raised USD 100 million, which was led by B Capital Group with participation from SoftBank, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, DCM, Origin Ventures, Commerce Ventures, SemperVirens Venture Capital, and Uncork Capital.

Behr said, “Nearly 70% of the global workforce is hourly, and yet we saw that most hiring software was designed for hiring more corporate positions. As the gig and service economy exploded, the legacy ATS companies failed to evolve with it”.

He added, “We [at Fountain] understand that hiring for hourly workers is unique and fundamentally different, and so we are building a product designed to make a dent by keeping applicants connected through the process, ensuring hiring managers are engaged, and that recruiters feel empowered.”

Indeed, there’s proof that manual HR processes aggravate the challenges around a shortfall of employees.

A survey of employees in the UK found that 66% of HR departments still use traditional paper-based and manual methods for onboarding management. More than 33% of respondents said that paperwork, like compliance policies and contracts, was still pending when they started work.

The promise of ATS platforms like Fountain is automating away the heavier, time-consuming steps in recruitment to enable HR professionals to focus on more essential tasks.

For example, Fountain uses robotic process automation – software-based “robots” that handle repetitive, rule-based tasks – to minimize the requirement for recruiters to seek more information from candidates.

Using this platform, HR teams can publish openings to job boards like Indeed, get in touch with candidates over messages and video and leverage “automated” document e-signing, including Fountain’s professional sourcing service.

The latest additions to the platform include Instant hire and instant interview, which enable hiring to configure applicant workflows.

Simultaneously it will also allow candidates to launch an interview over the phone with a recruiter during the application process.

The firm also launched Fountain Source recently, a suite of sourcing products and services that include new direct integration with Indeed.

“A C-suite level manager in HR or operations cares about Fountain because the software will directly solve business problems and hiring challenges,” Behr said. “Automation and speed returns time to the HR team and means more time for other tasks. Removing re-work and simplifying workflows is key … Simplifying HR with one solution that can solve multiple problems, i.e., everything behind a single pane of glass.”

Fountain is not just the only ATS vendor. Behr believes startups and incumbents like Paycom, Workday, Icims, SmartRecruiters, and Jobvite to be the company’s top competitors. SmartRecruiters is formidable as it raised USD 110 million at a USD 1.5 billion valuation last year. Paycom has a market capitalization of over USD 16 billion, and Workday had raised USD 3 billion earlier this year through a debt offering.

Growth prospects, too, are questionable. Fountain, which declined to reveal any revenue figures, appears to have captured early tech adopters (like Instacart).

However, many other departments are hesitant to embrace new technologies. The PwC report showed eight of 10 HR leaders have trouble adopting new technology for reasons like lack of flexibility, competing priorities, or poor business planning.

Other organizations that already have deployed internal, custom-built systems face problems tackling hurdles in moving to a software-as-a-service model.

Behr is confident in Fountain’s approach – even considering the cloudy economic forecast.

He added, “the pandemic was a catalyst for advancing the embrace of technology solutions for hourly and on-demand work. Essential work impacts everyone daily, and Fountain is proud to have helped job seekers find new opportunities while partnering with our customers to achieve their hiring goals. We believe the current hourly labor market shortage will continue to drive investment in solutions like Fountain. We believe we are positioned well with this investment to weather any potential headwinds.”

With the new raised amount, Fountain plans to expand internationally with an eye on Europe and Asia and “widening the platform’s capabilities to offer more unique insights and analytics.” Following the trend, Fountain also aims to grow its team from 230 employees to 325 by the end of the year.