Companies have long relied on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or talent management systems to process and move candidate information through various stages of the recruitment and hiring process. This automatic system can range from gathering applications and screening candidates to issuing new hire paperwork. While there are many benefits of using an ATS for recruitment, the technology has its limitations causing some candidates to fall through the cracks. Your ATS may also be to blame for the success or failure of your online job advertising strategies.
Jennifer Ravalli, senior director of product marketing at iCIMS, poses the question, “Is your TA pipeline leaking strong candidates? You’ve invested in job board advertising and recruitment marketing to find talent, but more than half of candidates fall out of the ‘candidate-to-applicant’ conversion process because they are frustrated by career site navigation and application processes.” The technology that we once relied upon for talent management has become problematic.
According to Acadian Insights, the recruitment industry is in the middle of a significant technology disruption. Corporate spending on recruitment technology is expected to grow to at least $10 billion by 2022. The problem is that talent acquisition is woefully inadequate to support long-term goals, including strategic job advertisement. This is evidenced by declining market shares in many of the existing ATS since 2015. Unless applicant tracking systems are able to focus more on the candidate experience, they will likely struggle to find investors willing to develop a more modern product.
So, how does your ATS impact your job advertising strategies?
There are several factors of any ATS that can impact the performance of online job advertisement campaigns. More specifically in the online application process, candidates can find themselves in unpleasant situations. As Ravalli says, “A poor engagement experience can directly impact your candidate marketing ROI, even if the cause lies within the complexity of your application process and not within the effectiveness of your job advertising strategy.” Here are some of the common ways that your ATS may be negatively impacting your job advertising ROI and the quality of candidates coming through.
Length of the application process
Many ATS systems force candidates through multiple steps and many pages to apply for a job. This is not good for talent acquisition and gives job seekers a poor experience. According to a survey done by CareerBuilder, up to 60 percent of candidates will abandon an online job application after starting one due to the complexity or length of the process. Experts recommend keeping the application process short and simple, only asking for vital candidate information.
Limited ability to use mobile devices
If your ATS is not mobile-friendly, it’s seriously time for an upgrade. Candidates are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to search for work and complete applications. Undercover Recruiter shares “89% of job seekers think mobile devices play a critical role in the job hunting process.” It’s inconsistent to advertise that your company is innovative and modern, and then have an ATS that cannot handle the basic task of being mobile-enabled so that candidates can submit an application for employment.
Technology glitches when uploading information
Imagine being a candidate who has just spent a great deal of time crafting a professional resume and cover letter, only to find out that the ATS cannot accept the uploaded documents or that it doesn’t forward the resume to the recruitment team because it doesn’t recognize certain keywords in the scanning process. This is a negative consequence that impacts candidates all the time.
Requirements to create user accounts
Leela Srinivasan, CMO for ATS and recruiting software solutions company Lever, told Chief Information Officer (CIO), “I would caution anyone against a system that makes candidates create a login and then go through the process of filling out a million forms or duplicating information, especially since so much of that is available through LinkedIn and other professional social networks.” Not only is this an extra set of steps in the application process, but it takes away from the candidate’s ability to go straight to the job they are interested in. Once completing a user account, the candidate then has to go through the search process again.
Broken talent pools in most ATS
When candidates apply for any position located in an ATS, their information may be matched to future jobs. Sometimes, there is an opt-in for this feature; other times this is not clearly stated. Candidates may begin receiving job leads every week from this point on, whether they’re still looking or not. It can also be hard to opt-out of the job leads. Then there is the matter of talent pools that have no jobs available in the region that the candidate lives, so the system sends out random job leads. Both of these experiences can be annoying for candidates.
Improve your ATS to Positively Impact the ROI of Your Job Advertising Strategies
Now that we’ve reviewed some common ways that your ATS may be negatively impacting your job advertising ROI, here are a few ways to improve your candidate experience in your ATS that can also help you see better results from your job advertising strategies.
- Keep the apply process short and simple, and only ask for vital information. Having an application process that takes less than 15 minutes to complete is ideal.
- Ensure your ATS is mobile-optimized throughout the entire candidate experience. It’s not enough to just have a mobile-friendly career site; the online application must be mobile-friendly, too. Candidates should be able to apply easily from any device.
- Audit your apply process to make sure you don’t run into any common technical glitches or issues. Providing an option to import career experience information through integrations, like from a LinkedIn profile, rather than uploading a resume is a great alternative or example of improved candidate experience.
- Don’t make candidates create an account in order to apply. Instead, give them the option to create an account or join your talent pool AFTER they complete the online application.
Carefully decide on your recruitment marketing goals and what you want candidates to experience on the recruitment journey. If your ATS is not working well, it may be time to make a change in your applicant tracking system.
Regardless, it’s also important to have effective job advertising strategies in place. If you need assistance in developing strategic recruitment marketing and job advertising plans to support your hiring goals, contact Recruitics today. We can help!
Posted by Emily Tanner
Emily Tanner is no longer with Recruitics. During her time with us as VP of Marketing, Emily worked on both the client and business side of marketing, partnering with top enterprise customers on their talent acquisition and recruitment marketing strategies as well as developing inbound content marketing plans, paid advertising campaigns, and lead generation initiatives for Recruitics. A true data nerd at heart, Emily finds joy in analyzing deep performance metrics and finding the story in the numbers. When not working on marketing strategies or in Excel documents, you can find Emily hanging with her husband, two sons, and their 3 dogs.