Playing Devil’s Advocate on Behalf of Applicant Tracking Systems

It would seem as though public opinion would have us believe that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are inherently evil or, at the very least, mildly terrifying to use.
The question is why?
Designed to automate the recruitment process via a defined workflow, the ATS software enables Human Resources (HR) pros to save hundreds, if not thousands, of hours spent looking through candidate profiles every year. Sure, there’s the possibility of losing out on a few good candidates during the automated filtering process but is that really enough to warrant a bad rep?
Well, the answer to that really depends on how we, as implementers of the technology, decide how we are going to use it. We must recognise that the HR and recruiting space extends well beyond the ATS and we actually have the power to shape the recruitment process. Technology is designed to act as support and this should not negate the value of human participation. By marrying technology and process, organisations can strengthen their overall recruitment strategy without becoming overly reliant on any one technology.
That said, the call to arms against the ATS isn’t without justification, especially as it relates to candidate experience. As such, it is up to the providers (and to some extent, users) to make it work better for themselves. Here’s how:
[bctt tweet=”Playing Devil’s Advocate on Behalf of Applicant Tracking Systems”]

Step one

Determine how the technology can support your company’s recruiting objectives and move accordingly.
Take a walk in someone else’s shoes to find out what HR and recruiting pros need to do to close the so-called black hole and improve hiring using the aforementioned ATS.

Step two

Implement an ongoing maintenance schedule.
Collect feedback from internal stakeholders as well as job candidates in order to adjust how ATS supports your organisation. Consider The Candidate Experience Awards model which uses three survey rounds to solicit feedback at all stages of the recruiting process in order to determine benchmarks.

Step three

The third and final step requires taking a stand against negative attitude.
ATS providers have the luxury of being highly educated about their solutions, more so than most users and the market in general. Using this as leverage, talent management systems and ATS providers should move to help their users understand the full functionality of these products as well as how it can support strategy. Chances are many HR and recruiting pros will learn about untapped features and additional resources that will reaffirm the usefulness of their ATS.

Elaine will be distilling the art and science of modern day recruitment at this year’s Sourcing Social Talent #SST15 event in November. Join her and other global leaders in talent sourcing to learn more. Register for the event in Melbourne, Sydney or Auckland.


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