Everything pretty much starts with a resume. Even if a physical resume is not received some type of resume profile must be put together before an applicant can be placed. There are many different options to consider in the process of getting resumes entered into your staffing and recruiting database.
A very basic option is to have the applicant fill out a paper application, get some preliminary skill information and manually key the applicant data into your software. Because this may be more work than is necessary, most firms are selecting other options.
Another option is an applicant kiosk module. The applicant comes into your office, enters their application into an applicant self-entry screen, and the data flows into your software when approved. Usually, an application is printed from the kiosk and signed by the applicant. An electronic signature tool can be integrated in order to eliminate the step of printing and signing. If they have a resume, it is best to receive that electronically so that it can be attached to the applicant record in the software.
Since applicants find it very convenient to explore career opportunities on the web, you may want to offer an applicant self entry option on your website. This allows the applicant to enter their application and optionally attach a resume at their convenience. It is a plus for the staffing firm because the information can be reviewed before importing into the database and it can save time. If an applicant does not have salable skills, it may not be worth bringing them in for an interview. This option also saves the staffing firm time, as all of the data will be automatically imported without having to enter it manually.
Yet another way to get information into your applicant database is with resume import. You can receive a resume via email and automatically import the information with a tool called resume import. The tool will allow you to create an applicant record in your database and also attach a copy of the resume. Some software provides you the option of importing the resume as “blind” with your company logo or “as is” with the candidate’s name and other information. Usually you can import resumes one at a time or in batch directly from your email.
In order to create an applicant record from the resume a parser is used. There are 3rd party parsers that can be integrated or some software vendors write their own. Generally the parser looks for key information on the resume, separates it into categories and creates an applicant record with as much information as possible. Even skills, positions, locations and other items can be populated. Most resumes can be dealt with but if an applicant uses an obscure format the import may be less effective.
Getting resumes into staffing software is very important for a number of reasons. First, you can search on them. To search you can enter key words to look for on the resume. Some software allows you to use Boolean logic that you enter yourself. This allows some very broad search experiences. You can also market with the resumes. Software options available today include mass messaging with resumes attached. This is when the blind resume format may come in handy. Gathering up a group of resumes and being able to email them quickly and easily to a job contact saves time and indicates that you are technologically adept. Having the software automatically document that these were sent to a specific contact is even more valuable.
Social networking and job boards are popular means of securing new applicants. Some software applications integrate with these services and allow you to import resumes directly from those sites. The sites may require that you have a paid subscription in order to be able to do this. It is very convenient to be able to branch out to these services directly from your software and bring in and parse resumes into your database.
Resumes can be stored in basically two ways: 1) Within the database as a text field or 2) As an attachment. An attachment is the actual document that you received stored outside of your software. It is nice to be able to have resumes stored in both ways. You may want a blind resume stored with your logo in the database, but you also may want to have the original copy that the applicant provided to you. You may also wish to modify resumes and save multiple copies. This allows you to tailor the resume to specific situation/job. Depending on the software, multiple resume copies can be stored as attachments or within the database.
There is yet another way to produce a resume for an applicant. Let’s assume the applicant does not have a resume but has filled out an application and is entered into your database. Some software allows you to automatically generate a resume from the data that is within the database. This is good for certain positions such as light industrial whereas an actual resume may not have been submitted by the applicant.
To conclude, most staffing firms will use a variety of resume options based upon specific situations. The more options available, the more time will be saved and efficiencies put into place to service clients and applicants.
This article made an appearance in the June 2010 issue of staffdigest Magazine. www.staffdigest.com
Terri Roeslmeier is President of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Terri’s email address is TAR@abd.net or for more information on Ultra-Staff go to www.abd.net