Recruiting Software: Single-Source System vs. Stand-Alone ATS [VIDEO]

In this Q&A video, listen to ExactHire Co-Founder, Jeff Hallam, run through some common recruiting-related pros and cons when it comes to choosing between a single-source human resources software information system (HRIS) or a stand-alone ATS (applicant tracking system).

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jeff Hallam and welcome to another edition of ExactHire Q&A. The topic today is whether an organization should purchase recruiting software as part of their overall payroll and HR solution; or, whether that’s something that they might be better served purchasing in a stand-alone environment. And the idea of our talk today is not to try to arrive at any conclusions or tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, but rather just to give you some guidance and some ideas to think through to help determine ultimately what might be the right solution for you and your organization.

So, let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons for each. So, if you look at a solution that’s offered through a payroll and HR software provider, some of the pros would be things like the ability for information and the process to flow from one point to another…from the very beginning as an applicant…all the way into being an employee…and then ultimately as an ex-employee.

Certainly one of the strong selling points in solutions like these is also the notion of integration. Once I’ve hired someone that core information can flow forward into payroll, and I as an HR professional nor anyone else on my team has to worry about re-keying that information.

And then likewise having a single provider for all things, holds a lot of appeal for people. And so that is certainly a list of some of the main drivers that might lead people to lean toward purchasing this as part of that overall payroll and HR software deliverable.

Some of the cons, likewise, include items like how much of a priority is recruiting software in that provider’s development queue? Is it getting the time, attention and dollars that you’d like so that it’s going to keep up with emerging trends out there in the industry.

What does the price point look like? Is it more, is it less…and are you contractually obligated to stay with that solution as part of the overall solution for any minimum period of time?

And then finally, features and functionality. It’s not uncommon for this to be not necessarily the strength of most payroll and HR tools. So that’s certainly something to look at…will it have the features and the capabilities that you’re looking for and that your group would need?

Now let’s look at stand-alone recruiting software. So, the pros for that are that typically those types of solutions should have very good features and functionality. They should be something that, because that’s all they’re doing, it should have those types of things.

Secondly, there often times are add-on tools…other things that you can do as spokes off of that, that may not exist in that single-source solution that we were talking about a moment ago. Things like video interviewing, automated reference checking, onboarding solutions, integrated background checks and things of that nature.

And then hopefully, dependent upon the provider that you’re dealing with, there should be better expertise to help with technical questions that would come up. That group should be a little more on the leading edge of what’s going on out there and what’s emerging in the industry, as opposed to somebody where this is part of their overall solution.

The cons to the stand-alone solution are…of course, out of the box, it probably is not going to integrate with your existing payroll and HR solution.

You do now have a separate vendor to go to for support-related questions as opposed to a single vendor in that consolidated environment.

And then dependent on the provider, there are some applicant tracking or recruiting software providers out there that do have contractual obligations. So once you sign up to use that, you are required to use it for a certain period of time. And that’s kind of a common con to be aware of in either scenario…just make sure that you understand what that looks like so that if it’s not doing for you what you’d like you have an opportunity to consider other options without being bound to that one provider longer than you might care to.

So, here’s a quick list of five questions to ask yourself as it relates to what might be best for you, and which of these scenarios might apply. So the first one would be to look at the overall priorities of your organization, and for your position. How important overall is recruiting? If it’s a minimal activity, and it’s not happening very often…that probably points you one direction versus another.

Secondly, how much hiring will your organization do over the next year or so? How much volume is going to be done might tie in with the priorities, and it might also tie into the next question…which is what data exactly are we talking about when that integration piece is discussed? So once I’ve hired someone, what exactly from the applicant tracking side of things will then port over into payroll? Make sure you understand what that is and make sure you understand how important it is and how much of it there is.

Looking at price, is there a price differential between the two…that’s certainly something that merits consideration.

And then finally, some of those add-on tools that we talked about with the stand-alone recruiting options…how appealing are those to you? Do you ever see yourself needing those?

As I said earlier, none of this is designed to say you should go one way or the other…it’s like so many other things with software…there is no pat answer that’s going to be consistent for everyone. Rather, it’s just something that is designed to help you from your end, have a little bit more objective way to sit down and look at the pros and cons of each, and ultimately determine, what is it that’s ultimately going to be right for your company.

This has been another edition of Q&A, thank you for joining us!

Engaging Applicants – New Economy New Rules

It’s March in Indianapolis, Indiana. That means two things: wildly fluctuating temperatures (March 6: 2℉…March 11: 65 ℉); and basketball (this year will mark the 7th time since 1940 that Indy has hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four). It’s through hosting events like the Final Four–and that spectacle in Speedway–that Indianapolis earned the nickname “Amateur Sports Capital of the World.” However, increasingly, the word “amateur” is becoming unnecessary.

