An Applicant Tracking System that Improves the Hiring Process

An Applicant Tracking System that Improves the Hiring Process

When recruiting technology does well what 80% of users do all the time, it truly lives up to it’s potential. More users means more data. More data yields better analytics. Better analytics help employers find bottlenecks and issues before they become bigger problems. Sounds pretty sexy to me.

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Ideas to improve your HR department in 2013

The human resource department in any company is a central hub of activity. It’s where management connects with labor and labor airs its grief about management. Its where recruiting, hiring, and terminations are done, where benefits are administrated, and where innovative ideas come from. They didn’t mention that last part when you were hired into human resources, did they? Yes, the innovative recruiting and management ideas come from your department. Do you have any of them? Perhaps we can help. Here are a few things you might not have thought of yet.

 

  1. Analyze past advertising and create more targeted ads. This is Creative Writing 101. Take a look at previous ad campaigns and pick the ones that were most effective. Use those ads to create new ones and target those new ones in mediums that brought you the best returns last time. Here’s a tip: Readerships and circulations may go down for print publications, but internet numbers typically go up over time. Use online billboards whenever possible.
  2. Scrap the stock hypothetical situations and create some real ones to test applicants with when interviewing. Every human resource department has these stock “hypothetical questions” they ask when interviewing job applicants. Get rid of them and use some real life situations. How would they handle the 2008 Wall Street crash if it happened today? What would their recession plan be for the company? Log the responses in your recruitment tracking system and compare them with performance when they’re on the job.
  3. Rotate HR jobs on a regular basis. No one wants to answer phones or enter data all the time. Rotate jobs and cross train every member of your human resource department. Teach everyone how to use your cloud based ATS applicant tracking so you’ll never be stuck when someone calls in sick. This will make life easier for those in the department. They can actually take vacation time without having to worry about whether or not their job gets done. You can even train someone to do your job.
  4. Plan company events to cultivate employee unity. Team building exercises are not used often enough. Barbecues, dances, and softball games are great ways to blow off steam and get to know each other in a casual environment. Companies that play together stay together. It’s part of your job as a human resource professional to facilitate that. Take some time and work with other members of your department to put together some events where fun can be had by all. You’ll see a big difference in morale if you do.
  5. Invest in and use an applicant tracking system. If you’re still managing your recruits and new hires with file folders, you’re in the dark ages. Even if you upgraded to a computer database, if its not cloud based, you’re still behind the times. Continuously adding more data to your hard drive will eventually lead to a crash. Store that data safely and securely online and your job applicant tracking will be more efficient.

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Indeed.com Recognized as a Best Source for Candidates

Indeed.com Recognized as a Best Source for Candidates

From Newton’s blog: “This past week Kris Dunn, a popular Blogger and recruiting expert, recognized Indeed.com as a best source for candidates citing Gerry Crispin’s annual The Source of Hire Report. In his recent post on The HR Capitalist, Kris provided first hand data from a search that he recently conducted for a Vice President of HR stating that almost every direct reply came from Indeed. I am not surprised.”

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Mobile Recruiting Apps – Take Hiring on the Go

The advent and never ending rise of the Internet has made the hiring process very efficient and productive for recruiting professionals. Now, with the smart phone constantly at our side, mobile technology has allowed to do everything in transit – including recruiting.

Mobile recruiting is on the rise. So much that there has been a whole conference built around it called mRecruitingcamp: The Mobile Recruiting Conference. Nonetheless, more and more companies have been utilizing their smart phones to do the hiring tasks that would usually be done sitting behind a desk.

Like any recruiting software, mobile recruiting apps perform the essentials when it comes to the hiring process. Since the apps can be accessed in compact form, it makes the process even more efficient and allows professionals to get their work done “on the go”. Mobile recruiting apps give employers the access they need for applicant information. It not only allows them to filter the most qualified candidates via a dashboard, but it also allows them to call or email the candidate via ther phone line.

