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6 Signs Your ATS Data Isn't Getting You Places

December 2, 2019

Obviously software is essential in modern recruiting.  Your candidates can potentially come from anywhere in the world, with wildly different backgrounds, resume styles, and platforms from which they are applying. Somehow, you need to compile, review, and fairly assess them all in order to find the best possible new hire.  Your systems are supposed to help with this task, but they're not always as useful as you'd hope.

Not all ATS' are intuitive or helpful, some even make your job harder than just personally flipping through each resume one by one. Many businesses stick with old programs longer than it is useful and because it can be nightmarish to update, or integrations can be so hard they can't get the benefits of today's cutting-edge intuitive software. 

If you're frustrated with your ATS, you are not alone. Let's dive into the top six signs that your applicant tracking system just isn't good enough to help you in today's high-pressure hiring environment.

Good Candidate Resumes are Slipping Through the Cracks

Your ATS is supposed to help you by highlighting your best candidates and sorting applicants by qualifications. But what happens when that is not up to snuff? Great candidates slip through the cracks because their resumes are not perfectly standard-formatted or because they applied through a system that has less-than-optimally parsing or data management.

With such a competitive hiring market, you can't afford to let your best candidates slip through the cracks.

Your Systems Are Not Connected and Coordinated

Most businesses don't just work with one system, they have a whole stack making up their ATS. Interfacing with various job boards and your own internal software is absolutely necessary to manage all the company's talent, both internal talent and candidates from the outside.  They need to track, communicate, engage, assess, and more.  And there is nothing more frustrating than when your talent data systems do not share the same data. When even one aspect of your stack fails to update, your entire system can be thrown off accidentally.

You Spend More Time Than You Save With the Software

This kind of problem can lead you to spend hours doing 'housework' on your recruiting software stack, coordinating data and clearing out old files. If you spending more time taking care of your talent data systems than the systems are actually saving you with automation, you might as well be skimming resumes on your own.  Or just throwing darts, perhaps?

Search and Find Features are Tedious and Difficult

One essential feature of a talent data system is the ability to search for the talent you need based on a variety of criteria. You may need to look at all your candidates or internal talent with a certain number of years experience or who have a specific skill set. However, not all talent search features were made equal. If your ATS can't accurately bring up this information or you spend half an hour trying different search methods, it's time for a change - or a data lake that can solve that around it.

You Cannot Quickly Compare Resumes Point-to-Point

You also need to be able to compare your talent based on parallel points. When you are agonizing over a final choice between two or three great candidates, you want to be able to look at their experience, their job history, or their education side-by-side. If your ATS can't make this happen with quick searching and point-to-point comparison, there is software that can and you want to seriously consider an upgrade.

You Have No Analytics Tools to Study Your Past Hiring Success

Finally, modern talent acquisition requires analytics. If you are going to improve your hiring process and results, you need to be able to examine the pattern of results in the past. Does your ATS tell you how many relocated employees turned out to be great hires versus employees hired nearby? Does your current talent data system help you analyze the success of a recent change in the hiring process? If not, you can do better.


If you're going to hire the best candidates and cultivate the best results, you need the best talent data systems available with modern technology. Software solutions have come a long way in the last ten years, has your TMS? If you are ready to explore new unified options and cutting-edge features that can smooth all the bumps in your ATS and recruiting software stack, contact us today!

Photo by Ruben Mishchuk on Unsplash

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