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25
October
2011

How Dead is the ATS? Long Live the CRM

Another insight from the Recruiting Innovation Summit

How Dead is the ATS? Long Live the CRM

Listening into the Recruiting Innovation Summit (#RIS11) from the comforts of my home was a real treat. Based on the stories that were shared by some companies regarding how they are addressing the ever present and growing need to manage candidates better, I noticed something interesting.

It seems like the ATS is dead. Well maybe not completely dead, but mostly dead (can you hear the coroner of munchkin land now?).

Ever since the birth of the ATS in the early 90's recruiters have hated them. If you are an ATS vendor and think "not our ATS," you're wrong. They hate all of them. For years we did our best to streamline processes and implement them in such a way to minimize the disruption to the natural flow of doing recruiting. The benefits of being on the same system, accessing a killer database, and addressing reporting needs outweighed the burden.

But there have been several developments lately that make me wonder if the ATS will soon be on life support. Here is what I am hearing:

  • Recruiters really hate using the ATS, so we have deployed a CRM
  • Candidates are dropping off the second they hit the ATS, so we launched a Talent community and capture their data in a CRM
  • We can't get good source of candidate reports from our ATS so we now track this in our Talent Community
  • We can't really use the ATS for interview management, we are experimenting with Video Interview platforms
  • The offer management module does not really meet our needs, so we do that outside the ATS

OK people. So what the hell are we using the ATS for? Compliance! Really?

With the advent of the recruiting CRM, the proliferation of candidate sourcing products, and the emergence of recruitment marketing platforms, our applicants are only getting to the ATS when the apply to a specific job. And the only reason we let them do that is because we need them to answer a few prescreening questions, and to track them for EEO reporting.

You could feasibly take the CRM and some of these other front end products, string them together with a Video Interviewing platform (add some killer content and you can replace the bullshit prescreening questions), and the add a robust document management application to handle offers, and bypass the ATS altogether. Build it for utility first and you can figure out compliance later.

Am I dreaming? Is this not happening?

There are some new ATS products entering the market today with CRM and some of the candidate/recruiter friendly features built right in. But I wonder how the legacy applications will stay relevant in this highly dynamic segment while moving horizontally toward the comprehensive Talent Management Suite.

I am not making the call yet, but it sure is something to think about.

 

Categories: Applicant Tracking, CRM

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