Online Applicants Beware: Applicant Tracking Systems in Place

January 30, 2012

If you’re in the market for a new job, chances are you’ve applied to dozens of part time and full time jobs by simply clicking the “apply now” button online. Whether the website was a job board such as Monster.com, a company’s own career site, or even a job aggregation website, hundreds (even thousands) of other applicants applied the same way.

If you’ve submitted a resume online, chances are you’ve received the ubiquitous follow-up email from the online system, and if you’re lucky, someone will actually contact you. Consider yourself “Lucky” because if you’ve heard back from a real person – your application made it (out of the black hole) through an applicant tracking system. An applicant tracking system or ATS is the new software response to large numbers of online application submissions for job positions. Companies invest in ATS systems to help screen applicants, by shifting through and filtering out the resumes that don’t fit the job’s requirements.  It’s like a SPAM filter for resumes. Only the resumes that meet very specific criteria get through.

Essentially, if you received an email from a real, live person, you’ve made it through a somewhat rigorous filtration system and are deemed “qualified!” So why do companies feel the need to adopt ATS systems? Well, to screen out unqualified applicants is certainly one reason, but an article from the Wall Street Journal points out that recruiters are less worried about what’s on a resume and more interested in what they can find out about you online. When it comes to a broad labor pool and a high unemployment rate, bypassing resumes and searching for clues that describe the applicant’s personality often helps with the selection process.

Video:http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/VideoMicroPlayer.swf

Recap from the CCI Senior Leadership Panel Discussion

October 24, 2011

On October 19, 2011 First Contact HR CEO, Leon Singletary joined Carol Jensen of WAWA, David Vidovich of Tasty Baking Company and Linda Pickles of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage on the panel at the “Fall 2011 Senior Leader Discussion Series” hosted by Career Concepts, Inc. Leon shared his story of how a background in Human Resources paved the way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Download: Lessons Learned from CCI Senior Leadership Panel Discussion October 19, 2011

Document courtesy of Career Concepts

Internet Background Searches – Should YOU Use Them?

August 11, 2011

It’s no surprise that basically anyone and everyone can conduct a simple background check on whoever they like. With companies like EasyBackrgoundCheck.com and nationally-recognized BeenVerified.com, individuals and companies can input basic information about a person and obtain “background” information on that individual.

While it is fine for people to use internet background check services like these for personal use, it is important to realize that these companies are simply “public record aggregators,” and thus not a replacement for traditional pre-employment background screening or private investigative services.

Internet aggregation services are a cheap and quick way to get a bit of information on a stranger or person of interest, but are certainly not acceptable for hiring purposes. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) information that is supplied by a 3rd party vendor for hiring purposes needs to be both accurate and current (not older than seven years). Furthermore, companies and organizations that are in fact going to use the information obtained from these internet aggregation sources for employment purposes, must obtain the applicants consent before doing so. In the case of hiring, the job applicant must provide an organization with signed written consent for performing an internet background check.

Companies and organizations that have written consent from applicants to do a background check still need to make sure that the information is accurate – in many cases, the information is not. BeenVerified.com for example even states: “we do not represent or warrant that the results provided will be 100% accurate and up to date.”

More often than not, those conducting internet background checks via aggregation services are not able find the right person to investigate either because their name is too similar to another person (think, “John Smith”) or the person has taken steps to protect their internet privacy (think, “do not call list”… but more like the “do not internet background check me online list”). How could an individual do this without countless hours spent searching online? You might ask.

Well, there are a number of ways individuals can hide, block and even remove information about them so that internet background check websites cannot find them. Read this article by BGR.com explaining all the ways you can put yourself on the “do not internet background check me online list” for all the major internet aggregation sites such as BeenVerrified.com.

The best practice available for a company or organization that is looking to conduct background checks on job applicants and employees is to use a trusted company such as First Contact HR. To see what background screening services First Contact HR can provide to individuals and companies, Visit: FirstContactHR.com

MyPartTimePRO.com CEO, Leon Singletary Returns to Critical Mass: Coast to Coast Radio

July 25, 2011

On June 30, 2011, MyPartTimePRO.com CEO, Leon Singletary was a guest on Critical Mass: Coast to Coast on OC Talk Radio. Leon explained the website’s significance of being specifically designed to match companies with talented people seeking flexible and part-time work arrangements.