In addition to basic recruitment software needs, there are many other apps that are other tools that help in the hiring process. Some apps allow the recruiter to design specific interview questions and then send them to the candidates. The candidate can then video their answers and send them back to their employee – all via a smart phone. Both parties can also watch branding videos of the company, send video introductions, and “thank you” videos.

There are also apps that serve as full applicant tracking systems. The latter is perfect for use at job fairs and networking events. In addition, there are separate tools that serve a specific function in the hiring process. It’s important that users of ATS systems – hiring managers and recruiters – have the ability to take their job on the go. Finding the best talent in any specific industry is an ongoing battle that requires constant vigelence, and a mobile recruiting application can provide a business with just the edge that’s necessary to be successful.

Many of the apps are free and are quickly becoming popular among many recruiting professionals. The apps are being used widely on smart phones such as Androids, iPhones and Blackberrys as well as tablets such as iPads. It not only increases productivity and streamlines the hiring process, but it literally puts all the information at your fingertips.

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How to go Green in Your Recruiting System and Hiring Process

ImageHere’s an exercise you might enjoy. Take some time after work tonight and remove all of the pens from your office. Tomorrow, see if you function at the same level as the day before. If you do, you’re running a green office. If you don’t, you’re burning up natural resources by going through paper, you’re adding chemicals and plastics to the environment by disposing of those pens at some point, and you are definitely not optimizing your or your employees’  time. This isn’t the type of operation you want to run if you claim you’re a “green” company, is it?  Can it be as simple as eliminating the pens?

Let’s take it one step further. Is your software disc based or cloud based? SaaS applicant tracking systems live in the cloud, leaving you without a need for clunky old computer equipment and servers in the office. Your information is always there and your user experience will be better than anything you’ve experienced in recruiting before. Those piles of paper applications you once had to go through will now no longer be necessary. You could even, conceivably, just operate with a tablet if you wanted to.

Look at other aspects of your company recruiting systems. What do applicants have to do when they first come in? Do you hand them a clipboard with a paper application on it or sit them down at a keyboard? Your recruiting software should provide you the option of taking applications via a terminal in the office or remotely. Does your website have an application form available right on it? If not, you are definitely missing the boat on new technology. If you don’t recruit online you’re just not getting quality people.

Your applicant tracking system should also integrate with other systems in your office, namely your accounting or payroll company, your CRM, and your email. Communications back and forth should be recorded automatically, as should transactions and health care issues so there’s confusion later on down the line. Federal, state, and city guidelines need to be adhered to, so your recruitment system should be updated regularly, preferably automatically, so you never run afoul of the long arm of the law.

Green isn’t just a fad anymore. It’s a necessity of our children’s children are going to have a healthy planet to live on. Now that you know removing the pens can make your office a little greener, take a few moments and go through and count them. Force of habit is the reason the old-timers have a pen on their desk. Laziness or lack of knowledge could explain it for the younger employees. Your lack of action on upgrading software and systems could be a reason too. Are you going to do something about it?

 

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Job Recruiting in the San Francisco Bay Area

One thing the Bay Area has always been know for is its eco-friendly culture and green job sector.  San Francisco has lead the way in green jobs as well as job recruiting in a variety of otehr sectors.  The San Francisco Bay Area has long been a haven for many types of businesses and customers. The financial sector is always thriving and is second only to Wall Street in terms of its influence. From that financial sector springs forth all varieties of specific industries such as insurance, banking and real estate investment. On the commerce side of things, retailers and wholesalers need to appeal to wide cross section of locals as well as tourists.

Speaking of tourists, the Bay Area is also a popular destination for visitors from around the globe. All of this means that for a San Francisco recruiting firm to be successful and stay competitive, they will have to diversify. There are many recruitment firms who like to specialize in niche markets. For instance, corporate clients could be the focus of a typical “head hunting” firm. While that can certainly be a rewarding sector to place applicants, it might end up becoming limiting as companies strive to downsize in order to improve their bottom line. In other words, will there be enough prominent openings to keep a specialized recruiting firm afloat?

