And of all the human resources specialties, recruiting technology is most mature and truly on fire. From Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn to the continuing build-out of functionality included in applicant tracking systems, the recruiting technology scene has never held more promise.
Look at any mature recruiting technology platform and you’ll see things that would have scared recruiters 15 years ago.
Ability to track candidate activity via CRM functionality and create talent pools to develop relationships and speak directly to specialties that present the most difficulty recruiting? We have that, too!
The list goes on related to what recruiting technology can provide. But there’s one pretty important thing the technology can’t do.
Force your recruiters to use the technology.
It’s true; for the technology to work, HR and talent acquisition leaders have to force their teams to use it. Which sucks, because it sets up incredibly talented HR/TA leaders for an uncomfortable confrontation that doesn’t feel like leadership.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great HR and talent acquisition leaders in the role of a consultant. One of the things I’ve learned is that our industry has some incredibly talented people at all levels on recruiting teams like the one at your company.
Recruiters work hard to fill jobs with great candidates. HR and talent acquisition leaders want to be the best. With that in mind, leaders like you start digging in and asking questions like, “How can we be the best recruiting shop in the industry?”
But your recruiters don’t use it in their hour-by-hour workflow. That’s called low user adoption, and it’s the reality for most leaders who are frustrated that they can’t take their recruiting practice to the next level with the help of the technology they’ve already purchased.
Why is this important? Why can’t we just load the people we interviewed or hired into the ATS once we fill a job?
More and more, the ATS has to be a system of record for your recruiting/TA function. To truly unlock the potential of recruiting analytics, talent pools and CRM, every action taken with a candidate has to be recorded in the ATS.
Only by all activity being recorded in the ATS can the technology — and the data/analysis it provides — emerge as a strategic tool.
Simply put, HR and talent acquisition leaders have to take the approach that if it’s not in the ATS, it didn’t happen, and they have to measure their recruiters accordingly. That’s confrontation, and it’s hard to tell a top-performing recruiter they must document and use the system.
But if you want your recruiting practice to unlock all the bells and whistles that salesperson sold you related to your ATS, confront you must.
I’ll wrap up this reality check on recruiting technology with the playbook for HR and talent acquisition leaders to get the ATS adoption they need from recruiters. It’s a simple plan, but hard to accomplish.
First, design the workflow, data entry and any implementation options you have related to your ATS to match your recruiting process. If you don’t have a documented process, you should get one.
Many recruiting shops had poor project management from an IT partner and didn’t customize the solution fully for their needs. Also remember that sometimes adjusting your process to match what the ATS can do is in your best interest as well.
Next, make sure you’re maximizing how easy it is for recruiters to import profiles from sources like LinkedIn into the ATS. Never compromise on this, because it’s the primary thing that stops recruiters from using the system. If they can’t load easily, they won’t use it.
Finally, audit regularly and create a scorecard that clearly shows who is using your ATS at a high level and consider changing incentive plans to make ATS use a priority.
Assuming you have a strong team of recruiters, your recruiting technology isn’t the reason you can’t get your talent acquisition practice to the next level. Lack of use of the system by the people doing the work is your problem.
You’ve got too many spreadsheets on the laptops of your recruiters. Kill the spreadsheets to get to the next level.
Kris Dunn, the chief human resources officer at Kinetix, is a Workforce contributing editor. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.