On the site, Leon said “It connects educated, accomplished professionals with meaningful, flexible employment opportunities. For those job seekers who are looking for temporary to permanent positions, virtual positions, part time positions, freelance opportunities, this site gives them the opportunity to connect with employers…”

To listen to the entire interview click here.

Calling New Talent: Startups Looking to Hire!

June 30, 2011

The “Startup Outlook 2011” report recently released by the Silicon Valley Bank in California estimates that eighty-three percent of all startups in the U.S. are likely to hire this year. In 2010, An estimated seventy-three percent of startups were likely to hire new talent… that’s a ten percent jump job-seekers!

For closer look at the facts and figures, click here for an article from Mashable.com.

As always, you can visit MyPartTimePRO.com to start your job search.

Unemployed? Take Back Control of Your Life & Career

August 17, 2010

If you are out of work right now, like 9.6% of Americans according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you probably think that taking control of your career seems pretty hopeless. But MyPartTimePRO is here to tell you that it’s not hopeless! You have the power to steer your life and career in the direction you want it to go. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Create a Routine

Now that you no longer have the structure of work that helped shape your days, it is important to create your own routine. Don’t fall victim to laziness and immobility. Often people get down or even depressed after losing their job so it’s easy to develop an “I don’t care” attitude.

One thing you can do to combat this is to exercise first thing in the morning. It’s good for your body and your mind, and it will get you out of bed every day! This would be a good time to work on your image and building self-confidence. You should schedule time to execute your job search every day. Think of your job search as your new 9 to 5 because looking for a job is, after all, a full-time job in and of itself.

2. Decide What You Want

Think of your situation as an opportunity to achieve the life and career that you desire. Use this time to take a detailed inventory of your talents, achievements and interests. What are you great at? What have you loved and hated about past jobs and how have they shaped what you are looking for in your next job? What exactly do you want to do next? Be very specific because the more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to achieve those things.

3. Make a Plan

Now that you know what you want you need to decide how you will make that happen. Set specific goals for yourself and understand how you will measure your successes. Do a lot of research about the jobs you want, the companies you want to work for and the people who can make it happen. Learn what you can do to secure your dream job. Determine how to best utilize your network to help you.

Consider getting professional help from a career coach or resume writer. Maybe connect with a recruiter in your industry who can help you locate a job. These people have dedicated their own careers to helping people like you succeed. Don’t underestimate the power of job search sites like MyPartTimePRO.com either. Many recruiters and hiring managers utilize these s sites every day to find great talent.

4. Take Action!

Now that you’ve developed a strategy for your job search, it’s time to execute it. Reach out to people who can help you, and companies that can hire you. Create a stellar resume for each position you apply for. And don’t forget to be persistent. Following up is key to landing a job because it illustrates your passion and commitment.

Understand that a job search can take time so learn to be flexible. Temp work is a great way to stay employed and gain some new skills while you’re looking for your next job. Another thing to consider is contract work. This is a wonderful way to build your resume, add to your portfolio and develop lasting relationships with companies, who may be interested in hiring you on full-time sometime down the line.

Also, don’t forget to measure your results throughout your job search process. Learn what is and isn’t working so that your search is as successful as possible.

The most important thing to remember is that only YOU have the power to achieve the life and career you want. Being proactive is the key to landing your dream job and MyPartTimePRO is here to help you along the way. Good luck!

The Power of a Great Job Description

August 2, 2010

Once you hire a new employee, chances are they want to succeed just as badly as you want them to succeed. One of the things you can do to ensure this success is to create a detailed and accurate job description for their position. To many employers, this seems pretty obvious, but you might be surprised how often employees “fly blind” so to speak because they are unclear on what is expected of them.

So why is a job description so important? Let’s take a look at some of the ways an effective job description will benefit you and your employees and how to create one:

You Will Hire Great Talent

When you create a good job description prior to the recruiting process, you will ensure the right candidate is hired. The clearer you are about what you are looking for, the easier it is for job seekers to be sure they meet your qualifications. This will also help you match an applicant’s skills and experiences with the position requirements

Employee Motivation

Once you hire someone to fill the open position, the job description you provide will drive their performance. They will understand what is expected of them, what the chain of command is and how their success will be measured. This allows them to strive to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.