Last week, I had the privilege of listening to three leaders in the Indianapolis professional sports scene. Rob Laycock of the Indiana Pacers, Dan Plumlee of the Indianapolis Colts, and Tom Dunmore of the Indy Eleven spoke at New Economy New Rules–a monthly event organized by TechPoint. The event seeks to introduce new ideas about how business is done today and how it will be done tomorrow, often with an emphasis on technology as a catalyst for change. Accordingly, the discussion topics at this event were less about on-field action and more about evolving technologies that enhance the fan experience and fill seats.

The talk was exciting for me in my career as a digital marketer–these guys have metrics on everything–and eye-opening from my perspective as a sports fan–who knew they could track bathroom traffic at stadiums in real-time?! But how can Human Resources departments–large and small–incorporate technology into their operations?

Start With A Clear Destination

Before adopting new technology, an organization should first have a clear understanding of its business objectives and goals.  From there, it’s a matter of exploring and selecting technologies that will provide employees with value-added assistance in meeting important objectives–those that will directly impact business goals.  In varying degrees and ways, each sports organization uses technology to meet important business objectives. However, all three emphasized the importance of using technology to engage the community, with the goal of cultivating passionate, loyal fans to fill their seats.

In the world of Human Resources, our organizations can use technology to engage job applicants and fill our “open seats” with passionate, loyal new hires too. Let’s explore how this can be done by taking a look at how these sports organizations engage and cultivate fans.

Engaging Applicants-More Than Filling Seats

A common theme throughout the conversation was that, yes, the goal is to fill the seats, but focusing on gross tickets sales as the sole indicator of success is a mistake. For these organizations, it’s more about building relationships with fans for the long haul. In fact, Mr. Laycock likened it to dating, wherein a team gradually develops a closer, stronger relationship with a fan; the end-goal is to gain and maintain a fan’s lifelong loyalty, which is hopefully expressed through annual ticket purchases.

For HR Departments, we are looking to find the right match for our organization too–although this is speed dating, and we have many significant others, and…well let’s just stop the metaphor there. The point is: we want to attract talented people to our organization who stay and become passionate brand ambassadors. These individuals will value both our organization and the relationship they have with it.

Does your hiring process seek to find, hire, and onboard individuals who will be passionate, loyal fans of your organization? If not, you’ll be looking to refill your seats real soon, and your organization will suffer for it. To avoid this, consider investing in an Applicant Tracking System that streamlines the hiring process and increases applicant engagement through  automated job postings to multiple job boards, integrated social media sharing, and timely, personalized applicant status updates and follow-up requests. By utilizing this technology, you’ll provide a more welcoming hiring process for the applicant and have more time to meaningful interact with job candidates–your future fans.

Engaging Applicants-Highlight Star Players

With the right perspective on what your hiring goal is (hiring passionate, loyal fans of your organization) and a strong foundation of hiring technology in place (a robust Applicant Tracking System), you will be ready to attract top talent to your team. To do this, you must impress job seekers with how awesome it is to be a part of your team. It’s important that you do this in a way that is–and is perceived to be–authentic. There’s no better way to do this than to highlight your star players.

Pat McAfee of the Indianapolis Colts has over 300,000 followers on Twitter. His tweets inform, entertain, and ultimately galvanize the Colts fan-base. The content isn’t always about his place of employment, but this works to the Colts’ advantage as it helps in reaching new fans–especially younger ones. Do members of your team have a platform from which to tell their story?

engaging applicants as fans

McAfee engages fans through Twitter.

Job seekers need to experience it to believe it. If your organization is only providing a list of “Why ‘ABC Corp.’ Is A Great Place To Work”, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage job seekers who are looking to bring their talents to a special place. Highlight your current employees via your website and social media to illustrate not just what your organization is about, but who it’s about. If you already employ passionate, loyal fans of your organization, then you’ll likely attract the same.

Engaging Applicants-A FANtastic Experience

FANtastic Experience
This is FANtastic!
Courtesy of


We know that an Applicant Tracking System can provide an HR Department with the time and features needed to make a positive impression on job applicants. But what happens after you’ve hired and filled the open seat? What is the new hire’s experience?

Onboarding a new hire is equivalent to welcoming a new fan to their first game. The Pacers, Colts, and Indy Eleven don’t stop engaging fans once the ticket is sold. They continue strengthening their fan relationships with the goal of cultivating life-long fans. These organizations use technology to accomplish this where it makes sense, but these are simply tools to convey a sentiment: you belong and you are appreciated.

