Posts Tagged ‘applicant tracking’

What Mobile Phone’s 40th Birthday Has Taught Us About Technology

Friday, April 5th, 2013
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It’s hard to believe that mobile phones are 40 years old. From the Trigger Happy TV style cement-block to the sleek iPhone 5, technology has advanced so much that our landlines are practically redundant, pining the old days where they were so wholly relied upon.

And personally, I do not believe that technology is a bad thing. I even found out how to properly spell ‘onomatopoeia’ from auto-correct the other day. A device that allows me to interact with fellow humans and simultaneously help my spelling surely can’t be a bad thing, right?

But the important thing is that technology is subordinate to real human interaction, and that’s the clincher.

Technology at PPS is imperative to the work that we do. Our tailor-made MORS system allows both us and our clients to have full control over the recruitment process and deliver a fair and consistent process for all candidates. However, the most important part of our work doesn’t come from intricate coding. It comes from communication. Real, human communication and a supportive recruitment process that means that we get feedback like this from candidates:

“I’ve never come across a company so committed to getting the right staff that they walk you through every step of the recruitment process. Keep up the good work.”

“Every time I contacted the recruitment team, I felt welcomed and never felt an inconvenience – they were extremely helpful and friendly.”


How do you use technology in the recruitment process?

yammaWritten by Hannah Adkins, Marketing Executive at PPS Works

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Pussycat Dolls, the X Factor and Attracting Talent to Your Business

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
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Now I’m no X Factor fan but something did catch my eye this week.

It appears that for the first time in the show’s history, researchers have been actively scouting and encouraging bands and performers to audition for the show.  In fact it turns out that half of this year’s X Factor finalists have been actively approached to apply.

Now I can’t quite recall ever agreeing with the Pussycat Dolls (until now), but as former member Nicole Scherzinger

comments- “I think it’s great….it opens up the pool for wider talent”.

If her record career should ever dry up, Ms Scherzinger might just find she has a glittering career in HR/Resourcing

The Pussycat Dolls speak sense!


The point is, she is absolutely right.  The producers clearly want to deliver quality for the ‘interview’ panel (and TV audience), so they proactively approached the market to see what it had to offer.

The same rings true of your recruitment attraction strategy.

On the surface there is little wrong with advertising vacancies online and waiting for applications to drop in.  But a resourcing attraction strategy whose success is heavily reliant on the right candidate applying to your advert, at exactly the right time is both flawed and high risk.

If your HR team lacks the time, technology or specialist skills and expertise required to entice high quality talent into your business, you will eventually get found out.  Vacancies will remain unfilled, gaps will be recruited to with expensive agency staff or worse still, below par applicants may end up being recruited.

At PPS we are the recruitment engine behind many recognised UK brands.

Our outsourced recruitment services have helped the likes of Halfords, Severn Trent, Turning Point, Oasis Dental, Hermes and Lloyds Pharmacy to find, attract and select high-quality applicants to their businesses.

If you would like to talk to any of our clients about our work and how we have helped them please get in touch on 07939 297 337.

Written by Lee Burman, Business Solutions Manager at PPS Works

Connect with Lee on LinkedIn

Twitter: @leeburman

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What is a talent pool?

Friday, September 7th, 2012
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What is a talent pool?

PPS define and deliver talent to clients in the shape of staff who, as a minimum, add above average value to their company – through quality of work, and longevity of service. Talent exists at all levels within a company, from Industrial Placements to Executives.

Confusingly we also refer to the function of our Applicant Tracking System to be able to store pools of applicants as Talent Pool technology. Even though there is not always talent in the pool!

 So let us try to be clear!

Registering your interest to work for a company via their website will submit some of your basic details (sometimes only name and email address) to their recruitment database. This does not immediately qualify you as talent for that client. In fact for some of our clients, their pool of applicants who have registered an interest is so large, yet so unfocussed to their needs, that finding talent within it is like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, everyone in this pool has expressed an interest in working specifically for your

What is a talent pool?

What is a talent pool?

organisation. Whilst you may not be able to offer them a job, what you can do is treat them well. With good communication, timely updates and company information, you build on that interest. In time, they will become good customers, if not talent, and will be more prone to use your services or recommend true talent to you.

What about the biggest pool of them all – the job boards. It takes some time, but amongst the millions of Candidate details on the hundreds of job boards in the UK, there resides most certainly a good quantity of talent. You just need to know how to find it. An advance working of Boolean search helps here, and then to remember that they might not know who you are, so a practised ability to win them over will help. Many of our clients source a good deal of true talent via this method (with our help).

And the best talent pool of the lot? The individuals who have applied specifically to work for you, who you have screened for talent potential, and that are sitting in a pool that you are nurturing until the next suitable job role comes along. Particularly in the current times, good applicants often, though far from always, exceed the number of current vacancies. But for many clients, those vacancies will come along again before too long. So keep the good candidates, who have already cleared the first hurdle of wanting to work for you, and the harder second hurdle of being of the correct calibre to be real talent for you, interested, excited and ready to go as soon as the next vacancy arises.

