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The ATS – identifying what machines do well

September 12th, 2012 by

I have been a candidate in the marketplace recently looking for a new opportunity in my career. I interviewed with a handful of different companies in different industries ultimately looking for a new home. Some interviews were because of a referral, others were because I was matched to a position online. There were a few great opportunities along the way but in ALL honesty I accepted a new position here at Sendouts because of the experience I had from the beginning to end of the hiring process. I loved how they made me feel.

In today’s age of technology many of us have become dependent on software to help us get our job done and forget about the human element . So many recruiters have become dependent on their ATS to create a match and move on to the next opportunity and forget about the human contact along the way. It’s time to take a look at how we are moving out of the technology age and into the human age. We need to remember how our job actually changes someone’s life and what impact we actually have on them and their future.

Technology is useless without people

Your ATS helps you perform a very human activity; connect with people. Let’s not forget this. It’s great at storing candidate and client information allowing everything to be searchable and follow someone through their final stage in the process. It can be trusted to have all of the information you need about the relationship but it’s a human’s job to create that relationship.

Humans versus machines (the ATS)

Recruiters are in their profession for a many reasons but one of them is because they are good at building relationships. Not everyone has that intuition and not everyone is good at making conversation and understanding where other people are coming from. Your ATS can’t form a relationship but it can give you a better reach. It can help you be better at relationships by tracking conversations, reminding you to follow up even remind you of someone’s birthday. Your ATS can’t reach out and influence a candidate or client. People write stories, ATS’s store them.

Without the right people you won’t be successful

The key to your success is your reputation. It doesn’t matter if you have the best ATS on planet earth, without competent driven people your ATS is useless. However without the right technology, even your best people won’t be able to compete for the best talent. Your ATS is your memory in the process not a human replacement.

Keep the relationship in mind during your next hire or sales call. They could be your next client or referral. People always remember how you made them feel in the process.

When It Comes to Recruiting Software, Easy Does It

September 5th, 2012 by

recruiting software made easy

As a recruiting software product manager, I know that being easy is actually very difficult.

When making something easy for your buyer, user or client, the burden becomes yours. Rather than just throwing options at a symptom, you have to take a holistic approach, looking at different angles of a problem to solve it at the core.

Features Don’t Solve Problems

Most of our competitors in the recruiting software space are focused on adding as many features as they can to their product so they can market a new shiny object. However, most users will never know these extraneous features exist, and few will find any real value in them.

Instead, at Sendouts, we focus on the complex problems that are facing our clients and the market. Then we figure out how we can solve those problems in a way that drives real results.

Sometimes the solution isn’t so shiny. It may be a simple as eliminating unnecessary clicks and dialogue boxes in the recruiting workflow. It’s not glamorous, but it’s a solution that helps our customers work faster in a business where minutes matter.

Decision Simplicity

A survey from the Harvard Business Review showed that “decision simplicity” is by far the most important aspect in the likelihood of a prospect to:

  • follow through with a purchase
  • buy repeatedly
  • recommend a product to others

This not only means packaging items in a way that is relevant to the buyer, but also giving them reliable information that is specific to their individual needs.

How Sendouts Keeps Recruiting Software Simple

At Sendouts we have an extreme focus on easy and simple.

  • Software: We want to make our software as easy to use as possible, from the intuitiveness of the design to the functionality of the features.
  • Pricing: Our pricing is transparent. Everything is included in one price.
  • Support: Support is free and convenient, whether you prefer referencing our online knowledgebase, corresponding via online chat, solving an issue over email or speaking to a rep over the phone.
  • Our Core Message: It’s simple. We build great software for great recruiting and staffing firms.

We stick to simple for many reasons but the most important one is that the easier we make our product, and the easier it is to do business with us, the more successful our clients will be.

Your Easy Strategy

People are faced with an endless number of decisions all day, every day. Every grain of mental capacity that you can convince them to spend on you is valuable and should be treated as such. When considering your easy strategy, a good place to start is focusing on making the buying process as easy as possible. Fewer options and relevant information lead to faster decisions and more satisfied buyers.

We all know there are many ways that you can make your product or company more successful, but what we have found is that if you make doing business with your company as easy as possible, people will reward you with buying what you are selling, buying it more often and telling other people they should buy it too.

5 Dos and Don’ts for Your Recruiting Software

August 29th, 2012 by

As the new school year begins, parents buy children an exhausting list of supplies: the entirely-unnecessary extravagance of a 120-pack of Crayola crayons, a couple (or 12) notebooks, 50 pencils…you get the point. The kids “need” all of these things. Then at the end of the school year, you discover you are left with 100 unused crayons in the box, 12 notebooks with the first 10 pages of each used, and more pencils than you could ever possibly need. What was the purpose of buying all these oh-so-essential school supplies? Now take a look at your recruiting software.

