With the first time weekly unemployment claims still hovering above 400,000; I have more Applicant Tracking System annoyances.
As I said in my previous post, I get it because I am a Recruiter who has used ATS. And words cannot describe the efficiency an ATS has brought to my role as a Recruiter.
But as an unemployed Recruiter I am becoming increasingly angered at the ways I see ATS being used. Recruiters, take notice and listen to someone who has been on both sides of ATS because with what I have seen as an unemployed Recruiter, I am beginning to question the value add of this tool. This time, here is a real life example.
My husband has been teaching as adjunct faculty at a local community college while pursuing his MBA (which he has now completed). Since he has not yet found a new career and he is not teaching this summer, he decided to find a job to keep us afloat while he continues his career search. He walked into a drug/convenience store and asked if they were hiring. The reply from the person at the counter was “yes”. Naturally, he asked for an application. To his surprise, he was told to go to their website to apply. Now, call me old school, but really? Apply for a drug/convenience store clerk job online? He went to their website and 2 hours later, he was angry because the site kept crashing. He said he was done applying.
At my urging, he returned to the site later to try again. Another 2 hours later, he finally reached the screen telling him it was successfully submitted. Part of this application included 50 personality questions. How can a questionnaire with multiple choice answers really tell a Recruiter if the candidate has a good personality/character? Recruiters, we’re relying on a computer to tell us if a candidate has the right personality for the job. Is this really a value add for you? Sadly, this is not the only employer he has experienced this with.
My husband tried different employers. He walked into a restaurant and asked “are you hiring”. Again, the same result - apply online. Come on…really? I date myself here, but in the late 1980’s I walked into a restaurant, asked if they were hiring, was handed an application, upon completing it, the manager spoke with me right there and then asked me to start on Saturday. This whole process took probably under 2 hours and occurred all on the same day. Keep in mind now that my husband spent 4 hours of his day applying online (or trying to apply) just for 1 job! He spent another 2 hours of time on the restaurant online application.
Recruiters, are we belaboring the hiring process by using our ATS this way? Is value being added to the process to make a candidate spend 2 hours on an online form to determine if their personality is ‘okay’ for the next step? Most important, have you left yourself any questions to ask the candidate in person? We’re removing the human contact and letting ATS handle it all for us because we trust that the great and powerful ATS will be able to tell us to hire or not.
I know you’re dying to hear what happened with my husband. It’s a month later and did he receive a call or a job? NO! No response from the store or the restaurant. Here is a perfectly capable worker, willing to work the crazy store/restaurant hours and he has received nothing from these employers except an initial system email with the canned response that the application was successfully entered into the system. And by the way, my husband actually has quite a few years of retail experience and still has had no phone screen.
I am left asking myself some questions. Would his end result have been different if he would have completed an application at the store and speak to the manager right then? And as an ATS user, how long must it have taken the Recruiter to actually set up a 50-question questionnaire in their ATS in the first place? Value added? I think not. What do you think?