Friday, February 20, 2009

Recruiting Software

Who knew there were so many choices in recruiting software? The first database I used was a home-built access database that was absolutely terrible. The owner of the firm had a friend who designed a web-based system (this was 2000), and got the idea in his head that this could be a product that he could sell to other recruiters. Well, moments of research showed that there were already dozens of web-based relational databases targeted at recruiting firms that were much much better than his friends' home-grown database. Either way, it was a nice thought for a couple of minutes.

So I have used a number of these systems and they all basically do the same thing. For permanent-placement, contingency recruiters like myself, there are only a few things that you really need:

1. CRM capabilities. It should have companies and candidates all linked together relationally. I prefer hiring managers to come out of the candidate pool rather than a separate bucket, but based on the systems I have seen, I am clearly in the minority.
2. Job Orders. You should be able to create job orders, link them to companies and candidates and hiring managers.
3. Resume Parsing. It should be easy to get a resume in and you shouldn't have to do much data entry.
4. Resume Search. It should support complex boolean searches.

That's it. Give me something with those 4 capabilities and I will be generally happy. There are some fancy things (RSS Job feeds, contact-grabbers, etc.) that are nice, but at its core, that is it.

So it is shocking to me to see all of these products/services that cost anywhere from $29/month to Thousands upon Thousands of dollars. The very best system I ever used was an Access based system that was home-grown to meet the needs of the firm. It wasn't pretty, but was constantly being improved and turned into something pretty slick.

Here are some that I looked into today:
Catsone
Sendouts Pro
MaxHire
Headhunter 2000
Akken

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Using Voicemail Systems to Find Candidates

The Recruiters Lounge has an excellent post here about using voicemail systems to circumvent gatekeepers.

It is an excellent post. I have built entire corporate directories from voicemail systems. I would call at night with pen and paper in hand and go through the names directory one by one. Most systems allow partial entries as short as 3 letters, but don't give you results unless there are fewer than X number of names that match. Through persistence, you can go through all of the iterations and find everybody with a voicemail (and usually their extension by dialing *5 or something for more information).

At night, you can also listen to their voicemail message which will frequently include their title or department for further assistance in targeting people. This is pretty old-school recruiting, but it is worth the effort and can lead to placements (it certainly has for me).