Hate the Game, Not the ATS Player

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Oct, 07, 2015 @ 08:10 AM


Hunting for a job isn’t easy and candidates are very frustrated with the process. Candidates that are in the large percentile that don’t get picked by the Applicant Tracking System are naturally more inclined to hate on the ATS. But sometimes, despite their need for a job, they just weren’t qualified or didn’t fit the company’s needs. Just the same, there are those in the HR and recruiting space who loathe the automation of the ATS. But that doesn’t mean these platforms aren’t any less necessary… they are. The problem isn’t with the ATS itself, it’s the way it’s used. Chances are, many of the concerns you’ve had with your system can be attributed to user error. “More is better” isn’t always the case, especially with your platform. This is why you shouldn’t be so hard on the ATS. Learn the importance of choose the right ATS

More ISN’T Better

Massive job boards are a popular choice in placing job ads. The only problem: it exponentially increases the number of candidate applications and resumes that flood into your digital filing cabinet. Goldman Sachs alone only hired 3% of their 267,000 applicants last year. You look through all of the advice online from various industry thought leaders, but what you’ll find is the scatter your seed method. But seeds don’t prosper if they are haphazardly strewn across the land, right?

The same is true for your job ad. It has to be strategically placed so your ATS can sift through a reasonable amount of applications to pick a fewer number of great ones for you.

Tweet This: Strategically place job ads so the ATS can do what it's built to do, properly. Read more: 

Remember: An overloaded, disorganized ATS is not an effective screening and hiring tool.

Choose The Right ATS, the Right Technique

There’s something to be said for purchasing the right ATS for your organization. Not all applicant tracking systems are the same, they have different bells and whistles and although one ATS might have everything you need, there’s a chance there are features you don’t use. That could affect the way your system works. Jackye Clayton (@JackyeClayton), Editor at RecruitingTools.com, said:

“But before you bash your ATS, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’re actually using it as intended. Because the thing is, the majority of recruiting and staffing end users utilize their applicant tracking systems as a resume repository and job posting platform, features which, while designed to make online recruiting a little bit easier, aren’t, in fact, a core functionality for which these systems were originally conceived and dedicated.”

Tweet This: @JackyeClayton says we need to be careful how we're using our ATS. Read more:

Remember: If you’re not using the included training and vendor provided assistance, you may not be getting the benefits your ATS offers.

The Platform Isn’t Broken

One thing to remember, one small, yet key feature to always keep in mind, your platform isn’t broken. You may not like the way it functions anymore, or your team simply doesn’t know how to use all of its features, but that doesn’t mean it’s malfunctioning. Really, it could be you just have too many applicants or the ATS doesn’t fit your needs anymore.

Tweet This: Reassess your ATS needs before completely ditching the system like this:

The ATS doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) remove the human aspect from the application process. It merely automates the administrative portions so recruiters can focus on their primary duty - interacting with candidates. But when you don’t have the right system in the first place, it becomes cumbersome, clunky and a loathed recruitment platform, as Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Executive Editor and Head of Content at Recruiting Daily, described: 

“In fact, almost every one of the many potential perils of the average recruiter out there today faces on the talent battlefield can be more or less directly traced to the system that they’re forced to rely on, even at the expense of recruiting efficacy, efficiency, and optimal outcomes.”

Remember: Even if you didn’t choose your ATS, you need to use it in order to do your job, which is hiring the right talent for your organization.

Despite the reservations or any struggles you may have with your applicant tracking system, you shouldn’t abandon the idea of an applicant tracking system just yet. You may simply scatter your job ads too wide or may not have the right platform for your company, but the system isn’t necessarily broken. It takes the right ATS to do your job exceedingly well, and if you don’t have the best-fit platform, it can lead to more struggles down the road.


Tags: Applicant tracking software

One Flew Over the ATS

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Tue, Oct, 07, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

ATSType 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.

Need help finding a better ATS for your company? Lucky for you, Visibility has a Recruiting Comparison tool, free for you to use. You’ll like what you see.


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Tags: cyber recruiter, Applicant tracking software

3 Ways an ATS Will Change Your Recruiting Department

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Tue, Jun, 03, 2014 @ 10:06 AM


Called an Applicant Tracking System, but oh so much more to the recruiters who have come to know and love this software. Once known for being a luxury that only the larger companies could afford, ATSs are quickly becoming the Swiss Army Knife of tools in recruiting and HR departments of all sizes, in every industry. As the tech has gotten more user-friendly, scalable and cost effective, everyone is getting ahold of an ATS.

