Archive for the ‘HRTech’ category

Newton Adds Cloud Apply and Auto-Fill Employment Applications to Applicant Tracking System

October 10th, 2014

Cloud Apply and ZenApp provide employers with a competitive advantage by offering their job applicants the easiest and most flexible way to apply to jobs, from any device or computer.

2F5B9818-D4E6-44D3-AF50-80DB23E0B37FRead this press release on PRWeb

Newton, the leading provider of applicant tracking systems and recruiting software for small and medium-sized employers, announced today the release of their Cloud Apply and ZenApp solutions, functionality that empowers employers to provide job seekers with user-friendly careers websites. The new tools provide job applicants with the ability to apply to jobs using resumes stored in cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Once resumes are uploaded, Newton’s new solution will also auto-fill the online employment applications for job applicants, creating an easy and expedient user experience.

About Cloud Apply:
These days not every job seeker is using a desktop computer to apply to jobs online. Newton leverages next-generation cloud-based file services like Google Drive and Dropbox, enabling job applicants to upload their resumes to employer’s careers websites with one click from any computer or smartphone.

“It’s no secret that job seekers have long been frustrated with the accessibility of employer’s online job applications. Now with the prevalence of personal cloud storage and the undeniable rise in mobile usage, the timing for Cloud Apply and ZenApp is perfect,” said Joel Passen, Newton’s Head of Sales and Marketing. “With this release, Newton continues to solve the real problems that plague both employers and job seekers. It’s a win-win.”

About ZenApp: Job Applications that Auto-Fill
In conjunction with Cloud Apply, Newton’s product team has significantly enhanced Newton’s smart document parsing capabilities. Available to employers now, the new enhancements will automatically fill out job applications in real time when job seekers upload a resume from any mobile device or desktop.

“You see a job. You upload a resume and the employer’s careers page takes the information and fills out the job application in real-time for you. As an applicant you can do this from a phone or computer. That’s meeting job seekers where they are. That’s making a first impression,” says Passen. “You don’t need to be a sophisticated technology company to use the best recruiting solutions these days. Newton is building smart, affordable solutions for any employer that wants to improve recruiting and hiring processes.”

Earlier this year, Newton released the first completely mobile, responsive applicant tracking system for employers. And now, with the release of Cloud Apply and ZenApp, Newton becomes the most comprehensive, fully-featured mobile recruiting solution for small and medium-sized employers of its kind.

About Newton: ?Newton is an applicant tracking system designed to organize and improve internal hiring programs for small and medium-sized employers (30-3000 employees). The company was started in 2009 by corporate recruiters with the goal of developing hiring software that improves recruiting processes by offering powerful products that are easy-to-use, easy-to-purchase and easy-to-activate. Today, Newton is used by nearly 1000 employers that enjoy great customer service, free support, an intuitive product and constant innovation.

5 Ways to Determine if You Should Hire a Human or Robot

June 2nd, 2014

robot hiringThe robots are coming! The robots are coming! While robots are not actually an invading force akin to the British soldiers during the American Revolution, these mechanical constructs are definitely making a big impact in the modern business landscape.

In fact, it’s hard to open a newspaper these days without seeing stories about people losing their jobs to more efficient robots, such as in factory assembly lines or in emerging plans to use machines instead of people to flip burgers at fast food restaurants.

Benefits of hiring robots include their ability to work long hours without complaint or the need to rest, improved efficiency and more precision in delicate operations.

The rise of robots raises some questions among HR professionals. Will robots eventually take over more “white collar” jobs? How can employers prepare for the coming robot revolution with their hiring practices, and how can they know which jobs are better for robots and which are still more suitable for people to do?

With that in mind, here are five ways to determine if you should hire a human or a robot.

1. Does the job in question involve danger or a higher level of risk? Positions that involve moving heavy equipment or working with hazardous materials are prime candidates for robot replacement. We may even eventually see robotic police officers and military forces to ease some of the burden on our fragile human bodies.

