Did you know applicants are complaining about applicant tracking systems (ATSs)? Applicants feel they’re “killing” their chances of getting an interview (in fact, 75 percent of applicants thought so). They think ATSs are flawed and that if you’re using an ATS, you value keywords on the resume more than candidates having the right skills.
That’s not why the ATS was created! In fact, that’s the exact opposite—every recruiter is most successful when they fill a position with a great candidate.
The truth is that not all systems are created equally. As much as we want to cut down the time it takes us to manage applicants, we also know we need to keep ourselves involved in the process. Here are some things an ATS needs to ensure it’s making life easier for both recruiters and applicants:
· Automate what you can, but stay involved with what really matters. Sure, it makes sense to automate job listings to different websites/job boards or send out standard replies for applicants during some stages of the process. But don’t rely on keywords to choose the best applicants. Make sure you have some human eyes looking through and making sure you’re not dismissing great candidates because they don’t use the exact same words on their resume that some think they should. In HR, we celebrate people and love that they’re creative and unique—so don’t penalize them for being just that!
· Don’t make uploading information a chore. What exactly is your ATS asking applicants to fill out? Is it asking the same questions most already have listed on their resumes? Is it asking specific questions about dates of pay raises or old boss’s names from many years previous that applicants won’t remember—or have the time to look up? Make it easy for applicants to apply to your company so you’re not turning away great applicants before they hit the “apply” button. The system should also be simple and intuitive for the recruiter to use as well.
· Go simple. Most of the time, simple is better. One of the best ways an ATS can save recruiters and new hires time is by allowing the system to transfer information about the applicant-turned-employee into your HR system to create a seamless onboarding experience. No one likes wasting time. We know our greatest value lies in hiring the best people, not in just filling an opening. Using an ATS that simplifies the time it takes to find great applicants so you can focus your efforts on the more strategic parts of recruiting—like workplace planning, compensation strategy and evaluating applicants to hire the best person for the job.
An ATS is an integral part of any recruiter’s hiring process. Remember, how you hire impacts who you hire.