Applicant tracking systems (ATSs) are great tools for recruiters. The right ATS provides capability to easily accept resumes from candidates, sort and screen through those resumes, and organize them so qualified candidates can be contacted for future opportunities. Unfortunately, small companies rarely have the resources for a dedicated in-house recruiter, let alone technology such as a sophisticated applicant tracking system. However, in today’s world of free technologies and cloud storage, there are still opportunities to create a makeshift ATS with similar capabilities, albeit missing some bells and whistles. Enter Google Drive!
If you’re not familiar with Google Drive and are interested in exploring it to create an ATS, here are a few quick tips to get you started:
Create a Google Account. The days of needing a Gmail address to have a Google Account are long over. Anybody can create a Google account, using any email address, which will give you access to the hundreds of Google’s available services. For the sake of this post, Google Drive is the only service you need to worry about.
Start Creating Folders. Just like Windows Explorer, where you may already store most of your documents, Google Drive lets you create folders and sub-folders. To organize it like an ATS, you may want to create folders for each department in your company, and then common positions within each department. From there, you can create a folder for individual candidates where you can store notes and resume versions.
Share Folders. As long as your co-workers also have created a Google Account, you can give them access to all or specific folders so they can also browse resumes. If at any point they receive a resume that they think would be helpful for you in the future, they can save it into one of your folders for when you need to hire.
Verify Folder Ownership. Creating folders and sharing documents can start to get out of control as different people become owners of different folders. For security purposes, consider organizing your structure so only one person in the organization (ideally somebody who will never leave) is the owner of all folders. This will simplify things down the road should a folder owner leave your company. You might also consider creating a generic account for the company that is not associated with a specific person and, therefore, is never closed.
Start Searching. As you know, Google is pretty awesome when it comes to search capabilities, and they bring this knowledge into Google Drive. When you’re searching for a candidate, type your criteria in the search bar and see which resumes pop-up.
Upgrade Your Google Drive. As noted, one person at the company is going to “own” all of the folders. This doesn’t mean they physically own anything, but it means their Google Account is the official home for all files. It won’t be long before the free space Google provides to that account is used up. Given the very low monthly costs of an upgrade (around $3/month) this would be a good move.
That’s it! Google Drive does not replace the amazing capabilities of a regular applicant tracking system, and will not come without its flaws; however, if you’re a small company looking for an applicant tracking solution, Google Drive is a great place to start. How do you organize your resumes without an ATS?
You have an important role that you need filled ASAP, or you’ve had a nagging job opening for the last month and half and don’t know where to start with that pile of resumes on your desk. You know one thing, there’s no way you have time to interview them all, so how do you know which resumes are the best? Is there a way to, quickly and effectively, spot the best candidate just by scanning their resumes?
Follow our foolproof 6 step process to save hours of interviews, background checks and reference calls wasted on candidates that were never going to be Mr. or Mrs. Right anyways, and streamline your hiring process by learning the best way to rank candidates just by looking at their resumes:
List all of your requirements for the job, necessary skillsets, education or certifications, and minimum experience. Once you’ve got the full list, categorize them into mandatories, desirables, and bonus qualifications. Set a minimum score or tally that you want, either for each section or for all of the mandatories, desirables and bonus qualifications in total.
Without looking at any names, personal profiles or pictures, scan through the resumes and tally how each resume stacks up against the above requirements.
Eliminate the resumes that don’t meet your standards from Step 1. Unless one of those resumes grows legs and walks back into your new pile, you’re done with that candidate.
So now you’ve got a new stack, but how do you break ties or close ranks? Within your new, whittled down pile, look for measurable results listed in the resumes. Search for achievements like awards, goals met, dollar value of projects, or number of people managed. This will give you a tangible view of the candidate’s past instead of waiting until the interview or reference check process to find out your Project Manager has only managed a 1 person, $1 project that was 1 month behind schedule.
This next step is the personality/culture fit. Every office has its own vibe; what types of personalities click in your office? Similar, to step 1, list some personality traits that you think would be beneficial to someone joining your office.
Scan the profile/hobbies section or any other personal information section on the resumes. Sometimes the personal profile section can be a bit of a gloss-over section, but if you know what works in your corporate culture, don’t be shy to look for it. For example, if your office is very green, look to see if anyone has noted any environmental volunteering on their resumes, or if you’re in an ultra-competitive company, see if anyone has marked down sports accomplishments.
By the time that you’ve run through this process you should have your own quick, clear ranking of your candidates, based on experience, results and personality fit, prior to interviewing them. We still recommend you go through the interview and reference check process, but this should help you get to that process faster and with a better view of what candidates to seriously consider!