2. Will your industry become increasingly reliant on automation in order to remain competitive? A recent report in Geekwire notes that the online giant Amazon is poised to deploy some 10,000 robots in warehouses across the globe by the end of 2014. Amazon currently uses about 1,000 robots, so this announced increase from CEO Jeff Bezos is likely going to catch the attention of other industry titans seeking to improve their efficiency.

3. Does the position you are hiring for require an artistic background or a high level of creative thinking? These kinds of jobs are not likely going to be filled any time soon with artificial creatures that have no sense of how the world really works.

4. Are you finding it tough to hire people for certain positions because they are boring or too repetitive? Technology Review noted that Aldo Zini of Aethon is developing robots on wheels to transport garbage, food trays, medicine and more in hospitals to free up people from such drudgery. As an added bonus, you should expect to see fewer repetitive-stress injuries in your workforce when you switch to robots for the most boring tasks.

5. What is your client base? You may be serving a population that is too squeamish around new technology, such as the very aged. Even if a robot can do a job faster and better than an ordinary person, you might lose business if the senior citizens you serve are creeped out by mechanical men and their strange noises and disproportional strength.

Artificial brains inside mechanical bodies do not have intuition, empathy and the vast amount of social experience and knowledge of human nature that HR professionals carry in spades. This means that hiring managers don’t need to worry about being replaced by these robots themselves any time soon, even as they cut the labor force with machines to do our most boring and repetitive tasks.

The Newest Trend in Applicant Tracking Systems

May 29th, 2014

Responsive is the newest trend for applicant tracking systems.

Today’s workforces are freer to work from anywhere they want to work. Employers expect people to be productive while on the move, which requires technology that empowers people to work from anywhere in the world, on whatever device they choose. As a result, workers are fueling the demand for mobile solutions. Employers must respond with responsive products. These platforms understand what screen size is being used to access the platform. Responsive platforms automatically provide context and will appropriately juxtapose the right data being displayed, with the right controls, on any device and on any browser, at speeds we’ve never experienced before.

If a vendor has no plans for creating a responsive version of their applicant tracking system in the next 6-12 months, this should be a huge red flag. 

When it comes to selecting an applicant tracking system, however, many organizations fail to ask the right questions. Employers have traditionally treated the hiring software selection process as a feature comparison—a static selection methodology that often ignores the most critical factor for success: user engagement. Without user engagement employers cannot expect to gain agility, collaboration, and efficiency from their hiring platform. Employers must understand each vendor’s mobile strategy before selecting a product.

Download and share the free Applicant Tracking System Trend Report to learn more.

What Machines Know: Can Algorithms Predict A Career Path?

December 2nd, 2013

Algorithms are quickly shaping and defining our world.

In a TED Talk from 2011, Kevin Slavin points out the algorithms that already affect our daily lives in “How Algorithms Shape Our World.” Most are at least partially aware of how algorithms are used in the stock market–buying and selling at an astronomically fast rate–but may not be fully aware of how heavily they are being used in our culture and day-to-day activities.

The Language of Machines

Physics and programming have begun to track how we work, move, play and shop. Machines are being taught to track our every move, discovering the best ways to sell, advertise and operate with algorithms. Cleaning bots in our house predict the most efficient ways to sweep a room, web history is tracked and searched for our interests and everything from elevators to predicted movie rental sites are being programmed to stay one step ahead of humans in our culture’s capitalist quest for ever-growing convenience, speed and efficiency.

This doesn’t stop with how we purchase–this is heading into the very heart of how we are recruited, hired and promoted. In the article “They’re Watching You at Work,” The Atlantic writer Don Peck writes:

Until quite recently, however, few people seemed to believe this data-driven approach might apply broadly to the labor market. But it now does. According to John Hausknecht, a professor at Cornell’s school of industrial and labor relations, in recent years the economy has witnessed a ‘huge surge in demand for workforce-analytics roles.

