This would be a message to all ATS manufacturers. Both recruiters and candidates hate the black hole. Here’s how you avoid it, and here’s what recruiters need from the ATS system.
One, there’s always an automated response for submitting a resume available, it should be turned on and used so people at least know their application went through.
Two, applying should be as simple as possible. Name, contact info, and an attached resume should be all that’s needed. Any ATS system that asks you to retype your resume is, in short, a piece of shit. Any recruiter or HR person who sets up an ATS system and doesn’t go through the application process themselves to see if it’s acceptable or a pain in the ass really needs to rethink their profession. ATS makers need to address this issue and push simplicity in the process; consult, don’t just sell.
Three, there should be an automated process update option that shoots out weekly updates to people, at least letting them know if the position is still open or not, and if possible where there resume is in the process. HR and recruiters can not do this manually, it would take all day.
Four, there needs to be an automated list generator for follow up purposes. I lose track of as many people as any other recruiter. It’s not out of malice, it’s because I can only update people so many times by telling them no, the hiring manager still hasn’t responded, before it falls in the priority list. I do have to pay rent, as does every other recruiter. Eventually following up on these jobs becomes something I just can’t do because I have real, paying jobs that are current. But what would help me massively is if the system I’m using had a module specifically reminding me to contact certain people, so I can at least tie those off rather than forgetting once or twice and then realizing it’s been two or three weeks since I talked to them.
Recruiters need help on this issue, and once more it’s not malice. It’s just that, so much more often than not, the damn hiring managers just disappear, and you can only give that same update X number of times to someone before you have to spend some time on shit that might actually pay off. And it’s not one person, it’s well over 75% of the people we deal with. So, if you’re a candidate, understanding this requires you put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and realize that for 75% or more of the people he’s dealing with the story is the same: the hiring manager just isn’t answering. Having to deliver that same message, to the same people, day after day, doesn’t pay your bills. Placing someone with one of those rare hiring managers who gives a shit DOES pay. So, it’s not malice, we need to eat is all.
However, having that list generator would help. As I’ve said before, I like to at least give people a final yes or no, even if it’s me making the decision for the hiring manager. But I’m not above admitting I need some help in this regard.