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Recruiting: ATS Or Email Job Applications?

By Amy @BubbleJobs

When the time comes to recruit new staff, there’s lots to think about. You’ve got to consider the job description and job advert, the job title and the salary – and you’ve also got to think about how you might go about recruiting for the role – hire a recruiter or recruit directly.

If you do decide to recruit directly, you’ve got a few more decisions to make. You need to consider where you’re going to advertise the role (eg. generic or niche job board) – and it might sound silly, but you also need to think about how you’re going to receive applications.

When it comes to receiving applications for a job vacancy, you’ve generally got two options – have all applications sent to an email address or redirect candidates to a different URL (eg. your own site) which normally has its own Applicant Tracking System in place.

Now, you might think that this relatively small decision isn’t actually that important in the grand scheme of the recruitment process – but trust us, it can make a big difference when it comes to attracting candidates.
Just like anything else, when it comes to email applications and alternative URLs/ATSs, there are pros and cons – and the right option for you will depend on the size and scale of your business and your individual preferences.

Email Applications:


– The CV and cover letter will be sent straight through to your inbox – you don’t have to keep checking an ATS platform

– The process is quick and easy for the candidate – there’s not really a reason for them not to apply

– In most cases, your email address will stay hidden (eg. if using a job board like Bubble, the application will be sent to your inbox straight from the job board – so the candidate will never see it)


– It’s easy for the candidate – there’s not much effort needed on their part – so you could find that you get candidates who apply even though they’re not really qualified

– Applications will come straight through to your inbox – so, if it’s one you use every day, you could find that applications may swamp your inbox and get in the way of day to day work

– You’ll only ever receive a CV and cover letter which might not answer all of your questions from the off – which means you may have to invest more time in interviews further down the line

– As you’ll receive an application straight to your inbox, it’s not always obvious where the application has come from – so it can be trickier to assess the effectiveness of the job board


Alternative ATS Platforms/URLs:


– The candidates will be brought straight to your site – giving them some additional exposure to your brand

– You can create application forms on these platforms which allow you to find out more about the candidate, potentially helping you to put together a relevant shortlist quicker

– It’s easier to track where candidates have come from – so it’s easier to assess the effectiveness of advertising platforms

– If you’re a large company with lots of vacancies being advertised at once, an ATS platform can make it easier to manage all applications


– Redirecting candidates to an ATS platform can lengthen the application process, especially if they have to create an account on your site, which can lead to relevant candidates dropping out of the process because they don’t have time to apply – or think it’s worth investing their time applying

– Redirecting candidates can confuse them because they were expecting to send an email – so again, this can lead to candidates dropping off

– There’s more room for error when redirecting to ATS platforms eg. the wrong URL is entered, the site is down etc – which can again, cause candidates not to apply


So, there you have it; the pros and cons of the different application processes in recruiting. Our thoughts? While we know both can be effective, in our opinion, email applications always seem to work better for clients because there’s less room for error and, thanks to our platform, it’s easy for a client to see which applications have come from Bubble. Yes, it might lengthen the overall recruitment process slightly, but we think a longer process is worth it if it means the client doesn’t miss out on potentially great candidates at the start.

As ever, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this one. Do you prefer receiving applications through an email address – or do you prefer to redirect them to an alternative URL? Leave me a comment below.


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  2. ats recruiting software

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