How does your organization provide a fantastic experience for new hires? This question, of course, is part of the larger topics of  “work culture” and “employer brand”. But a simple way to create a pleasant experience for your new employees is to provide them with a highly organized and personalized onboarding experience. And again, this can be accomplished with the help of technology…Onboarding Software.

Just as a new fan’s first-game experience should not be marred by long waits at the gate, concession stand, and restroom; a new hire’s first day should not be marked by completion of forms, redundant tasks, and an office supply scavenger hunt. Onboarding Software can streamline the common tasks associated with the onboarding process and eliminate the need for new hires to fill out stacks and stacks of forms.

When your organization’s new employees are not swamped with an endless number of mind-numbing tasks or confused about what form is needed next, they are free to interact with new colleagues and begin building a relationship with your organization. This also provides the organization with the opportunity to be creative with how it welcomes and orientates new employees. An onboarding like this will show appreciation for new hires, and it contributes to their sense of belonging.

New Economy New Rules

In today’s competitive economy, finding and hiring talented individuals to fill your open seats (and stay in them) is vital for an organization’s continued growth and profitability. Successful organizations like the Colts, Indy Eleven, and Pacers invest in technology to efficiently reach business objectives, HR departments can do the same by embracing technology as a tool to improve the hiring and onboarding processes. It’s important to know that an investment in hiring technology will certainly create efficiencies in operations; however, more importantly, it will support a powerfully engaging experience for applicants and new hires–one that will cultivate passionate, loyal employees–and fans–of your organization.


ExactHire offers hiring technology that helps small to medium sized organizations scale for growth. Our HireCentric Applicant Tracking System features social media and job board integration to maximize an organization’s recruitment operations. Additionally, our Onboarding Software helps ensure that new hires enjoy a FANtastic experience with your organization.  Learn more by contacting a member of our team today!


Image credit: Game Over by Andrew Malone (contact)

Keepin’ a Line in the Water for Unemployed Passive Job Seekers: Part 3

This is the final part of a three-part series on how your organization can attract and hire top talent by targeting Unemployed Passive Job Seekers as part of your overall talent recruitment strategy. Warning: The fishing references are thick.

Even if you write the most motivating, enticing job description and job seekers are excited about an opportunity with your organization, there’s no guarantee that they will take action–especially if they are the elusive Unemployed Passive Job Seekers. This doesn’t mean that they won’t return to you on their own some day, but you can increase the chances that they do by staying connected. In today’s digital world, there are countless ways to do this. Here are three effective ones:

Employee Referrals

You’re probably familiar with the good ol’ fashioned Employee Referral. It goes something like this:

  1. Management representatives decide to hire for a new position
  2. They send an email out or drop by your desk to say: “Hey, we’re hiring for a new Office Paper Coordinator. If you know anyone who’d be a good fit, let us know, or tell them to apply.”
  3. You likely forget to share the news, or you overlook a great candidate.

Obviously, you can see the flaws inherent in this ol’ fashioned method…Enter Digital Employee Referrals.

Some of the more sophisticated Applicant Tracking Systems offer a feature that greatly simplifies and enhances the process of Employee Referrals by taking the process digital. And let’s face it, even Sig Hansen of The Deadliest Catch and the rest of the Alaskan crab fleet use fishing technology these days.

Digital Employee Referrals work by providing each employee with a custom URL to the open position (For example: They can create this link by visiting the organization’s career portal. Then, from that same location, they can instantly share the position to their networks via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and email. Now, when any applicant applies via an employee’s unique link, the application is automatically populated with that employee’s name as the referrer.applicant tracking system | employee referral integration

And when an employee incentive program is built around this feature, employees are further encouraged to reach out to their network. The results are impressive!

Learn the concept by checking out how ExactHire’s HireCentric ATS handles it!

Job Notifications

Many job boards provide this feature for organizations. The idea is that an interested job seeker creates a profile with the job board, and then the job board pushes out an email or text with links to new job opportunities based on criteria the job seeker sets. This is a nice feature that gets the job done, but there’s one issue: it’s “junky”.

By junky, I mean that many times these notifications only contain one or two listings among twenty that actually appeal to the job seeker, and it requires effort to parse through the murky waters and find them. You can’t afford to rely on this approach alone with an Unemployed Passive Job Seeker. You need to grab their attention.

