By Jessica Miller-Merrell 


There’s not much in our lives or jobs that still resemble anything from two decades ago. From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, our lives have dramatically changed with the adoption of smart phones and other smart technologies that we rely on. Our candidates’ lives have also changed, as has their job search. In fact, as a whole our candidates’ career expectations have even changed. Unemployment numbers are at record lows, job creation is increasing and candidates are going beyond compensation and health care benefits when accepting job offers. They care about career experiences, advancement, flexible schedules and the culture of the company.
With all these changes that have occurred, one area that has stood still is our applicant tracking systems. You can’t help but wonder, if the candidate has changed, why hasn’t our recruiting technology? We are recruiting and hiring in a job market that we haven’t seen in nearly two decades and even though our lives and candidates have changed in almost every way possible, most of us are still operating within the confines of an ATS that we used in 1996. We can’t expect to be competitive in this competitive job economy with the technology of the past. Our candidates’ interests, job search and methods have evolved, but the technologies used by talent acquisition teams are stuck in the past.
It’s time to move beyond your ATS, rethink how you use it and step outside the box to recruit competitively. A recent Aberdeen study revealed that the vast majority of companies agree. In fact, 94% of companies think talent acquisition is critical to their organization’s ability to execute on its business strategy in 2015 and beyond. This leads me to believe that it’s the execution of talent acquisition strategies that may be causing our industry to fall behind in our use of technology.
To elevate your efforts and move beyond the ATS, implement these four tactics in your organization and watch what they do for your recruiting:
Consider your brand
Employment branding is a relatively new trend and definitely isn’t something most recruiters were considering when they were relying heavily on an ATS 20 years ago. Read more about employment branding and put it to work for you. You’ll reap the befits in the short term and feel its effects for years to come.
Listen and research your job seeker
As a whole, candidates’ wants and needs have changes drastically over the years, so ask questions and listen to what they have to say. You’ll never be able to anticipate needs and know what features to highlight without having those simple discussions.
Focus on building a talent pipeline
Building a talent pipeline is essential for workforce management and succession planning, especially since today’s worker is not likely to be a lifelong employee. Go beyond your ATS and use a talent network like TalentCircles to grow and develop future candidates that will become part of your talent pipeline.
Candidate relationships are everything
The relationships you develop with candidates can’t ever be adequately expressed in your ATS. They are real and are the very thing that will cause a candidate to choose you and your organization over the competitor. There’s no better place to invest your time than in candidate relationships.


TalentCircles is the most comprehensive candidate engagement platform on the market. Take a product tour or request a live demo today. 

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She’s the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.


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