Online Service Filters Resumes
Neese, Terry, THE JOURNAL RECORD
With Oklahoma's unemployment rate so low, finding qualified personnel is extremely difficult. If your small business doesn't work with a personnel service and conducts its own recruiting searches, resume sifting and resume storage retrieval, you will be interested in SmartSearch Online.
Like many owners of small, rapidly growing staffing services, Sally Kernan of Information Technology Network in Redmond, Wash., and Doug Toth of Professional Technical Recruiters in Boulder, Colo., receive resumes regularly. Lots of resumes. Efficient storage and retrieval of exactly the right resume at the right time is absolutely essential to their success.
Kernan, who places high-end engineers, programmers and other consultants in the computer, software and telecommunications industries, networked and researched resume management solutions before starting IT Network in January 1998. "It was important that I become as automated and as effective as possible with the fewest possible people," says Kernan, who was her company's sole employee at the start. "I needed a system that was powerful, affordable and easy to use." Toth, who also places engineers, programmers, technical support staff and non-technical personnel, spent four years trying out systems that didn't match his needs while his stacks of resumes grew. Since he and PTR's operations director, Jennifer Congdon, often work fom separate offices, they needed a virtual office solution with real-time accessibility to resumes that also would enable them to perform resume searches at a client site using lap top computers and a cellular modem. "After all, if a resume is sitting on my desk and I'm at Jennifer's office, it does me no good," says Toth. "As tight as the job market is, you can lose a good candidate in two hours." Both businesses found the solution they sought in SmartSearch Online from Advanced Personnel Systems of Oceanside, Calif. The product is a Web-based resume management system that enters, stores and retrieves job-specific resumes for each individual company's database. "Most recruiting software is full of canned job searches," says Toth. "SmartSearch is 100 percent customizable. We can quickly enter a complex string of custom search parameters, and also exclusions, which are just as important. Our credibility is based on sending our clients candidates who meet their criteria. Because we can make APS software think the way we think when we're searching for resumes, we have a much higher hit rate." Kernan likes the system's ability to print resumes with search keywords highlighted in bold, and to save the resumes of candidates who fit a specific job's criteria in a special online folder. She then can send all qualified candidates a broadcast e-mail that outlines the opportunity and asks them to call if they're interested. Kernan also uses the broadcast e-mail feature to inform candidates of upcoming seminars they might want to attend and to send holiday messages. "It's an easy way to communicate with a large audience and it helps create and maintain relationships," she says. …