3D Results Blog

Is Your Recruiting Software Really Broken? – Part One of Two: It Doesn’t Do What We Need it to Do

man_woman_pointing_monitor.jpgI recently participated in an industry panel that was focused on how to buy/not buy new HCM technology. The facilitator asked whether anyone in the audience was involved with a vendor selection process. One bright-looking young man promptly raised his hand to volunteer that his organization was looking at new ATS solutions, and his role was to spearhead that search. A few questions uncovered the following from him: 
  • The company’s existing system wasn’t able to deliver the reporting they needed.
  • He had no background in recruiting.
  • He also had no familiarity with the recruiting software market, but based upon “good press” and “word of mouth” he was already leaning towards the best choice for their needs.
  • And he concluded with the observation that legacy ATSs are profoundly broken, all the more justifying their move to something new.

After a few cleansing breaths by the more knowledgeable folks on the panel, we probed deeper into each of his points. I think this discussion is valuable to share with others as they ponder the “keep or throw out” status of their own recruiting platforms.

Our existing system doesn’t have the functionality we need

An ATS is an incredibly complex software platform. Not only must it serve as system of record for all your recruiting activity, it should also be receptive platform for all the point solutions that interact with your job candidates (assessments, video interviewing, reference checking, etc.)

If your organization uses a SaaS solution, ask your system administrator these questions:

  1. Do they have the original configuration workbooks from the initial implementation showing which functionality was turned on and what wasn’t?
  2. Do they have documentation from all the subsequent version upgrades showing which new functionality and features were accepted at that time?
  3. When was the last time the administrator met with the recruiting team to validate their business and system requirements against the functions and features that are turned off?

Here’s a short story to illustrate the importance of doing this. At a previous position several years ago, one of the first things I heard was, “great – with your ATS industry background you can help us pick out a new one because the one we have stinks” This of course led to asking why it stinks and here are some of the things I was told:

  • It didn’t allow candidates to apply via their LinkedIn profile.
  • It didn’t allow for the auto generation of candidate emails.
  • It didn’t provide the basic reporting that was needed.

Having a fair amount of ATS technical knowledge, I knew the system in place could do all these things. That meant it was time to roll up my sleeves and look at the configuration. Can you guess what I found? The original implementation had been done at the most bare bones level in order to save money. This meant that many optional configuration choices had been left in the default “off” position. Worse yet, subsequent updates had all been received and those new features were left in the default “off” position too. Well, no wonder the ATS stunk and didn’t meet their needs; anybody’s software would stink if the lion’s share of its functionality wasn’t turned on.

The lesson learned here – a small investment in time and money spent on optimizing your existing SaaS technology can almost instantly close the perceived gaps.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we examine who is in the role of your recruiting system administrator.

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