One day Recruitee had a little surprise in the mailbox. Capterra told us that we’d made it to the top 10 of their Top 20 Most User-friendly ATS (Applicant Tracking Software)!
This means a lot. Not only because Capterra recognizes us! But also because they recognize us for what we’re aiming for – “user-friendly.”
Most of the on-going competitions are about having killer features, or who can get their hands on the hottest technology. Why do we care about “user-friendly”?
Back in the days, we were knee-deep in the hiring chaos. We desperately needed some sort of structure around this hiring thing. We found a bunch of software, but couldn’t figure out any of them. They were too expensive, or too hard to use (imagine working with computers in the 90s). So we opted for building our own recruitment software. (With hindsight, it’s expensive and hard on our side. But it’s all worth it. And it’s another story for another time). We decided early on that we would make Recruitee all about “user-friendly.” Because we, as the first users of Recruitee, as well as the users later on, are…
Everyone who has hired can feel the pressure. “Where is that goddamn file?” “The interview is today?” “Who has emailed that candidate?” “What did they say again?” The constant switching between mailboxes/calendars/folders/spreadsheets is killing. A ridiculous amount of your time is spent on retrieving scattered information. Ending this nightmare was the first thing we did. The solution is overviews – one overview for every section in Recruitee. Before you dive into the details, you have a clear picture of what’s going on. When you dive into the details, you can access every data within three clicks. No time is wasted on finding the information, it’s well spent on processing the information.
Living in the 21st century.
We’re living in the age of touch screen, intuitive design, and clean aesthetics. Yet, there is software that looks like computer interface in the 90s. It even requires training before you can click on anything! Frankly, we’re shocked. We remind each other every day that no matter how complicated Recruitee would become, we are going to make it intuitive. Clean interface, useful tooltips. As soon as users are in the software’s environment, they know where to go, and what to do. Not spending 30 minutes finding a button, and definitely not doing that after a week of training.
We might have the same problem with hiring, but our context and approaches are different. Can you imagine using software that doesn’t allow you to adjust to your own hiring workflow? No. That’s bad. We fix this by making many things customizable in Recruitee: from careers sites, hiring workflow, screening questions, to hiring roles. It’s a tightrope between enough flexibility and too much flexibility. How do we find the sweet spot? We talk with users, early and often. We spot the behavioral patterns and decide where the line should be. Catering to individuals’ hiring needs is a co-creation process, not a dictation of how to hire.
Users hire in teams, with each team member plays different hiring roles throughout the process. Recruitment software must be something everybody can work together with, from a junior to a CEO. The silver bullet? Develop every feature from a beginner’s angle. Feedback from new users is integrated into each development sprint. Each pixel must be so simple that users can understand at a glance, not having to contact their tech department to decipher the software every time they want to do anything.
Users want to have their hiring problem solved. End of story. Our features are only valid as long as users use them. Once we realized this, there is no going back. We dodge the chase after fads in recruitment software development. Again, by talking with users daily, we assess the needs for key features and focus on making them happen. Users like it that their problems are being heard and worked on. We like it that Recruitee becomes more useful after each update. It’s the goal of building the software, after all. Not because it’s cool and shiny, but because it helps us all hire better.
Users want to have their problem solved. Together with other problems connected to that problem. That means outside the software, and into everything around it. So we create plenty of resources for hiring, write about ways to improve your hiring, along with other content aiming to help you hire better. For example, this video:
“Recruitment software needs to be user-friendly” is a straightforward common sense. But it often becomes secondary to feature requests. Thanks Capterra for putting the spotlight on user-friendliness again! Let us all remember our starting point, and why we need recruitment software, at all.
You can sign up at here to try it out and follow us on Twitter.
About the Author
Hagi is an avid recruitment writer at Recruitee.com. The team is working on the greatest hiring platform of all time.
