How Employers Inadvertently Sabotage their own Recruiting!

Using outdated HR and Application Tracking Systems are costing employers valuable talent!


4/17/20242 min read

I am still amazed at some of the outdated application tracking systems used in the corporate world. You know the ones we’ve all used when looking for a job. They are a wizard type approach where an applicant starts by entering their personal information and by page 10 promises their first born child in turn for the ‘opportunity’ to submit their resume. Here are some thoughts for those employers still using these archaic systems:

1. It is 2024 and there are newer, better ways to collect data associated with applicants. Although some people are willing to spend 2 hours completing job application forms, most people are looking for the path of least resistance. There’s a metric used in the ecommerce world called ‘abandonment’ rate. This is represented by those people who come to a page and then quickly leave the page or site. I would love to see the stats on some of these older systems. I can assure you, it’s not a pretty sight. Remember, someone in the workforce looking at changing jobs is less likely to fill out a laborious set of forms when they already have a job. My point is simple, companies using these outdated systems are losing a lot of qualified candidates, both unemployed and employed!

2. Treat the overall application submission and hiring process like a ‘product’. Often times, no one is thinking of the end user, the applicant. Human Resources, IT, and Management all have their requirements for what data they want to see and how the information should flow within the company. Who is representing the end user and ensuring a simple and painless user experience? Having worked in Product, I can tell you that creating a simple friendly user experience will go a long way to improving the volume and quality of applicants applying for job. Hire a qualified product or UX expert to represent the end user where they will work with stakeholders to create an amazing experience for your applicants.

3. The Application system is a reflection of your brand. A poor experience submitting an application reflects poorly on the company. It may be the first impression candidates get when applying to a company. It’s worth the effort to replace outdated systems or use a more personalized approach to recruiting top talent. The argument from the employer will be that the system was a huge investment and integrates with other services and is not easy to replace. My response would be that talent is the greatest differentiator and contributor to a company’s success. The cost of not updating your systems is dramatically more expensive resulting in lost talent and inefficiencies!