Recruiting is a people process. Does your applicant tracking system let you convey your organization’s personality?



Let’s not forget that recruiting is a “people” process.
For job seekers, there is no substitute for positive, concise and timely information. For employers, a friendly touch can make a huge impact on recruiting efforts. It’s like that Liberty Mutual commercial that shows common folks doing nice things for others just for the sake of doing the right thing. Employers should take this approach when it comes to communicating with job applicants through their applicant tracking system. Communications should be thoughtful and effortless, like doing a good deed.

Listen, when you blanket job sites with announcements about positions you’re trying to fill, corporate recruiters should naturally expect to be inundated with replies. However, sometimes recruiters will react to the influx of resumes and cover letters by hiding behind their applicant tracking system and adopting a robotic approach (or no approach) to job seekers, noted a recent article in Forbes.

When you look at it objectively, do you think your messaging is personable enough?
Start by examining the first thing job seekers observe when they visit your careers page. We’ve all seen the messages that greet job seekers with harsh warnings indicating that they will be disqualified if they fail to fill in all the information fields. First of all, your applicant tracking system should auto-complete most fields for the applicant when they upload their resume. Second, we should be communicating with applicants like they are our customers and colleagues already. Forbes pointed out that we wouldn’t greet our coworkers with rude language, so why would we begin a relationship with candidate with an off-putting tone? It takes almost no effort to tweak content on a careers page to be more positive. Start there.

Thank you for applying acknowledgements
Auto-responder messages that acknowledge applicants when they apply shouldn’t sound like they’ve been sent by a robot. Be efficient but be friendly. Can the bureaucratic tone and tell people the truth. Rather than including a passive statement along the lines of, “Your application has been received,” be direct and thank the person for completing the process. Explain a little about your process, possible next steps and likely outcomes. Here is Newton Software’s Thank You for Applying Message. Our applicant tracking system displays this a message on-screen AND sends the applicant an email with the following message:

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.50.45 AM

Automated Thank You Messages
Not all applicant tracking systems are created equally. That is, most applicant tracking systems have one rejection message that recruiters send no matter what stage of the recruiting process an applicant was disqualified in. Fully-featured ATSs empower employers to send meaningful stage specific emails to applicants providing them with status. Below is an example of an email template that comes with Newton (employers are encouraged to edit these) designed to inform an applicant who has completed a phone interviewed that they will not be pursued at this time. With Newton, the user can choose to toggle between a generic company signature or their personal signature. We recommend using your personal signature when an applicant has taken the time to complete a phone interview or an on-site interview.

Hello Courtney,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us about our Cloud Sales Executive opening.

Unfortunately, we have decided to pursue other candidates who appear to match (skills and experience) our requirements more closely at this time.

Should something change on our side (or we get another job opening that matches your background better), we will not hesitate to contact you.

Thank you again for your interest in an employment opportunity with Newton, and we wish you the best in your current job search.


Sarah Hall
Manager of Recruiting
Newton Software
Phone: 415-593-1190

Interview scheduling confirmations
Sending candidates on-brand messaging to confirm and help them prepare for the interviews makes your employment branding much more personable. It’s important for employers keep recruiting communications tight and consistent. This creates the optimal experience for job seekers. With Newton, users choose a template that will auto-fill the name of the interviewers, their titles and any special instructions or directions that will prepare and confirm the candidate for the interview. Here’s an example.

Hello Jesse,

Thanks in advance for taking the time to phone interview with us. Included in this email is the schedule for your interview. Also, attached to this email is an .ics file that you can use to add this event to your calendar. If you need to reschedule or cancel, please contact me directly at

We are planning to call you on your cell phone: (415) 555-1212 If this number is incorrect, please let me know right away.

Your phone interview is on Tuesday, April 21 from 9:00 am to 9:30 am (Eastern Time)
Job Title: Business Analyst <link to job description>

You will be speaking with:
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Heather Smith, Hiring Manager

Please let me know if you have any questions or if can help in any other way.

Alex Agatha
Recruiting Manager
Cell Phone: 415-888-9999

These days, as much as applicant tracking systems automate communications, employers must make sure they are not missing an opportunity to show some humanity. By taking steps to humanize your recruitment process with a more personable approach in your ATS, you stand to attract more of the warm, friendly and enthusiastic employees that you need.

Ready for an applicant tracking system that empowers you to create a better experience for job seekers and candidates? Want to automated interactive tasks but still create a personable vibe for job seekers? Contact a Newton expert today to learn if Newton’s applicant tracking system is a fit for your organization.

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