Get your money’s worth

Do you ever feel the same sense of frustration, as if you or your company has wasted precious resources? If your response is yes, it is possible you are not using your ATS correctly. It is imperative with these systems that you invest in a solution that fits your company’s size, of course—no one needs 120 crayons when 20 would work just as well. There are so many other ways this software is commonly misused, but fortunately, just as many ways to make the most of it.

How do you use your recruiting software?

A common complaint about recruiting software is that it doesn’t produce quality candidates. If you have had similar thoughts, stop and consider: is it possible you’re just not using it correctly? Here are 5 dos and don’ts to help you better utilize your ATS:

1. Do track recruiting metrics!
In a 2012 survey by Sendouts, 83% of the recruiting and staffing professionals said that metrics help them to excel at work. This should be incentive enough to use your software and follow suit!

2. Don’t use your ATS as a resume warehouse!
Maybe you have virtual mountains of resumes stacked up in your system, but your recruiting software does so much more than store resumes. Take advantage of your system’s tools and automate your recruiting workflow. It will save you time and increase your productivity!

3. Do build your brand!
Use your ATS to nurture relationships with your clients and candidates. Send emails through your database, keeping candidates up to date about job listings and opportunities in their field. They will appreciate your considerate actions. If used well, your recruiting software will also help you find the most exemplary candidates. By continuously presenting your clients with these stellar applicants, you will earn their respect and give your company name a little more clout.

4. Don’t miss out on training opportunities!
If you don’t know what your ATS is capable of, you can’t make the most of it. Take advantage of services offered by your provider and don’t hesitate to contact customer support. You are only wasting time and money by misusing the system.

5. Do turn references into candidates!
You have a database full of resumes, right? Well if you need more clients and more qualified candidates for a position, you can always do what Dennis Borders of Gecko Hospitality did. He sent one mail merge to his 12,000 candidates and in one day he had 81 new prospective clients. With his recruiting software, he is also able to turn a candidate’s reference into a new candidate with one click. Because these references likely have the qualifications you desire, they are ideal. Using your ATS for this in particular can create rich opportunities for you.

Keep these dos and don’ts in mind next time you want to complain about your recruiting software. Although, if you follow this list, there (hopefully, fingers crossed!) won’t be a next time. Once you find the right system, you can explore all the tools, learn how to use them, and perform at your best!

 

 

Get a Bigger Bang Out of Your Recruiting Software

July 3rd, 2012 by

What do fireworks have to do with your recruiting software?

If you’ve gotten to put together a fireworks display, you know the fun that comes with selecting the perfect balance of dazzle and danger.

Sparklers, roman candles, black cats, and firecrackers.

You wouldn’t just stick with one type. Just one flavor of firework wouldn’t pack the punch that a diverse display does.

It’s the same with your recruiting software. You can use a fully integrated system that functions well enough. But, you might get more bang for your buck out of a best of breed solution that is honed to fit your company’s unique needs.

FIS or Best of Breed for Your Recruiting Software Solution?

While fully integrated software offers the convenience of a one-stop-shop, the time and costs added to customizing it to your business quickly add up. As you make customizations, and add functionality, it becomes more and more difficult to move away from a fully integrated system in order to embrace new technology.

A best of breed software solution allows you to integrate your ATS with the best solutions on the market – from VoIP, to email, to business intelligence. Because your entire business is not entrenched in one system, it’s easier to add or remove components, keeping your technology in line with your business process.

For many companies, going the best of breed route offers the agility and flexibility needed to react quickly to changes in the marketplace, enabling them to create more innovative products and services than their competitors, increasing their slice of the market share pie.

Learn more about best of breed as you choose your recruiting software.

Download “The Non-Tech Guide to Best of Breed (and why it makes business sense)”.

When Usability is King, IT Does Not Stand Alone

May 16th, 2012 by

Enterprise software buyers agree that usability is just as important as feature offerings. If half of your company doesn’t use a software solution you’ve purchased, you’re compromising the benefits of your investment.

Achieving Software Success” provides insight from software buyers and sellers on the drivers, expectations, and responsibilities for success in enterprise software implementation.

The biggest takeaway from the report is that “‘People issues’ rather than ‘technology issues’ are the greatest barriers to success.”

So how do you get your people to work with technology, increasing usability of enterprise software and capitalizing on your investment?

Role of Management

You can’t just install a new program and expect people to start using it. Processes need to be re-aligned. Because management owns the process, they have to initiate and embrace the changes in the organization needed to realize the most benefits from the software.

