Many of us can recall the excitement generated by the first Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS’s hitting the market in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After all, activities related to sourcing, screening, selecting and offering jobs to candidates was perennially a very manually intensive endeavor that also produced many false positives (unsuccessful hires) as well as false negatives (potentially great hires that were never brought into the recruiting process). The first wave of ATS’s proved to be extremely successful in the market due to the impact of their automation capabilities, with virtually all of the ATS market leaders back then either getting acquired and folded into larger HCM platforms, or continuing their path to amassing very large, typically global, customer bases today.
Human resources and recruiting departments, and most job candidates, are well aware that we are firmly in a seller’s market when it comes to finding and hiring high-quality talent. Primary reasons for this include record low unemployment, the need to fill a variety of digital-age jobs across all industries that did not exist a few years ago and organizations competing fiercely to make their value proposition to candidates more attractive. This emphasis on effectively engaging candidates to maximize recruiting has motivated employers to devise new ways of elevating candidate interactions and personalizing the engagement experience. Some of these new methods are proving effective, while others may yield better results only when other variables are present.