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How to Use Google Drive to Track Candidates

How to Use Google Drive to Track CandidatesApplicant 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

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