Applicant Tracking Systems: The Good, the Bad, and the Unnecessary

Posted: February 24, 2020

What is an ATS?

While ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) were once primarily reserved for larger companies, their popularity has risen in recent years. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of software that streamlines the recruitment and hiring processes for the company and the job applicant. An ATS rolls many components of the hiring process into one platform, providing tools to manage applications, screen resumes, post and syndicate job listings, communicate with applicants, schedule interviews, conduct background screening, create interview scorecards, collaborate with decision-makers, and much more. There are numerous good aspects to an ATS, along with some bad factors to consider. We will break them down for you

the Good

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows companies to automate HR processes by putting a variety of human resources systems and information into one platform. By having everything in one place, the goal of an ATS is to expedite the hiring process, increase productivity and improve the candidate experience. Here are a few of the good things that an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has to offer:

  • Streamlines and automates the hiring and recruitment processes to ease workloads, reduce paperwork and boost employee productivity
  • Saves money by lowering administrative costs
  • Decreases advertising costs since an ATS makes it easy to seamlessly post a job posting to multiple job boards.
  • Improves efficiency by providing an efficient platform for recruiters to recruit and source candidates
  • Speeds up the hiring process, reducing the time needed to make a quality hire
  • Eases and improves the communication process between human resources and job candidates by reducing the number of phone calls and emails. An ATS even allows recruiters to send personalized communications to candidates.
  • Improves the candidate experience through easy-to-use, mobile platforms
  • Helps companies keep in compliance with government regulations and protect them from lawsuits
  • Improves employer brand through improved communication and systems
  • Potentially reduces hiring discrimination
  • Reduces the need to wade through piles of job applications by providing search mechanisms to effectively source candidates
  • Gives a communication platform to allow for increased collaboration among hiring decision-makers

the Bad

While there are many advantages to implementing an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), no technology is problem free. ATS do have some drawbacks, including:

  • Missing out on highly qualified candidates – While ATS use keywords to automate the recruiting process and screen candidates, there is a risk of rejecting highly qualified candidates. Or, an application might be overlooked simply because it doesn’t contain the correct keywords.
  • Missing the human touch – Sometimes a human eye works best to evaluate borderline candidates or evaluate questionable employment history.
  • Difficulty reading different fonts – An Applicant Tracking System may have a difficult time reading certain fonts or accepting some file types, which means possibly rejecting highly qualified candidates. Furthermore, some ATS limit response length and certain characters, which can also result in missing data.
  • Creating biases – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can be open to perpetuating biases that can result in unintended discrimination, ultimately making a company vulnerable to lawsuits.
  • Inconsistent – ATS are not always consistent and can lead to problems with incoherent branding and inconsistent workflows.

the Unnecessary

While there are some good and bad things about Applicant Tracking Systems, there are also some aspects that are unnecessary, including:

  • Price – While the price for ATS varies greatly, they can be very expensive. It is important to evaluate if the cost of a system and the integrations that go along with it, are truly worth the benefits.
  • Complexity – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can be very complicated, containing unnecessary features that many small businesses just don’t need to implement. If a system is too complex, employees might be reluctant to embrace it as part of their daily work activities.
  • Technical difficulties – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can have technical difficulties just like all software. They can be unavailable at times or have glitches, which can create major headaches if everything is stored in one platform.

There you have it. The good, the bad, and the ugly on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). While an ATS might be a great idea for one company, another company may not need to incur the cost or headaches to implement one. As a result, more and more companies are turning to alternatives to ATS.

If your company is considering implementing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), there are many factors to consider, including cost and complexity. If you have questions about implementing an ATS, please don’t hesitate to contact Info Cubic at 877.360.4636. We would be happy to walk you through the pros and cons.

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