How Legacy ATS Systems Hurt Talent Acquisition

Legacy ATS systems no longer get the job done for recruiters and talent specialists.

Seven in 10 talent leaders (including some at Fortune 500 companies) say candidate relationship management (CRM) functionality is essential in any ATS in which they invest.

That makes it clear that older, inadequate versions (i.e., ones that lead to inefficiencies and poor hiring) must be eliminated from their TA tech stacks to improve their recruitment process and better engage qualified candidates.

The biggest barrier that prevents talent leaders from moving to a more advanced ATS? A desire to stick with the status quo (and, in turn, avoid having to manage change).

The truth is there are too many reasons not to transition from old-school ATS systems to more intuitive and effective recruiting software that also offers CRM capabilities.

How legacy ATS systems deter efficiency and productivity for today’s talent acquisition teams

The point of having an applicant tracking system is to use it as the central system of record for candidate info and the primary solution from which everyone in TA works.

But, the truth is legacy ATS systems aren’t (and, based on how they’re built, can’t be) single sources of truth for talent acquisition.

Because of this, these teams must integrate their ATS with third-party tools to handle key tasks (e.g., scheduling interviews, sourcing, nurturing), which leads to issues like these.

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Poor communication and collaboration among recruiters and hiring managers

Hiring stakeholders must work closely with one another in the interview process.

Communicating through tools outside their ATS of choice regarding the status of both job openings (i.e., progress with open reqs) and job seekers (i.e., where prospects are in the funnel) often leads to missed opportunities, redundant work, and a bad candidate experience.

Many older ATS systems lack built-in messaging features and don’t integrate with social messaging apps like Slack that allow everyone involved in the hiring process to stay in concert in real-time during the full-cycle recruiting process.

They lack of direct integrations with tools like Slack is especially troublesome.

With such an integration, recruiters can easily update hiring team members when actions are taken by candidates (e.g., offer accepted, interview self-scheduled). They can also use the tool to remind interviewers to provide prospect feedback.

Difficulties discerning which job applicants and sourced candidates to prioritize

Aside from working more cohesively within the recruiting function and across teams, legacy ATS makes it hard for TA specialists to determine which candidates they should engage and nurture.

In other words? Their ATS system doesn’t help them create an organized system that presents the most ideal candidates in front of them, so to speak, for review daily.

This precludes recruiters from automating their talent review and management process. What’s more, because they have to manually sort through candidates, the chances of missing out on hiring a premier prospect rises considerably.

An inability to ‘rediscover’ and reach out to talent for active and upcoming roles

A top reason companies have historically invested in ATS systems is because it acts as their — well — historical database for candidates. But, older ATS don’t offer easy-to-use filtering, tagging, and search functionality.

Leading ATS systems, on the other hand, make it easy for recruiters to find high-quality candidates based on their experience, certifications, location, and other criteria.

“Companies spend an inordinate amount of time luring people into the recruitment funnel to get them into a pipeline,” CIO Sr. Writer Sharon Florentine stated. “[B]ut with traditional [ATS] systems, candidates are shelved and forgotten about once a role is filled.”

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Why talent orgs all over are turning to TA tech with ATS functionality and CRM capabilities

All these cons for legacy ATS systems have led many talent leaders to seek out more advanced solutions. Some of the key benefits of unified TA suites include the ability to:

  • Create job descriptions and post to job boards from one place: Listing jobs online, both internally (owned job site/career page) and externally (social media, relevant communities), is no longer arduous or time-consuming for recruiters with a modern ATS. Job postings can be published to several digital locales, all with a few simple clicks.
  • Parse resumes and review the most qualified talent: Lever ensures only candidates deemed worthwhile (based on pre-defined ‘rules’ created by our customers) get in front of recruiters. Once they have a narrowed-down list of prospects, they can expedite resume parsing with Fast Resume Review. This accelerates screening and makes it easy to advance or archive talent.
  • Nurture candidates and track engagement at a granular level: We’ve covered why intelligent, automated nurture campaigns are important. What’s equally imperative, though, is having an ATS system that allows you to track each interaction with a nurture touchpoint (open, reply) and subsequent action (moved to interview or offer).
  • Coordinate the whole interview process with internal stakeholders: No one should be left out of the loop on the hiring process who needs to be involved. Talent teams with an ATS + CRM solution can rest easy, knowing there won’t be any cracks in their recruiting-related comms. The centralized nature of this solution means all critical messaging takes place in the platform.
  • Search through existing candidate profiles to resurface prospects: Having to rely on sourcing net-new candidates to fill open roles isn’t a sustainable, long-term solution for TA teams. Thankfully, they don’t have to, when they use an ATS with ‘archive’ functionality. LeverTRM users can quickly rediscover candidates who match the needs for current or future roles.

A ‘bonus’ of complete TA suites that offers these benefits? You can analyze and take action on these recruiting areas to gradually elevate your hiring quality and speed.

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Eliminating legacy ATS systems: Your path to better ROI from your team’s recruiting efforts

Speaking with SHRM, Talent Function Sr. VP of Tech Consulting Elaine Orler noted why innovative recruiting and HR software (not necessarily ones that offer artificial intelligence) are now essential for orgs of all kinds.

An advanced ATS + CRM can “bring about sweeping change to how sourcing is delivered and improve marketing and candidate capture rates” and “create stronger opportunities to engage with candidates at the right moment,” per Orler.

Simply put, managing change and embracing newer, better ways of engaging top talent is required gain a competitive edge in recruiting today.

If an older ATS system prevent you from realizing your desired ROI and streamlining core tasks, it’s time to onboard a more empowering solution that offers you everything you need to succeed today and in the years ahead.

Download our exhaustive ATS Buyer’s Guide to discover the eight-step process that can help you and your talent acquisition team identify and invest in the right solution.

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Further reading