Fortunately, some applicant tracking systems–like ExactHire’s HireCentric platform–provide job seekers the opportunity to sign up for job notifications from your specific organization. In fact, the notifications sent regarding your company’s jobs can even be filtered by job category and state, according to the job seeker’s preferences. This is important because it ensures that your passive job seekers need only filter through your jobs that are most likely to bait their interest…not ALL of your jobs. No junk here.

Social Media

As you know, Social Networking Sites have transformed the way the world communicates. Information has never traveled so fast–a good thing as it relates to facts, a bad thing, often, as it relates to opinions…but I digress. The point is, that through social media, organizations have the ability to update followers and friends in real-time. They even have the ability to interrupt…if they do the work to build trust with their followers. What do I mean?

You, as a Twitter user, can follow 5,000 businesses. You can check your feed once a day and scroll through all their updates; it’s an open relationship that doesn’t require anything from either side–an “all you care to eat” buffet. Now, let’s say that from the very beginning an organization promised you something in exchange for following them. For example:

“Connect with us on LinkedIn to be the first to learn of new job opportunities with ExactHire!”

“Follow us @goExactHire for your chance to win 1 of 52 prizes that we’ll be rewarding to our most active followers each week this year.”

“Like the Exacthire page and earn the chance to receive exclusive promo codes for the purchase of your favorite beer.”

With a simple promise–it doesn’t have to be beer discounts–an organization can increase their chances of earning a crucial thing: followers who enable notifications for your account. This means that the followers value your content so much, that they want to be interrupted by it. This is the holy grail for social media marketing, and it can be nicely leveraged for recruiting through the use of an applicant tracking system, as well.

Imagine the unemployed passive job seeker who’s having lunch when a notification flashes on her phone via Twitter:

“Can’t Miss #JobOpp. Family Friendly Company Offers Flex Hrs. Benefits. Part or Full Time. Students, New Grads, Unemployed–All should apply btly.exacthire”

You’ve interrupted and intrigued her. She’s back on the hook. Now reel ‘er in!

Heading Back To Port

Competition for top talent is fierce. Everyday there are countless organizations looking to land the big catch. As hiring professionals, we must be willing to go to new places and try new techniques to hire top talent. This includes: going after individuals who are not actively seeking a job; leveraging technology to cultivate interest in your organization; and staying connected with job seekers who express interest in your organization.

By expanding your view of where talent exists, and then using creative tactics to go get them, you will outsmart your competition and position yourself to land the big catch–along with all the rewards that come with that. And that’s no fish tale!


How to Lure Unemployed Passive Job Seekers: Part 2

This is the second part of a three-part series on how your organization can attract and hire top talent by targeting Unemployed Passive Job Seekers as part of your overall talent recruitment strategy. Warning: There are still a lot of fishing references.

Setting Sail For New Waters

Imagine a passive job seeker–employed or unemployed–who one day, on a whim, visits a job aggregator like Indeed. He might search for a certain type of position, or one in a particular industry, or one with a particular salary range. Perhaps he discovers some exciting results. Maybe he clicks on one and begins reading about a particular company’s work culture and gets excited. He might think “Wow! This sounds like an awesome place to work!”

But the timing is not right, any number of different factors may steer him off course: he is still enrolled in school; he is committed to a few short-term projects; he is not physically able to meet the job requirements at that time; he’s unsure about childcare arrangements. What happens to this opportunity? Does it close when the browser is closed? Does that excitement die with the job seeker as he returns to “passive job seeker mode”?

It doesn’t have to.

An organization can continue to interact with once-interested job seekers–even passive job seekers–by providing these individuals with a way to stay connected, and then making sure to use hiring software to proactively communicate with them. Organizations can also get creative with their job descriptions to increase the likelihood that these passive job seekers are motivated to act immediately and apply for an open position that excites them–right when they see it.

Get ’em While They’re On The Hook

Try tweaking your job descriptions so that job seekers are motivated to apply right then and there. This might be as simple as using your applicant tracking system to allow individuals to begin the application on the same page as the job description, or offering job seekers the chance to apply with Indeed or LinkedIn. Fishermen call this setting the hook.

Don’t let them think they’ll be wasting their time if they apply. If you wish to actively source Unemployed Passive Job Seekers for certain positions, then job descriptions should be written in a way that is not only inclusive of applicants with diverse experience, but that provides those applicants with confidence that they are qualified for the job.

Put yourself in the unemployed passive job seekers’ shoes and tell them what they need to hear. Let’s revisit their motivations mentioned in part one of this series as a guide:

They hold a part-time job.

Perhaps the position can be “part-time to full-time” for the “right candidate”. Or emphasize benefits for full-time employees. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: One can keep both jobs or go full-time and gain benefits–he/she has options worth exploring.

