Making the switch? Changing ATS providers is easier than ever.

It turns out that most HR technology users are fairly satisfied with their software, or at least agree “it isn’t crummy”. This is great to hear, as most of us software providers try very hard to make good products and keep users happy! Of course, there remain a good number of people and companies whose current software just isn’t making the grade. The good news is changing software providers is easier and faster than ever with current technologies.

Why make the switch?

  • Your current system isn’t robust enough. Your company has outgrown your software and has a different list of needs: maybe onboarding, in-depth metrics or support for more users has become critical. There’s nothing wrong with your current tech, but it’s time to upgrade to a bigger system.
  • Your current system is too complex. The opposite of the first problem: everyone wants more and more features, but sometimes simple is best. If your current technology is bloated, slow, and confusingly full of options you never use, it could be time to switch to a lighter software that better suits your hiring process.
  • Your current system just isn’t meeting your company’s needs. Whether these are requirements unique to your industry, budget issues, or a transition to a fully mobile candidate experience, there’s no one-size-fits-all ATS. It’s time to find one that can handle your company’s quirks.

What makes switching easy?

  • Most leading ATS providers are cloud-based. This software is faster to install and more flexible than a product installed and maintained on your company’s own servers. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), is basically a subscription software, instead of something you need to download and install. For these flexible and changing times, SaaS is best.
  • Modern and up-to-date providers have written their software with code that is much more versatile than older systems. Customizations, implementation and updates are all simpler to manage and faster to complete.

A warning if you are switching to an older platform: it might not be a fast or simple process at all!

What do you need from your current provider?

  • Check your agreement and see if you own your data (resumes & candidate information). If it belongs to the software provider, they can use that data and your company may not get to keep it.
  • If yes – and you wish to store that data in your new system – request for it in a non-proprietary format.

Consider how much data you really need to store. Instead of all existing data, limit to recent applicants, or a shorter date range. This will make the data file smaller, and easier to integrate into the new system.

What should you ask a new vendor?

  • What is their implementation process like? Look carefully at what type of materials they are asking from your company, and what their timeline is for a typical installation.
  • Can they import your existing data? How long might this take, and what fees are involved? This is likely to be an extra service, because every ATS system stores different sets of data, and does it in different ways.

Alberta Job Outlook 2015

The job outlook for Alberta is looking grim, according to Global News. In fact, it is expected to be one of the weakest years for job growth in the past 25 years.

Competition for skilled jobs is expected to be fierce in the coming year. With the cost of oil rising, the big players – and big employers – in the energy market are being more conservative instead of spending money on growth.

Experts say the the government should continue to support projects that create and maintain jobs for Albertans despite the economic downturn, however, it’s too early to say what the strategy will be to keep the employment rate high in 2015.

Video: Alberta Job Outlook

When to contact your references

During a job search, you want to be sure your references are available and willing to speak to potential employers. When is the best time to reach out and re-connect with your references?

Before you start applying

At the beginning of your job search, reach out individually to your references and re-confirm their willingness to act as a reference. Mention the types of jobs you will be applying to: this will help give them an idea of what an employer might ask them.

Contacting references at the start of your job search is very important. This will jog their memory, make sure they are still willing,  and give them a chance to make some notes so they are ready for a phone call. Being called out of the blue to talk about someone they might not have worked with recently is very challenging: don’t put yourself or your references in that situation.

After a great interview

When you’ve completed an interview and you feel like you have a good chance at the job, is when your references are most likely to be contacted. This is also when an employer will ask for your references if you haven’t already provided them.

If you want, you can touch base with your references again, saying to expect a call, and what the position is. This is not necessary, but if it has been a while since you first talked to them, it’s nice to give a heads up.

When you’ve landed the job

thank youYou’ve been hired! While this proves your experience, knowledge and interview skills have paid off, your references played a big role in vouching for you as a good employee. Now is the time to send a quick thank you message to them. Tell them you got the job, you appreciate their help, and will continue to stay in touch. Your references will want to know if you were hired and if what they said was helpful – don’t keep them in the dark here.

The most important time to contact your references is at the beginning of the job search process. Not only is this nice for the references, but will benefit you as they will be more prepared. Keeping in touch through a long job search, and notifying them you were hired are nice gestures that will keep this professional relationship strong.


How to Create a Great Personal Elevator Pitch

Imagine this scenario: Heading into an important job interview, you step onto the elevator of the corporate high-rise and, lo and behold, the human resources manager conducting the interview is standing beside you. Instead of maintaining a downward gaze and awkward silence or engaging in menial small talk, you smile confidently, introduce yourself, and launch into your elevator pitch.

Intended for these very types of scenarios, an elevator pitch is a carefully crafted, concise, and compelling speech that serves to sell your business, your product, or yourself by piquing your listener’s interest. Your elevator pitch should be short enough — roughly 150 to 225 words — to be delivered during an elevator ride; between 30 seconds and a minute. It should also be thoroughly rehearsed; know your pitch backward and forward so that when the opportunity presents itself, you can use it to get others excited.

When writing your elevator speech, focus on how to command your listeners’ attention while giving them pertinent information. Here are five steps to crafting a personal elevator pitch that’ll make you a hot commodity this year: Continue reading How to Create a Great Personal Elevator Pitch

Overused Resume Words to Avoid

Want your resume to be different? Avoiding these top 10 most commonly used buzzwords could be a good start. LinkedIn has compiled a list of commonly used terms across all users’ profiles. Here are the results:

What should you use instead of these great terms? Well, synonyms are fine, for example ‘motivated‘ or ‘driven‘ could be replaced by ‘inspired‘.  However, we suggest that instead of simply saying you are ‘passionate’ or ‘strategic’ give a concrete example on your resume proving it.

What problems did your strategy solve? How did you go above the expected because of your passion for the work?

Writing a resume using achievements instead of adjectives will make you stand out more than just switching synonyms. See the original story over at LinkedIn’s Blog:

Brand YOU Year: How to Brand Yourself Without Sounding Like Everyone Else