Next time you’ve got an open position, try this process out and let us know how it worked!
Job interviews can be a painful process in several ways. Sometimes you deal with smelly applicants, other times candidates are clueless and clearly falsified their resume, and, unfortunately, in even more situations, we end up having to put up with an arrogant, pompous narcissist.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confident applicants are people who you want working with you. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and can back-up their claims with real life experience, references, and measurable proof. Arrogant people may possess those qualities, though it may be a false confidence if they can’t prove experience, and they come with other traits that will damage your corporate culture. To spot the poison before it sneaks onto your team, keep an eye out for certain behaviours during the interview. Some examples include:
Negativity towards past co-workers and managers
Inflating importance on past projects
Avoiding eye contact
Using condescending tones and language
Blaming others for past failures
Making you sell them on the open position, as though you may not be good enough for them
How do we deal with these pesky headaches? Here are 6 strategies you should consider — you’ll notice they all involve taking the high road (no matter how much you’d like to bring them down a notch).
The first step is to determine if you’re talking to the “real” candidate. Physically you have the right person (hopefully) but are they nervous and not acting like their true selves? This can be confirmed through reference checks, but it also requires good judgement.
Look at their skills and decide if what they bring to the table will out-weight the fact that they come with a not-so-good personality. Will your team be able to handle this person?
Ask some questions about their current work environment to understand their present situation. A work environment filled with more arrogant people, coupled with a low self-esteem, can cause a nice person to act arrogant. Will your culture bring them back down to Earth?
Remember that their accomplishments should speak for themselves. If your candidate seems to be overselling and trying to convince you they’re awesome, they’re probably not awesome.
Get yourself through the interview and be polite. Job applicants are still considered customers, and they will talk about a negative experience. Being rude can cause you to lose future star applicants or customers.
If all else fails and you’re ready to throw-up, just cut the interview short. This comes with pre-planning. Refrain from setting expectations by telling them how long an interview will be or exactly what will happen.
Every recruiter, HR professional and hiring manager has been through a dreadful interview with an arrogant person. Believe it or not, a 2012 study from University of Nebraska-Lincoln said job seekers are more successful when they’re narcissists, meaning these people are not going anywhere and have potential to make it into your company. While you can’t control arrogant people, you absolutely can control yourself. Have a look at the signs of arrogance above, and ask yourself: Do job applicants think you’re arrogant?
Word-of-mouth may be the most reliable marketing tool in selling. People are much more likely to trust their friends, or even strangers, when it comes to making a purchase, than they are to trust the company selling the product. Just look at review websites like Google and Yelp. Even job seekers turn to online forums such as Glassdoor to learn about a company before deciding to accept a job.First-hand experiences and referrals play a strong role in the consumer world and they can play an equally strong role in the hiring world. We’re not recommending a forum where employers can rate past employees and leave references for future hiring mangers (as attractive as that may sound), but instead, building out your employee referral program and reaping the benefits of first-hand knowledge.If your referral program doesn’t get much attention, then this video from HR360Inc is for you and your team. It outlines the benefits of referral programs and why they’re more important today than ever.
So, you just made that big sale, or got that big investment your company has been waiting on. Now, you’ve got the capital and you’re looking to open two new offices and hire some new employees and get the ball rolling, congratulations! Only one problem, there’s no way you have time to handle all that, so you decide to hire a recruiter. How do you hire someone to do your hiring? What should you be looking for, and how do you interview a recruiter? The whole reason you’re hiring them is because you don’t want to, or don’t have the right skillset to hire people!
First thing is first, you have to know what you’re looking for. There are 3 different levels of personnel with hiring expertise and all of them have different responsibilities. You selection will be impacted by how much control you want to keep and money you want to spend:
Sourcer – Person who scans LinkedIn, and other networks for candidates and aggregates resumes to hand off to someone to conduct the rest of the process. This is a good, cheap way to get some of the leg work out of the way and still have most of the control.
Recruiter – In charge of collecting aggregated resumes, scanning through, deciphering the top candidates for specific roles, reaching out to them and leading the initial screening process. This person also co-ordinates and books interviews as well as conduct the reference check.
Recruitment/Hiring Manager – Completes the entire hiring process end-to-end including the full interview, ranking candidates and negotiating employment contracts. This is the best option if you have little HR knowledge or a high quantity/important number of openings.