Focussing on the bottom end of the list of ‘talent pools’ will save you time – a much better ratio of potential applicants to job offers, and money – less need to spend on advertising if you have a ready-made pool of applicants waiting to hear from you, when you recruit.

What does a talent pool mean to you? How much talent is in yours?

- Will Shepherd, Director of PPS

Connect with Will on LinkedIn

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Can recruitment tools be used for Volunteers?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
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Volunteering is rewarding and socially beneficial. It’s rewarding for people who want to use their professional skills and knowledge to benefit others, to give back to an organisation that has positively impacted on their life, either directly or indirectly or make a difference to the lives of others less fortunate. Socially, it can also be a great way to meet new people, make new friends and get to know your local community.

However the wider sociological and economic impact of volunteering can’t be ignored.  With the highest youth unemployment in decades – volunteering is also a great way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing a CV and improving one’s employment prospects.

Volunteering can be rewarding and socially beneficial.

As an ageing UK population volunteering also offers opportunities for older people who are now working longer, who have valuable skills and experience.
It is also for many organisations an important route to other types of engagement with the organisation, such as part time or full time working.

Click here to read more of PPS’ Managing Director, Amanda Marques’ thoughts on recruiting volunteers

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Talent Pools – What are they?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011
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What are Talent Pools?

A talent pool is typically defined as a database consisting of profiles of candidates who are actively interested in your organisation. If companies have to fill a vacancy, they can draw on the talent pool and look for a means of profile-matching appropriate applicants and job opportunities.

 In the RPO world they are a great tool for helping clients to recruit more efficiently.

Talent pools are usually created when:

  • There is a surplus of candidates that meet the requirements of the role.
  • Candidates apply for a role where although they may not be suitable for that role, they would be an ideal candidate for another.
  • Candidates apply for a role where they are slightly out of the area or have a mismatched salary requirement.

The Benefits of Talent Pools

Click here to read about the benefits of talent pools

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Talent Pool

Friday, December 10th, 2010
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What is a talent pool?

Talent pools are everywhere now.  In the simplest terms they are sources of potential candidates for companies that are recruiting.  If you have applied for a job recently then the chances are you will have entered a talent pool at some stage in the process.

The main routes to a talent pool are:

Online job boards

Online job boardsTechnology has transformed both the way we look for jobs and how companies look for candidates.  Many candidates now post their CV along with a brief profile to online jobboards.  These online job boards allow categorisation for industry, job type, experience and educational levels.   Both recruitment agencies and end user clients can then pay to search these online talent pools to find suitable candidates.

There are no real restrictions to entry for candidates but with the industry growing so fast candidates should ensure to keep track of where they are registered, as the responsibility for keeping a record up to date lies with themselves.  In order to be found by relevant companies candidates should familiarise themselves with how companies would search for candidates of a similar profile.

Before posting your CV and profile you should consider some key facts about the job board.  Is it a good match for your experience, industry and job level?

Specialist agencies

Specialist recruitment agencies advertise in a variety of different places.  Once you register withan agency, your details will be held in their talent pool; coded in such a way that they can match potential jobs to your skills and experience.

Recruitment consultants will tell you if they choose to register you and if they do then administration methods vary.  Some will require you attend an interview inperson.  In all cases you should keep your recruitment consultant up to date with your current situation and update your skills and experience as appropriate.

Recruitment consultants often pro actively try to generate business using the CV’s of good candidates registered in their talentpool.  Make sure you understand how you will be informed if your details are presented to a client.  It could cause difficulties later if you apply directly.

End user clients:

Most companies using progressive recruitment methods are now using online application forms and applicant tracking technology.  “Weeding out” questions during this online process will determine  minimum criteria;such as right to work and essential skills.  Without this, an automatic rejection email will be sent.   This means that when candidates apply on their website, or through a link in an on-line advertisement, a talent pool is automatically created of all candidates who have passed the minimum criteria.

By creating a talent pool companies are avoiding unnecessaryadvertising and administration time. They are also removing the need to pay a recruitment agency fee (often as high as 30% of salary) for somebody who has found them themselves.

Talent pools are not a new phenomena.  Companies have been developing them for years in order to have a ready to draw on group of candidates with the right skills and experience.  In the past they wouldhave been manually kept and filed; now they are automated and electronic.

So be prepared for the fact that when you apply for a job,or log your CV on a job board, you may be making yourself part of a future talent pool. Make sure that your CV and covering letter are specific enough for the role that you are applying to, but also broad enough to appeal to anyone delving into the talent pool in a few months time.

