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, or a candidate's next-of-kin's phone number cannot be an email address.
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 cause a failed validation – there will 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
Steps to take
In the scenario that a contract has failed validation, your first action should be to read and understand the error message displayed (see Fig.1), so you are aware of exactly why the failed validation occurred.
Once you are aware of what caused the validation error, this will need to be addressed before progressing:
Candidate error: If the error is due to the candidates' actions e.g. they've provided invalid details, then this will need to be fed back to the candidate before another document is sent.
Customer error: Sometimes, errors are due to customer admin e.g. the location name is spelled incorrectly in ATS, or the offered rate-of-pay is too low. If so - the hiring manager or head office will need to action the required changes e.g. update the location name, or issue a new rate-of-pay.
- If a new offer is required, the candidate must be rolled-back manually via ATS. If you do not have this option yourself, you will need to contact a head office ATS user internally. See the release note, here.
When ready to proceed once more (the cause of the failed validation has been addressed), then the hiring manager should issue a new contract to the candidate. They must then repeat their previous steps, and complete a new contract.
Once the new document has been signed, the hiring manager can attempt to onboard the candidate once more.
Common Validation Errors
|Rate-of-Pay||If you use pay bandings in HR but have offered a candidate a rate-of-pay outside of these bandings via ATS - the system will reject the payload if your portal is set to validate against this data.|
|Location Not Found||If the location name between ATS and HR does not match, validation will fail|
|Division Not Found||If the division name between ATS and HR does not match, validation will fail|
|Job Title Not Found||If the job title name between ATS and HR does not match, validation will fail|
|Special Characters||Accents cannot be accepted by HMRC, so are not valid within WFM. Naturally, an applicant may 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|