Articles by Smart Recruit Online

Don’t Make This Critical Mistake when upgrading your talent acquisition technology

Upgrade your recruitment system

By Mark Stephens

The biggest mistake that I see companies make when considering an upgrade to improve their talent acquisition technology, is that they start with the problems and challenges, rather than with the solutions that they could be achieving. They subsequently choose solutions that cause the least amount of disruption, or decide not to change them at all.

The most effective solutions always start with the best way to solve the problem and then work backwards through the processes.

Problem solving has always worked best this way, so why do companies always seem to line up the problems or challenges at the front of the conversation when upgrading their recruitment technology.

“We already have an ATS”, “we have only just got people using the old system”, “we currently do it another way” …. Etc you get my point I’m sure.

The reality is, if you want to generate a different set of results you have to make some changes and sometimes that means making sacrifices to existing systems and processes.

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Let’s be clear, ATS & HR systems are not talent attraction systems and if you think they are, you have either been miss-sold or need to go back to school. They are databases that track and report on candidate activity and there is virtually nothing strategic about the way that they help you attract and nurture talent into your organisation. It is therefore not surprising to hear that around 80% of ATS users say that their recruitment system is not fit for purpose.

The recruitment modules on the vast majority of ATS and HR systems are actually counter-productive to direct hiring strategy, starting with the primary method for capturing applications. If your system redirects applicants from your adverts to any type of sign up page, registration page or application form, then you are kissing goodbye to between 50-85% of applicants that should have ended up in your talent pool, and consistently this is proven to include the best candidates too.

Statistically 83% of all applicants fall into the ‘passive’ category and they behave in a very different way to active candidates who are committed to moving jobs. Passive applicants are not committed to moving, they are the window shoppers of the recruitment world. But unlike other industry sectors, where tyre-kickers are perceived to be a waste of time, passive applicants can in the majority of cases be converted into genuine applicants, when the right nurturing process is applied. However, they still need to become ‘applicants’ first.

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Back to the technology and the solutions that enable businesses to recruit more effectively. If an improved method of attracting talent can be adopted in a commercially viable way, that can overcome fundamental issues as the one we have just outlined. Why should recreating your approval process in the new system be a valid reason for not making a change that can improve outcomes?

This simply doesn’t make any sense, because processes like this can be changed and adapted, but a lack of suitable applicants in your prospect list can’t, unless you have a magic wand that can turn bad applicants into good ones?

I know many very experienced consultants that advise businesses on their choice of technology and without fail, they all start the conversation with a list of objectives that the customer wants to achieve. They look at the bottlenecks and the pains and start with the solution and then work their way back through what elements of the process can be retained and what needs to change.

So don’t be afraid to change or upgrade your technology to suit your business needs. Talent attraction is important for the future of your business and with the constant development of technology, you could be missing out on crucial candidates.


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Hiring Gone Digital: How to Hold A Successful Remote Interview

Using SMS in your ATS and Recruiting Process

Why Your ATS Will Never Help You Hire

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About the author

 Mark Stephens has over 20 years of business management experience, across Sales, Marketing, Recruitment and Technology environments. Mark is a recent winner of the Chambers of Commerce award for innovation in business. He is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of several companies including Smart Recruit Online and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library.

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last seven years he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications.

Mark also delivers keynote talks and training to recruitment teams in both public and private sector organisations, on writing better advertising copy, targeting passive candidates and understanding candidate behaviours online.

Connect with Mark Stephens on LinkedIn


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