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Why Entrée Recruitment, unlike 80% of firms, do not use an Applicant Tracking System

Why Entrée Recruitment, unlike 80% of firms, do not use an Applicant Tracking System

Posted on 28/03/2019 by Breeanna Noske

Why we do not use an applicant tracking system

Let me start by saying: Entrée Recruitment do not use any form of Applicant Tracking System (ATS), automated application screening, computerised applicant sorter or keyword searching and excluding technology. At all. And we don’t plan on doing so.

An ATS is technology that sorts through incoming applications and resumes and either filters, sorts or rates applications based on the presence of pre-determined key words, job titles, companies, or skills. The idea behind them is that they assist in screening bulk applications. And apparently, as we have recently discovered, it is a common conception that ALL recruitment agencies use an ATS to filter applications.

Let me reiterate. We. At. Entrée. Recruitment. Do. Not. Use. An. ATS.

Is this the norm? Are we unique for not utilising such software? We don’t know. A quick Google search for statistics tells us that apparently, the percentage of Australian employers utilising an ATS is as high at 80%! Without knowing the source of this research or the validity and accuracy of this figure, we choose not to believe the use of such systems is this prevalent. Rather, we HOPE the use of such systems is not this prevalent.

Our Google search also uncovered that an ATS is more commonly used by companies with 100+ staff. So perhaps large, global companies are utilising these systems for internal recruitment purposes. But, in our opinion, if a recruitment agency is doing right by its candidates AND its clients, they would not be utilising such software.

I’m sure there are arguments that exist purporting the benefits of an ATS. Saving time and money I’m guessing would likely be the main point. So why do we at Entrée Recruitment choose to spend the time and the money? There are multiple reasons.

FIRSTLY, we at Entrée Recruitment, as a recruitment agency, provide a service to our clients. A service which they do not possess the time, money, resources or know-how to perform themselves. I myself have had a client say something of this effect to me before: “Last time we advertised this role I received 300 applications. I just can’t bear the thought of reading them all again! So I’m going to pay you to do it for me!” We would certainly feel uncomfortable delegating a large portion of this paid service to a computerised system then trotting off to a nice lunch with friends!

SECONDLY, the value of an Entrée Recruitment process is that we look “beyond the resume”, as we like to say, to find our clients top talent for their vacancies. Basically this means that we look deeper than just job titles. We recognise a candidate’s transferable skills, dedication towards the role or company they are applying to, education, skills, spelling, grammar, formatting, document structure and personality all from a resume. Let’s see a robot do THAT.

THIRDLY, strong candidate care practices are of large importance to us at Entrée Recruitment. If a candidate has taken the time to compile and submit a job application, we take the time to read it. And RESPOND TO IT. Ground breaking.

FOURTHLY, we value the inclusion of cover letters in applications, and will almost always contact a candidate who has displayed true passion and interest in the organisation they are applying to, clearly conducted research into the company, and convincingly described why they want THIS role over any other. Does an ATS read cover letters for this kind of passion? We doubt it.

FIFTHLY, at Entrée Recruitment we don’t believe in transactional recruitment. Any old agency can post an ad, receive responses, have them automatically ranked, and then forward the top ten to a client. We go beyond to meet with clients, speak with candidates, read resumes, and build relationships with the candidates and clients who make our jobs possible.

SIXTHLY, as a recruitment agency, we have multiple roles we are recruiting for at any one time. And in addition, we are meeting candidates daily who we believe may be worth connecting with for potential future opportunities. An applicant may not have the exact skill set or experience for the role they have applied for (in which case an ATS would reject their application), HOWEVER, we might identify strengths towards another of our vacant positions. This does, and has, happened. We don’t wish to give up that potential find!

SEVENTHLY, computers can get it wrong. Siri certainly doesn’t have a 100% hit rate! She gets it wrong. And so (we believe), would an ATS on occasion.

EIGHTHLY, we choose not to engage in the risk that an ATS will not correctly read the text within PDF documents, tables, document headers, images, graphics, or text boxes and discount a well suited candidate on this basis.

Shall I continue?

Perhaps I’ll save you from further justification. But to conclude, I can guarantee, promise, assure and reassure that Entrée Recruitment are not using an Applicant Tracking System. Every application is read by human eyes. And by the human eyes of the recruiting consultant themselves. Can our competitors claim the same? We don’t know. You should ask them!