If you’re a recruiter and your ATS is rejecting candidates that would be a great fit for your company, it might be time to re-evaluate how you are using job filters.
This is a huge problem for companies that are missing out on qualified candidates. It’s also a big issue for candidates, who are getting rejected unnecessarily.
With so much dependence on technology or gaps in job history or a lack of a college degree instantaneously sends a flood of résumés to the rejection pile. According to the study, “if an applicant’s job history includes a gap of more than six months, the résumé is immediately filtered out.” Though designed to allow more people to apply for employment, technology has frequently perpetuated discrimination.
But why? It turns out that many Applicant tracking systems are not set up to accept the applicants who matter most. The problem with most ATS systems is that they’re only as good as the people who use them. That’s why hiring managers often don’t get the results they want from their Applicant Tracking Systems.
So, How to Deal with Talent Rejection?
The problem is that most ATS relies on job filters to filter out unqualified candidates. These filters rely on keywords and phrases to identify the right candidates. But unfortunately, these filters often fail to identify great candidates—especially those who aren’t familiar with common keywords or phrases used in their field.
For example, if you’re hiring for an engineering position and want to make sure that the applicant has a degree in engineering, your job filter will reject candidates who don’t have it. This way, you don’t have to spend time reviewing applications from people who aren’t qualified.
But it’s important to remember that job filters can also be used against you: if you’re looking for someone with a specific educational background and you don’t allow applicants without that background into your application process at all, then even if someone is qualified for your position and is willing to take it on without having received any training in that field yet—which could easily mean they’re better suited for it than someone else who has been working in the industry long but hasn’t gotten around to getting their degree yet—they won’t get through because your system won’t let them apply!
It is estimated that 75% of resumes are rejected for online applications simply because they are formatted improperly. That’s because many ATS systems use filters that are based on keywords rather than context and meaning. These filters can be really good at rejecting candidates who don’t meet specific, technical requirements—but they’re not very good at identifying people who would actually excel in the job.
You have to accept that there are good people out there who just don’t fit your job requirements—and then figure out what those requirements are. You also need to understand how many of these people are actually applying for jobs in your industry and how many of them are applying for jobs in another industry.
When you know this information, then you can start working on making sure that your job requirements matchup with where people are getting hired.
The problem with AI-driven hiring is that it doesn’t take into account the fact that when you’re looking for a new employee, you want someone who fits seamlessly into your company culture. And while there are plenty of tools out there that can help you assess whether or not a candidate will be a good fit, they don’t work well when it comes to assessing personality traits.
If your company uses an AI-driven hiring tool, this might mean talent rejection is common, without ever knowing they were considered in the first place—and that can lead to frustration and disappointment on both ends.
The Bots are not the Boss.
“Bots are good at doing what they were designed to do,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of personal branding firm Millennial Branding and author of Back Yourself: Get What You Want and Grow Your Career (Workman Publishing, 2019).
A recent Harvard Business School survey found that 75% of companies in the US use applicant tracking systems (ATS), while 99% of Fortune 500 firms rely on them. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by hiring managers are excluding scores of qualified job seekers from positions they could perform effectively. HR professionals are now urging companies to rely on their own discernment instead of automated systems.
While ATS can help automate many tasks, they’re not equipped with the same abilities to think critically or make complex decisions as humans. As a result, they may miss important aspects of a candidate’s background or experience that would otherwise affect their suitability for a job.
The rise of artificial intelligence in the hiring process has many upsides, but it does present some challenges for recruiters. The word “artificial” is right there in the name: it means ‘made by humans’. So when we use AI to hire people, we have to remember that a machine isn’t going to understand what makes a good employee or how to evaluate one. It just knows how to look at data and come up with an answer—and that answer might not be the one we want.
PyjamaHR is a recruiting software that specializes in finding the right talent for our clients. We’ve seen it all—ATS that don’t have enough candidates and ones that reject the right candidate because they don’t fit the job description. We are here to eliminate unnecessary ATS rejections.
Here are some tips on how to set up filters in your ATS so that you can avoid rejection of the right talent:
1) Make sure you’re asking for relevant information. If you’re looking for someone with a degree in marketing, don’t ask for their GPA or any other unrelated data points from their college days. You’ll just end up wasting time on candidates who aren’t going to be hired.
2) Don’t ask for too much information at once! It’s tempting to want to know everything about a person, but if the application process is too long and involved, you’ll end up losing candidates who become frustrated and give up before they get through all of the steps (or lose interest altogether). Keep it simple—you can always ask more questions later if they get past your first round of filters!
3) Use keywords when describing the position in an ad or posting on social media. This will help ensure that only candidates who are looking for jobs similar to yours will respond and apply.
4) Add a cover letter template that requires applicants to include specific information about themselves and why they’re interested in working at your company (like why they would be a good fit). This helps weed out applicants who aren’t being honest or thoughtful about their answers.
PyjamaHR is here to help! Our recruiters are always finding the right talent, no matter what kind of role or experience level you’re looking for. Whether you need a junior developer or an experienced VP of operations, we’ll find them for you.
We know how frustrating it can be when your ATS rejects the right candidate because they don’t fit the job description perfectly. That’s why we take a human approach to our recruiting process: we talk to people and get to know them as individuals before sending them on to your company. This way, we can match candidates with roles based on what they want out of their career—not based on what we think will work best for your business.