A software implementation can occur without a hitch on the IT side, but an organization that is stubborn to change will have a tough time incorporating the new technology into their daily processes. The increased revenue, decreased costs, and market differentiation the software was intended for in the first place will be lost without management adoption.

Role of the Vendor

Software buyers are looking to vendors to help with process alignment. The vendor’s expertise needs to go beyond how the software works, and address how it can be used most effectively within the daily operations of an organization. Buyers are looking for software companies that understand the day-to-day challenges of their business, and can address them accordingly.

Role of Technology

The complexities of the economy paired with quickly evolving technology mean that a complicated installation process is no longer acceptable. Companies don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to installing software delivered on a CD and maintaining their own hardware.

SaaS (software as a service) and web based software solutions have alleviated these issues by automatically delivering updates, and remotely hosting data. Increased accessibility provides users with a better experience, as the newest features and latest fixes are available without delay.

Technology doesn’t work without people. Successful software implementation requires dedication from management to integrate process with technology, a vendor with expertise in your business, and technology that is easily delivered and maintained.

Need to Get More Out of Your Employees? A Solution.

April 11th, 2012 by

How do you help your employees take ownership of their work?

Workflow technology can erase excuses for missing the mark, and help your employees to excel without a manager breathing down their back.

Erase these flimsy employee justifications for not meeting objectives with workflow technology:

I don’t know where I stand. Workflow technology tracks employee progress. So whether they’re working with a shared checklist, or robust recruiting software, employees know how close they are to meeting their goals now – not just at the end of the month.

I can’t find the information I need. Workflow technology gives everyone access to the information they need to do their job. Recruiters have candidate information, and can see who the primary account manager is on their jobs. Researchers can see what types of jobs are coming down the pipeline and source accordingly. Salespeople can see who is the primary rep for each client and avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

I have too many distractions on my plate. Workflow technology keeps employees on the path toward a placement. Workflow designates tasks, roles, rules, and procedures, while technology keeps employees aligned with their responsibilities. Employees can focus on their specific tasks, and avoid pursuing fruitless endeavors.

I’m not doing what I love. Take redundant, menial tasks off of their plates, so they can focus on putting their strengths to work. Workflow technology automates mundane tasks (like data entry), so that your star players can use their charisma, intuition, and persistence to sell candidates and clients on your services.

You don’t care about my performance. Providing your employees with the best technology – and a great process for using it – demonstrates you are invested in their success, so that you can retain the best talent.

You have enough challenges in your day without trying to squeeze potential out of your employees. Workflow technology that automates business processes and best practices can empower your employees to work with greater autonomy and reach higher objectives.

The One Thing Your Recruiting Technology is Missing

March 21st, 2012 by

Recruiters have unprecedented access to phenomenal technology. Some solutions are free, some are a large investment. Some provide basic sourcing tools, and some solutions have so many bells and whistles, it’s hard to figure out a use for them all.

No matter what your budget, or your goals, everyone has access to great technology.

But there’s one key element great technology needs to actually work:

  • If your recruiters don’t know how to use your technology to its fullest potential, it’s not worth the investment.
  • If your employees don’t adopt your chosen software solution, it’s useless.
  • If productivity is lost every time you hit a technical issue, you’ll miss out on additional opportunities.

The solution? Excellent customer service.

The key to great technology is access to training and support.

When your recruiting technology solution provides training, your employees are equipped to use the product to solve their problems.

When they see the technology as a solution rather than a frustration they have to work around, they use it how it was intended, every day.

And when your employees have access to support when they have an issue, they can get back on track quickly. Excuses for not producing fly out the window.

Without great customer service, why invest your time, money, and resources into technology at all?

The Surprising Truth about Spring Cleaning

March 15th, 2012 by


Traditionally, spring is the time to sweep out the dark corners that were neglected over the winter, open up a window or two, shake out the rugs and perform all of those once-a-year cleaning rituals.

That’s in your physical space.

And with everything feeling so fresh and new, the spring cleaning frenzy may even spill out of your home and into the confines of your office.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Spring Cleaning doesn’t matter in the virtual space.

Paperless. It means no paper. No shuffling, stacking, sorting or filing. It’s simplified, streamlined, and it’s why we keep moving more and more physical items into the virtual space.

We didn’t want to deal with a pocket full of receipts, so we started scanning them.

We didn’t want to search through and store stacks of physical resumes, so we invested in recruiting software.

Cleaning Up with the Could

Even our virtual space is becoming cleaner, leaner, and increasingly virtual. Now, instead of storing multiple files across our devices, we send them to the cloud, and summon them when we please. How’s that for eliminating desktop file folders?

