I wanted to look at the Hiring Lifecycle from a Recruiter’s perspective and go into a bit more detail about getting full value from your ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
Recruiters are creatures of habit, this is not a bad thing. If you have not hands on been a Recruiter, you may not appreciate the level of multi-tasking and priorities that a Recruiter has to manage. A Recruiter may at any time be working on anywhere from 15-40 open roles that they need to fill. Most Managers will want those roles filled as quickly as possible and will have varying ways to emphasise to their Recruiter the urgency their role requires over other roles. On top of this comes reporting, branding, updating your ATS and all the other nice to haves.
With this in mind, Recruiters go to the sources where they get the best/quickest result for their effort. A Recruiter will want to identify quality candidates quickly without having to sift through candidate profiles that are not relevant. If those quick to find people sources don’t work then this is when a Recruiter needs to invest more of their time/effort and start undertaking tasks to uncover people not easily findable (sidenote: being easy/hard to find does not make you a better/worse candidate). Think back to when LinkedIn took off. I remember first using LinkedIn in 2006 and having a world of candidates to contact open up to me. That and job boards were able to give me quick wins. A good Recruiter normally has a balance of sourcing channels that provide both quick and long sources of candidate pipeline.
One thing I have noticed though over the years is that I have rarely seen Recruiters use their own ATS (Applicant Tracking System) as their first port of call to finding candidates. Job Boards/LinkedIn often gives Recruiters quick results and that fresh energy to filling a new role. I have had feedback and seen myself some of the frustration that comes from Recruiters using an ATS to source candidates. The main things that come to mind are:
A Recruiters ATS Frustration Can Be:
- Search Capability and Results are often not accurate. You type in a search for ‘Web Designer in Singapore’ and get an Accountant in the US (ok that is extreme, but this can be how inaccurate the search results are).
- Searches take too long. Some searches take 5-10 seconds to go from page to page but multiply that over a hundred searches in a day and you have a lot of inefficient time being spent.
- UX/UI is clunky and not easy to navigate. Multiple clicks and pages takes away from the Recruiter’s experience.
- Candidate profile views are often in spreadsheet format or in a format that does not let the candidate’s experience shine through. This creates more inefficient time being spent by the Recruiter to dig deeper on candidate screening.
- Recruiters need to enter their own boolean string search and not confident that results are reflective of candidates in their ATS.
Today’s modern Recruiter will use your companies ATS if it helps them find and engage with great candidates. The world of Recruitment is changing and a Recruiters time is more stretched as Recruiters wear multiple hats from Sourcing expert, Business Consultant, Branding/Marketing, Reporting, etc… I think today’s modern Recruiter would benefit from an ATS that:
ATS Tools That Will Help Today’s Modern Recruiter:
- Provides a great end user experience: The UX/UI is slick and makes the tool really easy to use, there is no delay between pages and profiles are standardised so they are easy to read.
- Has deep search functionality and AI capability. A good search engine actually has a very robust and smart search capability so that not only will it produce real results from candidate database but it will actually suggest candidates that would suit the roles you are looking to fill.
- Allows them to easily engage with candidates and minimise the amount of admin work updating systems. So your ATS should be able to minimise duplication, for example if I email a candidate and then need to update my ATS that I emailed them, I want a tool where I can do this in one place.
- A good search engine actually has a very robust and smart search capability so that not only will it produce real results from candidate database but it will actually suggest candidates that would suit the roles you are looking to fill.
- Reporting is easy to read and in graph format so you can easily see the things that are important to you such as time to hire, source of candidate, etc… You will be able to have confidence in the numbers you are reporting and in the accuracy of your data.
Being a creature of habit is not a bad thing, good Recruiters use the tools/sources that provide results for them. The question to HR and Talent Acquisition Leaders is: Is your current Applicant Tracking System your Recruiters first port of call for candidate sourcing/engagement, if not how is this impacting your business, candidate engagement and productivity?
Would love to hear your thoughts!