Match Game

In a recent telephone survey, readers complained how difficult it is to find new employees with the right mix of skills. To help them in their search, this month’s cover story offers an in-depth look at the latest Internet recruiting tools and provides advice on how to find the perfect addition to your team.

While the first chemical processing industry “career centers” on the Web were often little more than a blurb, a few photos and an e-mail address for resumes, Internet recruiting has now evolved into a sophisticated interactive engine with the ability to automate virtually every facet of the hiring process.

Software makers have been busy inventing tools that enable chemical processors to pre-screen applicants online, “inhale” resumes and automatically redistribute resume data into company databases. They also automate the process of candidate referrals from in-house personnel with easy-to-use Web portals. Meanwhile, other software makers are helping to automate recruiting by creating diamond-in-the-rough talent search software that goes after top management level applicants. Such packages can be customized to search the Web for ideal “passive” job candidates, based on what those pros and other candidates post on industry blogs, mailing lists, journals, industry association sites and the like.

The result? All the new tools, along with chemical processors’ ever-increasing reliance on the Web, has made Internet recruiting big time and big business, and — according to some surveys — the No. 1 recruitment tool for employers. In fact, a survey of leading U.S. companies released in February by Booz Allen Hamilton found that 51 percent of all new hires in 2005 originated on the Internet — with the greatest number of those hires coming from employers’ own Web sites.

“The Internet has transformed the way American employers attract and hire employees,” says Dr. Richard Cober, team lead on the Booz Allen Hamilton survey. “Employers are giving serious thought to how the Internet can be better used for driving applicant flow.”

This month’s cover story provides an overview of the latest developments in Internet recruiting along with pointers on where to go for more information.

Resume Inhalers
Web site resume inhalers are great time savers that are often components of larger automated online recruiting software packages. Essentially, resume inhalers work by auto-extracting resumes from an e-mail box or other online storage space and then map the mined data into a recruitment database.

PC Recruiter’s Inhaler (www.pcrecruiter.com/products_inhaler.htm) is designed for such a task and is pre-programmed to recognize the resume formats of leading job boards and resume banks. The software can also be programmed to recognize custom formats — items such as forms downloaded from your company Web site or resume formats from an e-recruiting partner. PC Recruiter’s Inhaler can also be configured to send an automated e-mail response to someone who submits a resume.

Other packages that include various spins on the resume inhaler concept include RecruitTrack Recruiting and Staffing Software from DGCC.com LLC (http://www.dgcc.com/), Electronic Recruiting and Staffing Management Solution from GHG (http://www.ghg.com/) and Humanis from Questek Systems (http://www.questekinc.com/).

CH2M Hill (www.ch2m.com/corporate) uses a resume inhaler from Real Resume Technology (http://www.realresume.com/). Real Resume’s approach is somewhat different. It uploads resumes created in various word processors and then converts those documents into GIF, PDF or another user-chosen image format for easy viewing and storage.

Pre-Screening Software
Web site pre-screening software packages enable recruiters to custom design online questionnaires featuring basic job requirements. They’re a great time saver for both parties. Using this software, chemical processing companies can automatically separate the wheat from the chaff, and potential applicants learn very quickly whether or not they’re actually qualified for the job being advertised. Pre-screening software also enables companies to get very detailed information about an applicant’s background including information that might not ordinarily be included on a standard resume.

But probably one of the greatest advantages of this genre of online recruiting software is that the application is customizable. Each organization has the ability to program in the pre-screening questions it considers crucial. And while applications for typical positions across the industry look similar, some of the pre-screening questions on those applications do vary — a reflection of the way company cultures vary throughout the industry.

For a look at pre-screening software, check out COREquisites by Interview Exchange (www.interviewexchange.com), which uses weighted scoring to screen applicants. The company also makes a companion tool, Public Profile, which enables online applicants to judge how they stack up against other applicants seeking the same job. Generally, applicants who judge for themselves that they’re not competitive tend to move on and save both parties time and effort.

Other customizable pre-screening recruitment packages include JobQ from Axiom Systems (http://www.axiomsoftware.com/), StaffCV from StaffCV (http://www.staffcv.com/) and WebPAS from VCG (www.vcgsoftware.com).

In-House Referral Portals
“The best people I’ve hired came through somebody I knew — a referral,” says Jason Goldberg, CEO of Jobster, a job board that uses referrals as its primary method of matching jobs with candidates. “The job found them.” Luckily, a chemical processing company can create its own referral portal on its own site with products such as Referred Hire from Interview Exchange (www.interviewexchange.com/static/newsL27.jsp;jsessionid=1424BAB004884C56B88F31BFC2749331). The software essentially creates a secure domain on a company Web site where employees can go to recommend friends and professional acquaintances for current openings and receive a “bounty” for a successful hire.

Even if you don’t opt for a stand-alone referral portal, you can still reward employees for referring top talent to your company with a simple data field in your online pre-screening form where the applicant can fill in the name of the referring employees. That’s the approach used by MeadWestvaco (www.meadwestvaco.com/corporate.nsf), which requests online applicants to include the name of the employee who referred them when applicable.

Job Boards
While posting on every “free jobs” board can quickly turn into a waste of time, there are a few free sites, such as Google Base (http://base.google.com/), where such posting makes sense. The reason? Google Base enables you to embed keywords and phrases that describe the job being offered. You can also embed keywords and phrases that help describe the characteristics and qualities you seek in applicants. There are a number of chemical processing companies advertising on Google Base as well as a number of chemical industry related headhunters including Think Energy Group (www.thinkenergygroup.com/think.nsf/JONumAlpha/42360?Opendocument), Eng
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