Death of the Applicant Tracking System? One expert says yes

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Approximately 60% of global employers utilise some form of an applicant tracking system, yet experts worldwide agree that the strategic value of ATS is debatable at best.
 
Although the ATS was originally designed to simplify the hiring process and improve talent acquisition through better search and analytic functions, several issues have arisen from the technological solution.  These include:
 
  • An unfriendly user interface.  Many candidates experience frustration entering information that should have been auto-populated, or struggle to list two previous positions under the same employer. 
  • Most applicant tracking systems fail to accept data that falls outside of U.S. cultural norms, such as a GPA that isn’t on a 4.0 scale or a postal code that isn’t a five-digit U.S. zip code.
  • No matter how spectacular the applicant, if certain key terms are omitted from a CV, that resume may never be viewed by a human. “If your HR staff who do the ATS specs for your jobs don’t get it right, you spend a very good chance of bypassing high-potential talent who have the wrong keywords,” said Gary Taylor, Master HR practitioner with the South African Board for People Practice and vice president of the Institute of People Management.
 
In addition, because of the significant time and energy required by applicant tracking systems, many passive candidates forego the application process altogether.
 
Although a complete departure from ATS is unlikely, there are ways that HR can supplement the software tool in order to acquire top talent.  This includes effective candidate relationship building, employee-centered data analytics, and employer branding that appeals to the next generation of workers.
 
“It is still the employer’s need for screening, database searches, analytics, and even CRM campaigns that drives developments, ahead of the applicant experience,” said Taylor.
  • James Dustin on 30/12/2014 4:28:09 p.m.

    Great article, quite informative. I also found another really great website called www.jobscan.co that will help you get your resume noticed and get you past the ATS plus it only takes a few seconds. Worked for me and I got many more interviews because of jobscan. I definitely recommend the website to anyone who is looking for a job or preparing their resume. Good luck on the job hunt and the resume!

  • James Dustin on 30/12/2014 4:27:35 p.m.

    Great article, quite informative. I also found another really great website called www.jobscan.co that will help you get your resume noticed and get you past the ATS plus it only takes a few seconds. Worked for me and I got many more interviews because of jobscan. I definitely recommend the website to anyone who is looking for a job or preparing their resume. Good luck on the job hunt and the resume!

  • George on 11/12/2014 12:07:40 p.m.

    The description presents the worst side of some systems that are available. Certainly the systems we supply are miles away from this (declaring my interest). Smart employers make their systems easy to use and don't try and over-collect or over automate where does not produce results. CV/Resume parsing is a case in point we rarely see it now. In theory is sounds great etc but false positives and keyword stuffing (or omission) made it a fairly ineffectual tool for the many who tried it. The market has moved on.

    We both provide our own systems and implement/consult on those from others and the ones we see finding favour do focus on both the employer branding and the candidate experience. The before and after metrics and feedback we see also suggest some at least are both effective and efficient. I would take issue with this broad brush assertion as it certainly does not apply in many of the clients we see. Yes, there are plenty of rubbishy ATS's available on the internet but that is also true for any other type of system as well. There are also rubbishy installs of good systems too where the client/consultant makes a mess of it. But death of the ATS, or ATS like capability...? I don't think so.

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