ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Most popular applicant tracking systems, as ranked by OnGig

Posted January 23, 2019 by

Does underlining text mess up a resume when applying through an applicant tracking system?

There are thousands of ATS, but only a small percentage dominate the market. Some of the most popular ATS such as Oracle’s Taleo are widely used by many of the largest organizations and have changed little over the years. Others are sold by start-ups and tend to be far more modern in their approach. And, of course, some fall somewhere in the middle. My point here is that we must not generalize. What works well for one ATS is a disaster for another. In fact, because employers often customize their ATS, what works well for one employer may be a disaster for another even though they’re using the same ATS company.
It is true that the formatting in a PDF is typically passed onto the recruiter if the ATS allows the candidate to upload a PDF (some don’t) and if that ATS passes that PDF to the recruiter (some only use the PDF to extract or parse the data) and if the recruiter chooses to look at the PDF (some don’t). The reality is that candidates can spend a ton of time formatting their PDF only for it to never be seen by the recruiter or hiring manager because the ATS may simply parse the resume in an attempt to complete required and optional fields such as first name, last name, email, street address, city, state, zip, most recent work experience, etc.

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Posted July 26, 2018 by

[white paper] Skills gap? A deeper look at your job ads can help identify more qualified candidates

 

Our latest white paper is specifically for recruiting and talent acquisition leaders who are struggling to attract enough qualified candidates. We teamed up with LiveCareer and combed through their recent 2018 Skills Gap Report. Our hope is that the tips here help you revise your job ads with a fresh lens, and ultimately help you land more of the right candidates faster. (more…)

Posted June 14, 2018 by

[Guide] Get your resume past the machines and land a job you love

 

Applying for jobs can be incredibly frustrating. Does this sound familiar: you’ve submitted your resume online for dozens (hundreds?) of jobs and no one has called for an interview. You have decent experience and a college education but you’re not getting anywhere. Not finding the right job is negatively affecting every aspect of your life.

One of the most common frustrations for job seekers is getting past the applicant tracking machines (ATS) in their job search. An ATS is a machine that scans your resume before a human even lays eyes on it. We teamed up with Intry to create a guide to navigating ATS’s so you can get your resume past the machines and land a job you love.

Read the Guide:

Get Your Resume Past the Machines and Land a Job Your Love

At College Recruiter, we believe that every student and recent grad deserves a great career, and we also believe you deserve a high-quality job search experience. Our friends at Intry feel wholeheartedly that everyone deserves to be happy in their jobs. We combined our own expertise of what helps entry-level candidates stand out, with Intry’s deep knowledge of how ATS filters are blocking your resume.

In the guide we describe eight steps you can take:

  1. How to focus your job search
  2. Doing self-reflection to become more aware of where you fit
  3. Networking
  4. One-click applications–beware!
  5. Staying employed at your day job
  6. Tailoring your resume for each job application
  7. How font and format matter
  8. Managing your emotions

Tips for navigating ATS in your job searchRead the guide: Get Your Resume Past the Machines and Land a Job You Love

 

 

 

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Posted September 13, 2017 by

What if your interview invitation email wasn’t an email?

 

If you text with your candidates during the hiring process, you will likely see things pick up speed. The technology is available, and candidates are waiting for you to use it on them.

Millennial candidates appreciate employers who text with them

Sending texts to candidates has the added benefit of increasing your cool factor. At least for now (before all employers start doing this), this is one way to distinguish your employer brand. (more…)

Posted July 24, 2017 by

Diversity recruitment: Big impact strategies and mistakes Part 1 [expert panel discussion]

 

As demographics change in the United States, including at college campuses, employers should have more diverse new hires. So why is the needle moving so slowly? Here we explore strategies for talent acquisition professionals to improve their diversity recruitment. Our discussion touches on mistakes recruiters make, big impact strategies and becoming culturally confident.

We were joined by Alexandra Levit, a workplace consultant; Toni Newborn, J.D., Diversity and Consulting Services Manager at City of St. Paul; and Bruce Soltys, Director of University Relations at Travelers. This is Part 1 of our discussion. Part 2 discusses what an inclusive recruitment process looks like, differences between the government and private sectors, and concrete tips for talent acquisition professionals. (more…)

Posted June 28, 2017 by

Sourcing and evaluation: Employers’ flawed assumptions, and how mobile recruiting changes everything

 

This blog is an excerpt of Steven Rothberg’s white paper, “How Employers Evaluate Career Services, Job Boards, and Other Sources, and How Mobile Recruiting Changes Everything.”

