Applicant tracking systems (ATS) were originally designed in the late 1990’s to automate the application for job seekers and to track applicants for employers. And after leading corporate talent acquisition throughout my career, I know far too well the ATS hasn’t evolved enough over the past 15 years to meet the requirements for a competitive approach to recruiting. As a result, many recruiting leaders have had to make decisions to deploy add-on solutions and modules to close the significant gap the ATS has created.
Based on my experience and networking with other recruiting leaders and influencers, here are 10 signs your ATS is stuck in the 1990’s and you should immediately ditch it for something better:
1. Candidate experience and drop-off rates
- 1990’s: Your ATS shouldn’t be designed like a retailer site that has a shopping cart, account functionality, or one that requires a username and password.
- 2015: Your ATS takes 1 click to complete and submit an application (after clicking apply) on your career site.
2. Employee referrals and turning every employee in your company into a recruiter
- 1990’s: You expect your employees to visit an outdated employee referral page on the company intranet to constantly see what new jobs are open and think through who they might know.
- 2015: Your ATS has the technology built in to automatically match your jobs to your employees professional networks and proactively markets matches to your employees.
3. Your talent database of applicants, candidates and leads
- 1990’s: Performing a search in your ATS leaves your recruiters scratching their head wondering why a software engineer search in Silicon Valley pulls up administrative assistant candidates in New York.
- 2015: You can easily leverage your proprietary database and perform easy, results-driven searches that work.
4. Interview and selection activities
- 1990’s: Hiring in your company is not a collaborative effort and your process is reliant on email updates and voice mails between recruiters, hiring managers, and interview teams.
- 2015: Your ATS naturally engages your hiring teams and is easy to use. It has an app and a desktop version that provides a social feed of all hiring activities as well as enabling real time candidate ratings and interview feedback.
5. Reporting and analytics
- 1990’s: You are pulling information from multiple sources, relying on spreadsheets, candidate self selected source data and third parties to painfully get basic reports.
- 2015: Your ATS is the single source of information and easily provides this information at a program-wide view as well as by job. Everything from job board contracts and agency spend is in one place and guides your best investment decisions.
6. Corporate career site and marketing
- 1990’s: You rely on Marketing and IT resources for any needs related to branding and your corporate career site. You spend most of your time building project plans and attending internal meetings.
- 2015: Your ATS allows you to quickly build or update your corporate career site and instantly deploy a new landing page for specific audiences you are targeting. It also creates search engine optimized ads directly from your ATS.
7. Marketing and distributing your jobs
- 1990’s: You use third party functionality to post your jobs, or you are posting them on each site manually.
- 2015: Your ATS automatically distributes your jobs to any job board or network, provides responsive job ad functionality and enables you to manage all of your contracts in one place.
8. Managing external recruiters
- 1990’s: Your process isn’t compliant and external agency or search firm recruiters are emailing candidates directly to hiring managers or internal recruiters, outside of your ATS.
- 2015: All of your recruiters are in your ATS, including agencies and search firms, allowing you to control costs, manage candidate delivery and analyze agency results.
9. LinkedIn as a sourcing and branding strategy
- 1990’s: Your recruiters are required to go back-and-forth between LinkedIn Recruiter and your ATS.
- 2015: You automatically know if a candidate is in your ATS while sourcing in LinkedIn Recruiter. You can also quickly and easily jump from a candidate profile in LinkedIn Recruiter to a candidate profile in your ATS, as well as automatically import LinkedIn profiles and InMail conversations.
10. CRM capabilities for sourcing and lead generation
- 1990’s: Your ATS was designed to track applicants once a candidate applies, but can’t manage lead generation, sourcing, and relationship activities.
- 2015: Your ATS has sophisticated CRM capabilities built directly within the system and you aren’t using another vendor to provide what your ATS can’t do.
This list of 10 is just the beginning of identifying pain points that recruiting teams face every day, just by using an outdated ATS from the 1990’s. Your recruiting technology strategy shouldn’t include a patchwork of integrations and add-on solutions just because your ATS doesn’t meet all of your needs.
These are not fanciful concepts or pie in the sky wishes, and every single 2015 feature listed here already exists today in the SmartRecruiters all-in-one Talent Acquisition Platform. Take a look for yourself to learn why recruiting teams are ditching the ATS for hiring success.