February 10th, 2011
posted by Brian Peddle
I was recently talking to a friend who is a recruiter and asked him what tool he is using to keep track of all his resumes. His response, “I just create folders broken down by skill/location.” All of his data is stored locally in Windows folders and in all likelihood, is not being backed up. This is his livelihood and in 2011 he is operating like it is 1995. As a person who spends his days architecting solutions to make sourcing and hiring easier, this is painful to hear. I do understand there are financial commitments with a solution. I also understand the “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality. I find that many recruiters are averse to change and may be a little nervous to try something new. Change can be good though, especially if it makes your life easier. This will make your life easier.
For those of you who are stuck in 1995 or have no budget and want to try something new and free, Chatter.com just might be something worth trying.
During Superbowl XLV, salesforce announced Chatter.com — “Chatter.com—a free, private and secure social network just for your business. With Chatter.com you can connect with your coworkers to work together and be more productive. Updates on the people, projects, and files that you care about most are automatically pushed to you, so you always know what’s going on.”
With a little creativity you can leverage Chatter.com to store, tag and full text search resumes. Let me show how quickly and easily you can start doing this today.
First visit Chatter.com and enter your company e-mail, it cannot be a personal e-mail. Once submitted you will receive an activation e-mail from Salesforce Chatter. Follow the link and fill out a simple form asking for your name and company info. Next you will create a username, password and security question. That is it — you now have a Chatter account. You will get prompts to invite co-workers or to create some suggested groups; you can skip these if you like and get right to setting up your instance of Chatter to be a sourcing tool.
For the remainder of this example I will act as a technical recruiter that focuses on a few specialties.
The first thing I want to do is create a few groups that I can drop candidates into. Select the ‘Groups’ tab and then ‘New Group’.
If you are the only one using this account you can leave the Group Access set to Public, however if you will have a few co-workers using this account you may want to set the Group Access to Private and then grant access as you desire.
After setting up a few groups you should have something that may look like this.
Now that we have a few groups setup it is time to add some resumes. Select one of your groups, in this case I have selected ‘Java Developers’.
Select ‘Upload a file from your computer’. You will be prompted to pick a file from your local computer. By default it will prefill the Name field to the file name however you can edit this if you like. You can enter a description if you want which will be searchable later. Finally you can tag it with something like #java #cto #sql or whatever keywords you like to use. This will be very beneficial later as you will be able to click on that tag and get back all candidates you have tagged with that keyword. Remember you need to use the pound symbol (#) in front of the keyword so you can later just click on it to search for that keyword.
Once you have attached and entered the information click ‘Share’ and the file will be uploaded and indexed so it can be searched. Chatter will generate a preview of the document that when clicked, will pop open a window displaying the file so you don’t need to download it to view it. The Preview link may not show up right away and the data might not be searchable instantly; give it a few minutes and both will happen.
If you have a resume that could belong in multiple groups you can follow the same process as above. Select the group and attach a file, this time instead of uploading a file from your computer choose “Select a file from Chatter”. Select the resume from the list you want to add to this group and now it belongs to your original group as well as this additional group.
As you can see this is just one simple way to manage candidates you can get very creative with groups, descriptions and tags to get even more power of the system. From here you can add comments (notes) to the resume. In those comments you can do even more tagging. For example, “Might be a good fit for the Salesforce position. Job ID #600123”. As you add comments to multiple resumes you can quickly click on the job id and get a listing back of all the potential candidates you tagged for it.
A couple of other quick points — Chatter works on the iPhone, iPad and Blackberry and you can download a desktop chatter app where you can drag resumes right from your desktop into Chatter. So instead of being locked down to your PC you can access your valuable data from just about anywhere you are and on most devices.
You are now ready to start uploading and searching all of your candidates. Welcome to the Cloud!