Now that you’ve decided what level of hiring personnel you’d like, here’s our top 5 most important, must-have characteristics and why:
‘Big Picture’ View: This person is going to have profound impact on your company’s ability to compete and achieve goals, immediately and in the long range. If they can’t see your company and your candidate’s future a few years down the road, you’re going to end up with the wrong employees and will have to start the process over again.
Passion: The most important part of any company is the people. If you want to hire dedicated, passionate employees, your hiring personnel need to be passionate about the success of your company and needs to be able to spot that passion in candidates.
HR Knowledge: In order to stay out of trouble and ensure that you’re interviewing and hiring the right way, it’s imperative that this person know proper processes and regulations, especially if you’re going to be focused on other aspects of the business and/or don’t have this knowledge yourself
Organized: This person must be able to keep track of multiple candidates for multiple openings as well as understand future needs and prepare for them. Mixing up meetings, lack of engagement with candidates throughout the process and long wait times will turn away in-demand candidates
Industry Knowledge: If you’re hiring for technical roles, you need someone with at least a broad understanding of the subject matter to keep candidates honest and appraise their skills appropriately
You’re finally ready to interview! You’ve determined exactly what kind of hiring personnel you need and what qualities you’re looking for, but how do you interview the interviewing expert? The most fool-proof way is a “baptism by fire” — give them some mock recruiting tests. For example:
Have a sample of 3 or 4 short resumes and ask them to quickly read through and rank them
Discuss what roles your company has recently hired, or typically hires, and have them write a short job ad
Sit in on a mock interview. Allow them to run a mock interview with another employee and watch them in action
These tests will show you if the recruiter is just a good candidate on paper, or whether they have certified recruiting chops.
Now that you know what type of hiring personnel you want, what to look for to fill that role and how to test them, all that’s left is to get them in the door!
If you’re a manager at a start-up or small company, then you’ve felt the frustration of competing for talent against the larger firms. You don’t have a human resources department to run your recruiting process, nor the resources to promote your job as well as your bigger counterparts. Even though there are some strategies small business can use to advertise jobs, you’re still fighting the fact that many job seekers would prefer to work for a large corporation.
For many job applicants, there’s a pre-conceived notion that working for the biggest companies should take priority or is the only way to go. Perhaps this was brainwashed into them at school or it could be due to an ego that wants to be “#1”. Most people with this belief, though, are looking at the facts: large corporations are in a superior position to pay more, train better, provide growth, offer job security, and (for the lazy) give a crowd to hide in.
Unfortunately for these job seekers, they’re neglecting some additional facts, such as the benefits that only a small company can offer, and their dream corporation would struggle to provide. It’s your job, as the hiring manager or the person writing the job description, to highlight these perks and stand out.
Here are just some benefits of working at a smaller company versus a giant corporation or government body:
Faster Decisions. Small companies have less bureaucracy with small channels, meaning decisions are made faster. Without as much red tape, employees enjoy projects that move along faster. They’ll recognize this from the get-go when the hiring decision is made quickly.
Access to Senior Management. When an entire team is in one or a few offices, they are going to have a chance to meet everybody, including the Executive Team. In giant companies, these figureheads are nothing more than a highly spoken-of legend.
Tight-Knit Culture. As noted, small business teams get to meet everybody. They’re more likely to have a closer culture that forms organically, plus better relationships. Nobody is just a “number on the payroll.”
Recognition. In the same way lazy people can hide within giant companies, top performers are more easily recognized in the smaller-sized ones.
Innovation. Except for some Silicon Valley tech companies who emphasize risk and innovation, most large companies have specific laid out processes and guidelines for everything. It’s those who work in smaller organizations who benefit from thinking outside of the box and trying out new ideas.
Variety. Everybody plays a specific role in projects at a large organization, and they rarely stray from that position. Businesses with fewer people lack the benefit of having an expert for every task, meaning employees get to learn and work on more pieces of a project.
Entrepreneurship. More variety, innovation and access to senior management is naturally going to form an employee into an well rounded business person and entrepreneur. They get to see all aspects of how a business is run, which contributes immensely to a resume or any other future endeavors.
How have you differentiated yourself from your giant competitors in the job market? Do you offer any other perks to employees that they can’t? We’d love to hear them. Please share it all below!
As your small business grows and becomes more successful, you may need to expand your team and start bringing some work in-house. As exciting as this is, hiring a new employee is always a huge investment and you want to make sure you recruit the right person the first time. If screening piles of resumes wasn’t already complex enough, what happens when you know absolutely nothing about the role you need to fill? Specifically, how do you hire your first information technology employee when you know absolutely nothing about IT? Here are a few tips:
Understand your needs. You don’t need to know all of the technical requirements at this point. For now, identify your own business objectives lay out everything that you know this person will need to handle. It’s a good idea at this point to also discuss the requirements with other people on your team who may require this person skills.
