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Recruitment Software Red Flags: 3 Signs an ATS Is Destroying Your Placement Rate

Posted by
Andrew McKay & Brandon Metcalf
September 13, 2023

Investopedia recently listed recruiting as one of the top 20 industries most vulnerable to tech disruption, along with cashiers, radio DJs, and the postal service. 

Yes, you heard right. Recruiting is technically as shaky as the United States Postal Service. 

What’s going on? 

Well… the technological pillar of any recruiting and staffing firm is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and many (if not most) firms use ATSs that are well past their prime. This has several effects: 

  • The day-to-day impacts on recruiting firms are sluggish placement rates and greater hiring costs. 
  • The long-term impact on firms is an inability to outperform competitors. 
  • And the industry-wide impact is looming disruption.  

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s (surprise, surprise) getting better technology. 

This article explains what that technology is, why it’s beneficial, and what signs indicate adoption could boost your firm’s placement rate.   

Let’s get to it.   

The new recruiting tech stack is… Salesforce-based?

Salesforce might not be the first tech company you think of when you think of recruiting, but it might be soon.

This is because technical leaders at staffing and recruiting firms are realizing an ATS on Salesforce is a smart tech move, and here’s why: 

  1. You’re partnering with proven innovators. The leading CRM for the past decade, Salesforce is a (consistently) revolutionary company that’s had (arguably) as much impact on the business world as any other  — and it spends $5B annually on R&D to ensure it stays that way. In other words, teaming up with Salesforce is the closest thing to a sure bet in a rapidly changing tech landscape. 

  1. You’ll be the first to benefit from new technology. Assembling your tech stack on Salesforce also guarantees you’ll have the features you need to maintain competitive dominance. For recruiting and staffing firms, this is primarily through Salesforce Customer 360 products: the cutting-edge combination of AI, data, and CRM tech that allows you to engage clients and candidates with personalized, intelligent, and streamlined experiences. 

  1. You can configure your ATS to your business. Instead of being locked into a specific ATS vendor's features, firms can use Salesforce products and third-party apps to select an ATS tailored to their needs. Along with performance improvements, this approach has a cost-cutting effect too: Companies don’t have to pay for features they don’t need. 

Okay, now that we’ve covered the pros of Salesforce, it’s time to get to the meat of the article: How can you tell your placement rate would improve with this approach? 

There are (at least) three signs. 

Sign #1: You can’t search job histories and resumes (at the same time)

We know. It’s kinda specific. 

But “Search is… number one” for many recruiting firms, and whether or not you can do this on your ATS is a surefire way of testing the quality of your search. 

Search engines with this capability can produce the most relevant results for each query, which is another way of saying they give recruiters the best candidates the fastest. So, if you have this, it's a game-changing efficiency boost: Fewer clicks, faster matches, and faster placements. 

And, you guessed it, there are definitely Salesforce search apps that can do this (and a whole lot more). 

By the way, a “whole lot more” includes capabilities like searching the whole relationship — resume, CV, job history, education, skills, cover letters, etc. — with every query. 

Sign #2: You spend 60%+ of your time on engagement

Sending reminders, syncing calendars, rescheduling interviews, and other manual tasks can be a huge time suck. It actually takes up well over 60% of the average staffing recruiter’s time

This would be fine if it was a necessary part of the job. But it’s not necessary like how waking up at 4 a.m. is for teachers (or even how wearing a muscle shirt is for personal trainers). 

In fact, it’s not necessary at all. 

There are recruiting automation tools that streamline these tasks, and using them can chop that figure down by 20%. This productivity boost can have huge downstream effects: Automation can help accelerate hiring by 75% and reduce the cost of hiring by 30%.

Sign #3: You have constant workarounds because your ATS is not flexible 

Not all recruiting workflows are the same (nor should they be). It’s common to have recruiting workflows that contain different stages, sequences, and actions based on the job type, the level of the role, the industry, and even the individual client. 

When your ATS is not flexible enough to support this, teams will create their own processes outside of your system to try to get everything accomplished — defeating the point of having an ATS in the first place. And when teams of recruiters are working this way, it’s also nearly impossible to get accurate and real-time insight into the status of recruiting cycles. 

All this creates ineffectiveness and confusion, which is an easy way to destroy placement velocity.

But as we mentioned with engagement, this frustration is unnecessary. 

These days there are Salesforce-based ATSs that give recruiting firms the ability to build workflows according to their process. 

Future-proof your firm 

Here’s the ugly truth: No one in the staffing and recruiting industry can afford to sleep on the technological shift currently underway.

It’s not do or die. But it’s also not, not do or die. 

So if you aren’t already using a Salesforce-based ATS, it’s probably a good idea to at least consider it. We recommend starting with Asymbl, a Salesforce-based ATS that allows firms to assemble their tech stack according to their business, maximizing placement rate.

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