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Don’t make me jump!

If HMOs were developed to drive normally well-adjusted sick people over the edge, then I would posit that the typical ATS was designed to make a job seeker sink into deep and utter despair.

Yes, I understand why an ATS is a useful – in some cases, necessary – part of a company’s career site, particularly in these days of few jobs and many applicants.

But why be cruel? Why make an applicant create an account, and then a profile, and then upload a resume – all to apply to one single job? What ever happened to quick and easy? Too many ATSs feel like an internet version of Kafka’s ‘The Castle’ – just one more turn, one more level, and forever the promise of an ending that never quite comes.

My advice: think long and hard about how much information you need, and when. Must you have an exhaustive profile up front? How many screening questions are truly necessary? Even in these tough times, some positions are hard to fill. Don’t scare away your best prospects!

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Could not agree with this more!!
    It does not matter what economy a company is operating in, a careers site that makes candidates jump through a bunch of hoops is just turning people away at the door. Think about it. What if you were just a casual job seeker, maybe looking to upgrade a little. Do you really want to create an account with a company to throw your resume in the ring? I bet not. I wouldn’t.

    And, having product managed an ATS several years ago that required candidates to login before submitting a resume, I can tell you that less than 2% of all applicants ever came back and logged in again to check their “candidacy”. This feature is common in legacy ATS systems that are more gatekeepers than gateways. Think this feature was designed by someone with a recruiting background? No way!

    Good corporate recruiting software should create a clean simple candidate experience. I suggest the following guidelines:
    1. The careers site should be easily accessible within the site architecture – not hidden under “contact us”
    2. The site itself should inherit the look and feel of the rest of the site – not cluttered with a bunch of other stuff – big debate on videos – I never watch them personally!
    3. The careers site should not require another browser to open or force candidates to another page.
    4. The jobs should be displayed prominently if there are a few. If there are many, there should be a simple search tool – simple is the key
    5. When an applicant clicks on a job, they should be a button to let them apply right there
    6. The apply form should collect name, email, and a resume at the minimum and maybe the maximum

    The rest is left to us humans.

  2. I agree as well however I do think you need to have a short and long form process.

    There are lots of hourly waged employees who simply do not have a resume and you need to capture some data. In that case you have a simple wizard to fill in the basics.

    I deal with lots of hospitals and the one size fits all process simply doesn’t work. You have highly skilled applicants totally frustrated by the process and lower end position people who don’t even have a resume and in some cases have a hard time with English.

  3. I work for an ATS vendor and we give our clients the choice of having candidates fill out applications and register at their sites. We also give them the option of filling out a quick form- First name, Last name, email address and password- and that could be all. You could also choose to build more from there- a link to upload a resume- a quick questionnaire about your skills. It might not be all ATS products- maybe you are not using one that lets the Hr people configure the candidate/applicant interest form.

  4. Also, one thing to think about- The reason some ATS make people enter in email and password to register- it is to limit the amount of duplicate records in their database. Think about that over zealous candidate who is applying for the CEO position, without getting a high school diploma. They can fill out a quick registry form 5 times and have created 5 records in your db- cluttering the whole thing.

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