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Hiring The Best In Sales Employees October 4, 2013

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, HR Tips, human resources.
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When it comes to hiring sales employees, you should always be looking at those who have a proven track record of being able to sell the product or service they have been tasked with selling. A resume is not always indicative of what a person has to offer your company. While it may be great that a person worked for another company for 10 years, were they consistently at the top for sales?

Forbes recently published an article containing the top 50 questions that you want to ask a sales professional. These can allow you to get in-depth to what a person is capable of and whether they will be able to perform for your company given the sales environment that you have fostered.

You don’t want to be overly firm or overly friendly during an interview, but you do want to make sure you get to ask at least some of these 50 questions to get to know the person sitting across from you a little more.

Top questions to ask include:

– What sales quotas are you used to being given??

– What is your sales technique?

– Can you provide an example of a contract negotiation that you completed?

– What market did you find to be the most profitable?

– What kinds of marketing methods have you used?

– What kinds of customer relationship marketing tools have you used?

– What was your average sale at your last position?

– What are your best traits as a sales representative?

Especially if you are not familiar with the company that a person worked for in the past, you need to be able to familiarize yourself with the selling standards. Did they work in a similar selling environment? Were the target demographics the same? Will their knowledge translate well into your company?

The more questions you ask, the more you can learn about the person sitting across from you (or over the phone). This will allow you to make better hiring decisions for your sales department and be able to meet your own goals within the company.

There are various tools that you can use to hire the best in sales employees beyond asking questions. An applicant tracking system can also allow you to organize applicants easier and be able to search within the resumes in order to find particular types of individuals – those that have used certain keywords or meet certain basic requirements.

A sales employee is the face of your business. They are responsible for interacting with consumers and getting the sales you need to stay financially stable. Hiring these employees is nothing to take lightly, so you need to use all the tools (and all the questions) you can.



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.
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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.

Work with a Top Applicant Tracking Systems March 23, 2012

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, recruitment tracking software, technology.
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If a review of your human resource management tasks and results indicate that your business could benefit from increased efficiency and more organization, it may be time to put one of the top applicant tracking systems to work for you. These types of solution oriented business technologies have a lot to offer when it comes to organizing and managing information and increasing the efficiency of human resource management operations, especially when it comes to the myriad of processes involved in meeting staffing needs by locating and hiring the best possible applicants for the positions that need filling in a business.

Staffing is different these days, because businesses operate in such different ways, thanks to the wealth of technological advancements in communication and information management. Even the smallest of businesses has the opportunity to be a global player, with both its labor force and its customers scattered throughout the world. The top applicant tracking systems are designed to be able to operate in this brave new business world, facilitating such business practices as the outsourcing of labor on a global level and the functioning or the virtual office or business, one that isn’t housed in the traditional sort of brick and mortar defined location.

Being able to access information about potential job applicants across a wide geographical expanse is an important element of being able to select the best and brightest for your organization. The data management offered by such business oriented technologies increases efficiency in seeking the best applicants for the job, as your time is never spent looking over the information of unsuitable applicants, because those are filtered out before you ever see them. A quality applicant system can help to make interviewing processes much easier, as well as ensure that the interviewing techniques remain compliant with existing employment law on local, state, and federal levels.

Human error and its associated costs are reduced when using a quality applicant tracking system. There is no need to invest a whole lot of time in closely tracking the progress of change in employment law, because the leading applicant tracking systems handle that for you, one of the many quality features you have access to when you use the best. Making sure that your labor force is as diverse as it needs to be to be considered in compliance with labor law no longer has to eat up human resource management labor hours. The risk of mistakes that could cost your business in terms of money and reputation is decreased.

Enhancing your human resource management functions and efficiency can be as easy as putting one of the leading applicant tracking systems to work for you in your business organization. Information is power and effectively managing that information to your best advantage, especially when it comes to staffing issues, can do a lot to increase your company’s chances for success, right now and over the long term. Your labor force is what produces your product or service, making the quality of that labor force an essential element to your bottom line, so make sure you can get the best with a quality applicant tracking system.

