Customer Feedback from SHRM

Cultivating a strong recruiter/hiring manager relationship is crucial if your goal within the organization is to be a well-respected recruiter.  Most Applicant Tracking System (ATS) vendors have focused a lot of energy on improving the applicant experience and the back-end “recruiter as a user” experience, but many have missed the mark when it comes to helping recruiters leverage their ATS to build an efficient, collaborative relationship with their hiring managers.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with a few of our clients and discuss this topic at length.  What we found out may surprise you.

  1. The average hiring manager to recruiter ratio (in our group of small to mid-sized companies) was 40 to 1!
  2. Most hiring managers don’t know what an applicant tracking system is and they don’t care to know.   
  3. Hiring managers don’t understand how to manage an applicant pool like recruiters do. (Which is why they need effective guidance every step of the way.)
  4. Getting feedback from hiring managers, even vague and untimely feedback, continues to be a major challenge for most recruiters.
  5. Attempting to “empower” the hiring manager by giving them access to manage their own requisitions and applicant pool via the ATS rarely works.  Eventually, they either become frustrated with the ATS (which probably was not designed with them in mind), overwhelmed with the amount of applicants they have to review and screen, or both.

So what is the solution?  An ATS agile enough to deliver timely and relevant candidate information (resumes, applications, candidate’s availability for an interview, etc…) to hiring managers in a simple-to-understand, easy-to-access, no-training-required platform would be a great start.  (Think, “I can’t remember my password or the URL to that resume application, what is it called?  The ATV?”).  The ability to collaborate seamlessly with hiring managers, say when scheduling candidates for interviews, would also be a real time-saver for the recruiter.  (It’s important to remember this is an iterative process of back and forth between one recruiter and multiple hiring managers.)  Finally, as our recruiters pointed out, if you can’t deliver it via a mobile devise, don’t bother.  These folks are on the move.  If they can’t review a candidate’s resume via their Blackberry or iPhone, good luck with the timely feedback thing.

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