21. Nov, 2016

Some more insights and my thoughts about ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems)

If we as job seekers like it or not, HR departments are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to reduce work and make their life easier. As a lot of other support functions the HR departments are fighting against a really bad perception in the senior management as well as the employee levels, based on my 27 years of experience so far. Very often HR is struggling to get the employee and talent administration right and there is no real time left for employee and talent development. 

When you know this background, I think it is understandable and consequent to automate high effort areas with ATS for example. 8 Things You Need To Know About Applicant Tracking Systems can be found in the Jobscan BLOG at https://www.jobscan.co/blog/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-applicant-tracking-systems/. Jobscan is really giving some great insights into the behavior of ATS and how to react to it, but right now it is only working with English language CVs and job descriptions. By using this link you will get 10 scans for free --> https://www.jobscan.co/?ref=95152, give it a try when you think this functionality could be added value for your job seeking process. 

According to Sun Tzu, The Art of War "you need to know your enemy" or opponent or the person on the other side of the table, to be well prepared. I still do have a lot of questions with respect to the usage of ATS, but I have to accept the fact that these systems are reality:

  • Is the HR motivation to use ATS also supported by their company?
  • Is ATS used for all applicants (even leadership positions) or only the Junior levels with the largest number of applications?
  • Who is selecting the proper keywords for the ATS from the job description? Who is improving the quality of the job descriptions, there is a lot of low quality stuff out there?
  • I do get the ATS capabilities to check hard skills, but what about soft skills and real experience from several years at work?
  • ATS is a trend in the digital world to better manage hugh number of applications - is the result really getting better or just causing a faster handling? --> quantity versus quality
  • There is already a lot of distrust in the content of CVs, introduction and reference letters and certificates. When applicants know, how an ATS is working, they will easily go beyond the 80% match rate. Is there really a benefit for HR then?
  • In working with a headhunter I do get much more insights into the position and the possible salary range, plus much more personal interaction. Sounds better to me.
  • And finally, do I want to work for a company using ATS? Like IT, every company gets the HR department they deserve and pay for.

In summary: ATS is out there and we as job seekers have to accept it. But this might just be the first step towards a much larger change in the recruiting process? If the recruitment industry really dies by 2018 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/recruitment-industry-die-2018-oleg-vishnepolsky?trk=hp-feed-article-title-channel-add, there are already alternatives waiting in the pipeline. Just assume for example you combine IPsoft's Amelia (http://www.ipsoft.com/amelia/) and the capabilities of PRECIRE Technologies, the innovative leader of speech analysis technology (https://www.precire.com/en/home-2/)? These are going to be really interesting phone and job interviews ...