They do small contract jobs/projects.

Again stress the benefits of a full-time position. Depending on the type of position, it may make sense to include language such as “weekly/bi-weekly pay checks”, “consistent hours”, “flexible work schedule”. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: A job seeker that works on a project basis may face inconsistent work or unpredictable pay. She may also want to keep a few projects alongside full-time work, so mentioning flexible hours keeps that option open.

They are stay-at-home parents.

As with the others, you really need to stress benefits–especially family health care and flex-spending accounts for childcare. “Flexible work schedule” or “work from home” are also terms that might encourage a stay-at-home parent to consider working full-time. Of course, salary will also be important if the cost of childcare threatens to exceed earnings. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: The cost of childcare is a big item for families considering dual employment, as is time with children and time needed to maintain a household in general. Yes, a parent could earn enough to cover childcare expenses, but if he misses out on attending after-school activities or ends up spending all his free time on household chores, maybe a full-time job isn’t the right choice. You need to address those needs–offer attractive wages and flexible hours.

They have specialized experience in an industry that is not hiring/growing.

This individual has looked and looked, but her job is just not out there. Again, get creative with your job description. If your position is for an oil rig mechanic, but you’ve had great luck hiring former airline mechanics, then write a job description with a heading like: Need Experienced Airline Mechanics For Growing Industry. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: Some individuals have a decade of experience, a flawless attendance record, and glowing recommendations, but they’re trained for a job in an industry that is not growing. You need to open their eyes to new opportunities that require their unique skill set and experience.

They are in school or training.

For these job seekers, post far ahead of your anticipated start-date. Offer part-time to full-time transitions or internships. Tuition reimbursement is a great incentive too. Just be sure to specifically target your message to individuals who have returned to school too–not just your 20 year-old college student. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: Whether the job seeker is in her early twenties with minimal work experience or is an experienced worker seeking to re-train or make a career change, it’s important to provide comfortable, attractive transitions for students. Their investment in education will be an investment in your organization.

They are discouraged.

 Job descriptions or career pages that tell the story of current employees–their path to success at your organization– can encourage the discouraged and light a path for the job seeker to follow. But reaching these individuals is difficult, so it’s especially important to use social media as a channel to promote your open positions to these job seekers. Imagine the out-of-work teacher who wistfully explores #ClassroomInnovations, when suddenly an exciting job opportunity drops into her feed and encourages her to act. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: This is probably the most difficult passive job seeker to attract. One has tried and tried, and now he or she has become disillusioned with even the idea of searching for, let alone finding, the right job. You have to interrupt this person with your exciting opportunity, and this is best done via social media.

They are ill or disabled.

Post your open positions early and, of course, include the start date. Specifically message to the ill or disabled, reassuring them that this opportunity will be available and applying now does not necessarily mean working now. Or, if it is an immediate opening, mention that assistive technology is available to help disabled individuals do their jobs. Offer flexible hours or begin with part-time, transitioning to full-time. Top talent is top talent, regardless of whether they’ve been on the sideline for a bit. How it meets the job seeker’s needs: Those who are genuinely ill or disabled may find it hard to focus on a job search when they are focused on getting healthy. But if you have flexibility in your start date, and are in a position to offer part-time hours initially, attracting these individuals can be fulfilling in more ways than one.


Hopefully these tips spark some creative ideas of your own. The key is to put yourself in the job seekers’ shoes and write with their motivations and needs in mind. And as with any type of communication: the more personal, the better.

But…what if they still don’t bite?

Check back next Wednesday to learn how you can land the big catch by keeping a line in the water and trying out a few new fishing holes.


Landing The Elusive, Unemployed Passive Job Seeker: Part 1

This is the first part of a three-part blog series on how your organization can attract and hire top talent by targeting Unemployed Passive Job Seekers as part of your overall talent recruitment strategy. Warning: There are a lot of fishing references.

The Deadliest Catch is a documentary series on The Discovery Channel. The show chronicles the lives of fishermen in the treacherous Bering Sea. They are on the hunt for one of the most coveted seafoods in the world–the Alaskan King Crab. The work is perilous, but the rewards for a big catch are impressive.

Finding and hiring top talent to fill your organization’s open positions is not a deadly job, but the rewards for catching the right candidate can be every bit as impressive. To make that happen, human resources departments need a talented crew, the right equipment, and–most importantly–a captain who knows where to fish.

And sometimes the biggest catch can be made in places you least expect.

A Check of The Weather Before We Set Sail

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Labor released its latest jobs report. It indicated that the unemployment rate had risen by .1% to 5.7%. This was widely celebrated as a good thing. Why is an increase in the unemployment rate a good thing?