From Ivy League to Social Media Analytics

It is common for pedigree to mean something. When an Ivy League graduate with high marks and an impressive resume seeks a job, companies are recruiting left and right—a sought-after candidate for a high-level job. But what if candidates who are better suited for the job are falling through the cracks? Companies are beginning to look at algorithm programs and tests that can determine the productivity, creativity and professional promise of individuals based on everything from social media usage to how they play specifically-designed gaming apps.

Knack is a company that is doing just that. They have developed gaming apps like Wasabi Waiter that have successfully been tested to predict an accurate competency rate after just 20 minutes of play-time. The Atlantic notes:

How long you hesitate before taking every action, the sequence of actions you take, how you solve problems—all of these factors and many more are logged as you play, and then are used to analyze your creativity, your persistence, your capacity to learn quickly from mistakes, your ability to prioritize, and even your social intelligence and personality.

Reason for Concern

It’s easy to worry about the intrusion of machines in our lives, judging our potential. This concern, however, fails to consider the challenges of our current system: over and over it has been proven that with (often unknowing) bias we judge candidates and produce results rife with human error.

Gender, race, appearance and even personality are subject to our partiality and personal preference. Numerous studies show that our society is still not where we expect it to be in unbiased hiring practices. From the Atlantic:

Tall men get hired and promoted more frequently than short men, and make more money. Beautiful women get preferential treatment, too—unless their breasts are too large. According to a national survey by the Employment Law Alliance a few years ago, most American workers don’t believe attractive people in their firms are hired or promoted more frequently than unattractive people, but the evidence shows that they are, overwhelmingly so.

Hiring the Underdog

The inability of humans to remain completely objective forces us to be open to the idea of machines and their formulas to help predict the outcome of the hiring potential in candidates. Undervalued candidates will be found that are better suited for the jobs we are looking to fill. This, of course, begs the question: Will programmers and algorithm writers be able stay away from introducing bias into machine formulas? And in what ways will candidates try to beat the system?

Filling Positions Diversely Will Benefit Your Company

August 23rd, 2013

diverse hiringDiversity helps companies achieve business goals and, in an inclusive environment, 20% more employees state that they will stay at their organization, according to Corporate Executive Board (CEB) research. These findings and others were reported by Jean Martin in a recent “Harvard Business Review” article.

Martin observes that diversity initiatives such as mentoring, diversity councils and affinity groups are supported by management even during tough economic times. But is this investment paying off?

There are few firms with particularly diverse and inclusive populations. CEB research identifies bias, whether unconscious or conscious, as one of the key problems in moving qualified diverse candidates into leadership roles.

Innovative Processes to Counter Bias

Martin cites two examples of companies that utilize “objective-fit analysis” tools. These organizations succeeded in modifying their promotion processes to build diverse candidate slates and neutralize biases.

At Charlotte’s Duke Energy, managers prepare a candidate list for a specific position. At the same time, HR prepares its own slate by querying their data against a detailed position profile. Both lists are used to create the candidate pool. The combined list of qualified candidates may include some not known by the hiring manager.

CEMEX, a cement manufacturer headquartered in Mexico with 42,883 employees worldwide, developed a data tool to analyze employee profiles. Four factors in the profile – experience, knowledge, potential and performance, and personal – are created through lengthy testing and assessment processes. These leader profiles are matched against detailed position profiles to create a candidate slate.

EEOC and OFCCP Compliance Software

Duke Energy and CEMEX’s solutions are good innovations, but the newest technology in compliance should also be considered.  EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) compliance software can automate and streamline the hiring process, with functions such as recording voluntary EEO information (race, gender, ethnicity) as well as capturing a wealth of information needed during compliance audits, like applicant logs and flow data.

