Monthly Archives: September 2010

Use Your ATS Like a Resume Database? Not Good.

Traditional applicant tracking systems slap software against the old file cabinets of resumes, so instead of a metal file cabinet, you’ve got an electronic file cabinet.  Problem is, you’re still spending time sifting and sorting electronic resumes – time wasters, and not very effective at finding quality candidates.

What your applicant tracking system should be doing, is presenting you with the best candidates for the position, and automating the hiring process.  Here’s a good example of how that is done.

Old way:  The company has a Mechanical Engineer opening.   The hiring manager emails HR the job request.  HR adds the job to the ATS, then searches through the ATS, and potentially external resume databases, for resumes with the words “mechanical engineer”, “IT engineer”, or whatever synonyms she can come up with.  The recruiter reviews each resume and wonders if that person from 6 months ago is still looking for a job.   She emails the candidates she finds and asks them if they are interested in applying.  Meanwhile, she pays to post the job to CareerBuilder & Monster, and gets a flood of resumes to manually review in that pretty electronic database.

New way:  The ATS provides hiring managers with an easy to use portal for creating a new job opening.  The portal automatically submits the job for approval to the appropriate people.  After approved, HR gets a notice that a new job opening is in the ATS.  HR reviews the job opening and with one click posts it to the company’s corporate web site and to free job boards.  One more click, and the recruiter sends emails to candidates who have previously expressed interest in that category of job, within that location, inviting them to apply online.  The next day, the recruiter logs in to find 50 new candidates.  Out of the 50, 30 of them have passed the pre-qualifying questions that screened out basic criteria based on the job  (minimum age, work visa, degree requirements, etc).  The other 20 she can ignore.  She quickly reviews the 30, who’ve answered questions specific to the job requirements, and submitted a resume, and clicks a checkbox next to each one she wants to submit to the hiring manager for review.   She clicks a button to send the checked applicants to the hiring manager, with a brief message.  The hiring manager gets an email with the new applicants, clicks a link to log into his portal to enter his feedback, and indicates which candidates to interview.  The system auto-emails the selected candidates an interview invitation.  And that’s only to the point of interview.  There’s a lot more I could talk about after that point.

Sound great?  Sound like an efficient use of technology?  It is.  We’ve designed our applicant tracking system that way at myStaffingPro.  But it’s not common, and I rarely hear HR departments encouraged to truly automate their processes.  I challenge you to see what you can do when you stop using your ATS like a resume database.