Does Investing in Applicant Tracking Guarantee Hiring Success? February 24, 2012

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, small business, technology, top applicant tracking systems.
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In considering whether or not investing in the leading applicant tracking system guarantees success, it is important to define what success means to you. If you are asking this question of yourself while deciding if these types of software and systems are worth your investment in terms of your overall business success, it may be best to break that question down into parts. After all, the quality of your employees, while certainly being a huge part of your business success, isn’t the only part of your success. Your good business sense is the foundation that everything else rests upon.

Reframing the question may be more useful to your decision making process. Can using a high quality applicant tracking system or recruitment software guarantee success in finding the most suitable applicants for the positions in your business that are key to its overall competitiveness and success? When you invest in this type of software or system, you gain a system of applicant information management that would be impossible to replicate in a human resource management department via hands-on labor hours at any cost.

The reach of a quality applicant system goes far beyond the region your business operates in, allowing you to scour the nation, even the globe, for applicants with the specific skill sets you need to bring your business to the next level of success. This type of information management helps to ensure that you are looking in all the right places for your recruits eliminates the waste of time in sifting through applicants that do not meet your specific requirements, helping you target the best suited applicants quickly and efficiently.

Labor hours matter in the overall cost of doing business. If your definition of success includes getting more done at a reduced cost, then the leading applicant tracking system may be just the right move for you. There’s a lot involved in successful applicant tracking, from first contact, to the interview process, to the actual hiring to maintaining employment law compliance. That is an awful lot of information to be dealt with, requiring a great deal of labor hours to do well, if placing those responsibilities and tasks in the hands of a human resource team is the way you choose to go. Technology can slash those hours and greatly reduce the costs involved with finding the right people for your organization.

Putting a high quality job applicant tracking system to work for you can virtually guarantee your success in quickly and efficiently finding the best solutions to your staffing challenges. Using your good business sense to make the right choices when it comes to selecting the means, methods, and tools to increase your success in attracting the type of applicants you need to achieve your business goals will enhance the potentials of you achieving the success you desire. In the end, it is your choices that matter the most. Choosing applicant software to help you obtain your goals can be one of the most important step you make for the overall well-being of your business.

Web based Recruiting Software Changes Everything for a Human Resources Department December 31, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, applicant tracking software, Applicant Tracking System.
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The way it’s currently done works, no doubt about that, but the availability of a system that cuts

down on time and costs, and speeds up the headhunting process is too good an opportunity
to pass up. I’m talking about Web based job recruiting software as a tool to hasten the work of
Human Resources Managers all over the world.

It used to be (it still is in many places) that when a company was in need of people, it would
place an ad in a newspaper of general circulation. Careful attention is usually made to make
the ad jump out of the Classified Ads page and grab prospective applicants’ attention. Ad
placements don’t come cheap, and it’s a horrible waste of money for the ad to generate only
half a dozen responses. Besides, the ad should attract good prospects, and, usually, the more
responses there are, the better the chances that some good candidates will emerge.

Depending on the number of responses, the ad may be placed again. As the responses come
in, the applications will be screened, with the more promising ones going to the shortlist, while
the rest will be receiving “Thank you, but…” letters soon. The shortlist of prospects will be
contacted for a series of interviews and testing, normally no more than three to four each day,
to determine how they measure up against the desirable qualities the job demands. All this
information becomes part of a file on that particular applicant.

The system works, no doubt about that, but there’s a better way than just running print ads.
Web based recruiting software offers an electronic alternative, one that gives you the lowest
possible recruitment and hiring costs. Applicant tracking software does that by speeding up
the management of resumes and applicant information. You advertise your need online, and
applicants apply online. Their curriculum vitae are stored online and retrieved online.