Take Advantage of Compliance Tech to Assess Candidate Diversity

When you’re ready to create your short list of candidates for interviews, a report from your compliance software will show qualified candidates (measured against minimum job requirements) with their EEO characteristics. If the candidate pool shows few or no benchmarks of diversity, you’ll know in advance that more work is necessary before the interviews start; for example, explore diversity job boards.

Do Software Developers Need Talent Agents?

April 30th, 2013

hiring star developersIn locations such as Silicon Valley where the best developers and programmers are often treated like rock stars, recruiters are starting to find that they sometimes have to deal with their agents instead of negotiating directly with them as potential employees. That’s right: Programmers now have agents like movie stars and directors, according to a new report by ABC News.

The report notes that competition for programmers has increased so much, they have their own talent agency. Altay Guvench, a programmer and musician came up with the idea to launch a talent agency called 10x Management after observing how music managers helped their musician clients find work. The term “10 X programmer” refers to a programmer who is ten times as productive than ordinary programmers, and only programmers and developers of this caliber are represented by the agency.

It makes sense that programmers now have agents helping them further their careers, given that a star coder can have such a major impact on a startup or an established project, much in the same way that a top notch director or actor can jump start a production and almost guarantee enormous sales at the box office.

Although the world of high tech doesn’t function in exactly the same way as show business, an agency model can be useful for helping growing companies quickly land the programming talent they need for their projects.

HR professionals may find it unusual to negotiate with an agent rather than directly with a prospective employee, but for some, the agency is making a difference in helping them get up to speed with the talent they need to ensure the success of their project.

The emergence of an agency such as 10 x Management only serves to underscore that the world of hiring high tech employees is evolving. While relying on talent agents to deliver excellent programmers may seem like the next best thing, the standard recruiting process still has plenty to offer.

However, companies need to keep up with finding new talent in a number of different fronts. This includes making sure that their recruitment process takes advantage of all forms of social media, for example, in an effort to reach out to the most elusive of the talented software professionals. This means turning to sites such as Twitter and using blogs to get out the word instead of simply relying on LinkedIn and Facebook. Recruiters also should verify that their online recruitment applications and careers sites should be quick to access and easy to fill out, to avoid turning off prospective candidates.

While it might take some getting used to, the advent of talent agents for programmers and developers may mean that recruiters need to present their companies in the most positive light to attract the rock star talent they need to thrive. Job  postings and careers sites must accurately convey a brand, and potential candidates need to be treated with courtesy and respect through all phases of the recruitment process.

New Tools For Hiring Talented Developers

April 23rd, 2013

tips for hiring developersNo matter where they are in the world, hiring managers have a tough job finding good developers. In Silicon Valley the task is particularly difficult, given the fast-paced, competitive environment.

One of the biggest challenges is just finding top notch developers at the right price who aren’t already inundated with employment offers, and then setting up meetings to determine if they would work well in your team. After this, you have to verify that the developer can actually do a good job at the task at hand: coding. Recruiting developers like this can be an arduous task that can last several weeks for a hiring manager.  And more often than not, just when it seems like you’ve found a great developer, you run into a snag and have to start the process all over.

This is where a new code editor called Codassium can make the hiring process much easier, as was recently reported on in TechCrunch. Codassium combines live video chatting with collaborative code editing.

Some developers are already accustomed to fielding requests to code on demand during the recruitment process. An interviewer might ask an applicant to code something to provide some new functionality to an existing project, for example, to see how well he or she understands the fine points. You might ask a developer how to improve something or to simply fix some broken code right in the office, evaluating performance under the fire of an intense interview.

The logistics of checking out a developer’s abilities can be a bit daunting. One way to go about it is to fly the developer right into your office.  Many savvy recruiters go the route of  using a video chat application alongside a collaborative editor, but this can be a messy process. Codassium simplifies the process by merging chat and collaborative editing in a single Web browser window.

