Psst, there’s a party at my ATS tonight….

It may label me as a “geezer” but I went to High School before the Internet was invented.  OK, once you stop laughing I’ll make my point.

In “my day” – OK, now I’m officially a “geezer” – when my folks went out of town and left me alone at my house I would tell a few friends to come over and hang out and get some pizzas and yes, drink some beer!  But that “few friends” always turned into a larger group of 20 – 30 and I’d find myself at my front door allowing some people in and telling most to go home.  These people were typically angry and may have TP’d my house or shaving creamed my car the next week.  I hope some of you can relate to how simple those times were.

Today, if you leave your teenager at home and he has the same idea that I did, it could potentially turn into a dangerous mob and a police scene as hundreds of kids show up to your house as evidenced by this recent story at ABC News:

“Social Media Leads to Home-Wrecking Party”
Home damaged after teens spread word of raging party through Facebook and texts.

The major difference between my “geezer” experience and the danger of today:

-Social Media

This example directly applies to your corporate ATS and demonstrates the true danger of using Social Media today if you are not prepared for the outcome.

In “traditional media” (newspapers, Monster, Careerbuilder etc.) you would post a job for an Accountant under the “Accounting/Finance” section – thus hoping you will get some qualified accounting professionals to see it and apply for your job.  Of course as we at AllianceQ know, you get much more than a few qualified Accountants applying, you get anyone who stumbles across your posting and wants a job with your company.  98% of applicants are not hired in a traditional media world.

In a Social Media World this situation has the potential to erupt into that “ATS-Wrecking Party”.  You see, if you Tweetthisjob or post it on the wall of your corporate Facebook page, you have EVEN LESS CONTROL of who sees it and applies than in a traditional media posting.  Once you TWEET your Accountant job, it is seen by anyone following your company.  It could be the ace accountant from your top competitor who applies but more likely it’s the Office Manager at Dewey, Cheatem and Howe who spends 20% of his time reconciling books and has now made the decision that he’s qualified for your role and applied.

This means your applications will rise while your hires stay flat and what used to be TP-ing my house or creaming my car turns into hundreds of disgruntled and angry customers/candidates.

What do you think these angry customers/candidates do?  They can’t TP your ATS or shaving cream your recruiting department so they TWEET about it or post it on their Facebook wall.  This is the vicious cycle of using social media for recruiting.

Social Media cycle


There are ways to break this cycle.

First and most important is to NEVER use Social Media in a Traditional Media fashion.  Tweet your employer brand or where you’ll be showing up for a job fair, post how cool it is to work at your company on your corporate Facebook wall but avoid putting JOBS on social media.  Your jobs belong in only one place – your career site.

Second, and just as important, is to find a way to capture social media traffic outside your ATS.  No, having them “follow” you on Twitter is not capturing them.  By “capture” I mean find a way to be able to find them when you actually have something for them.

Your brand doesn’t need the angry applicant pool (that already exists) to grow virally and create an uncontrollable mob.

In other words, don’t use social media to tell the world about the party at your ATS!


  1. Phil Haynes on August 19th, 2010 11:48 am

    feel free to call me at 704-847-4801 and I’ll be happy to explain our model.

  2. IT Staffing on September 17th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Indeed a nice post… :)

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