To answer that, we need to first look at the definition of the unemployment rate according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.


Unemployment Rate: The number of unemployed (people who are jobless, actively seeking work, and available to take a job) as a percentage of the labor force (the sum of the employed and unemployed).


Nice. So this means that if you are unemployed, but not looking for a job, then you are not factored into the unemployment rate; therefore, an increase in the unemployment rate can mean one of two things:

  1. More people have lost their job AND they are currently looking for a new one
  2. More people–who were unemployed and not looking for a job– are still unemployed, BUT they are now looking for a job.

The experts are cheering because they believe #2 describes the nation’s current unemployment situation. So the weather seems to be improving, and the fish are ready to bite. But what if there was a way to catch these fish even before they were ready?

It’s possible. But to do that, we have to leave the safety and comfort of our job board shores, chart a course for new waters, and go fishing for an exotic species of job seeker.

Employed Passive Job Seekers

A Common Species

Individuals who have a job, but who are open to other job opportunities, are commonly referred to as Passive Job Seekers. These individuals may keep an updated resume on LinkedIn or maintain an active job board profile on Glassdoor. They are prepared to leave their current company if a better opportunity comes along, but they are not heavily motivated to go look for that opportunity.

Think of these as healthy fish that just aren’t hungry. They’re a protected species too, so let’s leave them alone. Poaching isn’t nice. We’re fishermen, not pirates. Well, not today at least…not until we have to fly the skull and crossbones in search of our next unicorn.

Unemployed Passive Job Seekers

An Exotic Species

Now for the sake of this discussion, let’s label another set of individuals as Passive Job Seekers. Let’s include individuals who do not have a full-time job and are not actively looking for one, but who are open to full-time job opportunities. These individuals are similar to Employed Passive Job Seekers in terms of their motivation to actively search for a job opportunity; however, they are facing conditions that preclude them from holding a full-time job. These are the Unemployed (or Underemployed in some cases) Passive Job Seekers.

Let’s think of these as healthy fish that aren’t looking for food because the waters are too turbulent. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re not hungry. It’s just that the waters are all muddied up and they’re not going to bite unless you catch their eye with a flashy lure–your employment brand.

Identify An Unemployed Passive Job Seeker

Skilled fishermen know every detail about the fish they seek. They know where the big catch will be and what motivates them to bite. A skilled recruiter must be the same way when it comes to sourcing candidates for jobs.

Here are several reasons why Unemployed Passive Job Seekers cannot actively look for a full-time job:

  • They hold a part-time job
  • They do small contract jobs/projects
  • They are stay-at-home parents
  • They have specialized experience in an industry that is not hiring/growing
  • They are in school for further training
  • They are ill or disabled
  • They are discouraged

As you can see, none of these reasons is “just plain lazy” or “unemployable”–though that may be the case in some instances. The thing is, many talented workers are “unemployed and not looking” for good reason, or for reasons outside of their control; and while they may not be looking for a job right now, they could be interested in a position with a shiny organization that catches their eye.

Start Your Fishing Trip

If your organization is looking to hire additional employees–especially in an industry that has not been hiring for a while–targeting Unemployed Passive Job Seekers is a great way to increase your pool of quality applicants and land the big catch.

Now that you’ve identified this exotic species of job seeker, you’ll need tips on how to lure them in. Check back next Wednesday to learn how!


Social Media As Recruitment Tools

As an undergrad at Purdue University, my campus was one of the first beyond the Ivy League to gain access to Facebook. Then, as I recall, it was used for connecting people based on shared courses or majors…but also for creeping (a practice that endures today).

Of course, social networking sites existed long before Facebook. Some of these sites floundered and failed, others still exist today. All of these sites succeeded by connecting people to people in one way or another.

Today, social networking sites do so much more than simply connect people. They have transformed from sites you only visited for fun, to tools you use for gaining knowledge, insight, and opportunities. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and countless others connect people with ideas, news, art, events, brands, and–increasingly–prospective employers.

best practices in mobile and social recruiting | Download

Be There Now

As an organization, it’s tempting to see the top ten growing social networking sites and think “we gotta be there too! Right away! Now!”. But once you begin talking to your audience in a new way, you then must be prepared to answer in that way as well. It’s no different than including your cell number on a business card–you implicitly commit to answering all calls to that number, and you risk losing business should you not.

So you can see that incorporating just a handful of social media channels into your talent recruitment strategy can easily become overwhelming. But with competition for talent becoming fiercer each day, what’s an “HR Department of One” to do? You can’t be everywhere…can you?