Codassium has a fairly straightforward layout and is designed to be easy for people like hiring managers to use. You simply click a button to begin a chat and then enable your Web browser to access the feed from your webcam.

You then give the URL to the developer so you can make a connection. You can have multiple people participate in the video chat, which is useful when you want to get the opinion of one of your more talented programmers. Codassium enables syntax highlighting for the most-used languages, including C++, Objective-C, JavaScript and Python.

While new hiring processes like Codassium can make your job easier, not every hiring manager has the abilities to look along as people code while determining how “good” they are. This is why having an all around solid and effective hiring and recruiting process is a requisite to finding and attracting the best talent that is out there.  Watching a developer code on the fly can be very useful to determine whether they are talented , however there are many other factors that go into deciding on whether they are truly a good hire.

Intern Sushi: A Tool for Netting Interns

March 30th, 2013
Here’s the idea: Resumes are pretty useless when it comes to choosing interns. Actually, they’re pretty flawed in general, but they’re particularly bad for internships, where employers are probably choosing one or two candidates from a large list of applicants whose resumes are going to look pretty similar (because they don’t have much professional experience yet). Instead, with Intern Sushi, users are asked to create a profile that captures their personality and ambitions. That centerpiece of the profile is a short video, but users can include a portfolio of their work, too. They can also create content tailored to a specific opening, like a video cover letter outlining why they really really really want that internship.
Employers, meanwhile, can build a presence that isn’t just promoting a few openings, but instead the general company culture — so even if there isn’t an opening at the moment, a potential intern could still stumble on a company profile. Think, “Boy, I really want to work there,” and check back later. That’s one of the reasons Intern Sushi’s traffic continues to grow even when most companies aren’t looking for interns, said co-founder and CEO Shara Senderoff.

Intern SushiSpring has sprung. Kids are busting out their cargo shorts and sun dresses and heading to the quad. Plans are being hashed out to get to Spring Break to catch those DJ Pauly sets. Epic! And, yes, some of our more industrious youth are starting to fish for those coveted summer internships.

Meanwhile, many employers are starting to bait the traps for summer interns. Enter Intern Sushi. Intern Sushi allows employers to list internships in advertising/PR, TV, film, fashion, sports, publishing, art, music, theatre, web, technology and other industries. Interns create digital profiles that capture their personalities and ambitions. The spotlight of the profiles are short videos that can include a portfolio work, too. Interns can also create a video cover letters explaining why they’re interested in a specific employer.

The idea is to give interns a way to standout seeing as their resumes are typically fairly lean. Employers benefit by getting a snapshot of the applicants’ personalities before scheduling interviews. The basic service is free for both employers and interns, but the startup offers premium services to interns with features like early application periods and functionality geared towards the parents of interns. The company has also announced that it is planning a premium business product too. My guess this will be geared towards enhanced employer branding.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch

I am not willing to concede that resumes are dead. Sure, resumes have their flaws. However, I do agree with Intern Sushi CEO, Shara Senderoff,  that traditional resumes are generally useless when it comes to selecting interns. Interns have such a limited body of work that we generally end up focusing on education and interests. Intern Sushi presents that data employers need to take the next steps.

Put aside compliance fears and Intern Sushi could be the best use of  video interviewing yet. And, Intern Sushi has even started to manage the process of hiring interns by offering what appears to be light applicant tracking. This is a nice touch. While growth depends on a classic two cheek kiss, the need for both employers and interns to sign up, Intern Sushi is a great idea and has attracted some reputable brands. Will Intern Sushi duke it out on their own or could they be a good acquisition for Indeed or LinkedIn? Either way, Intern Sushi belongs on your fish finder.

