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ATS Sourcing

(December 1, 2006)
An Industry White Paper by Jake Firth.

ATS Sourcing Data - 83% Inaccurate

Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), HR Executives wrongly assume that the sourcing data has some resemblance to reality. Yet 5 out of 6 Candidates enter inaccurate data.

Executive Summary
What may come as a big surprise to HR and Staffing management is the gross inaccuracies of most Applicant Tracking Systems in reporting source of hire information. Whereas a few ATSs use sophisticated tracking tags, the majority rely solely on basic drop-down boxes to obtain "facevalue" data from applicants who apply for their open positions.

Job boards are finding an overwhelming discrepancy in the number of applicants sent to a company's ATS and the total recorded by the ATS reports. It follows that many companies are basing their vendor choice of job boards on highly inaccurate data, which is so far from reality that they are useless and damaging. Companies are unwittingly making strategic job board selection decisions on highly flawed data. They are in danger of underutilizing their most successful source of hire in favor of less focused vendors.

AllRetailJobs.com, the leading retail job board, conducted an in depth study to assess the validity of drop-down boxes, used by many ATSs to list possible sources of hire. By simulating the typical drop down box format, candidates were asked to select the source of hire. This question was posed to more than 60,000 retail candidates when they filled out applications for jobs on AllRetailJobs.com. As all the candidates applied directly from AllRetailJobs.com, 100% should have chosen AllRetailJobs.com. Yet 5 out of 6 candidates selected alternative source options - a staggering 83% inaccuracy.

This problem can be resolved if ATS vendors enhanced their software with automated tracking tags. This will accurately record the source of hire and not rely on the applicant's response as the way to measure a particular campaign and return on investment.

The required upgrades will incur cost and time for ATS vendors. Naturally, from their point-ofview, if very few of their customers are asking for changes, then why exert the effort? Unfortunately, few corporate executives are aware of the problem. Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ATS, they assume that the reports are accurate. So they neglect to ask for upgrades and continue to base their vendor decisions on highly flawed information. This paper outlines the study program and its results, the possible causes for candidates to enter fallacious data, and a recommended course of action to correct this situation.

Download the complete ATS Sourcing Whitepaper written by Jake Firth of JobsInLogistics.com.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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