Read the entire white paper here (no need to register to download).

Few employers properly track candidate sources

The technology that allows an advertiser to track a consumer from their click on an ad to the advertiser’s website, and ultimately to a purchase, has existed since the mid-1990’s. For example, when College Recruiter began using this technology in 1998, within months, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies was paying us $0.05 per click in return for driving thousands of students and recent graduates a month to apply on their career website. (more…)

Posted March 31, 2017 by

Resume rules: Avoid common mistakes and stand out [video]

 

College Recruiter spoke with Joanne Meehl, President and primary Job Coach & Career Consultant at Joanne Meehl Career Services.  Joanne is part of College Recruiter’s Panel of Experts, which is made up of professionals around the country with top notch advice for recruiters and HR professionals, or for entry level job seekers. Here, Joanne shares her insight into resume rules that help college students and grads avoid mistakes and stand out to the applicant tracking systems. (more…)

Applicant tracking systems can help employers with their campus recruiting needs. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 30, 2017 by

How to use your applicant tracking system for college recruiting success

 

It’s no secret the advancement of technology has changed the recruiting game. The use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) – software applications that enable the electronic handling of a company’s recruitment needs – are responsible for the technological recruiting revolution. As outlined by ICIMS, a provider of cloud-based hiring solutions, ATS recruitment “allow organizations to collect and store candidate and job related data and track and monitor the process of candidates through all stages of the hiring process.”

ATS recruitment is designed to enhance the overall recruiting experience for both recruiters and candidates. But forward-thinking employers recruiting recent college grads focus on the job seeker’s needs – the candidate experience – first.

“It’s important to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply,” said Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, which uses BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite. “If your application is a time intensive process, people will drop out during the process or might not even try at all.”

There is some rationale for using the ATS to collect as much info as reasonably possible, including screening and ranking questions, but none of that matters if the candidate doesn’t hit “submit” adds Mayer.

“Interaction with the ATS could be the applicant’s first step in the candidate experience and can set the tone for a great, or poor candidate experience,” says Mayer.

What’s unique about applicant tracking systems is how they allow recruiters and hiring managers to customize their ATS for specific jobs, roles and even events. For example, a recruiter or hiring manager working a college recruiting fair or campus job fair could fully customize their ATS with functionality solely for that specific campus career fair, or hiring event.

SmartRecruiters is one example that allows recruitment marketing and collaborative hiring in the cloud. Bjorn Eriksson, Chief Marketing Officer of SmartRecruiters, offers some unique examples of how employers can customize an ATS for an event such as a college recruiting fair or campus job fair:

  • Prepare: Know which positions you are actively trying to fill. Be sure the representatives working the booth are familiar with the open positions and hard-to-fill niche career opportunities so they can speak to them when engaging with students. With some ATS’s, like SmartRecruiters, you can publish event specific job ads tailored for college job fairs.
  • Qualify: Prepare questions or a brief interview to pre-qualify applicants. Prepare questions to ask those who express an interest in your company to pre-qualify them. “It’s also a great opportunity to focus on providing meaningful information to students,” says Eriksson. “Don’t just recruit them, but ask their opinions, offer relevant advice and see if they are really a good match.” Make sure to capture students’ contact information so that you can continue the dialogue.
  • Connect: Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event. While the impression is still fresh, group your candidates into: Best matches, possible matches, and no matches. View each candidate as a potential customer or future client, and tailor your follow up message to each group.

Ultimately though, the success – or failure – an individual or employer has with the ATS isn’t solely technology-based, says Saïd Radhouani, Ph.D., co-founder of Nextal, a collaborative applicant tracking system.

“I believe that the ultimate success depends on how the ATS is used, and not on how it’s set up,” said Radhouani. “Yes the implementation and functionality has an impact, but even if the setup is good, it doesn’t mean that recruiters won’t make mistakes.”