Dice Rolls into the Candidate Sourcing Tool Market with Open Web

February 19th, 2013

Last week, Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals, rolled into the candidate sourcing tool market with Open Web, a recruiting tool that allows users to search approximately 50 social and professional networks and billions of web pages to create an aggregated or “super” profile of a candidate’s professional experience. Very similar to TalentBin and Entelo, Open Web from Dice allows recruiters to search for candidates with desired skills and experience across the web from one interface. The profile aggregation functionality pulls together the disparate pieces of information from across the web so recruiters can easily put together a meaningful story about candidates. “Open Web not only pulls in information about candidates’ professional experiences but also about their interests making it a valuable tool for collecting the underpinnings that contribute to assessing cultural fit,” said Jeff Winter, a professional recruiter and General Manager at technology search firm Gravity People in San Francisco.

Screenshot from Infoworld

Screenshot from Infoworld

Open Web is likely just the first roll for Dice. There are rumors that the tech job advertising leader is currently testing technology that will allow recruiting firms and employers to use the Open Web technology to update their candidate databases with the most current profiles of past job applicants. This could be another great tool for recruiters and employers that are constantly sourcing high-demand passive candidates. And, if that’s not enough, Dice promises to release a professional-facing tool that will enable tech professionals to view and interact with their Open Web profile as recruiters and employers see it.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch

Historically, Dice has been a strong player in the technology advertisement vertical. Their pricing has always been fair and their reputation is as good as, if not better, than any traditional job boards in the business. The release of Open Web starts the latest chapter for Dice, expanding their footprint into the white hot sourcing tools space. We don’t think Open Web is a big gamble. Dice has a unique advantage that can’t be overlooked. They’ve been active in the recruitment market for over 20 years. They understand their users and their buying trends. This is not just a group of smart engineers and fresh MBAs sitting around room guessing what recruiters do all day. These guys have seen the market evolve for 2 decades and they are jumping in the game with lots of chips.

Our hunch is that Dice with their significant customer base and brand recognition has a strong opportunity to run the table in the sourcing tools category. Their entry in this space will certainly create competition for smaller vendors with fewer offerings and little brand recognition. Open Web also gives recruiters a good alternative to LinkedIn which has created some negative equity recently with it’s aggressive sales tactics and high prices.

For more information about Open Web, contact dice:

“Hiring managers visit many places in their search for candidates with the right skills and experience for their open positions.  In today’s social grid, that’s a big dig – consuming a lot of time putting together disparate pieces of information from across the web,” said Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc.  “Now, Open Web makes it easy by consolidating all kinds of valuable, public information about technology candidates in one place.  In a few seconds, employers get unique profiles with real depth allowing both an understanding of the candidates’ qualifications and how to approach tech professionals on a more personal, direct level.

JobLark, Joins the Flock of Employee Referral Tools

February 4th, 2013

JobLark joins the growing flock of employee referral management products that have landed in the market over the past 18 months. Very similar to Zao, Goood Job, Sticky, Select Minds (Oracle) and dozens more Joblark leverages social networks to enable referrers to discover and refer job applicants. And like Zao, Joblark also allows employers to track and reward all the people that help make successful hires, whether they work for the employer or not. Joblark (like Zao) makes money by charging a fee once a hire is made.

Headquartered in Utah, JobLark appears to have around twenty or so employees and claims to have taken 1 million dollars in funding with 9 million more committed by Apple Tree Capital. Not much else is known about the company, the management team or active customers.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch

The employee referral management space is white hot but the space is getting crowded. The editors here at Hiring Sciences agree that ERM is an interesting niche in the HR Tech landscape but the window may be closing quickly for small upstarts like JobLark. Competition from applicant tracking software vendors, many of which already offer integrated employee referral management modules, will force standalone solutions like JobLark to focus on smaller employers with smaller budgets. Also, user adoption will pose challenges for the likes of JobLark as employees are inundated with tools and a standalone ERM solution may not carry the weight of other more mission critical systems. Overall, we believe the ERM space is very interesting and solutions like JobLark are making great use of social networks but it’s still unclear if a majority of employers are ready to adopt these new standalone tools.

If you are interested in learning more about JobLark visit the site at