Check out what recruiters are experiencing when they ditch the spreadsheets and start using the right Applicant Tracking Software.

You can now focus on the people matters in recruiting and hiring.

For a long time, overtaxed recruiters and HR professionals have been forced to focus on the paperwork, compliance demands and the overall clerical work that goes into enrolling a new hire. This leaves little time to onboard properly, gather feedback from the candidate or help the new employee adapt socially to their new work environment.

A recent study revealed that of 20,000 new hires, nearly half of them (46%) failed within a year and a half. Of those new hires that failed, 89% of the times it was for attitudinal reasons, not lack of necessary skills.

Recruiters everywhere are realizing the importance of a proper cultural and attitudinal fit, over the traditional emphasis on skill or experience. When recruiters don’t have to micromanage every step of the documentation and compliance process, they can work towards ensuring that proper fit. This has been shown to increase retention rates, employee engagement levels and overall productivity.

Organization, finally!

When new users finally get to dive into Cyber Recruiter, they realize very quickly that this tech does so much more than parse and organize information from job applications and resumes. Hiring managers and recruiters can create requisitions effortlessly with templates, or from scratch. They can also review, share and score an applicant through an internal mailing system on the platform.

Once your team decides on a new hire, you can send the approval to the candidate through the platform, with all necessary new hire documents. No more volleying emails back and forth. Read more on our blog about Recruiting Software and Email Hell.

Offer a better candidate experience.

If your hiring process is a mess on the back end, it’s a mess on the candidate end as well. Disorganization and undefined processes will lead to a lengthy hiring process, poor communication with the candidate and even multiple rounds of interviews that are very often, completely unnecessary.

Candidates don’t have to stick around while you get it together. Furthermore, the hiring process is where the new employee starts to form their opinion of the entire organization. They want speed, communication and efficiency. HR pro and founder of popular HR and Recruiting blog site, Blogging4Jobs, said:

“The saying, Candidates are Customers too, should be hung over every wall of Human Resources departments across the country. Sometimes we forget that each candidate that goes through the HR department will most likely influence a future purchasing decision of your product/service.”

A good ATS will take most new users by surprise, as they do more than their name would suggest, and this is just a taste. ATS users experience improved scheduling, seamless onboarding and much more. Is your team ready to experience life with an ATS, or are you looking to improve your recruiting technology? We want to talk with you about it! Or if you want to check things out on your own first, here is a resources page to get you started.

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Tags: Applicant tracking software, applicant management, applicant experience

Time-To-Fill is Going Down the Tubes

Posted by Maren Hogan on Wed, Aug, 07, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

small__91147636The world of job searching is getting tougher for candidates. It is taking employers longer and longer to pull the trigger on new hires. Even great candidates with all the right skills and values are left wondering and waiting by the phone. According to research done by economists Steven J. Davis, Jason Faberman and John Haltiwanger, vacancies are staying open far longer than they used to. In 2009, the average time-to-fill was 15 business days, compared to today’s 23 days. Time to fill is such an important metric in HR and recruiting, so why is this process taking even longer?

They’re Shaking in Their Boots Over Bad Hires

As we steadily pull through the tail end of this recession, a lot of employers are working in fear of bad hires more than they were before the hard times hit. As the recession took hold, companies were conducting mass layoffs and tightening belts whereever cuts could be made. This mentality is holding on strong. The cost of high turnover can end up crippling companies. For small businesses (less than 65 employees) the cost of each turnover is about $8,000. Recruiters and hiring managers are so reluctant to hire quickly because they’re worried about hiring poorly.

Skills vs Openings

It is also theorized that this lengthier hiring process can be attributed to a disconnect of skills between the 4 million job openings vs the 12 million unemployed. Especially in fields that require higher skills there seems to be a gap between demand and skilled candidates. Taking a look at what industries are growing vs the skills of the emerging workforce presents us with one of the attributes of this slowing process. There seem to be too many of the wrong candidates.

What is it Costing HR to Keep them on the Hook?

