“Why would you need a software system to manage job applicants? Surely, that is what email is for!”
There was a time when advances in HR technology were readily dismissed. Happily, few in the field deny the beneficial impact of technology today.
The first stage of integrating technology into a human-guided recruitment process is the implementation of an Applicant Tracking System. ATS software has been around for many years now, and, as with any newer technology, it is often horror stories echoing from the inaugural years that cloud its reputation. Candidates don’t want to be judged on keywords in their résumés, hiring managers want something intuitive to use, and in-house recruiters don’t want to be mired in the administrative minutiae that operating the technology entails.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that ATS is somewhat of a dirty word in recruitment.
However, the bad reputation that ATS has earned is more because of the lack of a solid strategy – including a solid process – accompanying the implementation of the software, rather than deficiencies in the products themselves. An ATS by itself is a wonderfully simple, yet powerful, tool to manage most stages of the recruitment process, but if you are not doing what you should be doing when you should be doing it, the process can weigh you down.
When companies are implementing their ATS systems, they must always do so with one eye on the future. Insight into human relationships is the key commodity in recruitment, and the technology chosen should allow human recruiters to concentrate on what they do best: get to know their candidates and be strategic business partners . Many companies are starting to experiment with chatbots and AI in their sourcing strategies, but the first step in any automated, tech-driven process must be the acceptance that, while technology makes our lives easier, it takes a considerable amount of effort to adapt our behaviors to accommodate it.
This is why accurately implementing the ATS is such an important issue.
If the ATS implementation doesn’t go well, no one will feel comfortable plugging in a charming chatbot. What could have been an incredibly useful tool will be ignored because of bad experiences with technology. If, on the other hand, the ATS makes recruitment quicker, simpler, and more effective, everyone concerned will be fascinated as to what comes next in the technological revolution.
Technology is undeniably the future of most industries, and in recruitment, it starts with getting your process right, so that it can inform the design and functionality of your ATS.
In the war for hearts and minds, the ATS battle is the one that has to be won first.