It’s not only for job listing. Careers site is one of the most crucial tools that empower employer brand and define the future of your team. Nothing is worse than this:
The perfect candidate comes to your company’s website, sees no careers site or job section, assumes that you have a ‘special’ policy in hiring, and decides to leave.
Ok. It can be worse:
The perfect candidate comes to your company’s website, goes to the career site, sees that the design is lame, the information is outdated, and the three cold words “No job openings.”
Is that it? Shouldn’t you make more effort to secure talents for your team? For your future?
No matter what you say in the job descriptions, what you do with your careers site speaks way louder. The candidate experience starts the moment prospects find you. Sweep them off their feet today. Don’t just list your job vacancies. Convert visitors into your brand’s believers and prospective candidates.
How? Below is the ten practical takeaways you can implement right away. I’ve picked them from the best practices out there. Let’s learn from the best.
1 – Enforce that brand identity.
Why do you have that brand identity so thoroughly applied across all channels to “communicate the message” to your customers, but not to your own future employees?
Before showing any job vacancies, make it very clear to prospective candidates that they’re at your territory. Pay attention to colors, fonts, the use of images. Make prospects feel the value of your brand before they actually start reading.
2 – Talk about career opportunities to prospective candidates.
Chances are that you’re not the only one hiring for that role. There are other companies in the same sector. Your competitors. What does a candidate take into account while weighing up job openings? Career growth. So stop talking about how great of a company you are. Focus on what your future employees can do if they choose your side.
Team photos are a good start to show the real faces behind the brand. But don’t limit yourself to just that. Make videos, generate GIFs, throw emoticons, and everything that fits the culture of your company. In this way, candidates get the most feel about a company’s culture. They can decide for themselves whether they’re going to fit in.
5 – Let your employees be the ambassadors. Wholeheartedly.
Who doesn’t want to read about their future colleagues and how they’re doing at their company? Get testimonials from current employees, do short Q&A’s, or, map out their entire career growth since they’re on board.
6 – Make it as easy as possible for prospective candidates to access, navigate, and do research about your company.
The faster prospects get the image of your company, the faster you receive their applications. Make the career site clean, simple, intuitive. Put the company’s social media channels there if available. That saves prospects a trip to Google, and markets your employer brand at the same time.
Create a separate page for each job listed with the job title in the URL. It’s perfect for Google and search engines to index and give the job vacancy more exposure, much more than one-pager careers site with popup job vacancy.
8 – Give concise, specific reasons why any talent would want to work for you.
Be extremely to the point here. Skip great location or free lunch. Get straight to the impact. This is the only way to capture the attention of candidates who actually care about their work. Do it well, and you can easily get people from point A – random visitors to point B – your brand’s believers and prospective candidates.
It’s common to see recruitment videos with overly positive employees and fancy offices. Go the extra mile, show the personalities of your company. Smiles and fanciness might waver, but personalities pull through.
10 – Shorten the distance between your company and prospective candidates.
It shows your initiative to establish connection, to offer a handshake. There are currently two ways to do it: via human connection and via physical location. For the former: Integrating LinkedIn onsite would help prospects see how many degrees of connection they’re away. For the later: Detect a prospect location and suggest the available jobs around their neighborhood.
Talent sourcing is crucial to growing your talent pool. It’s very common to source like-minded people, and these can turn into ideal candidates. They are likely to be a cultural fit and are willing to stick with your company through thick and thin. The earlier you start keeping an eye out for them, the better. Here are five hacks to help you along the way.
1. Start where you are
Hit home. Hit home hard. There is a high chance that candidates already discovered you before you discovered them. Show them that they’re welcome. Give them the idea that they want to work with you. Some notable practices we’ve seen around:
Add a “We’re hiring” widget to your homepage.
Highlight “Jobs” or “Careers” as an unread notification. Feel the itch to click right away, right?
In the team section: Add an anonymous profile with the tagline “Could this be you?” Or add a simple sticker “Want to see your photo here?”
Show your company culture in your “About” page or blogs. Then ask “Would you join us?”
