I am completely annoyed with the Applicant Tracking System blackhole. Let me explain.
I am a Recruiter with 15 years of experience. And prior to Recruiting, I served staffing professionals as an Assistant. So, I have been in Staffing for a long time. My staffing experience pre-dates the automated systems available today. Yes, I grew up in the era of receiving paper resumes. Yes people, you heard correct. I said PAPER RESUMES. I had to physically keep a file cabinet with them - all organized in a way they could be retrieved during an OFCCP/EEOC audit. And yes, I actually lived through an OFCCP/EEOC audit during this timeframe too. The thought of having access to all of the resumes I had to physically file by hand, through my computer - OH JOY!! I couldn't wait.
And I've tried them all too: Resumix, Icarian, Webhire, StaffingSoft, Ceridian, FileMaker Pro, AIRS SourcePoint and Taleo. The first system I used was Resumix. And it really was just resume storage and retrieval. What started as more of resume storage and retrieval, has turned into recruiting without a person. I want to believe that ATS was never meant to replace a physical recruiter (a person) to still screen resumes. But sadly, this is what it has become.
Now all the bells and whistles of an ATS have been added to the mix. All the things engineers have listened to Recruiters dream about being able to do with their system: match a person's skills from a resume to a job requisition, a questionnaire to see if they truly match the job, etc. No matter how much an engineer tries to set this up, Recruiters still cannot only rely on the ATS to truly match resumes to jobs. Because recruiting is not black and white only. There are gray areas in recruiting. You simply cannot remove the 'human' from Human Resources. But that IS what's happening out there.
Which brings me to today. I am one of the unfortunate unemployed Recruiters out there. And I'm having to apply through these annoying Applicant Tracking Systems. On average, it takes 45 min to an hour to apply with all the questionnaires involved. And I get the question about education. And this is a 'gray' area I mentioned earlier. Although I don't have a degree, I have enough experience to be equivalent to a degree. ATS cannot determine this; it just marks me as 'not qualified' simply becuase I answered "no" to the degree question. And here is my favorite part -- I get no notification to let me know if I am 'in' or 'out'. I get no call to ask how I could have this much experience without a degree. What happened to that perfect ATS, people? You have it automated to screen someone out, but not to send them a simple notification.
Recruiters, really??? Do you ever READ the resumes you receive? Are you only relying on your ATS to automate this for you? If you are, I believe you are losing out on perfect GEMS! And really, you are no longer a Recruiter, but a Computer Administrator. And GREAT candidates are lost in the ATS Black Hole.
This is why we have built our own. As someone who is used to it from both sides of the fence, I would really appreciate any feedback you have from a job seekers perspective. Let me know if you are interested in further dialog.
BTW – kudos on the home grown ATS. I used one designed based on FileMaker Pro many years ago and it was one of the better ones we ever used. The only reason even that company eventually purchased a larger ATS is because of the size of the servers involved with maintaining it and all the records it held.
I couldn't agree with you more! As a business owner who relies heavily on our recruiters putting applicants into the ATS, I also rely heavily on the human contact feature of my recruiters. We use our ATS for inputting resumes, matching them to jobs currently in the database and just overall storage of resumes but we DO NOT use it for emailing or any features related to our website.
We require real human contact in order to make sure a candidate is a good fit. Why is this so hard to do?
It takes about 10 minutes to pick up the phone and actually touch base with someone who sent their resume in.
It takes three minutes to actually email them a thank you and we will be in touch!
The human factor is being taken out of everything customer service related. It stinks and it makes things much more difficult. I would rather speak to a live person than press "1" or "2" ten times and repeat my name five times because the automated system didn't understand me!
As recruiters it is important that we remember what we are here for...to assist our clients and our candidates. How can we assist if we never talk to either one?
Thank you! I'm glad there are still some employers out there who use human contact! You're right, it does only take 10 minutes to pick up the phone; but it seems that people are afraid to do it anymore. And I'm sorry, but a computer system is not capable of determining if a candidate has the right personality for the job.
The problem with the magical button mentality is that it's reactive and nobody is actually recruiting. So it's a culture of:
"Wait and see" mentality
Let's hope the right person walks in the door
Hopefully they will apply online.
Other issue include:
Some companies are not connected to the community on or off line;
Hiring managers do not know who to pick because they have not been trained on effective interviewing and selection
The recruiters (admins) are trained to push paper.
I understand the desire to cut cost but one of the strongest assets a company has are its people. So the question is why do some companies rely on a hit and miss strategy to build their workforce? Recruiting is about people and you have to have the human touch.