Hunting for a job isn’t easy and candidates are very frustrated with the process. Candidates that are in the large percentile that don’t get picked by the Applicant Tracking System are naturally more inclined to hate on the ATS. But sometimes, despite their need for a job, they just weren’t qualified or didn’t fit the company’s needs. Just the same, there are those in the HR and recruiting space who loathethe automation of the ATS. But that doesn’t mean these platforms aren’t any less necessary… they are.

The problem isn’t with the ATS itself, it’s the way it’s used. Chances are, many of the concerns you’ve had with your system can be attributed to user error. “More is better” isn’t always the case, especially with your platform. This is why you shouldn’t be so hard on the ATS. Learn the importance of choose the right ATS. 

More ISN’T Better

Massive job boards are a popular choice in placing job ads. The only problem: it exponentially increases the number of candidate applications and resumes that flood into your digital filing cabinet. Goldman Sachs alone only hired 3% of their 267,000 applicants last year. You look through all of the advice online from various industry thought leaders, but what you’ll find is the scatter your seed method. But seeds don’t prosper if they are haphazardly strewn across the land, right?

The same is true for your job ad. It has to be strategically placed so your ATS can sift through a reasonable amount of applications to pick a fewer number of great ones for you.

Remember: An overloaded, disorganized ATS is not an effective screening and hiring tool.

Choose The Right ATS, the Right Technique

There’s something to be said for purchasing the right ATS for your organization. Not all applicant tracking systems are the same, they have different bells and whistles and although one ATS might have everything you need, there’s a chance there are features you don’t use. That could affect the way your system works. Jackye Clayton (@JackyeClayton), Editor at, said:

“But before you bash your ATS, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’re actually using it as intended. Because the thing is, the majority of recruiting and staffing end users utilize their applicant tracking systems as a resume repository and job posting platform, features which, while designed to make online recruiting a little bit easier, aren’t, in fact, a core functionality for which these systems were originally conceived and dedicated.”

Remember: If you’re not using the included training and vendor provided assistance, you may not be getting the benefits your ATS offers.

The Platform Isn’t Broken

One thing to remember, one small, yet key feature to always keep in mind, your platform isn’t broken. You may not like the way it functions anymore, or your team simply doesn’t know how to use all of its features, but that doesn’t mean it’s malfunctioning. Really, it could be you just have too many applicants or the ATS doesn’t fit your needs anymore.

The ATS doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) remove the human aspect from the application process. It merely automates the administrative portions so recruiters can focus on their primary duty - interacting with candidates. But when you don’t have the right system in the first place, it becomes cumbersome, clunky and a loathed recruitment platform, as Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Executive Editor and Head of Content at Recruiting Daily, described: 

“In fact, almost every one of the many potential perils of the average recruiter out there today faces on the talent battlefield can be more or less directly traced to the system that they’re forced to rely on, even at the expense of recruiting efficacy, efficiency, and optimal outcomes.”

Remember: Even if you didn’t choose your ATS, you need to use it in order to do your job, which is hiring the right talent for your organization.

Despite the reservations or any struggles you may have with your applicant tracking system, you shouldn’t abandon the idea of an applicant tracking system just yet. You may simply scatter your job ads too wide or may not have the right platform for your company, but the system isn’t necessarily broken. It takes the right ATS to do your job exceedingly well, and if you don’t have the best-fit platform, it can lead to more struggles down the road.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

Views: 504

Comment by Matt Charney on December 8, 2015 at 9:46am

Nice shout out for Jackye - she knows what's up (as do you, clearly)

Comment by Rchilli Parser on December 9, 2015 at 3:41am

Recruiting and online employment industries are so far. Having ATS means that you every day get a little closer together and a bit more connected to the source, assess, hire, and manage the right talent.

Comment by Talsona on December 9, 2015 at 11:18am

Good read Sean.  What do you think about the smaller HR/Recruiting tech companies as it relates to ATS integration? Will some of the bigger ATS continue keep open their public APIs?


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