Things are getting so clean, that our desktops might be a thing of the past in the very near future. Cloud paging is being hyped as the next technology to change the software industry, allowing software applications to be housed in the cloud. Check in the software you need from whichever device you’re using at the moment, and send it away when you’re ready to move on to a different task. No need to clutter a hard drive with a plethora of software applications.

Search, Don’t Scrub

Of course, no matter where you store your records, files, and software, they have to exist somewhere.

But today’s searching technology means that you don’t ever have to touch your data until you need it.

You don’t have to spend time reorganizing your files.

Looking for a document? Search with your document explorer. Can’t find an email? Search in Outlook. Trying to recall a candidate’s availability? Search for them in Sendouts.

And searching is constantly getting smarter. It’s more sophisticated that just keyword matching. Semantic searching uses context to derive meaning out of a search, providing even better results.

If you need to rearrange your files or de-clutter the icons on your desktop – go for it. It’s therapeutic.

But if you need to save time, do something productive and skip spring cleaning altogether.

When you’re in the virtual space, you don’t have to clean up.

______________________________

image from here.

Flavors.me and Recruiters

December 7th, 2011 by

Flavors.me can be described as a personal content management system, a tool for aggregating your social media presence, and personal landing page.

The appeal of the site is the ability to create an aesthetically pleasing web page without the need for web design experience, for free.

And if you are a recruiter specializing in the creative industry, it could be another site for finding fresh talent.

Active and passive candidates are finding the value of giving people access to their social media profiles and portfolios in one place, while at the same time controlling their online image.

Flavors.me is well suited for writers, photographers, designers, bloggers, social media experts and marketers.

But it doesn’t have to be limited to creative types.  As a recruiter, could you benefit from giving your network a taste of what you’re about at a glance, while providing options for discovering more about you through your social feeds?

Or is your time better spent making a few extra calls than setting up another account and web page?

Explore….Recruiters Using Flavors.me

Sara Hearts Sourcing
Kyle McCourt
Ad Recruiter
Jeremy Fanning
Blake Cannon

VMS Systems: The Rube Goldbergs of Today

July 28th, 2011 by

A complicated procedure for a relatively simple process, vendor management systems are the Rube Goldberg machines of today’s recruiting industry.  Instead of connecting with a hiring manager via a phone call or email, recruiters work with all of the over-done levers and pulleys of VMS Systems to get job orders and submit candidates.

The implications have been big:

Companies – VMS systems let companies access large candidate pools, however the candidate pool is often shallow. Skill sets are matched, but because there are too many candidates to screen and interview, candidates who look good on paper end up clashing with company culture. In worst-case scenarios, turnovers increase, employee loyalty decreases, and it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to retain talented, innovative employees.

Candidates – VMS boards eliminate simple communication between third party recruiters and hiring managers, as well as candidates.  There is little to no feedback throughout the entire hiring process.  Resumes, however, become more important than ever. Candidates compete with each other by being the most compatible person on paper. In addition, standardized rates enforced by vendor management systems put more experienced professionals at a disadvantage.

Hiring Managers – The number of candidates hiring managers need to choose from rises exponentially with every vendor submitting talent to the system. Time is spent filtering through the masses, rather than meeting one-on-one with third party recruiters to assess the type of person and skills the company really needs.

Third Party Recruiters - The lack of direct communication with hiring managers drastically levels the competition between third party recruiters. In the past, the ability to screen, interview, and sell candidates to a hiring manager was key in making placements. Now, more emphasis is placed on the mechanics of the recruiting process. The recruiter who can get the best matched resume to the hiring manager first is the “winner.”

The Workaround - Fortunately, some hiring managers have chosen not to accept the ho-hum results they get from VMS-procured talent. Instead of using this clumsy system with it’s over-abundance of procedures, hiring managers skip the VMS, and work with recruiters to decide on candidates before jobs are even posted. As a formality, jobs are posted and the recruiters submit pre-determined candidates.

While many of us may wish the whole system could be scrapped,  a large number of companies have invested in VMS systems, and they are not going to disappear anytime soon.  In the future, recruiters and hiring managers need to work together with corporations to achieve a more harmonious balance between technology and the human element.

But you probably want a solution for right now…

A Solution

VMS Sync, from Sendouts, pulls job orders from the VMS systems you work with to your Sendouts database. No more copying and pasting means that you can begin working job orders instantly, and fill them faster.

In addition, VMS Sync features a split-screen view that allows users to easily drag and drop candidate fields into VMS submit forms.

Getting job orders into your database faster gives you more time to add the human element to hiring transactions.  Instead of manually parsing field after field into a database, you can be screening candidates, conducting interviews, and connecting with hiring managers.

No other ATS has a solution quite like it. Learn more about how Sendouts VMS Sync can help you overcome VMS challenges.