5 Minutes On: Your Applicant Tracking System

by | Sep 7, 2020

Your applicant tracking system, is it actually helping?

Transcript of 5 minutes on your applicant tracking system brought to you by Otter.ai

Hello, it’s Katrina Collier, again with another five minutes. And actually, this isn’t the five minutes I expected it to be. I have been on quite the rant about ghosting of late, as in recruiters ghosting candidates, not the other way around. But of course, we can’t really ghost anybody if they can’t actually apply.

So the reason I’m going to talk about your applicant tracking system is because a mate of mine from Australia got in touch, and she said, “Do you remember the name of our boss?” Now, some of you weren’t even born when I was working with her at this company. It’s that long ago, I can’t remember. And she was also asked for her employee number. So as she’s going through the applicant process, it says. “Was she a former employee?” Yes, she was. “What’s her employee number and what was the bank manager’s name?” And she’s like, “I don’t recall.” So what does she do? Does she lie? Or does she like, is there a box that says I don’t know, I don’t recall it’s that long ago. No, no, she gets stuck. So she actually called her HR and spent 15 minutes getting her employee number, but she still doesn’t know what her boss’s name was. To be honest, the boss would be long retired. Long gone from the company. So it’s kind of irrelevant.

But why do we have these boxes? You know, it’s exactly the same as the criminal record box. That’s why there’s a campaign called Ban the Box, because people won’t admit when they have a criminal record anyway. Because a lot of the time it can be driving offences, for example, and they want to just get around and get to the human being and talk to people. But take my sister as well, my sister with 20 years of event management experience looking for a job trying to fill out that application. Does she have a degree? No, she doesn’t. She has 20 years of relevant experience. Knocked back.

So I would love it. If you would take the time this week to pick up your phone and start an application. On your phone, for your own jobs at your own company. So this is for HR and in-house recruiters, please apply for a job at your company on your phone. How many obstacles are you putting in the way that really don’t necessarily need to be that? Now, I appreciate that it is a pandemic, that there is a recession going on that there are lots of people looking for work. And you’re probably thinking, well, I really it’s not such a bad thing to knock back a few people along the way. But what if it’s that perfect person? What if they are the right person for that role, and they’re the exact person that you need to help the company be successful? Isn’t that your job as an HR recruitment professional, to get the right people in your company?

I would be really, really grateful if this week that was something that you did, I talked about a lot. I talked about it in The Robot-Proof Recruiter. Talk about making sure that people can apply what kind of stumbling blocks are we putting in the way I talk a lot about Recite.me as well, which is an amazing tool. You’ll find it on my website, TheSearchologist.com. And it helps people with dyslexia or dyspraxia, for example, to apply for jobs, you know, it helps people through the process. That’s what we should be doing. And again, I understand that you’re inundated with applications at the moment, you probably just don’t want anymore. But I do not believe that is the case for every single recruiter out there every single role. And our job is to get the applicant tracking system working for us, not against us, it is there to support the applicants through the process. But if you don’t ever step out, I mean, when was the last time that you step back and actually applied for a job at your company? I bet it’s been a really long time. If you don’t do that, and you don’t know where the stumbling blocks are.

And again, it’s all about human-first, I talk about this in the book, of course, it’s in the Mastermind. That’s all about human-first, you erm, my automation posts from us to disrupt a little bit as well. And people think I’m anti automation I’m not, I’m only anti it when it’s blocking the humans from having a great experience. I feel we’ve forgotten somewhere that human behind every application. So if it’s something that you do this week, please remember that and just take the time to find out where the stumbling blocks are. And I believe if you find a lot, and you feel like you can’t do anything about it, one of the best ways would be to actually take your phone into the head of the company and say, “can you try and apply for a job at our company? Why are we making it so difficult? Do we really need to be making it this difficult? Could we use some technology that would make it better?”

Anyway, that’s my five-minute rant about applicant tracking systems. I’d be so grateful if that’s what you did this week. And who knows what I’ll be back to talk about tomorrow it seems to be it’s whatever comes up in the morning to talk about that’s relevant to you. Anyway, thank you for your five minutes.

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