Monday, March 31, 2014

When Marketing Budgets Hugely Exceed Those of QA: Thoughts Triggered by Yet Another Bug-Ridden Applicant Tracking System

If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products 
as they do on advertising, they wouldn't have to advertise them.
Will Rogers

Around 2008, I became interested in Applicant Tracking Systems or, rather, what I thought back then an ATS should do and how it should do it. I even toyed with the idea of developing my own, but the interest must have been not strong enough for this idea to go beyond a modest in-house working prototype used to train students. I am still interested in this type of software applications, which now manifests itself mostly in what I call a recurring irresistible itch to find bugs in them (Once a Software Tester, Always a Software Tester). So, here is one for your... amusement.

Let's say you are an employer using an ATS from a reputable SaaS (software as a service) provider.

A job seeker visits your web site, goes to its career section and from there is taken to your ATS.
    Note: Technically, it isn't really your ATS since you just "rent" a "slice" on a multi-tenant ATS provided by a SaaS vendor. The applicant may or may not be aware of the fact that he/she is using third-party software, which depends, among other things, on how tightly the ATS is integrated into your web site and how familiar with this type of systems he/she is.
The candidate registers, begins the job application submission process and, a few minutes later, sees something like this:

Screenshot 1 (click to enlarge)

In case you didn't get it, let me show you another one. The screenshot below is from the site of another company, but the ATS SaaS provider and the bug are the same (pay attention to where the red arrows are pointing):

Screenshot 2 (click to enlarge)