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5 Ways to Tell That Your ATS Isn’t Working for You

By: Dave Rietsema
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ATS solutions can be a great tool for improving your hiring processes, but not every ATS is right for every company. ATS solutions may also become phased out, so what worked a year ago may not still work. The following are a few ways that you can tell your ATS solution is no longer working optimally, so that you can then decide to either make changes or trade in your system for a new one.

1. Applicants Complain About It

The applicant experience is really a major reason for implementing an ATS in the first place. If the applicants that you talk to don’t love it, chances are good that there are a lot of potential applicants that are giving up before they even finish the process of applying.

To assess whether this is an issue, ask every applicant what they thought of the application process. Don’t wait for applicants to talk about it, many will never bring it up – even if they felt it was grueling.

2. Recruiters and Hiring Managers Are Using Go Arounds

If you find that your recruiters and hiring managers are using other software or options to complete tasks that your ATS should be handling, it may be a sign that the system isn’t cutting it. Before jumping the gun, talk to your people to find out where the problem lies. If they express frustration at the complexity of the system or the time that it takes to use it for tasks, consider moving on.

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3. Features Are Going Unused

An ATS may come with more features than you need, but you may not know that at first. Pay attention to what is being used and what isn’t so that you can scale back on your solution instead of paying for features that just take up space. You may save money and help to simplify things for your recruiting team by cleaning up the dashboards.

If very few or none of the features of the ATS are being used, it may be time to find a solution that works better. Keeping a system around that you are not getting much use out of can complicate your hiring processes, rather than simplifying or improving them.

4. Your Candidate Pool Is Too Small or Large

If you are getting more applications than your hiring team can handle or finding your candidate pool on the shallow side, you may need to play with the filtering options. Chances are good that the filtering options are a little too stringent if you’re only getting a few applications and a little too lax if you’re getting a ton – although other factors may also be at play.

If your filtering options seem spot on and you still aren’t getting the right number of candidates, check your sourcing. You may need to perform some market research to figure out the best sources for your top talent, including certain job boards and social media sites that will help you to attract the right people.

5. Your Turnover Is High or Climbing

Even if your application flow seems right and your recruiting team is using the system to a high degree, there may still be a problem if your turnover is high among new hires. Again, there could be a problem with your filtering or sourcing, you may not be attracting the top talent or you may be letting a lot of unqualified people make it through the hiring process.

Talk to your team to glean further insights into the reasons for high turnover and use analytics to identify patterns. If you can’t figure out a good fix for your system, use it as a sign that it’s time to find a new solution.

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