Advertising the position, background checks, screening and interviewing all take time and money. The internal recruiting time per hire is usually anywhere from 30-100 hours. Multiply that by the hourly rate and that ends up being quite a bit of money. When candidates are now expected to go through multiple rounds of interviews and seemingly pointless tests, this process is taking far longer than it should. With pressure from higher ups to hold off on the hire until the perfect candidate is found, recruiters and hiring managers don’t have much of a choice.

What is This Doing to the Candidate Experience?

With this lengthier hiring process and reluctances to actually hire, candidates are loosing time, money and patience. In this NY Times piece we follow Paul Sullivan, a video editor looking for a new job. During his sixth interview he is actually approached by a security guard who had seen him there so many times that he thought he was an employee who kept forgetting his security badge. Sullivan said, “He couldn’t believe I was actually there for another interview. I couldn’t either! But then I put on a happy face, went upstairs and waited for another round of questions.”

Maren Hogan, HR pro weighs-in on the trials of the hiring process: “Let's just say, burnout is common. But candidate experience is (and always will be) a huge part of the recruiting and retention process. And one of the ways that you can make your candidates' experience really amazing, is to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME!”

Open communication about positions and actual needs with the hiring manager can save everyone a world of wasted time and resources. These lengthier hiring processes aren’t really helping anyone. Candidates and hiring managers alike are becoming more frustrated with this reluctance to pull the trigger.


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Tags: cyber recruiter, Applicant tracking software, Best HR Software, best software service, candidates, company culture, employer brand, Career Page, Custom applications, applicant management, applicant experience

The Importance of Onboarding

Posted by Maren Hogan on Thu, Jul, 18, 2013 @ 22:07 PM

small 3434414425You've spent precious time recruiting and signing this new hire, and it's the all-important first day. Have you already dropped the ball? If you haven't organized and planned the onboarding process, then yes you have. Onboarding isn't simply orientation, it's more personal than that. Orientation is about the job, onboarding has more of a social aspect to it with a focus on the future and retention.

Have you even seen the random newb standing around the water cooler waiting for some sort of direction or interaction? Too often, new hires will spend the majority of their first week on the job wondering if anyone was made aware that they would be coming. It's hard to watch and even harder to experience. There's no better way to make someone feel awkward and unwanted than to skip the onboarding process.

An effective onboarding program can help you achieve company success, employee retention, increased ROI on hiring, and ensuring that your new employees are ready and excited to join the team. Consider jointly what your new employee needs from you, and what you need from your new employee.

Your candidates form an opinion about your company early on in the recruiting process. In fact, first impressions matter more than you probably think. According to a post on strategic employee onboarding, “New employees are most likely to leave a company within the first 18 months of their tenure, and 90% of new hires decide in their first 6 months on the job whether or not they're going to stay with the company.”

Onboarding shouldn't be seen as just another trend in HR, this is a vital part of the whole hiring process. Retaining employees does wonders for your bottom line, and an effective onboarding program is where the effort to retain begins.

Employee engagement should be another of the main objectives of your onboarding process. When a new employee is facilitated in building their network and becoming acclimated with their new surroundings, you are cultivating your company culture. This can be as simple as introducing the new employee to their co-workers. Perhaps there is someone that comes to mind who would do well as a welcome wagon type of person. The quicker you get this new employee feeling comfortable, the quicker you have a productive member of the team.

Engaging and creating a sense of value for the new employee helps everyone involved, from the new employee themselves, to the entire team. A cohesive work environment doesn't happen by accident, it needs some love to get where it needs to be. Lowering processing costs by ensuring compliance is yet another piece to the onboarding puzzle. When you have an actual planned process for onboarding, you are ensuring that each new hire gets the same treatment, receives the same information and this cuts down on annoying and costly redundancies. A streamlined process also ensures certain steps are taken in a timely manner. When you have an agreed upon process, you know what information should be shared and at what stage.

Following up with your new hire on a weekly, into a monthly basis is good practice to ensure that the process is going smoothly. The first week is vital, but following the progress of their acclimation shows them that they are working for a company that cares about their experience. It also helps you to figure out the strengths and flaws of your onboarding process.

Onboarding is worth the time you put into it. Taking the extra effort to acclimate your new hires can improve cohesiveness, get employees productive faster, cut down on costly turn over rates and overall make you look better at your job.

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Tags: cyber recruiter, Applicant tracking software, Best HR Software, best software service, candidates, company culture, employer brand, applicant management, applicant experience