Do Applicant Tracking Systems Miss Qualified Candidates?




  • November 24, 2014

    Do Applicant Tracking Systems Miss Qualified Candidates? image applicant tracking candidates.jpg

    You’d like your company to invest in an applicant tracking system, but the key decision maker is afraid the software will miss qualified candidates. This concern may be fueled by personal experience—perhaps he felt he was wrongly passed over when he applied to a company that used this type of software. Alternatively, he may simply have been misled by inaccurate information on the Internet.

    You shouldn’t let the conversation about implementing an applicant tracking system fall by the wayside, however. A persuasive way to alleviate fears is by educating decision makers about how an applicant tracking system screens candidates and comparing it to the manual process your team uses today.

    Here are four facts you can use to help decision makers see past their concerns.

    1. The focus is on eliminating poor candidates, not potential ones. The best applicant tracking systems help businesses eliminate poor applicants. You decide on basic requirements for the position (such as certain professional licenses or number of years in a role) and automatically eliminate those who do not fit the basic job requirements. Since the software weeds out poor candidates, it saves time for the HR team and enables recruiters to focus on applicants who are better suited for the open positions.
    2. Pre-screening questions take the guesswork out of resume evaluations. Rather than just scanning resume text for desired qualifications, some applicant tracking systems use job-specific pre-screening questions to ensure the right candidates are identified. At application time, the candidate can answer simple Yes or No questions like “Do you have four years or more of experience as a customer service representative?” to eliminate the guesswork when the system parses the resume. Pre-screening questions can also be a great way to get insight into how well applicants may fit with the company culture. It may be helpful to ask questions related to key company values, such as customer service and teamwork.
    3. Applicants are objectively ranked according to your set criteria. Snap judgments made during the hiring process can move a quality candidate from the interview pile to the elimination pile. Applicant tracking systems eliminate human bias from the resume review phase, ranking candidates based on actual skills and experience. Using a standard approach to ranking applicants, in conjunction with a standard set of behavioral interview questions, can improve the hiring process and make it more consistent from candidate to candidate.
    4. Humans make mistakes. Online job postings make it easy for anyone to apply for a job, which can lead to a flood of resumes in the HR professional’s inbox. No matter how good your HR team is, manually reviewing a pile of resumes may result in elimination of top candidates because the HR recruiter missed a keyword or phrase that would move them to the top of the pile.

    Applicant tracking systems remove this level of human error, ensuring you see everyone who meets the job qualifications, in ranked order. Applicant tracking systems are designed to help you identify and rank the best candidates for your company and eliminate only those who don’t meet the job requirements.


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