Top 10 Applicant Tracking System Mistakes


The effective use of an applicant tracking system (ATS) can save recruiters a lot of problems. However, some recruiters make unnecessary mistakes that slow the process down. An ATS is designed to evaluate application content and speed up the recruiting process.

Here are a few mistakes that you might want to avoid to make the most effective use of the ATS:

1. Not determining need

Most companies simply buy the software without first assessing their requirements, which causes confusion later. Make sure you acquire an ATS that works best for your specific needs, whether you are a small/medium business, enterprise, or staffing agency. A vendor may claim their ATS as the best for your profile; however, do your own homework and do not blindly believe them without reading independent reviews and feedback.

Digital Online Business Learning Office Working Concept2. Lack of training

Your team should be comfortable to use the ATS. Without training, it will be a mess. With little training, end users can conveniently use the software to make your investment worthwhile. While looking for an applicant tracking system, make sure it is intuitive, easy to set up, and requires minimal maintenance. Can you take us through the entire process of looking for candidates? Is it possible to configure the system ourselves?  You want an easy-to-use ATS, which is designed with intuitive features and has a modest learning curve. With a complex and hard-to-use ATS interface, users may not be able to master advanced functions, which can limit your returns on investment.

3. No candidate experience

Is the system easy to use? You will lose several candidates if they do not know how to use the system. A slow system, involving a lengthy and complicated process, can slow down performance. If candidates have to endure a lengthy process because of too many clicks, they will give up and not use your website again. Look for performance, intuitiveness, number of clicks, and attractiveness.

4. Poor user experience

Some companies review the company side of the equation alone, without focusing on how candidates will interact with it. This is where they falter. It is important to ask for a demo that enables you to interact with ATS as a job-seeker or you may try to test the software as if you were seeking a job with them. This will help you check out the system functionality from the candidate’s side.

5. Poor customer support

Help-desk-1You cannot deliver a great customer experience if you do not get adequate customer support from the vendor. So customer support should be a key determinant in your decision, as downtime, performance issues, and usability can bring the processes to a halt. Your vendor should offer 24/7 customer support. However, customer service is of no value if the support is poor. When you do not want to make applicant tracking system mistakes, do not forget to ask the vendor:  What days of the week is your customer service staff available? Do you have an in-house or offshore customer support team? Is your customer service free for all requests?

6. Poor search functionality

Surprisingly there are some systems with poor search functionality. You want the searches to be quick and accurate. So try to learn about the type of search engine they use. Use a range of testers to carry out searches on a live system.

7. Slow performance

Slow performance and downtime can cause frustrations for users and result in lost candidates and opportunities. Before buying the software, learn about the system’s uptime percentage record and speed. Ask the vendor if you can do testing on live systems? What is the location of your data centers?

8. Not trying before you buy

You do not want to make the mistake of investing in a wrong system. Some companies are carried over by the impressive marketing strategy of vendors and end up buying a system that does not provide the best of services.

By doing some Google searches, you will gain plenty of knowledge about the company compared to its sales team. Look for references and customer testimonials to give you suggestions. Ask them if you can “try before you buy” the software to get an idea as to how it functions. While some vendors may allow, some others do not. Create a checklist of items to test.

Social media networks communication concept9. Not much access to social networks/ job portals

One of the biggest applicant tracking software mistakes is not having access to a grand social network. While some vendors do have good accessibility, they charge hidden costs, which come as a surprise to buyers later. There are some vendors that do not have adequate job posting and social networking capabilities, which are essential to gain better candidate visibility.

Ask the vendor: What job posting sites and social networks do you have access to? If there are paid sites, ask them if they can you give you discounts?

10. The Cloud vs. IT

Some companies are unsure whether they want the vendor or the company’s IT department to update & maintain the system. As a result, some end up choosing their in-house IT department for the responsibility, which puts additional burden on their internal resources.

If you have dedicated IT resources, choose a product maintained and updated by the vendor. This would mean that they could be held accountable.

At ITQlick, we are experts in providing the right IT solution. With us, you can learn how to avoid the costly applicant tracking system mistakes and maximize your investment.