Using the traditional way, you get to reach only to those who buy the newspaper which carries
your ad. Not so with Web based job recruitment software systems; your market is the entire
world. For instance, if you’re looking for a VP of Operations for your oil interests in Dubai who
speaks Arabic and has a working familiarity with the Arab mind, and who has stayed in the
Emirates for at least five years, you won’t find that person by advertising in the Sunday paper.
You need to go to the web for that. Job recruitment software providers often have tie ups with
job and resume boards like Monster, Hotjobs, and Career Builder, expanding your data mining
reach. The bottom line: lower recruitment and hiring cost.

HR needs to fill positions quickly, so it doesn’t really matter much how HR does it, right? Wrong.
In the first place, there are a number of ways to find candidates, each one associated with a
particular cost and a specific area of effectiveness. Candidates could be found at career fairs or
campus interviews and the cost per hire would be low, but then what kind of candidates would
HR come up with for that VP of Operations job? The likes of the vacancy would probably dictate
a newspaper ad, or candidates generated by job portals or recruitment vendors, but would the
cost then be what the company could afford? Look into web based recruiting software for your
HR department. You’ll eliminate the problems, the costs, and the extra work you have to do if
you use those other, older, inefficient and less effective methods.

What is the exact function and role of an HR department? October 6, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, EEOC, HR Tips, human resources.
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What exactly does your Human Resources Department do? This is a difficult question to answer, even for the owner of the company. Human Resources is one area that tends to evolve on its own, and everyone in that department is responsible for their own individual piece of that evolution. Some are employee oriented and work on programs and solutions that help the worker. Others are numbers crunchers, those who recommend cut-backs on personnel when it appears that a company might be on the verge of taking a loss. In some companies the terminations would be the responsibility of HR, or they could be a task reserved for management or ownership.

Regardless of the unique make-up of individual human resource departments, all of them have a few things in common. They are all responsible for recruiting and hiring and each needs to have their own applicant tracking system. That could be automated recruitment tracking software or manila file folders. If you’re still using the latter you might want to upgrade. Paper filing systems are not only obsolete – they’re inefficient. Once a folder is filed in the wrong spot it’s more often than not never discovered. Quality job applicants fall through the cracks like that all the time.

Most human resource departments also need to keep track of current regulations and required hiring quotas. There are compliance issues when it comes to hiring and employment. Foremost among these are EEOC and OFCCP, the federal guidelines that demand equal opportunity employment and enforce affirmative action. If you’re modernizing and installing a new job applicant tracking system, you might want to look into web based recruiting software that downloads regular updates in these areas when the laws change. Like paper filing systems, keeping track of these things without automation is an obsolete and dangerous practice.

Human Resource departments are also typically responsible for benefits administration. There are statutes in place on federal, state, and county levels that mandate these benefits in certain areas. Health care is one of the big ones, and perhaps the most publicized in the past few years, but there are others. Regulations and liability issues on retirement funds, direct deposit, and stock awards can get pretty complex. It’s up to the HR department to translate all those wordy rules and explain them to the average employee. Some companies even keep a lawyer or paralegal in HR specifically for that purpose. The legal presence is not a requirement, but it does help.

What else do human resources departments do? When new companies open and start to build, they put a lot of responsibility in the hands of human resources. As time goes by, those responsibilities are sometimes removed and passed on to other departments, but more often than not they stay with HR, making it one of the more complex and important departments in your company. Do you know what they do? If you’re a business owner or site manager and you don’t know, you might want to go down there and find out. That knowledge might come in handy at some point.

Web Based Recruiting Software – Head Hunting and Cloud Computing June 23, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, web based recruiting software.
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Take a moment and try this exercise. Close your laptop, turn off your computer screen, and look at the items on your desk. Do you have a rolodex, an appointment book, or calendar in front of you? Chances are you don’t. Let’s get even more basic than that. Do you have a pen and something to write on other than the back of your business cards or a piece of paper from the printer? Once again, chances are you don’t. These are all items from the days of yesteryear when records were kept in manila folders and recruiting was done with local newspapers and telephones – the non-cellular kind.

