November 15

Why Seekers Hate Your ATS

You want to hire applicants, not push them away. Here’s why using your own ATS can actually keep you from getting the results you want.

We get why you might use an Applicant Tracking System — it’s easier for you. An ATS can offer recruiters a platform to sort all of their applications in one place. If you’re working for a restaurant business that has multiple units, it might make sense to the big boss upstairs that you all use the same software to organize potential hires. The truth is, using an ATS is a pain in the ass for job seekers and as a result, it can take away from the amount of qualified applicants you’ll actually receive.

Here are just a few reasons why seekers hate your ATS.

Your ATS takes them to an unexpected site
Awhile ago, we spoke with job seekers on what they hate about your job post, and being sent to a different website made the list. When a seeker finds your job through a job board and are then re-routed, you are just creating an additional step for the job seeker. They have to find the career page, find the job they were looking for and spend valuable time that could have been spent applying to multiple jobs already. The key to conversion rates is to create an experience that’s quick and easy for job seekers — using an Applicant Tracking System doesn’t help with that.

Your ATS is time consuming
Expanding on the first point a little bit, most ATS’s are a time consuming experience. Job seekers have to register an account, upload a resume, manually fill out a ton of different forms and do the occasional personality test. This process is way too long for this day and age. It discourages the seeker from actually completing the application process because you’re asking them to do way too much. While the ATS software company might boast that their service will filter the most qualified candidates, it’s actually just pushing them away.

Your ATS is outdated
Your ATS likely isn’t optimized for mobile, and being in a generation where most everything is done on a mobile device, you’re missing out on capturing the most applications possible. The process that makes your ATS so time consuming and difficult on desktop, only doubles on mobile — making the drop-off rate for successful candidates even higher. In addition to the application process being a pain on mobile, your ATS likely only allows you to communicate through email. Not all job seekers check their email regularly. The best platforms give job seekers the option to be reached by text, like Poached Jobs.

Your ATS creates a virtual black hole
Most applicant tracking systems don’t provide any assurance that the application was ever seen. Occasionally an email might be sent to inform the job seeker of application success, but then after that… crickets. Job seekers, especially the ones that really want to work with you, are eager to know where they are in the application process and if you already hired someone. After spending hours trying to figure out how to apply on your website, they at least want to know that their application was seen! Poached Jobs takes care of this issue by sending the applicant updates when their resume has been viewed, when they’ve been contacted, or when an interview is requested.

Maybe you love your ATS and that’s okay, but most seekers hate it. So before you soak up everything your ATS salesman has to say, it’s good to do some research. The goal is to find great hires for those hard-to-fill positions — if your ATS keeps that from happening then maybe it’s time to suggest a different platform for hiring.

About the author


Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.


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