Type in “passing the applicant tracking system,” or “resumes and applicant tracking systems,” and the first things that come up are articles upon articles detailing how applicants can at least get their resume in front of human eyes. Companies receive a plethora of resumes from applicants who aren’t necessarily qualified for the position, but they had fantastic resumes. However, that also means, they don’t see the resumes from talent who have all of the prerequisites for the job; the experience, the skill, the training, but their resumes don’t reflect that. The question remains, how many of the 70% of resumes does an ATS pass over because of incompatibility?

Whom Are You Missing?

You could be missing the perfect candidate. If the Applicant Tracking System your company uses isn’t functioning at peak levels, or if it’s simply not a match for the organization’s needs, the talent pool might not be everything you’ve hoped for. It is estimated that the average ATS rejects 75% of technically qualified applicants because it can’t read an applicant’s resume

While, yes, formatting and imagery have a large part to do with that, it’s not necessarily everything. The resume might not be littered with industry buzzwords or keywords, making the file seem irrelevant to pass on to the hiring manager. This is where it’s important to let your candidates know the company’s hiring process and give them feedback as to why they were not selected. Letting them know their skills did not meet the requirements could alert them to any mistakes in their resumes they need to change.

Playing the System

An ATS is a necessity to filter, organize, and streamline major company hiring processes. Companies like Google receive a deluge of 75,000 resumes in a week. How on earth could they even dream of reading – or in the very least scanning – all of those resumes in a timely manner? Without a good ATS, Google’s HR and recruiting department would be sent off to the loony bin. 

What some companies don’t know about their ATS, could hurt them. Not purchasing – or renting – the right ATS for your company could lead to higher stress levels, a longer hiring process, and missing resumes that otherwise would have made it to your desk. In fact, 40% of current ATS users are looking to change their system in order to obtain a more full-bodied system. So with your current program, it might not be the applicants who aren’t qualified, but the applicant tracking system. Just because an applicant doesn’t “play the system,” so to speak, that doesn’t mean they might not be the person for the job.  

How Can You Fix it?

Sometimes it comes down to price. Can the company really afford this? The company isn’t big enough to actually need this…But that’s not true. Nearly 60% of mid-sized companies use an applicant tracking system to help them along the screening and hiring journey. They didn’t even have to purchase them. Many HR technology companies allow users to rent or purchase the ATS. The right system can help prevent your recruiters and HR professionals from missing candidates. It can track them better. It can also put you at ease knowing you’ve made the decision to upgrade your organization to a system that is easy to integrate, has configurable options, and has the technical support you need. The ideal ATS will save the sanity of the HR team; on the other hand, the glitchy, non-integrated, and non-supported system will make them lose their minds. 

Applicant tracking systems won’t be headed out the door anytime soon. HR professionals need them, if not to make the hiring process efficient internally, but to save their sanity. It can be quite costly if the organization didn’t choose an ATS to fit their needs. Unfortunately, some qualified applicants can get shot down in the crossfire. That’s not only worrisome for the jobseekers who don’t make it to the interview phase, it’s disconcerting for the company as well, considering they are losing out on dream candidates. Some unqualified candidates make it to the interview because they have riddled their resumes with keywords simply to get past the ATS. On the other hand, those who don’t use buzzwords ad nauseam can be placed at the bottom of the totem pole by the ATS.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy, CEO

Sean has worked in the Human Resources industry since he graduated from Radford University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. After working in HR as a generalist for a government contracting company, he moved to the HR Technology arena and began assisting companies in the selection and implementation of HR software.

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 and Cyber Train.

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Tweet me at @Vissoft

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