When you don’t have any job openings, show that you’re willing to build a talent pool:
2. Tell everyone about the job openings
The message you send out is important. Everybody can see and share it. It can reach the right candidates, or convert a bystander into one. Make it straightforward, everywhere. Use the power of word of mouth.
Put “We’re hiring” message in your company’s email signatures and newsletters.
Add a “We’re hiring” message to your company’s social media profiles, pages, and descriptions. Don’t shy away from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, or any other platforms. Because, hey, you’ll never know.
Answer relevant questions on Quora with a “We’re hiring” message at the end. Make it less of a pitch and more of a thought leadership. Potential candidates can see your vision and decide to find out more.
Go offline. Go old-school. The message done right will find its way back online and spread like wildfire. Like this classic one:
3. If you don’t knock, they won’t open
Passive candidates are everywhere. Reach out for them. They’ll take your hand as the moment comes. Here is how you do it.
Google x-ray sites for relevant resumes. Willem Wijnans shared this awesome string. Just edit (Location), (Study), and (Keywords) as you want. Then the right resumes come to you in no time.
intitle:resume OR inurl:resume OR inurl:CV) -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -”resume service” -“resume writers” -“resume writing” (Location) AND (Study) AND (Keywords)
Build a Google Custom Search Engine to x-ray any sites effortlessly. This comes in handy for sites with a user base, from LinkedIn, to About.me, to even TripAdvisor. Here is how Jennifer Bowen did it.
If the above is too complicated, you can use Recruitin to x-ray 6 major social sites immediately.
Collect information like emails, phone numbers, and social media pages of sourced candidates with Connectifier.
Who knows what your company is doing the most? Who knows the prominent players of a specific field the most? Your employees. They’re the best of both worlds. We can’t stress enough how critical this is. Let them be your ambassadors. Brief them regularly about the opportunities. Then let them run wild with “the search for colleagues” in their own niche groups. Developers scout Github and StackOverflow. Designers scout Dribbble and Behance.
5. Stay sane, stay organized
You and your team have now discovered a handful of potential candidates – opened across 50-ish tabs. Now what? We have a solution. Import your candidates via Recruitee’s Chrome extension or Firefox extension. Once imported, everything is in one place, ready for you to make the next move.
A quick recap
1 – Start from home. Make sure every potential candidate who visits want to stay.
2 – Send clear messages across all channels.
3 – Get your hands dirty. Reach out. Reach often.
4 – Let your employees be the company’s ambassadors.
5 – Put all valuable leads in order. Follow them when the opportunity arises.
Do you still feel stumped by some aspect of sourcing candidates? Comment, email Recruitee or send a tweet. One of the experts will get you on track in no time!
Subscribing to too many sources trying to catch the most accurate, useful content out there?
Actually there are people already doing that for you. They are the influencers and thought leaders in the industry. They’re experienced in processing a bunch of info and highlighting the best. And… they tweet about it.
We’ve kept an eye on them for a while, especially those having as many high-quality, insightful tweets as the number of their followers.
Now we give them to you. Here are our top 30 most prominent thought leaders in HR tech and recruitment industry (in no specific order).
“In this market, where engineering supply is severely out of whack with demand, where good people are rarely actively looking for jobs, and where contingency recruiters get at least $25,000 per hire, the biggest problem isn’t filtering through a bunch of engaged job seekers. The problem is engaging them in the first place.” – Aline Lerner
Aline published this 9 months ago, yet the words have never been truer.
People working in the IT sector are in higher and higher demand. People recruiting them are in shorter and shorter supply. If you’re not one of the big guys, don’t do this:
Expect capable developers to send in CV with keywords such as “HTML.” Filter the system by searching for keywords such as “HTML” to put their names on top of some list. Ask them to go back and forth for six interviews with six different persons. Expect them to wait for another few weeks before the decision is made.
This “standard” recruiting process doesn’t apply anymore.
