I've been a successful technical recruiter for 30+ years. Now that I'm in the twilight of my career I look back on my career and I am so glad I'm almost at the finishline. For the past 10 years I feel more like an admistratrive assistant, rather than a professional recruiter. For those of you who don't remember. Back in the old days you spent most of your time sourcing and recruiting and interfacing directly with the Hiring Managers. You didn't spend half your day tracking internal information on overblown ATS such as Peopleclick, Resumix and Teleo. which in my opinion is waste of a recruiter's time and talent. Sometimes I believe the computer has created a bunch of recruiters who don't have much in the way of people skills or recruiting skills for that matter.. Recruiters have been transformed into Data Processors,.no more, no less. Frankly, ask most recruiter, who are honest about their jobs and they will tell you that they hate using ATS because it takes them away from the core responsible...RECRUITING. They do it for the hierarchy,who were sold a bill of goods by the ATS companies. And frankly most HR Executives and CEO don't even know how much time and money has been wasted on this technology.

My best to you all! Mike!

Views: 333

Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 27, 2010 at 11:46pm
Ah yes Mike you are so very correct. Internal recruiters at several of my client companies have abandoned their dippety do dah ATS systems and online ridiculous application process because it slows down the whole hiring process. The search capabilities are time consuming and miss a lot of qualified candidates. And on and on. In the past three weeks one client has decided to ignore the submittal of candidates through the ATS and asked for resumes to be sent direct. Another has insisted that resumes be submitted through the ATS but has asked that they then be emailed along with recruiter notes after they are put in the ATS. Last but not least is my fav. One internal recruiter has just gone back to keeping up with candidates by entering them on a spread sheet and has asked that we send them a spread sheet with candidates names, resumes and activity on all candidates we have submitted in the past six months.

I just love ATS technology and all it's time saving fast retrieval of information that's why i deleted my somewhat expensive system 10 years ago and went right back to that little miracle of communication "Outlook email". Did you know that a fast search of outlook email will yield faster and more accurate retreival than an ATS and it does not require any data entry, or make parsing errors while a trip to sent mail will cough up all referrals in seconds. Amazing isnt' it.
Comment by pam claughton on September 28, 2010 at 7:54am
I remember doing a contract years ago with a very large company and initially being excited thinking how amazing their internal database must be...until I discovered they were using one of the three mentioned in this post, and it was so complex that most of the recruiters were not using it at all. Instead they were saving all their resumes in their own outlook folders, which worked great for them, but didn't allow other recruiters to access the information for future searches. If the company instead had a simple, user-friendly ATS they could have benefited so much more.
Comment by Scott Sachs on September 28, 2010 at 9:01am
On the subject of using & choosing an ATS, let me offer a totally biased perspective:
I have been recruiting 29 years, plus I have been a client user of PCRecruiter for over 12 years in Executive Search, IT Staffing, & Corporate HR. I can tell you first-hand that choosing PCR at the technology company I worked at 12 years ago was the best strategic decision I ever made. It was [and is] simple to use and it helped me grow that business from "David" to "Goliath". Because of my success with PCR in that environment, plus my aforementioned use of it in Executive Search and as an in-house Corporate HR Recruiter, I have been an outspoken Client reference and Internet advocate of the product--so much so, I am now an employee! PCR seamlessly integrates into MS Outlook 2007 [the toolbar is actually embedded right into it], has 24/6 "real person" client support, personal & virtual training, 94% parsing accuracy, 99.8% web-hosted reliability, 1 click reporting metrics, and can be customized to mirror the hiring process of any organization. We have 3000 customers, 25000 users in 60 countries. We're in Cleveland, OH, so [unlike many of our competitors] we offer a low price along with our high ROI. Look, I respect everyone's opinions, I am not hear to change anyone's mind or to engage in debate; simply to chime in and tell you about my first-hand ATS experience.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on September 28, 2010 at 9:39am
The feedback I am getting from applicants is that companies are seriously damaging their employment brand as their is no real engagement with applicants. Most recruiting teams have become faceless and anonymous, rather than connecting with applicants. Without specifically wanting to single out any system, they have become a barrier rather than improving the applicant experience. A lot of internal recruiters have no idea what real recruiting is all about!
Comment by Chaser on September 28, 2010 at 11:42am
Sandra, always love your comments and well said Charles! ATS systems whether simple or complicated are just a pure waste of time. And Miles yes the Google Desktop is a great tool (use to use it) and Boss still does...But whenever I had it installed it seemed to slow down my comp...
Comment by Eli on September 28, 2010 at 12:57pm
Mike, thanks for giving a preview into your journey, I agree it is a cumbersome process. I believe the whole ATS thing was designed to help provide some sort of management utility to recruiters. ATS's also have an integration capability with an HRIS (and in general) provides version/form/reporting control for HR/personnel administrators. Due to the stringent EEO/HR/AAP laws corporate businesses are held to, you have to quantify your applicant pool for yearend reporting. I know a lot of corporate businesses will have an ATS administrator so their recruiters can focus on recruiting, then they can cross-pollinate info sharing so everything is documented accordingly. Similar to what I've seen in the staff model with a front office coordinator, etc. If you have to do it yourself, definitely adds hours to your day, but I firmly believe there's something safe and manageable about the whole process in the end. Definitely prevents having to hold onto emails!
Comment by Michael Johnson on September 28, 2010 at 2:37pm
Interesting observation and I agree with Eli in that it seems to me that ATS is driven out of compliance issues (HR) not recruiting efficiency. That's why so many companies are now moving to a CRM on the front end of their ATS. ATS is for "applicants" and CRM is for "prospects". Finding, engaging, pitching, closing, akin to a sales process. Some of that change has been driven by agency recruiters that moved in house in the dot com bust and have now been promoted into corporate recruiting mgmt roles (vs. coming out of HR). As they look to build an internal agency-like function the ATS isn't the right tool in the toolbox. But having the "database of record" - aka the ATS - is still required in order to remain compliant (I have clients that have admitted to not accessing/considering that ATS applicants at all and that it's sole purpose it to remain compliant). Best of luck Mike in your retirement. We'll keep fighting the good fight :)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 28, 2010 at 2:38pm
The only thing i see an ATS system doing effectively is giving internals a way to say that they already have a candidate on file that they have not talked with in over a year.
Comment by Dina Harding on September 29, 2010 at 12:00am
Very well said, Michael. I totally agree.
Comment by Cindy J. Biter on September 29, 2010 at 2:18pm
Most interesting topic and I have to say, I agree. When I started my own recruiting firm, I thought, "I have to have an ATS." So, I got one. I hardly ever use it! It does, like someone in a previous post mentioned, takes away so much time from recruiting and makes you essentially, a data-entry clerk. I've got my folders, my notebooks, my paper resumes and my lap-top. I'm in business! And business is good!


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