Okay, as a recruitment software provider, you’d expect us to sing the praises of automating recruitment administration over manual methods.

But today we’re focusing on very real and significant reasons why manual processes simply aren’t sustainable – and all three relate to your recruitment data.

Lack of security

With a wealth of personal, organisational and potentially sensitive information, you need to be certain that your recruitment data is securely protected.

If you’re still using manual methods to manage your administration, it can be incredibly difficult to be confident of this.

Perhaps you’re using an Excel spreadsheet, have files of hard copy information or an in-house developed candidate management system. Either way, ensuring that your recruitment data is secure will be challenging.

With a credible Applicant Tracking System, you should have more certainty. You can find out a lot more about secure recruitment software here, but in a nutshell: A secure online recruitment system should be running over https. An ATS supplier should receive security audits and run your site through an SSL certificate. And a supplier should be able to confirm where your recruitment data is held, the data protection laws of that country, and how it is protected.

Managing your recruitment data manually can leave you more vulnerable to security breaches, whether deliberate attacks or accidental.

Lack of reporting

We’ll start with collecting recruitment data. Without an automated process, you’re likely to be gathering information from multiple channels. If you’re still receiving CVs and enquiries via email, you might then manually input some information into an Excel spreadsheet, forward some to colleagues and collate some into a manual talent pool.

When it comes to reporting on this data, you might be looking in three different places for three different pieces of information.

Other challenges include source reporting – how are you keeping track of where candidates are arriving from? Time to Hire – how are you calculating the time it takes to place a successful candidate?



And, come to think of it, how much time are you spending trying to pull together all these reports themselves? Reporting on your recruitment data accurately but manually can be an exhaustive process of cross-referencing multiple channels, sources and communications to piece together a full picture.

In an ATS, your candidate and job data should be in one place. You should have a series of standard reports available, from Cost per Hire to Recruitment Activity.  And some Applicant Tracking Systems will provide custom report building features, so you can pull through the exact success metrics and stats you require.

Another consideration is this: Without compelling statistics and evidence to back it up, it can be difficult to create successful business cases for change or development in your recruitment function.

Potential for error

Managing your recruitment data manually can leave it wide open for human error. It’s just so easy. A simple mistake when copying and pasting. Forgetting to save after inputting new details. Accidentally replacing one file with another.

You also run the risk of duplicate candidates in your recruitment database, or leaving passive candidates to languish in outdated talent pools.

How can an ATS help minimise inaccuracies in your recruitment data? For starters, you can assign notifications and workflow steps, to help avoid bottlenecks and remind colleagues to complete actions. Duplicate candidates are flagged and can be erased. There’s a clear trail of who has commented, actioned or progressed what. And there’s no risk of manual data entry error, as candidates’ information is automatically added to the ATS once they’ve applied online.

It’s fantastic for your talent pipeline too. You can send emails via your ATS to ask passive talent to update their candidate profiles. This will ensure your talent pools contain only relevant and up to date information.

Manual processes often become embedded in your team’s working practices…

…and it can feel like a wrench to leave them, turn them on their head and trust a ‘machine’ to look after your recruitment data.

But with enhanced security, more meaningful reporting and less room for error, an Applicant Tracking System can have an great impact on the way you manage your information.

Find out more

New infographic: How to keep passive candidates engaged

How to choose an ATS – your no fuss, helpful guide to buying

Why your recruitment software supplier matters

About the author

Tristan Potter

From candidate experience to flexible working, and from supporting graduates to ATS reports; Hannah's written it all over the years! Hannah has contributed to publications as diverse as The Guardian, UK Recruiter and University Business. She is also the wordsmith behind our whitepapers and guides, from GDPR to Employee Volunteering.