Just in case you’re wondering, this is not a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The point we’re trying to make is that we’ve become dependent upon our computers to organize our lives. In the case of recruiting and applicant tracking, we’re often too dependent, at least on standard databases and scheduling. If you’re not doing those tasks online, you’re running the risk of losing data, perhaps setting your company’s recruiting efforts back several months in the process. Just saving to your hard drive is no longer okay. You might as well start writing notes on sticky pads again. They’re safer.

Web based recruiting software keeps your records online, safe from viruses and computer crashes. You can save copies to your hard drive if you like, they could come in handy if you don’t have internet access at some point, but you’ll find that other than that you’ll rely on the online version completely. It’s more compact, takes up no disc space at all, and will give you better search and storage capabilities. The best applicant tracking systems will store resume information and allow you to search for specific skill sets by keyword. Doing that on a hard drive would take up far too much space and time. 

As a recruiter or human resource person, you’re most likely familiar with the term “ATS applicant tracking”. For those not in the know, the abbreviation stands for the system used to do the tracking and it almost always refers to web based recruiting software. Job applicant tracking that isn’t online is really just a database with limited space and search capabilities. On the web, your potential for expansion is unlimited, at least in theory. The company you choose to use may not have unlimited bandwidth, but chances are the space they can offer is much larger than you have in your office.

Using online software to run applications essential to operating your business is a process known as cloud computing. The “cloud” is basically the entire web. It’s the modern day term used to describe what was once called cyberspace. As computers have gotten more advanced and mobiles with limited disc space have become more common, cloud computing has increased in popularity. You’ve probably heard the term used in relation to applications for your cell phone or netbook. Did you know you could access many of those apps from your desktop PC or MAC? Web based recruiting software is one of them. Give it a try.

Create a hiring flow with Applicant Tracking March 7, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, applicant tracking software, corporate recruiting, human resources, small business.
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A company is as good as its workforce — the employees are the productivity backbone and lifeblood of any business and managers need the right people in the right positions for optimal performance. Logically, employers should do all they can to find the best talent available in the marketplace. As the qualities employers seek have multiplied, the process for recruiting suitable applicants and finding the best fit has become more technologically sophisticated.

An inefficient hiring process has considerable amount of overhead attached and can affect the bottom-line significantly. Any business trying to increase the efficiency and efficacy of their HR department can streamline their hiring process with applicant tracking software (ATS). These applications help automate administrative tasks while bringing the benefits of transparency and collaboration to decision-making. Recruitment software makes the process simpler and more cost-effective while helping companies sort through suitable candidates quicker and at a low cost.

The system follows a particular workflow which can often be customized to a company’s changing needs. The front end of an applicant tracking software can consist of a dedicated website or a sub-domain of company website. This portal is where openings can be listed and candidates can post their resumes. Resumes can also be imported from databases on affiliated online job boards. Resumes then go through multiple checks against skill requirements and job descriptions at company. Powerful search algorithms identify attractive candidates from the available data. The next important feature in the system facilitates communication to selected candidates on their selection and schedules probable dates for interviews or other preliminary steps. Interview management including pre-screening questionnaires, FAQ documents and resource allocation are managed with a great deal of automation. Post-interview, desirable candidates are again informed about their status and provided with next steps leading towards an offer.

Automated applicant tracking helps both the employer and jobseeker connect faster. Sophisticated search and aggregated business intelligence data speeds up assessment and considerably reduces turnaround time. This helps candidates know quickly if they are actually being considered for the job. An automated system also flattens the playing field for all applicants. The software makes decisions purely on the merits of the resume. While resume data is not the only criterion, it provides an important foundation for keeping the process quantifiable and ethical. This systemic transparency eliminates some of the “who you know” aspects of landing a job.  Storage and retrieval of applicant information is also important. This information has a shelf life and can be expensive to obtain anew for every company opening. The ability of the system to identify previously suitable candidates at a later date is invaluable.

As companies become more competitive over resources, the use of applicant tracking software has become a business necessity. There are many Enterprise, SaaS (Software as a Service) and open-source software applications on the market differentiated by company size, feature variation, and level of customization. As companies continue to realize that their human capital is more precious than any other, the care and administration of new hires will continue to evolve resulting in better choices and better long-term employee relationships.


