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Applicant Tracking Databases for Seasonal Employee Issues May 18, 2011

Posted by Darwin in Applicant Tracking Database, recruiting, small business.
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It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re reading this. There is a seasonal situation looming in front of you that will require the hiring or laying off of employees. The size of your company doesn’t play a part in this, aside from the level of your economic impact on the local community you draw your workforce from. Everyone is affected by the ebbs and flows of consumer purchasing, the price of petroleum in winter or summer, or the environmental conditions that allow some businesses to thrive and others to struggle. If you’re in business, you’re dealing with one or two of these, maybe all of them.  

How can an applicant tracking database help you in times when seasonal employee issues arise? If you’re a seasonal landscaping or snow removal firm it should be obvious. At the beginning of your season, you hire a bunch of new employees. At the end, you let them go. You’ve been using different systems for years to keep track of it all, but how many times have you sat back with a group of your regulars and said, “Gee, I wonder whatever happened to so-and-so. He didn’t apply this year and I can’t seem to find his number.” If you had applicant tracking software, you’d have that number on hand.

Smaller companies can keep track of former employees with paper filing systems or standard databases, but what about those candidates who applied for work before, went through screening and reference checks, and were refused for some reason that isn’t likely to change in a few years? They eventually apply again and you go through the same process, drawing on the money and resources you don’t have to come to the same conclusion. Why waste all that time and energy when you can invest in applicant tracking that will tell you this person is a “Do not Hire”?

Companies that hire large numbers of seasonal employees tend to overlook the small details about the hiring and firing of former seasonal employees. The right software allows you take notes during the recruiting and hiring process. Did the candidate show up on time for his or her first interview or did they reschedule? Were those behaviors present on the job once they were hired? At the end of the season, did the candidate finish up the job or take off a few weeks early to go to school or another job?

These questions are important, especially in a tough economy where potential employee pools are so large. You can continue to do business as usual and just plug in warm bodies until the job gets done, but how much are you losing by doing that? All industries have their superstars and deadbeats. You want the former, yet somehow end up with too many of the latter. Applicant tracking databases can help you avoid that and get you ready for your busy season with the right people by your side. Wouldn’t that be a better and more profitable way to do it this year?

Hiring a top tier corporate recruiter July 28, 2010

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking software, corporate recruiting, recruiting.
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In today’s business environment, hiring a talented recruiter can be an invaluable asset to any company.  An adept recruiter will be able to put a business one step ahead of its competitors by bringing in the absolute best hires available.   One question that comes up over and over when companies are seeking a talented recruiter is: what makes a good recruiter?

Many companies have the outlook of hiring a recruiter purely based on past experience as opposed to the individual’s talent potential. A potentially talented recruiter can be taught the ropes and become successful in a matter of months.  Although experience is always important, picking out a top recruiter will take more than looking at somebody’s resume.  As with any job or position, there are certain traits that can be associated with success in the corporate recruiting profession.

Using a series of tests conducted by a corporate psychologist, the specific character traits that best serve a recruiter have been fleshed out.  The testing involved both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of candidates, utilizing a series of scripts and conversations.  The environment that a recruiter needs to perform in was also taken into account with the testing – a workplace that requires an eye for technical details, a mind to keep up the rapid pace and a stamina for a high-volume work load.

From the testing came four primary traits that should be inherent to a potential recruiter:  Focus, Adaptability, Confidence and Empathy.

Focus: A great recruiter needs to be able to keep their eye on the end goal while processing a great amount of information.  A recruiter will be collaborating with various individuals throughout the hiring process and getting distracted can come with the territory.  The best recruiters will be able to hone in on the final goal of making the best hire.

Adaptability: Things don’t always go as expected in the recruiting world.  A top tier candidate may fall through due to an unexpected reason.  A talented recruiter should be able to adapt (roll with the punches) and make the best of any situation.  Adaptability also equates to an individual’s ability to accustom themselves to any established in-house systems, such as applicant tracking software.

Confidence: A great recruiter must have the self-confidence to start producing for a company right away.  Starting out timid and ‘testing the waters’ won’t help a company break into an incredibly competitive hiring market.  A recruiter should latch their teeth onto a candidate and not let go until the job is done.

Empathy: Empathy is one of the most overlooked traits that should come naturally to any good recruiter. A recruiter should have the ability to empathize with their candidates on a number of levels, including evaluating their backgrounds, emotional responses and overall behavior.  A recruiter should be able to get inside a candidate’s head – realize where they are coming from and why they are in their current mindset.  In the end, this empathy will enable the recruiter to make a successful hire.

In today’s economy, finding a top tier recruiter should be a priority for any business.  As more jobs become available, finding the best talent out there will only become more difficult.  Only a recruiter, who has the ability to attract and hire top level talent, can put a company one step ahead of its competitors.