Write the job description. Read through job descriptions online and search for ones similar to what you require. This will help you nail down the right title for your new IT resource and learn about jargon, technologies and certifications you may want to include.
Know what attracts IT professionals. Your job description should also speak to your target market to attract the best talent. Like most people, techies are looking for a nice salary, but they also want to know they will have interesting work, new challenges, and work with the latest technologies.
Get the word out there. Major job boards and LinkedIn are great resources for recruiting anybody, but there are niche IT job boards and technical forums filled with with techies looking to be hired. Attending networking events or tech meetups will also get the right people in front of you faster.
Conduct detailed interviews. You go through this process with every new hire, but there are a couple extra steps to take with your new tech professional. In the interview, ask them about similar work they’ve done that relates to your current situation. Also, test them to ensure they can understand your business and objectives, as well that they can explain things to you clearly, in layman’s terms, and not in “geek speak”.
Ensure you can support them. Your new hire will want to be able to do their job in the best way possible. Learn what kind of equipment and software will be required to do that and obtain it, or you may be setting them up for failure.
Consider contractors. Independent contractors are often a better solution for technology projects that don’t last forever. Review your needs and see if a temporary or contract worker would make better sense.
Get help when you need it. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Especially if you truly don’t understand what you need, you don’t want to hire somebody only to realize it’s the wrong skillset. Help can come from your friends, your network, or a recruitment agency.
IT professionals — developers, analysts, architects or any other discipline — are a major asset to organizations; however, they can be tricky to find when you don’t know what to look for. These tips, plus the help of a trusted recruiting professional, will surely get you on your way to hiring the best IT resource.
Even though he’s no longer with us, the late Steve Jobs may be one of the most influential, inspiring and admired people in business. Progressive business leaders aspiring to build an Apple of their own are forever studying his success and charisma to better understand how he and the rest of the Apple team built one of the world’s largest tech companies.
This video published by Evan Carmichael features a very young Steve Jobs and other original team members explaining just that. Are there any recruitment, hiring or management tips you can pick up?
In the same way that knowing how to source and hire the best people for your team is an important skill for HR (or any manager for that matter), so is knowing how to identify which employees may need to move on from your company.
Letting someone go is a decision that no manager makes lightly, but sometimes it is what’s best for both the individual and the organization. If you’re unsure, check out this video from Dave Crenshaw for 3 Signs It’s Time to Fire an Employee.
Social media experts will tell you that blogs drive up search engine rankings, bring more traffic to a corporate website, and set companies apart as a subject matter expert in their industry. Many organizations have blogs managed by Marketing and take advantage of those benefits to generate new sales leads. By the same logic, then, couldn’t you have a blog managed by HR so you can drive new hiring leads? Absolutely!
With the right content, a blog focusing on your own organization and its roles, rather than your products, will increase the search engine optimization of your careers section and drive more passive candidates to your website. Not only that, it will act as a helpful resource for your recruiters as they’ll have some great content to point to when working with different candidates.
What kind of content does an HR-managed blog have?
A blog is a great opportunity to brag about your company, but too much self-promotion is an easy way to quickly turn off your readers. These topics may interest any job applicant:
Unofficial information/tips about being successful in certain job postings (it will also help you screen out which candidates really did their research)
Stories of individuals in the company and how they’ve grown
Stories of places where your organization has contributed in the community
Tips and inside information on your hiring process and what to expect in an interview with your company
That all sounds great, but starting and managing a blog is a lot of effort!
A blog does take effort and does need to be regularly managed in order to be successful, but it doesn’t have to be an overbearing task. For example:
If your company already has a blog, perhaps you can contribute to it, rather than starting a new one.
You don’t need an abundance of content. If you try to just post once a week, or maybe every 2 weeks, you’re doing just fine – the key is to post on a regular/predictable schedule.
Ask different people within the organization to contribute so the effort becomes shared by many.
Create a content plan early on, deciding on schedule, topics and authors. Once you have the plan, staying on top of it becomes much easier.
Once you get started, your final step will be ensuring that the right people are seeing it. Share your posts on social media, specifically those networks where your preferred candidates hang out, and use tools such as Google Analytics (your web team can help you out there) to track which topics are getting the most attention.
Does your recruiting or HR division manage a blog? What topics or management techniques do you use? Please share your advice with our readers in the comments below.