Recruiting Technology

What Will the Future Hold for Applicant Tracking Systems?

Yesterday we listened to recruiting technology industry leaders talk about why recruiting isn’t where it needs to be. A look into the minds of the creators of this technology offers unique insights. Today we’ll hear more from the session, specifically about applicant tracking systems (ATSs).

The presenters for this session include moderator Kris Dunn, CHRO of Kinetix; Mark Newman, founder and CEO of HireVue; Jon Bischke, CEO of Entelo; Jennifer Seith, VP of CareerBuilder; and Colin Day, president and CEO of iCIMS.

Where we left off last time, Jon Bischke had just suggested that recruiting will soon be shifting from a system where your candidates seek you out to one where you seek them out.

Kris Dunn

“Is that going to make things bad for you?”

Jon Bischke

If it’s done well. The reality is there is not a lot of reality. A lot of it is marketing, using AI and slapping something on it. The true test is, does big data make your life easier? If it doesn’t, what is the point. When you hear us talk, hold us to task, and ask ‘Why should I care?’ If we can’t tell you why you should care, don’t buy our products.”

Kris Dunn

“Almost everyone in this room, including myself, has an ATS back at the shop. So, it’s kind of like the second day God gave us the ATS. I like ATS, and I think it’s a good idea. But Colin, from iCIMS’s view, why are so many people less than fully satisfied with their ATS? Again, as I mentioned with Jenn, it’s not a statement on iCIMS as it is on the reality that most of us are neutral to satisfied with our ATS.”

Colin Day

“It may not be the sexiest part of recruiting, but ATS is the most fundamental building block of recruiting. I think to go to your question, our mind-set is listen, there is a war for talent. It’s on top of our minds. We have to stop relying so much on ATS. It’s not enough to win the war for talent anymore. You can’t just post and prey.

I think we see the next challenge is to move beyond the SAAS (software as a service) suite and more of a platform as a service. Someone has to pull this off and say, ‘I know you are going to buy 50 tools, but let’s get them all in the same UI (user interface) and same analytics platform, and working in harmony.’”

Kris Dunn

“Jon, can you piggyback on that? Share with the audience frustrations people have with ATS. What can they do to make their lives better?”

Jon Bischke

“I agree with Colin. You hear talk about platforms, but ATS is platform. It has done well for increasing platform strength going forward—and it’s good for companies to plug into. At the end of the day, people use open platforms because they have to. ATS vendors aren’t going to do everything. We’ve been focused on stack ranking candidates. We launched stack; it’s good at helping identify people who are good for the jobs.

Any company that is big has thousands of people who should be considered for jobs because, for whatever reason, the company doesn’t know about those individuals. The trick is for vendors to work within the ATS platforms and add more value on top of the ATS, just like how a marketing company might add value on top of Salesforce®. We are trying to build a way to make ATS better.”