Turn ATS Pain into Gain: How small changes can make a huge difference!

It’s Not Your ATS that sucks!  How to quickly improve your application process.

Summary: By taking small steps to fix your application process, you can change a frustrating process into a more enjoyable experience. One that builds up your brand, increases conversion rates, allows you to spend more time talking to qualified candidates and less time hunting.

How many recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are proud of their application process and how many of them actually try and do something about it?


“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

― Vincent van Gogh


Taking just one step in the right direction is better than complaining and doing nothing.

The other day, I took a long drive in our RV. I was traveling along 35 North when I passed a young man. He was hitchhiking, but still walking along at brisk pace. While passing him by (as a rule, I don’t pick up hitchhikers) it occurred to me that this guy was walking toward his destination. I mean, who knows how far he was going? At least he was moving, taking steps towards his goal, rather than just sitting there waiting for someone to stop and give him a ride. I was actually inspired.


Now back to your application process. Here are some ideas you can implement:

  • Turn those robot autoresponders into valuable, trust building touchpoints. How? Take action! Have a touchpoint meeting.
  • Have someone on your team apply for one of your jobs.
  • Print screen every step of the process.
  • Create a diverse team (not just recruiters) to review each step.
  • Try reading each screen out loud in a robot voice!
  • Using Mingle or Trello, map every step of the process and share the project with the team. You might also start making and sharing changes for approval with whomever is responsible for giving that approval.
  • Make separate “boards” for each segment that is unique to recruiting. Example:  University Recruiting Process has a unique process and automated emails so they should get their own boards.
  • Start with the easy stuff.  How about that email everyone gets after they apply?  What if your team were to shoot a quick video that thanks them for applying.  Or, you might send them a list of frequently asked questions about the process so they know, up front, what the steps will be and how long they should wait.

Some talent acquisition teams have a mission statement or something close to that. Write whatever yours is on a whiteboard and prominently display it for all to see. This will serve as your compass during this exercise.


Here is a helpful blog post  by  the folks at Trello that will help you get started: http://blog.trello.com/trello-board-best-practices/