Gaining a Small Business Edge in Marketing, Hiring & Services December 8, 2010

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, small business.
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Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.  They not only account for a large proportion of our country’s production and service sector, but they also are a major part of job growth.  Across the US, small businesses in a variety of niche sectors are hiring talented employees so that they can compete in competitive markets.

Even though small business owners make a big difference, they also have a very difficult time getting a ‘piece of the pie.’ Whereas large companies already have their foot in the door in many cases, the smaller guys need to make a name for themselves in order to start selling.  Here are some tips and tricks in different departments for small businesses to gain an edge against bigger corporations:

1.  Marketing – Being a small business in the marketing world is like being the person in the room with softest voice.  All of the big companies are screaming about products and services by spending tons of marketing dollars across a variety of mediums.  So how does a small business, who doesn’t necessarily have a huge marketing budget, get their name out there?  One great way is through social networks and services like Twitter and Facebook.  Using these free technologies, a small business can build a grassroots fan base that is local, relevant, and scalable.

2.  Products & Services – How can a smaller company possibly outperform a big company when it comes to sheer production or service volume?  Obviously quantity should be thrown out the door in favor of quality and niche market adaptation.  Whereas big corporations move extremely slow in regards to fluctuations in market demand due to their organization hierarchy, small companies can easily adapt to the smallest changes.  Using this advantage in speed and adaptability, a small business can outperform a big biz and gain traction in viable niche sectors.

3.  Hiring – Big companies have a huge advantage in the hiring game by offering more competitive salaries and perks.  Using these benefits they can often attract the best job applicants available, while leaving nothing for the smaller competitors.  Luckily, technology once again can even the playing field for small businesses.  Cutting edge applicant tracking software allows any company (small or large) to find and attract top-level talent by utilizing the internet.  Using these hiring tools, a small biz can land the quality hires that have the potential to lead  a company into the big leagues.

Prepare for the Next Wave of New Hires With Applicant Tracking Software August 4, 2010

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Every month the unemployment numbers become the latest barometer as to how the economy is doing. The slightest movement up or down can send shock waves through Wall Street and Main Street. Lower numbers means more people are back at work. High numbers means more folks are looking for work. One thing is for sure, as long as the numbers remain high there is going to be an increasing strain on the recruitment process. Fewer jobs plus more applicants looking for those jobs can equal major stress. However, if you are using an up to date applicant tracking software program you might just be able to ride the wave of new hires and maintain your value to your own employers.

Utilizing an applicant tracking software program means you’ll be building your own custom database of potential staff members. Whether you are working for one specific company or you have multiple recruiting accounts, you’ll be able to maintain a complete set of data points for each applicant with the right tracking program. Having easy access to this database will come into play when meeting the demands of hiring one person, a management team or an entire staff. You’ll be able to separate qualified candidates into appropriate categories based on their previous job training, education and experience.

There’s a very strong chance that once you put an ad out into the marketplace, you could be flooded with resumes. Importing these submissions through your applicant tracking program can help organize, maintain and eliminate. You don’t want to spend valuable work hours shifting through files to find the right candidates for follow-up interviews.

Applicant tracking software isn’t just about collecting applications but also about getting out the word and following up. With tracking software you’ll be able to set up customized careers portals which can attract a variety of talent. Before the internet, you basically had two or three hometown papers to advertise in. Now your reach can be global.

Once you’ve accumulated the applications, you’ll want to follow-up with a response. The idea is to maintain a professional level of courtesy while being as efficient as possible. Applicant tracking software can help store drafts of follow-up emails. A polite thank you note can go a long way. You never know; that one special thank you note could be going to a future boss. This is one area where you don’t want to burn any bridges.

Attracting the best talent for an open position is going to be a positive reflection on your abilities as a recruiter or a company.  Using applicant tracking software shows that you are keeping ahead of marketplace trends and staying on the cutting edge of technology.