5 Tips to Make Sure Your ATS Is Not Harming Your Recruitment

By: Dave Rietsema
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When you purchase an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and take all of the necessary actions to get it implemented and running, you probably wouldn’t dream that it could actually hurt your recruitment efforts. Unfortunately, if you just leave it alone and never try to optimize it or update it, that’s exactly what can happen. The following tips can help you to make sure that your ATS is actually working for you and not against you when it comes to recruitment.

1. Look at It from the Applicant Side

Going into the applicant side to see what they see might be eye opening if it has been a while or if you have never done so. Applicants may deal with glitches, vaguely worded questions, and many other hassles that you may not have known about if you had not gone in. These types of issues could be costing you some valuable candidates.

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2. Get All of the Bugs Out

After you have done a trial run from the applicant’s side, talk to your recruiters and hiring managers and find out about their pain points. Work with your vendor to iron out issues and fix what you can yourself. If there are too many issues or if the way that the system runs altogether is not to your liking any more, consider getting a whole new ATS.

3. Keep Your System Up to Date

Applying for a job through a legacy system or using a system that has not had repairs and maintenance performed in a while can be frustrating and may discourage people from applying to your company. Be sure to perform system updates as recommended by the vendor. Ask your new hires how they felt about the application process to identify ways to make the process better.

4. Test and Make Changes Regularly

Testing the system frequently can help you to ensure that your system continues to run smoothly, which can have a huge impact on your hiring process and the quality of hires. To make sure that the system isn’t putting aside great applications, run a few of your best employees’ applications through. Use their resumes and their known strengths to gear your keywords for better culture fit and higher skill levels.

5. Make Sure to Infuse the Human Element

Many companies make the mistake of basically letting the ATS run the show after it has been implemented. The human element is still just as important to the hiring process as it ever was, so this is a mistake. Recruiters should be reviewing some applications in their entirety, not just depending on the system to select the best of the bunch without question.

Besides reviewing applications, human beings should also be reaching out to applicants and helping them through the hiring process. An automated email may serve well for responding to all of the applicants, but those that are truly being considered for hire should receive a personalized one. Bringing applicants in for interviews and realistic job previews is also an important part of the hiring process that should not change because of the ATS.

If you feel that your hiring processes are not as effective as they were or that the caliber of people coming through the doors has changed, look to your ATS. The technology is not perfect and must be maintained to continue yielding good results.

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