Managerial Success

A good job description is an essential management tool as it gives managers a clear guideline to effectively supervise, coach and, if appropriate, promote their team members. As an employee’s career progresses, an evolving job description allows many opportunities for a manager to help that person set new goals and measure new successes.

What to Include in an Effective Job Description:

  • Job Title – This helps candidates and new hires better understand the position and its rank.
  • Salary – For a job posting, this could mean a salary range, but for new hires make sure the agreed-upon salary is clearly stated.
  • Objectives – This just needs to be a few sentences that summarize the purpose of the position.
  • Description – The actual description should be a detailed list of tasks in order of significance. It also needs to include any specific objective the employee is expected to meet.
  • Experience – List specific previous experience and skills required to perform all duties.
  • Chain of Command – This section should describe who the employee will be reporting to as well as who they will be supervising. An organizational chart might help illustrate this.
  • Your “Ideal Candidate” – Include specific qualities you are looking for in an employee.
  • Location & Schedule – Include any travel requirements, overtime, etc.
  • “Other Duties as Assigned” – This gives you the opportunity to add tasks to the position if and when you need to.

Never underestimate the power of a great job description. When you take the time to create one you will no doubt be rewarded with more productivity and employee satisfaction!

Graduated from College: Now what?

July 7, 2010

Congratulations! You graduated! You’ve worked hard to get where you are today and we’re all proud of you! But now what? Finding a job post-graduation is hard enough in a good economy, but you have the misfortune of graduating in the middle of the “great recession.” So what’s an entry-level professional, like yourself, to do?

Make Connections!

Gone are the days when you get a job based solely on what you know. Many times, if you want to even be considered for a position, you must know someone within the organization. It is well known that approximately 60-75% of all job openings are never advertised, which is why networking is so critical. Getting an interview with a company to which you have zero personal connections is nearly unheard of anymore. During these challenging economic times, it comes down to a combination of what you know, who you know, and who knows you.

So get out there and meet new people. Join a local networking group. Make meaningful contacts online via social media. Talk to friends and colleagues of your parents (they really are an INCREDIBLE resource!). Do whatever it is you need to do to build your personal and professional network because you will need them to help you get your foot in the door somewhere. And never, under any circumstances, send a general cover letter and resume out to every company in town. “To Whom It May Concern.” Take the time to conduct some research online, though informational interviews, networking, etc. to learn then ames and titles of key staff members within the organization you are considering.

Stand Out!

With unemployment at 9.5% it’s no secret that this recession has taken a serious toll on the job market. But fear not! There are jobs out there! The competition may be a bit tougher, but they exist. So what will do you to stand out from the hundreds, or dare we say thousands, of applicants vying for your dream job? You are unique and you offer your very own perspective and tremendous value to whatever position you apply for, so come up with a way to illustrate that!

To avoid becoming a wallflower in your job search, commit yourself to building a strong personal brand. If you are making strategic connections and demonstrating your worth to prospective employers, you won’t be just another applicant.

Volunteer!

Looking for a job is definitely a full-time job in and of itself, but consider finding a volunteer position that will help you gain new skills for your next paying gig. There are so many non-profits looking for people to help in an administrative capacity. Do you want to gain writing skills? Volunteer to write copy for a non-profit’s website or promotional materials. Interested business administration or finance? Help with the book-keeping. Interested in event planning or PR? Help them plan events and/or gain publicity for the events.

This kind of skills-based volunteering is mutually beneficial for obvious reasons, but what’s in it for you is relevant experience, a resume builder, expanding your personal/professional network and maybe even a professional recommendation. For more information on skills-based volunteering, check out SmartVolunteer.org.

Freelance!

If you’ve never considered freelancing, now’s as good a time as any to do so. While you look for a job, think about how you can market your talents to companies on a contract basis. Many employers are hesitant to hire full-time employees right now, so take advantage of this trend and offer to do some work as a contractor. Not only will this give you valuable experience in your field, it also helps you get meet new people, showcase your talents and build an impressive portfolio of work.

As you continue your job search keep MyPartTimePRO in mind. We are ready to connect you with employers who are looking to fill non-traditional positions within their companies. When you consider temp-perm, contract or seasonal positions, you expand your job search in ways you never thought possible!