This is where the issue of diversifying the industries that you recruit for comes into play. A review of the monthly employment figures put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reveal that there have been two job sectors that are always hiring. Those areas are healthcare and the service industry. The San Francisco Bay Area is well represented in both of those industries. A successful recruiting firm should have access to the best and brightest in healthcare administrators, registered nurses, healthcare practitioners, case managers, dieticians and occupational therapists. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial healthcare iceberg! Over in the service industry it’s easy to see where qualified workers need to be placed.

Between all the hotels, the restaurants, the shops, the museums and the theatres there are many needs for competent recruits. Anyone who has spent time working in the service industry knows there is a high level of turnaround. Yes, there are some diligent employees who might be hired to work the front desk at a hotel with eyes on a management position. However, most of these jobs could be classified as just that “jobs” versus “careers.” Because of that, a recruiter needs to have a large database of applicants to choose from when the situation presents itself.

Managing a diversified roster of applicants puts the burden on your recruiting software program. Can it keep up with the onslaught of new resumes and applicants every time a job listing is posted? Will it allow you to sort, edit and file those applications with ease? Does the program provide for easy access for all of your recruiters? If your applicant tracking software isn’t up to the challenge it might be time to consider a new system. Serving the San Francisco Bay Area means you need to be on top of your game 24/7.

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Smart Grid To Provides Jobs of the Future

America’s Smart Grid is set to change our lives and the lives of our children. Today’s energy grid is ‘dumb’ – it essentially has remained stagnant for the past hundred years.  It doesn’t adapt to the needs of homeowners and businesses based on their demand for energy; it simply pumps out a standardized amount of electricity, much of it going to waste. Our current energy grid doesn’t make use of new eco-friendly technologies like solar and wind – it still relies on harmful and waste producing coal and oil.

The Federal Government has pumped billions of dollars into the new Smart Grid to turn things around on a number of levels.  The grid will be intelligent for one: fluctuating the amount of energy sent to various corners of the country based on the current demand while also integrating new sources of energy from solar and wind power.  This new system of energy distribution will not only conserve valuable electricity, but also will save our country billions of dollars in wasted energy costs over the next ten years.

There’s another huge benefit to the smart grid as well – green jobs.  The New York Times recently published an interesting article that  details the Grid’s predicted job producing effect, as well as how a portion of the federal stimulus money is going towards training a new generation of workers who are proficient in utilizing the Smart Grid.

From the New York Times:  “The Energy Department estimated that some 30,000 workers would be trained because of the grants, which range from $87,000 for the Preparing Occupations for Lineman Education, or Pole, program at the Austin Community College District to $5 million to Florida Power & Light to develop its Gateway to Power Program, which aims to bring industry and academia together to develop power system and smart grid education.”

Just like how a previous generation of workers became invaluable due to their expertise in nuclear and chemical engineering, this new generation of smart grid technologists will be equally as important.  Today, one of the highest paying jobs in the country is a chemical engineer – within the next decade it will certainly be an engineer who specializes in some niche within the vast array of smart grid technologies.

There also will certainly be a plethora of small and medium sized businesses that evolve and revolve around the smart grid ecosystem; providing services and products that make the grid even more effective in each local environment.   For these businesses, adept grid technologists will be in high demand, creating a healthy and competitive market for talent in the sector.

Finding and hiring this valuable new generation of smart grid talent will be another challenge for the government and businesses alike.  Competition will be fierce for the brightest minds in the field, and companies and projects will succeed or fail based on their ability to secure the best.  Not only will higher pay grades, perks and benefits provide ammunition to hire talent, but also a company’s ability to use cutting edge technology to make hires.  Smart Grid organizations that utilize applicant tracking and hiring programs that are able to intelligently seek and attract workers in specific sectors will be able to gain an edge in the field.    These will be the individuals and companies that shape the future of energy.

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