3 Misconceptions of the ATS: Busted

We’ve come across some opposition to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) during our years in the industry.

So, we’re here to tackle three common ATS misconceptions held by in-house recruiters head on.


1. ‘I’ll lose the human touch’


This is the concern that, instead of a personal email from you acknowledging a candidate’s CV, they’ll receive a cold, automated response, devoid of emotion. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

The cornerstone of positive candidate experience is communication. But in a busy in-house recruitment team, with multiple vacancies live at any time and a flood of applications, responding to each and every candidate appropriately can be a drain on time and resources.

A decent ATS should make consistent communication with your candidates feasible. There’s no reason why your automated emails should be lacking in humanity or personality. An ATS should allow you to create a template that perfectly reflects your employer brand. Into this you can add your copy – written however warmly, professionally or zanily you need it to be.

Recruitment is driven by people, and we’re never going to lose that. Technology like an ATS can simply help to facilitate it.


2. ‘Talented candidates will slip through the net’

How to beat the ATS… How to make sure your CV gets through the system… We’ve seen a multitude of articles along these lines. There’s this idea that an ATS is like the Crystal Maze, and if a candidate’s CV doesn’t contain the right keywords, they’ll never make it to the final round in the Crystal Dome.

It shouldn’t be this way – and if you’re using an intuitive and flexible ATS, it won’t be.

At a basic level, ATS screening capabilities can be incredibly useful for filtering through initial criteria such as the right to work in the UK. As you progress candidates through the screening process, you can then add more complex functionality, such as configuring bespoke assessment criteria, using smart ‘Search & Match’ tools, and utilising star ratings to assess and filter candidates.

If you’re recruiting for a diverse range of roles, a decent ATS should also offer you the ability to configure application forms and create questions that are tailored to specific roles. This can ensure you’re encouraging applicants with the niche skills and experiences you need to apply.

An ATS can’t replace your human discretion and opinion when it comes to reviewing candidates, but it can save you time and resources by automating the administrative elements.


3. ‘I won’t be able to maintain my own processes’


Often we see a resistance to Applicant Tracking Systems because in-house recruiters have established their own means of tracking candidates’ progress.

But are they really working for you? With any manual tracking, there is going to be a high volume of low-value administration. Candidates may slip through the net if one step of your internal process is missed or someone is out of the office. And manual processes are open to human error, data duplication and inaccuracies.

We feel there’s a more important point to address here, however. And it’s this idea of your ‘own’ processes – tailored to you and your team’s requirements. The last thing you want is to have to compromise your procedures because you have to fit in with a new system.

An intuitive and efficient ATS shouldn’t make you fit your processes to its technology. Instead, it should offer reams of configuration options to enable you to use it exactly the way you want. Flexibility here is key – as is your relationship with your supplier.

Each organisation is going to have unique recruitment needs, and your ATS should be able to accommodate these. It shouldn’t be a ‘that’ll do’ solution, or a one-size-fits-all package. Talk to a potential supplier and explain exactly what you want your Applicant Tracking System to deliver.


ATS myth-busters

We hope we’ve dispelled three common ATS misconceptions in this blog. We hope we’ve touched on a couple of points that may help you re-evaluate your existing recruitment practices. And we hope we’ve convinced you that there are outstanding Applicant Tracking Systems out there.

You may just need to do a little more digging to find them.


Established in 1997, Hireserve creates leading recruitment software.  Trusted by organisations across the world, including CERN, Arriva and Global Radio, Hireserve ATS is agile, intuitive and powerful.

To find out more, contact the Hireserve team on 01256 634 140 or drop us a note at info@hireserve.com.

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