Good luck and happy hunting from the folks at MyPartTimePRO.com!

Recruiting Recent College Grads

June 24, 2010

If your company is interested in hiring entry-level professionals, you’re in luck! The market has just been flooded with eager college graduates ready to enter the job market and they’re looking to you for their first big career opportunity.

Not sure if you want to invest in a recent college graduate? Maybe you just don’t know where to look for the best and the brightest? We want to give you a quick rundown on the benefits and how-tos of hiring an entry-level employee fresh out of college.

Benefits:

There are many benefits to hiring a recent graduate!

Affordability – In most industries, an entry-level position makes a salary which reflects their inexperience. Your investment in a recent college grad will often yield a higher return than it would with a more experienced new-hire because they are more eager to contribute to your team and they bring a new point of view to your company.

A Fresh Perspective – Recent graduates don’t just increase the diversity of your company, they also bring brand new ideas to the table. They can put you ahead of the competition by encouraging innovation and staying at the forefront of industry trends.

Enthusiasm – The passion of a recent graduate is often unmatched among seasoned professionals. They are eager to be a part of your team and are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. They bring a new level of energy and “can do” attitude which, when challenged appropriately, has the potential to make early contributions to the organization. They also have developed an amazing habit of learning which renders them highly trainable once you invest in their talents.

How to:

Your company is probably already being bombarded by resumes from graduates (and if it’s not, chances are it doesn’t have a very strong online presence which is another post entirely!).

So how do you pick out the best ones from the stack? Beyond matching qualifications to job descriptions, it is important to do a little online research on your most compatible applicants for your organization.

For instance, does he/she have a profile on LinkedIn? If so, what do they say they’re looking for? What do they tout as their talents? Remember, they may not have much work experience or many contributions to boast about, but in today’s aggressive job search climate, they should have a strong online presence with information that resonates with what your company is looking for.

When researching other popular social media sites, it’s important to keep in mind that applicants haven’t always created their profiles for professional reasons. Sometimes, however, they can give a prospective employer a good idea of whether or not he or she is a good fit with the company. The internet provides you with unique opportunity to go beyond resumes and interviews and find employees who share your company’s values. You should resist however the urge to probe too far on the internet. It would not be wise to discover information inadvertently that is protected by federal or state laws, such as religion, health status and national origin (another blog post we’ll cover later).

So take advantage of the next few months while graduates are on the hunt for their first big break for a company like yours. And don’t forget that traditional employment isn’t your only option! Look into contract to hire or part-time options too!

Looking to Ditch Your Traditional 9-5?

June 4, 2010

Currently Reading...

If you’re looking for some practical advice on creating your ideal career, one that will earn you more money while taking up much less of your time, we would like to recommend The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Working Less, Earning More by Jeff Cohen (and not just because it talks about MyPartTimePro.com!).

We like this book because it provides real, easy-to-follow advice on being your own boss. The strong focus on freelancing, consulting and running your own business is perfect for people looking to get out of a traditional, full-time position, and start earning more by working less!
In one chapter, Freelancer Begins with the Word “Free,” Jeff Cohen debunks many myths about having a freelance or consulting career and suggests ten websites as excellent resources for freelancers. Here’s what Cohen has to say about MyPartTimePro.com:

How it works: Designed to meet the needs of Part-time employees, this site is devoted to experienced professionals who simply no longer want a traditional corporate job. Opportunities include freelance gigs, virtual careers, job-sharing openings, seasonal employment, project –based work, and telecommuting. After posting your profile, you’ll receive regular e-mails listing openings that match your skill set.

What I Like: The service is free because costs are paid by employers who post openings. The site makes my job easy with the consistent e-mails highlighting jobs that meet the predetermined employment criteria I listed in my profile.” (Cohen 122)

So if you’re serious about freelancing, consulting or starting a business, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Working Less, Earning More by Jeff Cohen is a fantastic resource. And if you’re interested in finding a non-traditional career that provides more work/life balance, check out our website, MyPartTimePro.com, and start your search today!

Have you read any other books lately that help job seekers find part-time, temporary, or project-based employment? We’d love to hear your recommendations!

Cohen, Jeff. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Working Less, Earning More. Alpha Books, 2008. 122. Print.

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