May 25, 2017
Hiring 25 April 2016
Why your Hiring Software Isn’t as Great as you May Think
Gisel Malek
Evaluating candidates, ATS, Qualified Candidates

Tragically, it seems like the applicant tracking system came into popularity at the same time our country experienced the greatest recession in history. This wasn’t too many years ago, and many can still remember its wrath. After all, most are still feeling it these many years later, paying off all that student debt and looking for a job in a relevant industry. There’s no doubt that unemployment rates were sky high in late 2000’s and applicant tracking systems really only added salt to the wound. 

Wikipedia defines Applicant tracking systems as a “software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs.” Here is a list of top reasons why the systems have helped take the “human” out of human resources:


They Suggest a Culture of Compliance

These softwares are designed to skim through thousands of resumes and determine which are the “best fit” according to keyword matches. Recruiters end up putting themselves in a position where they trust their system to make these important decisions for them. However, candidates could just be including a list of keywords in their resume just to make it thorough, while many other qualified candidates may be getting looked over. In some cases, as many as 5000 applicants would be looked over for grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes, none of which really say anything substantial about an applicant. In addition to performance tracking, ATSs don’t account for creativity and potential or how candidates will fit in with the company culture.


They Take the Human out of Human Resources

One of the main selling points of these systems is performance tracking, so you can tell which candidates are performing better than others. However, online performance tracking and reviewing really takes away from that supervisor/employee relationship. Performance reviews are an opportunity to really tell employees what they are excelling at and what they can improve upon. Many employees look forward to the opportunity of getting reassurance for their hard work, so they can learn what they could be doing better. When supervisors and managers don’t take the time to do this in person, it can lose its value. Number tracking aside, when you have more qualified candidates hired through performance-based hiring, the need for performance (post hire) tracking becomes less and less. 


They don’t allow Companies to test out Skill-Sets

The fundamental issue with applicant tracking systems is with their sourcing. The systems allow companies to place openings on job boards and social media sites to promote their positions. Many would find this to be a game changing feature. When people apply to these positions using these job boards, they upload their resumes and maybe add links to their LinkedIn’s for a greater picture of who they are. The problem lies in that both instances the recruiter is relying on information that they cannot really test. So whether it’s “5 years experience in sales” or “proficient in javascript”, you don’t really know who you’re getting.  


They don't Account for Future Growth

Most Applicant Tracking Systems do not take into mind how the candidates will progress within your company. While applicants may have the neccessary skills for the job at hand, will their skills allow them to stay in the company long-term and to be promoted up through the ranks? Getting someone to fit the position is only the first step. To get the most out of your recruiting, take into account your company's pathways and how your potential employee fits into the big picture.


They are a Waste of Time for Recruiters

Most importantly, recruiters should not be sources of talent, rather evaluators of it. Recruiters spend so much time trying to find the best people to bring in for interviewing and end up falling short more often than not because they are not spending their time evaluating candidates technical skill sets to determine a mutual culture fit for the company. If recruiters spent less time looking for candidates by posting on job boards or scanning profiles on social media, they would reduce cost and lower turnover rates. 


Learn more about how you can use performance-based hiring to bring in the right candidates for your company.