To get that top talent, you have to go out of your way, off the beaten path.
Guess what, some brave folks already did. More and more are following their tactics:
1 – Referral becomes your highest chance of getting high-quality candidates.
2 – The first contact is to establish mutual interests. Job advertising comes second.
3 – The entire application process should be completed on mobile.
4 – Big brands don’t always fit your hiring need.
5 – Hire the person, not the role.
6 – Build your own trial test to get your own fit candidates.
7 – What you sell is interesting challenges and recognition, in the form of employer brand.
8 – The need for speed is crucial when it comes to offering jobs.
What to do: Offer a clear referral recruiting bonus, from $2,000 and above is market rate for good developers. Sit down with all your employees one by one. Leave the potential candidates’ availability behind, and only focus on your hiring standards. Have around three of those up your sleeve, for example: be smart, get things done, collaborate well. Go through all your employees’ networks with the standards in mind and a spreadsheet. Save time for everybody, just input the referrer’s name and link to the potential candidate’s profile. The name and contact info you can figure out later on your own. Keep the employees in the loop when you reach out, because they can help pitch in too. Together, you prove to the potential candidates that you are not just another CV-monger.
What to do: Comment on their work. Most developers share it on their GitHub’s accounts. Pinpoint the things the potential candidates do well and tell them that. You appreciate their expertise, so, you want to have their service. Your email will rise above the mediocre cold ones. Good developers like that. Good developers reply to that.
Why? Let’s say you are selling an ideal place – the ideal place – to an IT expert, but you force them to apply via a bureaucratic, outdated system with buttons and forms clearly designed for desktops in the 90s. Talk about the irony.
What to do: Make all communication and application accessible and doable on mobile.
You’d feel impressed if the candidates used to work for Google, Facebook, and the likes. But hold yourself for a moment there. Look more into what the candidates have actually done. Ask yourself again and again: Is that really a match to what I need?
What to do: Get the candidates on the phone and ask them about their latest project. What is it? Why did they choose to do it? What is its impact on the company? Only very passionate people know every nook and cranny of their project. Proceed with them right away. If by any chance you have doubts about the candidate’s honesty, get references from those who have worked directly with them.
Looking at the speed of IT development, the role you craft so carefully now could very well be in the trash bin in the next 2 years. You don’t need subject matter expert. You need someone who is an expert at learning and picking up new subject matters over and over again.
What to do: Ask if the person has been trying a variety of tools and programming languages in the past. What did they make out of that? Which one are they most proud of? And why?
There are more and more platforms offering tests and ranking developers, so why bother? If you use ready-made tests, the candidates learn nothing from your context, and you learn nothing from what the candidates can offer to solve your own problems. Offering an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other is well worth the hassle.
What to do: Extract a part of the current workload that needs to be done. Write a brief with background information, the resources the candidates can use, and the deliverables for each stage of the trial process (for examples: evaluation, concept, prototype, code). If the trial test needs more than an hour of work, play fair and square: offer to pay the candidates. A standard rate from Automattic is $25 per hour.
Foosball and free lunch are nice, but they just aren’t the things good developers go after.
What to do: Communicate the company’s vision and culture through and through. But don’t paint an unreal picture or set up unreal expectations. Provide concrete examples of current or past employees that you walk the talk.
Yes, good developers are in high demand, as you’ve been aware of all along. It would be hopelessly naive if you think they would just sit and wait for your decision. Every day waiting is an open invitation for them to choose other companies.
What to do:
“If you have conviction about a candidate at the end of interview day, you spend the next day closing.” – John Ciancutti
Every point listed above is so counter-intuitive compared to the old way. They require you to put in more effort, more attention, more time.
But if you don’t, you will have to spend even more effort, even more attention, even more time to fix a bad hire.
Even if you can only apply one point to your recruiting process for now, start anyway. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it’ll make.
Have you discovered other interesting trends in recruiting IT talent? Tell us in the comment below, tweet, or email Recruitee.com!