When a recruiter starts using a new ATS, they often won’t understand all the features and functionality, says Radhouani. As time goes on, they sometimes fail to learn new functionalities, and don’t maximize the systems capabilities. So recruiters within the same organization who use the same system should meet monthly to collaborate and share experiences, functionalities, and tips on how to best optimize their applicant tracking system.

“Recruiters should also attend webinars put on by the ATS vendor,” said Radhouani. “If recruiters know other colleagues from different companies who are using the same ATS, reach out to them to see how they are using it to ensure they are getting the most out of their ATS.”

And if the ATS vendor has a community forum, be active in the forum, ask questions and provide feedback.

Recruiters should be sure to measure success – and failure – in their recruiting by using the analytics/metrics capabilities of their ATS.

“Most modern applicant tracking systems have analytics capabilities that provide very insightful metrics about the entire recruiting process,” says Radhouani. “If a recruiter doesn’t measure what they do, they’ll never know whether they’re improving their productivity or not.”

Over time, recruiters and hiring managers get frustrated if an ATS is not user-friendly, doesn’t have specific functionality and capabilities, and does not help enhance the recruiting process. Applicant Tracking Systems are not all equal, and as hiring managers move from company to company, and use different systems, they can find pluses and minuses of each system they use. The key however, is to take advantage of the functionality of the system that is in place, find what works, and align your recruiting needs with the capabilities of the system.

“If you don’t have what you love, love what you have,” said Radhouani. “Every ATS has its good and bad sides. Recruiters should focus on the good side and work with the ATS, not against it.”

Mayer agrees.

“Really embrace the entire suite of options your ATS provides,” says Mayer. “Automate where appropriate and make sure the ATS provides a candidate experience that aligns line with your employment brand.”

Want to learn more about latest recruiting trends? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted March 24, 2017 by

Latest rules for resume writing from career consultant Joanne Meehl [video]

 

Joanne Meehl knows the rules resume writing and has excellent advice. She is president and primary Job Coach & Career Consultant at Joanne Meehl Career Services.  Today Joanne shared her insight with College Recruiter, and you can scroll down to watch a video of our discussion. This is Part 1 of 2 of Joanne’s resume writing tips. A week from now Joanne will join us again to share more about applicant tracking systems and common mistakes that college students make when writing a resume. (more…)

Posted December 14, 2016 by

Tweak your application process to be more respectful

 

The same tools that save recruiters time often make the application process feel robotic and cold, at least from the job seeker’s point of view. As you work to woo people into your company, it would be a bad idea to turn them off. You can use time-saving technology and still be respectful and applicant-centric.

Your employer brand will suffer if you don’t take steps to be respectful.

Any negativity that a candidate experiences can go viral. Your employer brand doesn’t just depend on the culture you create for current employees. The experience you create for potential employees, including everyone who never gets an interview, is also part of your company brand. Recruiters may groan at having to sift through 500 resumes for a single position, but that’s a gold mine for branding. That resume stack represents a captive audience. Unlike your passive followers on social media who you wish would just click “like” occasionally, those job applicants are eagerly waiting to hear from you.

Recruitment skills are like sales skills, so recruiters: sell your brand and your company’s experience. Don’t overlook how important your own customer service skills are. Your candidates are your customers.

Don’t risk losing the top candidates

When you treat candidates like a herd of cattle, think about who you are losing. Employers large and small consistently place soft skills at the top of their wish list. Those skills include integrity, dependability, communication, and ability to work with others. A candidate with high integrity will drop out of the race quickly if they sense that a recruiter doesn’t regard them as worth more than a few seconds of their time. If you lose integrity from your pool, what do you have left?

Juli Smith, President of The Smith Consulting Group, agrees that the lack of respect for candidates has consequences. “It can be very devastating to hear nothing.  Even bad news can be taken better than radio silence for days or weeks.” Candidates may have gotten used to being treated insignificantly during the job search, but that doesn’t mean they’ll put up with it for much longer. As companies start to figure out how to treat them better, you don’t want to be the last company standing with a humorless, disrespectful and overly-automated job application process.

A few little tweaks can make a difference

Like other great salespeople, good recruiters know how to read people. Let your recruiters bring their own humanness to the process. Don’t stifle their instincts to be respectful by automating every step of the way. If they truly have no time to insert a human touch along the way, then ask the most jovial member of your team to come up with better automated responses to candidates. Compare these two auto-emails:  (more…)