HR departments agree their software isn’t crummy

Nolan Gray Corporate Recruiting, Products & Technology, Tips & Tricks

If you like your applicant tracking software, you’re not alone. An overwhelming number of HR departments like their ATS systems, according to data from KeyInterval cited by

When asked the question “is your HR software crummy?” 78 percent said no, an answer that surprised William Tincup and John Sumser, the two founders of KeyInterval, the analyst firm that conducted the research. Only 20 percent of respondents has any reservations about the platforms they were using. In addition, 87 percent of survey participants even enjoy their tech vendor relationships. All in all, this is great news.

That doesn’t mean there’s zero room for improvement, however. According to results reported by, when asked whether software delivers as promised, the vast majority of recruiters answered “often,” rather than “always.” Moreover, a significant number of respondents said their software never delivers as promised, or only occasionally does.

The majority isn’t everyone. While the prognosis is good in the applicant tracking and HR software landscape, it’s not entirely perfect.

What makes a good software vendor?
Every organization looks for something a little bit different when it comes to selecting an HR platform. However, there are a few key characteristics that can help you determine whether one vendor is better than another. Here are three ways that the best software vendors set themselves apart:

Service: According to Tincup and Sumser, two of the most important things are service ethics and overall relationships, which are some of the essential aspects their research works to uncover. In the end, great service can make or break a relationship. You want to partner with a company that’s honest about its services and can be there quickly when something goes awry. According to the survey, most companies seem to be getting this right.

Innovation: In an industry that changes as much as this one does, successful recruiting vendors need to have their finger on the pulse of the current environment. Technology disrupts this industry every day. Any new social platform or communications tools provides need opportunities for recruiters. Yesterday, recruiting was all about job boards. Today it’s increasingly moving toward social and mobile recruiting.

Design: At the end of the day, vendors are only as good as the software they provide. It needs to be great. For instance, one of the things that has always set tech-giant Apple apart is that great design is in its DNA, as Time Magazine pointed out. The product has to be good. For example, great applicant tracking platforms need to be able to integrate data from many different sources in an effective way, but these platforms also need to be user-friendly enough that recruiters actually use all of the features.

It’s great news that HR departments think their platforms aren’t crummy. But wouldn’t it be even better if they actively thought their applicant tracking systems were out-and-out awesome? As an industry, we need to make that happen.

Jobscience | Are you having a relationship issue with your ATS? Fix it.

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