We all lament and decry the painful state of applicant tracking systems (yes, yes, I didn’t call them an ATS so that Google could follow along). But they aren’t going to change.

But the real problem is that we see them as the solution to a myriad of problems. They are supposed to collect good information, allow recruiters to view and evaluate that information, communicate to candidates, keep track of where everyone is in the process, track time to hire and referrers, and twenty other things I’m probably forgetting.

But the thing is, yours ATS is a database and nothing more. The problems arise when you try to let it manage your relationships with your candidates. That’s like trying to date a chat bot.

Your recruiters, along with your employees and your content own and drive relationships with your customers. Your ATS is there to support them, not the other way around.

So stop asking so much from your ATS. Let it do what it does best, and let the relationships sprout come from people and stories.