I belong to a group on Linkedin called Linked:HR (#1 Human Resources Group), and someone posted about keyword searches, ATS's and the "black hole." As I read the comments (many from non-HR/Recruiting professionals) they were villifying "US" stating that we don't know how to find talent and if you don't have the right keywords you will never be found. This discussion has been going on for 2 weeks so it is a very hot topic.

Well, as a corporate recruiter/HR professional, I've been around before the ATS and I don't rely on the ATS for resumes. I source. I explained that job seekers need to NETWORK and stop relying on job boards. I also said that if they really thought about it, the process is no different now than before the ATS. Back in the day, you received 50mil resumes via snail mail or fax, we still sorted them into "Yes," "No,"  and "Maybe" piles. We then we reached out. It's just automated now.

No matter how much I tried to "defend" how we go about seeking talent, many still believed it was about "keywords" on the resume that will get them through the system and ultimately land them an interview. I told them that when we do search the databases, a HUMAN is coming up with the keywords and that it isn't as "automated" as the think. I also tried to educate by stating keywords aren't always something obvious and that typically, if you have what we are looking for it will be on your resume. The example I give is an Accountant. If I'm looking for an Accountant, my key words aren't any of the following: balance sheet statement, general ledger, month end close, etc. My key words may be a specific industry, a company that is a competitor, a geographic location, a specific technology, a school, etc.

I don't know. I spent so much time defending what we do, but I had to think, are there MORE recruiters out there who are just simply searching a databases? Are they poor at interviewing anmd evaluating talent? Also, do you try and educate folks you come in contact with about the search process and what goes on "behind the scenes?" Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Tiffany - Yes. There. Are. 

It should be 1 touch point in your search among others. However, yes there are a lot of recruiters that simply screen resumes and mine the ATS for readily available resumes. This is not a bad thing but it has to be combined with other steps in the process to be effective.

If I relied on the resumes that came in through my ATS I'd never fill a job. LOL



Ryan Leary said:

Tiffany - Yes. There. Are. 

It should be 1 touch point in your search among others. However, yes there are a lot of recruiters that simply screen resumes and mine the ATS for readily available resumes. This is not a bad thing but it has to be combined with other steps in the process to be effective.

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