Written by Amanda Marques, Business Solutions Director at PPS recruitment process outsourcing

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Can you predict the future?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
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Target audiences of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) development

Software houses large and small have always touted that their product is the best, and that they have `THE solution` for you. However in the real world, the solutions they have are usually based on core models, which make assumptions about you and your process. They endeavour to `predict` what you are going to need and want. Some do it very well, others not so. However in doing so are they listening to you, or are they looking to get you onboard, and then `fix` their system to suit?

How much time and money is wasted every day on reformatting documents, entering data no one needs, double handling documents, filling out application forms or sending emails that get ignored? Not to mention the feature rich application software you have bought all that time ago only to find that nobody uses the features, and only one tenth of the software is being used.

Image of SMS on PPS ATS

SMS communication with multiple candidates

Our experience is that every client is as different and individual as every candidate. `Off the shelf ` packages serve a purpose, yes, but in reality, everyone is unique in one way or another. Therefore trying to apply a uniform process to recruitment is always going to have shortcomings.

By using a set of base packages and swapping in best fit modules or custom building to suit the process in each case allows for a rich offering in terms of MI, user experience, efficiency and ultimately cost.

ATS screen shot

Custom built ATS

However to get to the `best fit` we also believe that as a recruitment partner, we need to listen to your needs and requirements, not force or impose `software driven` restrictions on the way you work. In most cases, businesses have evolved their own best solutions to recruitment, they often know where the most appropriate candidates will come from and how to source them. For us it is a case of using this knowledge and enhancing it. Making the tool fit you, and not the other way round. For new businesses that are in need of support we use our industry knowledge to take that step with you, allowing you to develop and enhance your own brand recruitment strategy.

We can’t always predict the future, but we make sure you are equipped to deal with it however it turns out!

Written by Darren Edwards – IT manager at PPS

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Fixed fee recruitment – the benefits and pitfalls

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
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Fixed fee recruitment – the benefits and pitfalls

There are more and more fixed fee recruitment models entering the market.

You’ll get no argument from me that the contingent fee model that most agencies use doesn’t constitute value for money. Particularly not when you consider how much the internet and internet based advertising has automated the actual process of applying for a job. But I believe that reducing unnecessary fees should never be contemplated if it includes a compromise in quality.

So should we be applauding these new kids on the block?

I’m not so sure….

Automate is the key word here; just because something is automated and on-line, doesn’t make it an efficient process. In fact, it’s not very different to the services that most major job boards were offering years ago.
Choice is good. The choice to get extra help in busy times can be a useful benefit for teams that are short on resources. The attractiveness of this choice is only heightened when the cost of a “fixed fee service” is contrasted with that of using a recruitment agency, particularly when the lower end of the prices on offer is now less than £500.00.

However, many “fixed fee” recruitment agencies have the same pitfalls as traditional agencies.

Efficiency: Some fixed fee models simply advertise and either send all applications to the client or undertake minimal screening. Without modern applicant tracking technology, this creates the same issues that exist if the advertisement was simply placed directly by the client.

Quality: Recruiting the best quality candidates is about attraction and assessment. Most fixed fee agencies don’t CV screen or interview. Without a quality focus in the recruitment process, costs may be low, but staff turnover will be high – and this turnover will inhibit the results that businesses can deliver.

Employer Brand: Without a focus on the quality of the recruitment process, and the response to all applicants, employers will continue to struggle to improve their employer brand – which in turn makes it harder to attract the best talent. Fixed fee agencies are about generating high response – they do not have an answer as to how to adequately deal with that response from a brand perspective

Exclusivity: While clients may find a suitable candidate, most fixed fee agencies do not offer exclusivity of the candidates that are submitted or that apply to their jobs.

Management Information: Without clarity on the ratios of success from each on-line site used, clients are unable to assess the best attraction sources for their employment brand. And a recruiter should really be judged on the quality of the candidates that it helps to recruit over the long term in regards length of service. Fixed fee recruiters may offer little in the way of management information.

In summary; outsourcing the posting of an advertisement can save time and deliver savings to the cost of advertising on line. However it doesn’t add the recruitment expertise that can in the long term enhance your employer brand, reduce turnover and help you to make the strategic decisions that will deliver an efficient, quality focussed recruitment partner.

Watch out for other hidden costs in fixed fee models. Too many applications will steal valuable time from your managers. Poorly screened candidates that make it through a process will reduce productivity in your teams and add to the internal workload of training and induction.

So are we against fixed fee recruitment?

No, but we do believe that in order for any recruitment partnership to add value:

  • Candidates should have a positive experience, no matter what the outcome.
  • The process should deliver the best quality applicants in the most efficient and cost effective way.
  • The client should have exclusivity of all applicants, in order to protect their employer brand.
  • Turnover costs should be monitored closely and management information should evidence the value of the solution as well as assist in longer term decisions.

It will always be difficult to look at the resourcing of employees in a purely commoditised way. Their recruitment journey, their input, how long they stay and the many and varied costs involved, make the decision more complicated than most other resources.

In order to assess success, more than just the “fixed fee” itself needs to be considered.

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