Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Ben Love – Founder and Managing Director of Grassroots IT. His opinions are his own.
Hiring new staff can be a crazy busy process at the best of times, and downright chaotic at the worst. Résumés, job descriptions, employment contracts, interview notes, as well as an endless stream of phone calls, meeting requests and emails are enough to make us exhausted before we’ve even started.
Whether you are in the driving seat making it all happen, or just involved at specific stages along the way, here are five powerful technology tools that I have personally found can help you streamline the process, improve communication, stay organised and above all, hire the right candidate!
1. Microsoft OneNote
The free OneNote application from Microsoft has been described as the ‘Swiss army knife’ of office productivity software. Use it to take notes, store documents, photographs, and pretty much anything else in a loosely structured, freeform way. Notes can be shared between multiple people, and across multiple devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets.
OneNote is the perfect tool for keeping your interview notes all in one place, along with candidate résumés, cover letters and head shots, and sharing it all with others in your recruitment team.
Zoom.us is a video meeting application available for free for up to 25 meeting attendees. One person is the ‘host’ for a meeting, and simply sends a link to all attendees to click to join the meeting using their webcam.
Zoom.us is perfect for talking to potential candidates (to make sure they don’t have three heads!) before scheduling an in-person interview, and also for meeting with a dispersed recruitment team to talk through your short list of candidates.
There are a number of alternative products available to help with online meetings. However the combination of price and quality for Zoom.us is hard to beat.
3. Microsoft SharePoint
Microsoft SharePoint has been designed from the ground up to be a shared collaboration and document management platform. If you’re lucky enough to have access to SharePoint (as more and more people do through Microsoft Office 365) it might just be the perfect platform to keep your recruitment process organised.
SharePoint allows for the creation of fully searchable document libraries, complete with options for custom metadata fields, as well as workflow automation features – powerful tools to help automate and streamline parts of your recruiting process.
SharePoint isn’t available for free, and will require some customisation to suit your needs, but if you deal with a high volume of recruitment, then this may just be what you need.
EchoSign is a web based tool used for the electronic signing of documents. It is available free for a limited number of signatures per month, with paid plans offering more.
There can be a mountain of paperwork to sign associated with recruiting, starting with non-disclosure agreements early on in the process, all the way through to employment contracts and more once an offer is made. Keeping track of all of these documents, and indeed even getting them signed and returned, can be a full time job in itself.
EchoSign makes this process painless by letting you upload the documents, and then allowing the candidate to electronically sign them from their own computer.
5. Microsoft Outlook
Yes … I know. Microsoft Outlook is a pretty obvious tool to mention given that most of us use it constantly in our work, but please just hear me out.
Outlook has a lot of powerful features that you may not have thought about in terms of streamlining your recruiting. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Shared Mailbox or Public Folder: Consider setting up a shared folder, or public folder, for all recruitment related emails to go to. This way, that flood of emails won’t block up your own mailbox, and all members of your recruiting team will be able to see the same content.
- Auto-responder to candidates: You could set up an auto-responder on your recruiting email address to automatically email candidates to thank them for their application, and set certain expectations, such as how long it might before they hear back from you.
- Rules and Quicksteps to automatically file emails: ‘Rules’ can be setup in Outlook to automatically perform various actions on an email as soon as it arrives, such as filing it to a specific folder based on a job ID in the subject line.
- Email Templates: If you find yourself writing the same email over and over again to candidates, create some email templates that can be accessed quickly whenever you need them.
Finding the right candidate for your role can be challenging enough, so why not let technology ease the burden with some of these readily available (and often free) tools.
Ben Love is the Founder and Managing Director of Grassroots IT, a Brisbane based IT services organisation. Grassroots IT works with clients to fine tune the role of Information Technology within their business through consulting, support and education.