Part Two: What Does Your ATS Say About Your Organization?

By Natalie Pike,
October 21, 2014

by Lizz Pellet, Culture Guru at The Good Jobs

My next experience asked me to include the ‘job category’ for the position I was applying to. I was very confused. The posting said nothing about the category, so I tried to enter key words from the posting. That didn’t work. Every time I hit the enter key it bounced back to me with the error message to enter the job category. I entered a few of my own ‘key words’ and those didn’t work either. So just for fun I entered the job posting number and YES, that was it! The job category I was applying for was HBJ209877FK2623. Somehow to me, that does not translate into a category. It’s a tracking number that populates in the ATS. Needless to say, this was not the greatest candidate experience. 

The best was an auto generated email three minutes after hitting submit on the job posting. Really, I might be the 900th person to complete the application, but for me to know that no human being just viewed my resume which is really my resuME just made me feel bad, under qualified and over looked. The ATS is just that – automated. But we humans are not and even if you are using the keyword search functionality to weed out candidates that do not have all the required KSA’s (or maybe used other key words to describe them), it would be a much better communication to allow some time to pass before sending the auto generated email.

Along those lines, for those companies that rely on the ATS to be the gate keeper, it would elevate the candidate experience to autosend to a recruiter so a personal email can then be sent to the candidate. And that email should not say ‘do not reply to this email’! Please use the candidate’s name. They typed it into a data field so you do have it and your very expensive technology system is capable of doing this. Besides, addressing the email to ‘candidate’ or ‘applicant’ is tacky. Recruiters should also take note to use the same font when typing in either the job title or location or any other customized fields. It’s just as bad to get that email, which you know is canned but dressed up a bit to make you feel better.

*This is part two of a three-part series by The Good Jobs


A crucial part of the hiring process is conducting a phone interview.

Download our free guide for a list of great questions to ask!

About the Author

Natalie is the Marketing Strategist, responsible for knowing the ins and outs of the SMB Industry, educating prospects on hiring best practices and positioning Hireology as a thought leader in the SMB space. She started at Hireology in 2014, writing blogs, planning events and managing the various social media platforms. Prior to working in the “real world,” she attended Purdue University (Boiler Up!) majoring in Broadcast Communications and competing on the Women’s Water Polo Team.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and learn how to build your best team.