jump to navigation

Effective Job Applicant tracking leads to higher Customer Satisfaction June 1, 2012

Posted by Darwin in applicant management, applicant tracking, recruitment tracking software, small business, top applicant tracking systems.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

What is the most common complaint you hear from your customers? Chances are it’s not about your products. If merchandise is sub-par or unsatisfactory to consumers, they generally just go elsewhere. Complaints are usually about service, the actions or attitudes of your employees. Fortunately, with the documentation provided by properly using a job applicant tracking system, you can cut down on those complaints and increase customer satisfaction. ATS applicant tracking systems provide a better way to index and evaluate resumes. Reviewing resumes will filter out the majority of the “bad” candidates before the first interview for the job.

Making that first interview a phone interview could save you even more time. Once you’ve narrowed the field down to a few select candidates, you’ll want to have further measures in place before taking the next step. Screen candidates thoroughly before you invite them in for a second interview. Don’t wait until after you’ve invested hours and money into someone before bothering to check their references. A pattern of poor customer service skills is easy to see if you make the calls and speak with former employers and personal references. A good recruiter can read between the lines, even on a non-committal or evasive response. Be thorough and log thoughts and input into the appropriate sections of your recruitment tracking software.

Once you’ve screened candidates by checking their background, create “what if” or role play exercises to do during the second interview. Most web based recruiting software has customizable fields where you can enter input or grade these exercises on a scale system. Engage with the prospect as much as possible in non-dogmatic situations. Looking for a text book answer to questions won’t tell you what you need to know about their customer service skills. Only spontaneous decision making reveals a person’s true character. Be the nightmare customer and measure the candidate’s response under pressure. It won’t be 100% authentic because they know they’re being tested, but it should give you some valuable insight.

Be open to what others think. When hiring new employees, be sure to include other management and training personnel in the recruitment process. This is easy to do if you have web based recruiting software because others can access the files from anywhere, even at home after work if they need to. Make your notes as you go through the first and second interview process, and have others add their input after they meet, speak to, or in other ways evaluate a prospect. Multiple eyes are better than just two. A person working solo on an individual hire could get fixated on one positive or one negative characteristic of a person.

Once the right candidate is selected, be sure that all of their data is entered into the recruitment tracking system. As they move through months and years of employment, schedule regular evaluations and be sure to make those a permanent part of the employee’s records in the system. There may come a time when a promotion is due or a complaint is lodged against the employee. Proper documentation will guarantee that you can make informed decisions on either of these situations.

Essential online business software for startups May 27, 2009

Posted by Darwin in applicant management, applicant tracking, business software, enterprise software, human resources, recruiting software, small business.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

free businessYou’ve decided to take the plunge.  Finally go off the deep end.    You swing open the door to your manager’s office, walk back to your desk and begin to sweat.  A cocktail of stress and jubilation spills down your body from head to toe.   Your feet start to move and then you are walking, out the door, down the elevator, into the city, and then out into the world.  You’ve decided to start your own business- escape the grind and finally pursue your dreams.     You’re free.  You’re screwed.

Then comes the details.  You need to strategize – figure out what needs to be done to get it rolling.   What kind of paperwork do you need to fill out?  How are you going to find your employees- designers, developers, sales, recruiters?  Where will your office be?  Where can you find advice from those who have already gone through this chaos?  What if you have a patent to submit?  How will you collaborate with your contractors?  How can you keep track of money, prepare for taxes?  What about business cards, business plans, PR initiatives and exit strategies?

These are just a fraction of the questions a small business owner needs to answer when forming a start up.   Fortunately, there are a host of new and cutting edge Web 2.0 software tools that have been created to help answer these questions.  Today’s entrepreneur can utilize a variety of enterprise software applications that will help them get on their feet without giving away an arm and leg of their nest-egg.  I’ve created a list of some of my favorites- feel free to contribute with any others that you know of.

Basecamp: For your project management and collaboration needs, basecamp is a web tool that allows a small business to interface with clients and collaborators.  It has an incredibly intuitive UI that allows an entrepreneur to keep their head on straight while managing several projects at once.

http://www.basecamphq.com/

Dropbox: A nifty web application that rids you of need to carry around USB flash drives or larger external hard drives.    Dropbox allows you to synchronize various computers to common accessible folders.   Its as easy as drag and drop, and allows several collaborators to share files wherever they are, without the hassle.

http://www.getdropbox.com/

Google Docs: Google Docs provides a suite of online MS-office-esque applications that all are extremely accessible and easy to utilize.  Whether you want to create a spreadsheet that tracks potential clients, or an online word-doc business plan, Google Docs allows multiple collaborators to contribute simultaneously, instead of the tediously sending a document back and forth via email.

http://docs.google.com/

Odesk: Odesk is an online web tool that allows a small business employer to outsource work to freelancers around the world.  While an entrepreneur must be weary about those bidding to do work from overseas for a fraction of the cost, very often Odesk provides a great interface for a variety contract jobs.    The online application allows an employer to adeptly track their freelancers, from up-to-date progress updates to an actual live webcam feed of their hire.

