Is Your ATS Killing Your Candidate Experience
The recruiting world has been anticipating the rise of AI in the recruiting process since the buzzword first made its way into mainstream business. However, many professionals argue that the automation we already use- chatbots, applicant tracking systems, and resume screening tools- is frustrating potential candidates. In fact, a 2017 study by Randstad US found that 82% of respondents think that the recruiting process is overly automated.
The risk we run on the HR side is that automated hiring processes are often too complicated and negatively impact candidate experience. This alienates qualified applicants over time. The most notable complaint from candidates is a lack of human interaction in the hiring process. It’s not that they don’t see the value in automated emails and other technologies that make your process more efficient, but in the same study above, 82% of respondents said that technologies should be used behind the scenes, and be a supplement to personal, human interaction. So, the question becomes, how do you balance the increasing role of automation with the rising importance of candidate experience?
Finding the Right Systems
The ATS was initially created to convert paper applications to digital records. A lot of the software available today doesn’t depart much from this functionality. It frustrates applicants who can’t tell whether they are seriously considered for a role or not. Jerome Ternynck, founder of SmartRecruiters, warns that relying on your ATS "turn(s) what is essentially a social activity of meeting people into an automated activity...Recruitment is social, and we have to make it social again."
Your ATS should maximize personal interaction while minimizing time-cost for your team. And many applications have focused on this in recent years. Some auto-fill information from LinkedIn, so a candidate doesn’t have to retype information over and over again. Others keep track of passive applicants and help you get in touch with qualified candidates that may have applied to a role in the past.
These tweaks to your candidate's user experience help to nullify the bad rep of most ATS’s. If you’re worried that your candidates are getting frustrated or lost in your clunky system, it might be time to migrate to a new system.
Even if you don’t have the time or budget to transfer your hiring process to a new ATS system, there are steps you can take to try to inject a little bit more efficiency and personality into a candidate’s experience.
Add a note to your job description or careers site that describes the application process and reasonable expectations for how long the application will take and how long it will take to get a response. If possible, add contact info that can connect an applicant to a real person to troubleshoot any problems or answer questions about the process.
Get into the social recruiting game, especially with the highest caliber candidates. Reach out to candidates personally and keep them updated on the timeline and be willing to answer any job-related questions they have.
Supplementing your ATS may seem like a redundant idea- its whole job is to put less work on your shoulders- but making small changes to the way you interact with clients will pay off in candidate experience. You can make it until the real AI makes it to recruiting.
There is a ton of speculation out there about how AI will affect candidate experience and ATS. How do you think it will impact your day-to-day?