When a candidate signs their contract within the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it must then be validated against the integrated Workforce Management (WFM) portal. This means that the fields entered within the contract must meet the various requirements within WFM e.g. a bank sort-code number consisting of precisely 6 digits.
This article will highlight what a failed validation within ATS looks like, as well as how to proceed when this occurs. At the bottom of this article, there is also a list of common validation errors.
Signs of a Failed Validation
If there are any errors within the contract, which causes a failed validation – there should be an error within ATS stating what has happened.
Fig.1 - Example of error within ATS
Additionally, the applicant status within ATS will loop back to the Position Accepted stage, which allows for a new document to be sent and completed by the applicant.
Fig.2 - Application status looped back
Fig.3 shows an example of what an application looks like, where a contract has failed validation.
It shows that the first contract was signed, but has since failed validation. A second contract was then sent to be completed.
Fig.3 - Example of application that has failed validation
Steps to take
In the scenario that a contract has failed validation, the first option available is to send another document. The process is exactly the same as when the first contract is sent. Usually, the error message will clearly state what was incorrect – so it is best to feed this back to the applicant to avoid it happening again. However, there may be more than one error.
Once a second contract has been sent to be signed by the applicant, the initial contract that failed validation can now be accessed. This will allow for the assessment of any further errors on top of the highlighted error message.
- Select the Signed off section and it will download within a PDF format (see Fig.4)
Fig.4 - Contracts sent
- Feedback any findings to the applicant
Common Validation Errors
Below is a list of areas of the contract that should be investigated to assess for invalid details.
- Date of Birth: By mistake, sometimes the current date can be entered – meaning validation fails due to minimum age requirements
- Special Characters: Accents cannot be accepted by HMRC, so are not valid within WFM. Naturally, an applicant will include the accent when entering their name, but this will cause a failed validation
- Email Addresses: Must be a valid email address. Sometimes, values are entered here that are not applicable e.g. a phone number, or statements such as 'does not have one' when providing next of kin details
- Correspondence Addresses: This field will only allow letters, numbers, hyphens, dashes and spaces. On occasions, details are condensed into one field causing an error e.g. Enfield, London
- Phone Numbers: Must be 11 digits
- Bank Details: An account number must be 8 digits, and the sort code must be 6 digits
- National Insurance Number: Must meet the correct format for a National Insurance number, including the use of valid prefixes and suffixes. If a candidate is waiting on confirmation for their National Insurance number, leave the field blank. This will suffice for validation, and a number can be entered in WFM within 90 days of onboarding