http://www.odesk.com/

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the most popular and free social networking tool for business professionals.  You can essentially post your online resume and qualifications, as well as list your current business venture and why its great.  One useful feature on the social-networking side of things is the ability to get in touch with other local small business owners, who may have helpful advice for you.  It also provides a great forum to let your client’s tell the world about all the great work you’ve done for them through the recommendations engine.

http://www.linkedin.com/

Newton On Demand: Newton provides an online software service for your company’s recruiting and applicant tracking needs.   Easier to use than many of your favorite websites, Newton’s online recruiting software enables your entire hiring team to access, manage and share recruiting information across your entire company.  The great thing about this piece of software is that it is extremely intuitive to use, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to easily collaborate from wherever they are.

http://www.newtonondemand.com/

Zazzle: Whether you want to design your company’s business cards, coffee mugs, or kickball Tees, Zazzle provides a great online tool for enterprise branding.   Although things like these may seem ephemeral when trying to make deadlines, some branding can go along way for your small business identity and marketing.

http://www.zazzle.com/

Twitter: If getting some attention in your niche is what your small business needs- Twitter is a great tool to keep fans, clients and family alike updated with the latest news.  If utilized effectively, Twitter can be a modern day PR agency, minus the headache of management and associated costs.

http://www.twitter.com/

QuickBooks:  This time-tested financial software package is still as relevant as ever.   I recommend getting set up with QuickBooks from day one to track every dollar going in and out of your business.  The intuitive interface and online access makes it a breeze to create invoices, track payments and manage your small business expenses.

http://www.quickbooks.com/

5 Concepts for Next-Generation Applicant Tracking and Recruiting Software March 25, 2009

Posted by Darwin in applicant management, applicant tracking, human resources, recruiting software.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment


1093369_business_shadowIt’s time to rethink how we gauge our applicant tracking and recruiting software.  In the past, companies have touted a system that can ‘blast’ to thousands of candidates and find a needle in the haystack.  This is an old and out-dated way of ‘recruiting thought’.  True recruiting efficiency will come from applicant management software that promotes teamwork and collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters.  Without further ado, enjoy:

1)   Rethink Critical Features: While the oft-cited “-ations” (e.g, customization, integration, etc.) of software are important features to consider, great recruiting and applicant tracking software will focus on some of the “idities” first. Next-generation systems will be designed with a focus on the capability, rapidity and fluidity of new user adoption. The Applicant Tracking System you want should be designed with a clear understanding that people, not technology, drive the success of recruiting. A rethink of its critical features leads to only one conclusion: it should make the process of hiring people easier for other people to accomplish. Choosing recruiting software that is not designed to motivate its users to regularly log in and interact with it can very much be like buying a nifty electronic gadget but not bothering to the get batteries for it.

2)   Rethink the Problem: In “Money Ball” Ken Lewis premises that the conventional baseball wisdom was flawed: the stats that the baseball insiders used for measuring individual success didn’t equate to team success. He turned out to be right.  The conventional promise of recruiting software is to solve hiring by getting more candidates. This relic from the days of unsearchable paper resumes and classified ads is a recipe for a high strikeout ratio and the only occasional home run. Having millions of candidates doesn’t make hires. Blasting emails to your contacts doesn’t make hires. Teamwork, collaboration, engaged hiring managers and efficient recruiters makes hires.

3)   Rethink Immediate Benefits:
Many of today’s recruiting software systems are plump with features designed to meet the specific and varied needs of HR Professionals, yet most of these “innovations” have had very little impact on improving the actual process of filling a position. Simply put, many of the recent innovations in the recruiting software industry have been nothing more than marketing traps for the buyers of recruiting software. When considering what recruiting software to purchase, don’t focus exclusively on features that will benefit the recruiting department or HR.  Instead, remember that there is another entire half of the recruiting supply chain, the hiring manager and business user- the customer.  Focus on selecting a system with innovations that enable all users, from recruiter to hiring manager, to hire people better, easier, faster, and smarter than the way your company is currently doing it. Any additional features are—of course—nice, but make sure you don’t get an ATS that puts the feature cart in front of the recruiting horse.

4)   Rethink Rocket Science:
The hiring process for most people involved in hiring can be distilled into a simple “Yes/No” decision.  So, take a good, long look at your current/potential applicant tracking system vendor.  Has it taken this very simple decision process and made it unnecessarily complicated? Great recruiting software shouldn’t take Rocket Science.

5)   Rethink Implementation and Training: Besides a Recruiter, the act of hiring is not the main career focus of any other employee in a company. Next generation software providers are creating products that are simple to choose, use and deploy. While recruiters may, over time, become accustomed to even the most complicated and unintuitive systems, hiring managers and executives never give these systems a second chance.