staffing, recruiter, recruiterstaff, chuck labenski

Applicant Tracking Systems Should Be Renamed Applicant Losing Systems.

By Chuck LaBenski – Co-Founder

I am co-owner of a 55 person staffing firm and one of the biggest gripes I have from my recruiters is the dilemma of what to do with an applicant who already applied to my client company in the past. Especially when the client company has an Applicant Tracking System. This is an issue that comes up time and time again. It is a shame because the applicant who applied in the past for another position and was rejected for one reason or another could be the best applicant for the new position. The issue is my recruiters will most likely not submit the candidate in fear of not getting credit for the referral. The recruiter will just not tell the applicant who the company is and look for another applicant. I have to say I have personally been burned may times so I can’t blame the recruiter.

When I think about getting burned I often think about an incident around a year ago. I was working for a manufacturing client company who was looking for a Quality Manager. The position really became a thorn in everyone’s side. The first applicant took a counter offer and stayed with his employer. The company direct hired the second applicant but that candidate no showed. About 6 months went by and two more hires fell through. I ended up recruiting this fantastic candidate who lived very close by and was very eager to work for my client.  I submitted him to the company and the hiring manager asked me to set up an interview right away. The feedback from the interview was very positive but shortly afterwards human resources called me up saying that it was not my referral. They further stated that the candidate applied to the company almost a year ago and he was in their database. I was really upset. I told human resources that I did not think it was fair. I said it was cause and effect. If it were not for me you would have never interviewed this candidate.

Human Resources insisted that they would have searched their Applicant Tracking System and would of called him for sure.  I felt that it was complete bullshit. First of all the position was open for 6 months. If they were going to search their own database and call the applicant they had plenty of time to do so. Secondly human resources hates to make cold calls. Cold calls are not fun and it takes lots of time to sift through all the “No’s” for a “Yes” every so often. Old resumes in an Applicant Tracking System are cold calls. Well the company remained stubborn and hired that applicant and did not pay a fee. That company is not a client anymore.

If I did not send that applicant then the company would have never interviewed and hired him. I would still have a shot at filling the position with another applicant. A lose / lose situation and the very reason many recruiters and I don’t send applicants who have submitted their resume to the client in the past. It is a shame because everyone loses in cases like this. Thanks for listening to my rant and I look forward to reading your comments.

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