One answer is to determine which social media platforms are most popular. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center illustrates that Facebook is still king in terms of number of users, but other platforms are adding users at a faster rate.

% of online adults who use the following social media websites, by year


That’s good information to know, but it’s also important to consider how frequently users are using the platform. When looking at frequency of use, again Facebook leads the way with 70% of its users choosing to interact daily.


Frequency of social media site use


Ok. So we know which platform has the most users and which one has the most active users. So we go with Facebook and call it a day? Or do we choose Facebook and LinkedIn (because LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals). And we stop there because we don’t have enough time to manage anymore than that.

Sadly, this is still the conclusion that some HR professionals reach today. Facebook is familiar. That’s where everyone is. LinkedIn is for professionals. That’s where the best will be. It’s a decision that allows the organization to answer: “Yes, we’re on social media.” Unfortunately, while an organization may “be on social media”, it may not be leveraging it to meet its business goals.

Social Media As Tools

Social networking sites are not just places to be, they’re tools to be used. The savvy HR professional knows this, and so they utilize multiple social channels to attract talent in different ways–they use the right tool for the right job. But they don’t chain themselves to a screen in order to post to and monitor multiple platforms. By using an Applicant Tracking System that supports social media and job board integration, the “HR Department of One” can now write once and post to multiple channels with one click. These job posts contain links to a branded career portal, where prospective applicants can learn more about the position, the organization, and how to apply.

Social media provides HR departments with a valuable set of tools. Managing these tools in a way that enhances existing processes–rather than bogs them down–is vital to competing for the best talent in any industry. By utilizing an Applicant Tracking System to manage your social media channels, you can maximize your organization’s social media presence as part of an overall talent recruitment strategy.


ExactHire offers hiring technology that helps small to medium sized organizations scale for growth. Our HireCentric Applicant Tracking System features social media and job board integration to maximize an organization’s recruitment operations. Learn more by contacting a member of our team today!

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Advances in Pre-Screening

Hiring managers are often besieged with applications for review, making it nearly impossible to effectively sort through the relevant information on each application. The sheer number of open positions and applicants can easily make this responsibility overwhelming. Pre-screening candidates is a great way to make this task bearable.

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Pre-Screening of Ol’

There are many ways to pre-screen potential employees. Some methods that are tried and true in the Human Resources world include:

  • scanning cover letters
  • reviewing only specific sections of the resume
  • completing phone interviews.

The problem with these techniques is that they are still very time consuming. Additionally, these methods leave a lot of room for error and cause managers to overlook a good candidate.

Advances in Pre-Screening

In today’s technologically advanced HR environment, there is a much more powerful approach to pre-screening. Applicant Tracking Systems can allow for pre-screening questions that score, and even eliminate, applicants based on responses. This simple and effective feature can reduce the ‘clutter’ in a virtual stack of applications. For example, under-qualified applicants whose scores do not meet the standard for a position will not even show up in your list of applicants for review–unless you want to see them. And those applicants who do pass the basic qualifications for a position will receive a score based on their answers as well. Therefore, if you have ten applicants that meet the basic qualifications, you can easily look at their scores relative to each other to see who may stands out.

Behavioral assessment tools, like the Predictive Index, are also helpful in determining which candidates to invite in for the final interview stages.  Pre-screening candidates in this manner takes the guesswork out of the selection process by defining the behavioral requirements of the job and identifying the natural behavioral drives of the candidate. This allows for a fit/gap analysis between the job profile and the personality profile of the candidate. It also gives key insights into the candidate’s training and coaching needs to support the onboarding process.

Finally, when making decisions on a new hire, many companies find that reference checks can be very valuable. Unfortunately, this step can also be very challenging and time-consuming. Reference check software makes the process as easy as a few clicks. Automating the reference checking process will allow for more accurate, timely, and efficient results.

Summary of Online Pre-screening Benefits:

  • Automatic elimination of undesirable or unqualified applicants
  • Time savings and streamlined information
  • Allows the hiring manager to focus on the most qualified candidates
  • Eliminating wasted hours spent conducting phone and personal interviews on poor candidates
  • Potentially quicker time to hire
  • Reduced hiring costs by hiring the right person the first time


To learn more about how you can create efficiency and value for your organization through the use of ExactHire’s HR technology, contact us today!

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5 Ways to Get Your Recruiting Emails Noticed

Are  you constantly sending out recruiting emails that receive a lackluster response? Here are five ways you can grab the attention of that uber-qualified employee and get them on the track to working for you!


Specific Subject Lines

Subject lines are the little previews that help the recipient decide to open the message or not. By sending emails with a personalized and clear subject line, you are more likely to gain your target’s attention.

