Weekly Update: Twitter, ATS, and Onboarding

Oct 15, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Decision-making can be a daunting challenge, especially when faced with pressure to cut costs and reorganize in a challenging economy. As recruiters, you are presented with a myriad of tools, services, and processes to choose from and the list keeps growing and growing! I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your toughest decisions with us every day on the ERE discussion boards. I learn such valuable information from you!

Twittering for Sourcing
We see it used at conferences. We read about it on our discussion boards. We might even be active “Tweeters” ourselves … but how effective is Twitter for sourcing and recruiting? Erika Hanson Brown recently joined the Twitter community and wants to know how it works in the recruiting world. John Kennedy is skeptical about Twitter. Although it can help save time when learning about a potential candidate, John relies on some advice he received years ago, “there are only three true productive tools in recruiting — the pen, the pad of paper, and the telephone.”

After reading several more responses to Erika, it is clear that John is in the minority. Twitter can be an effective tool if you follow the advice of Kelly Dingee and Mark Tortorici including search strings, and tying together SMS and social networking sites. If anyone is interested, you can check out Dennis Smith’s presentation on the Recruiting Road Show and tune in to ERE’s webinar series on November 5 for some tips and advice from Geoff Peterson.

ATS Wish List
Erica McNally wants to know what are your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves” when selecting your ATS. What’s on your “wish list”? Jake Stupak lists the following: scheduling for multi-users, resume parsing, email tracking, and candidate and position matching. Sylvia Dahlby astutely advises to identify your unique business requirements first. “The leading apps all have the basics” — think about what your company needs before creating your list. She recommends CareerXroads and HRchitect for additional information. (HRchitect, by the way, is doing a workshop in San Diego at ERE’s conference on “How to Save Your Current ATS and Get a Return on Your Investment.”)

I have to add The Newman Group (who will also be doing a session on HR systems at the Spring Expo) to that list since it has a wealth of knowledge in this arena. Dorothy Beach, unhappy with Vurv, has been very impressed with Avature’s Recruiting CRM tool as an ATS option. (I also sat on a demo last week with Michael Johnson and agree that it is worth checking out.) This makes me wonder…will CRM tools replace traditional ATS tools? What do you think? Would you take the leap?

Onboarding New Hires and The Buddy System
There are several programs that if implemented correctly can make onboarding strategies successful. Based on research and discussions, many companies would include the “buddy system” on that list. Laura Arnold is very interested in a program that would pair an internal employee with a new hire but wants a new name for “the buddy system.” Apparently, Laura is not alone. Several respondents use a variety of different names, including “Mentor Program.” Bryan Chaney also recommends “Internal Career Counselor” and “Coworker Coach” while Joann Robinson has used “New Hire Partner,” “Orientation Partner” and “Orientation Coach.”

I’m interested in knowing if any companies have been able to measure the success of their onboarding programs, more specifically the concept of a “mentor program.” Todd Raphael has an in-depth look at onboarding in the next Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.

JobFox or Net-Temps?

Kathleen Coughlin wants to add a new job board to her list. Can anyone recommend JobFox or Net-Temps? Although Kathleen did not receive feedback on Net-Temps, JobFox (often considered the eHarmony of recruiting) has some work to do. Taryn Pfalzgraf has been satisfied with the customer service but feels that the process is too time-consuming. She recommends a “conditional trial membership” or “waiting a few months to see if they’ve ironed out their problems.” Kimberley Joyce would have to agree. As an Oracle-centric company, she was reassured that JobFox could meet her companies’ needs. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Among other complaints, they are unable to add different tools, languages, and functionality. Given this negative feedback, Eden Shaffer encourages Kathleen to consider Search Engine Marketing instead. What do you think?

Hiring a Virtual Recruiter/Sourcer and Unethical Competitors
These topics continue to dominate the discussion boards. We’d love to hear what you think about these critical and timely recruiting issues…

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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