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  • Rachel Doyle

Pros and Cons of automated tracking systems in recruitment

Automated tracking systems (ATS) have created a real buzz in the recruitment industry. Promising a smoother hiring process, cost-effective and quicker decision making and swiftly eliminating unsuitable applicants, they seem to provide the solution we have been waiting for. But are they really as good as they sound? We weigh up the pros and cons of automated tracking systems (ATS) in recruitment.

What are the benefits of using ATS in hiring?

  • Efficient candidate screening – ATS can be programmed to screen applications for keywords and other attributes, eliminating unsuitable candidates

  • Better quality candidates – thanks to its efficient screening, ATS will bring you a higher quality applicant roster

  • Improved candidate experience – due to the efficiency of automated tracking systems, candidates will have a more positive experience

  • Frequent candidate engagement – you can effectively communicate with your applicants through automated messaging, which increases engagement and retention throughout the process

  • Scheduling interviews – sync your tracking system with your calendar for accurate interview scheduling and avoid getting double-booked!

  • Faster, more cost-effective hiring process – thanks to automation and reduced human involvement, you can save time and money

  • Better database organisation – applicant details can be stored efficiently and retrieved quickly

  • Automated on-boarding process – any on-boarding documents can be sent to successful applicants automatically

  • Improved reporting and statistics – you can collect data from your recruitment process

  • Acquired data can improve recruitment processes – by analysing the data from automated tracking systems you can keep improving your recruitment process

How ATS can exclude ideal candidates

  • ATS does not prevent biases – while at first glance, ATS seems to eliminate conscious and subconscious biases, these systems are programmable, which means a company can create a biassed automated system

  • Errors and accuracy – automated systems are not devoid of errors. Human involvement may be necessary to ensure these don’t affect the recruitment process

  • Human judgement can be crucial – there’s more to candidate criteria than keywords, qualifications, and other metrics. You could be missing out on quality applicants

  • Inaccuracy across different CV formats – ATS may be inefficient at screening varying CV formats, especially ones where candidates have relevant experience but may be missing the keywords or qualifications

  • It can be ‘hacked’ – ATS may not prevent applicants who attempt to keyword-hack your systems.

Carry out a google search and you'll find numerous resources on how to 'cheat' ATS

On the flipside of the efficiency of ATS is the possibility to ‘hack’ these systems by including keywords and qualifications that will push unsuitable applicants through. This way, you could end up enduring lower quality candidates that you will still have to review and reject manually. It poses a real disadvantage to automated recruitment systems. It also adds more time to your recruitment process if your screening process is inefficient and still letting through miss-matched candidates. Particularly if they are brought through to interview stage only for you to manually reject them again.

You're rejecting the right candidates

Could it be that ATS is rejecting the right candidates? Let’s say your applicant hasn’t included some of the keywords in their application, they may not meet the qualifications, or their CV is formatted in a way ATS can’t screen properly. But they have the right soft skills, personality, and plenty of relevant experience for the role. This is where automated metrics could inadvertently reject your ideal candidate. While they are fantastic for optimising your recruitment process, a hybrid approach where qualified, unbiased HR professionals oversee the applications will give you the best of both worlds.

Partner with a recruiter to save time and money

This is where partnering with a recruiter comes in. By working with a recruiter who can identify the best candidates for your business that meet your cultural fit by having conversations with them, will help identify how these candidates meet the role specification and will fit in with your current team dynamic. ATS may have its place in some of the recruitment process such as for the sending out of documents and some of the onboarding process. However when it comes to recruitment and identifying people for a business, no one can do this better than a qualified human resource. You cannot replace human interaction from the recruitment process and screening requires a good eye for detail to ensure that quality candidates aren’t overlooked. Tech has a big part to play but not in the areas that people might think. Get in touch with Auxeris to find out how we can help reduce your recruitment costs and deliver best in class recruitment.

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