Introduce Yourself

Do not spend a paragraph explaining what you are doing before you explain who you are to the recipient. If you are lucky enough to have a highly qualified candidate take interest in your efforts, you will want to prove you are a real person and that you truly are interested in them specifically.

Describe the Open Position

Do you really think that this person is going to respond to you now, when they don’t even know what the open position is all about? It may seem obvious, but you have to very briefly describe the opportunity. If you have any hopes of getting the right person into the company, you need to be realistic about the position and include that short synopsis information in your initial email.

Connections to the Candidate

Using connections is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and that is because it works! Just like an applicant that comes by referral might get an interview, you might get some attention if a mutual acquaintance introduces you first.

Wrap it Up

Remember, you want this person to work for you because they he or she is awesome. That probably means that he/she is also busy. So spit it out and say goodbye. Make sure you tell the candidate how you plan to follow up. You may want to leave it open, but most likely you will want to ask to speak in person or over the phone soon. This way you can answer any questions or ease any concerns he or she may have about pursuing a new job.

 Following these simple steps will help you achieve a greater response to your recruiting emails. Good luck on your hunt for talent!


Looking for a better organized way to keep track of your applicant management efforts? For more information about our recruiting software solution, please visit our resources section


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5 Ways to Become a Mastermind at Writing Job Listings

First impressions can change the way you look at applicants, contractors, vendors, and everyone else that you come in contact with on a daily basis. Those impressions can be good or bad, but human nature causes us to create those mental connections–even if we are trying to stay unbiased.

It’s easy to forget that applicants are human and that they, too, develop first impressions. The job listing that is posted online and shared through social media says a lot about your company and the position you are trying to fill. Make sure that you send a positive impression into the world that will bring you the right applicants.

Applicant Friendly Job Listings

Easy to Find

Most applicants use the internet to career search. Regardless of the position you are posting, make sure you keep it easy to find and identify. Job listings for, say, a dog-walker to an executive are found online via a plethora of sites specific to various industries. To make sure your opening is found, use keywords that are relevant in the eyes of an applicant. For example, if you list a job in the Human Resources Department, be sure to use: Human, Resources, Human Resources, HR, and H.R. The subtle differences in these labels are all relevant to different applicants and job boards.

Also, label the position and develop the description for what it really is–do not try to hide unfavorable job tasks. Be truthful to your applicants and they will be truthful to you in return.

Writing Concise, Informative Job Listings

Balancing Act

Creating an honest description of an open opportunity doesn’t mean you have to write a book. But you do want to give more detail than simply listing “Customer Service”. You should strike a balance that provides an accurate job description with required duties, but does so without being too cumbersome to read.

Fun, Professional Job Descriptions | Control Catchy Gimmicky Exciting Words !!!!!  $$$$  !!!!!!

You want to be noticed. There are countless employers looking for quality workers. But don’t go weird and scare away potential applicants. “Birds of a feather flock together,” remember when your mom used to say that? Yeah, channel that. Put out quality job descriptions that applicants can read and that provide an idea of how awesome it is to work for you. This will provide better results than posting a “‘too good to be true” job ad with bold wording and over-the-top punctuation.

Company Culture

Design a Personality

Stand out and convey your work culture by changing boring section titles on the application. Replace “Education” with something that has more sparkle, like “Smarts” or “School Spirit”. You could even carry the fun into the instructions. For example: “We love to support our favorite teams in the office. Let us know where you went to school so we know where you should sit. Just like finals, you must fill out each section below.”

Looking for jobs online can become monotonous, causing job-seekers to avoid longer applications.  But by stepping out of the box slightly and hinting at how your workplace is different, you can engage applicants who spend several hours a day filling out applications.

Writing for the Applicant

Be the Applicant

Try being the applicant by taking a few minutes to apply for in-house jobs yourself. It is always good to take a moment to reflect on the application process you have set up, and then actually test it. You might find that the process isn’t flowing exactly how you thought it was, or you might just notice an opportunity for improvement.

Searching job boards for similar positions can also help you gauge what job-seekers find when they search for “Accounting” positions within your area. Your search results may have very similar descriptions, or they could be very different. Either way, increase your personal understanding of the applicant’s perspective by playing the role of applicant.


So there you go! Those are 5 ways to become a mastermind at writing job listings. Whether you’re failing to get the the right candidates, or simply need more people to apply, these tips can help you improve your job listings and secure top talent that fits your organization. To learn how to manage all these great applicants using hiring technology, learn about ExactHire’s Applicant Tracking System or contact us today!

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