You're Turning Away Great Candidates Right Under Your Nose

You may have heard the acronym "ATS", which in our context means Applicant Tracking System. Most larger companies have their own ATS, and others probably use a commercial ATS in their hiring process. Time and time again I call great people for a job I am recruiting for and hear "I've already applied!". Most of these people are frustrated because they never hear so much as a polite rejection. An ATS is supposed to help with the hiring process but in reality I find this is not always the case.

  1. The AI is not good enough yet. These systems are supposed to intelligently sort through hundreds or thousands of applicants and know who is a good fit. The problem is people design these programs and people don't always know what is best. The program is only as good as the designer of the program. I'm sure in the future we will see an improvement in this arena.
  2. Applicants are soured on your company. Without so much as a half-hearted 'we'll keep your resume on file' most ATSs are a black hole that leaves almost all of the applicants hanging. It's the professional equivalent of being ghosted, and no one likes being ghosted.
  3. You're missing out on cross-functional applicants. Even if the applicant is not a perfect fit for the current job, they are likely to be a good fit for another position within the company, or a position that opens up in the future. The ATS black hole causes hiring managers to start from scratch every time they fill a position. 
  4. HR doesn't understand the technical requirements. If the person using the ATS doesn't understand the technical skills needed for a position then good people who've applied get looked over. This is often caused by a lack of communication between HR and the technical managers. In a larger company setting this can be difficult to overcome. Companies should hire specialty recruiters, either in-house or outsourced, whenever possible.

If you are a hiring manager, corporate talent acquisition specialist, or otherwise need assistance please contact  Stratus Search is an executive search firm specializing in IT and cybersecurity positions. 

All articles are for entertainment only and not intended as legal advice.