Why Do So Many Recruiters Hate ANY Applicant Management System?

Every week, day-in, day-out I visit corporate recruiting and staffing departments. Almost every individual recruiter, and most recruiting managers spend hours telling me how they hate their ATS system (or their Talent Management System, or their Talent Acquisition System, whatever you want to call it!). Why? They hate that the system is:

  • “Too slow”
  • “Too cumbersome”
  • “Has too many actions required to move a candidate along in the process
  • “Requiring too many moves from the keyboard to the mouse and back”
  • “Not candidate friendly”
  • “Cannot accurately and quickly search resumes”

and many, many more.

So… when I chat with Recruiting Leaders, many of them want to start to look at replacing their current system, with another system. The “system” is the “reason of all ills”. The system is “cause of all of our problems”.  Most of the time, after a bit of digging what I find is that the “system” is not the problem at all. The problem is the organization’s process that they mandated onto the system’s original configuration. What many organizations do is simply engage their system providers and say “here is our current process–make your system work with that”. Instead, what they should do, is simply STOP, and say “Here are our organizational goals– let’s design a new process that is streamlined and efficient…let’s get the new system to work with the new process”.

Sadly, many organizations don’t do that… so here we are 2, 3, 5 years into it, and the technology becomes the scapegoat of all that is wrong with the organization’s recruiting and staffing process. Generally it is not– it IS the process, not the technology. So many organizations can save so much time, money, and headache by simply recognizing this simple fact, and going back to the drawing board to design an effective system and using the same technology they already own. The technology can, in-fact, be reconfigured to a new process so much more effectively than going through an entirely new RFP and selection process, along with the cost and time involved in a new implementation and change management plan. If you are a big company, let’s face it– there are only 4-5 true system providers that can provide you fairly much a similar product at similar pricing. The trick is to maximize the technology using an efficient process from the start.

Jeremy M. Eskenazi, SPHR, CMC

Jeremy Eskenazi, is the Managing Principal of Riviera Advisors, Inc.

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