New Technology Changing Nature Of The Job Search

Chris Silva

Employers have become more selective with new hires, thanks to the advent of advanced screening tools and other technologies, according to job recruiters and human resource officers.

While the new technology can ultimately prove beneficial to candidates and companies, experts said, the change can prove jarring for job seekers who may not have searched for work recently.

For instance, very few large companies still accept paper applications, said Tracie Frank, a Nashville-based executive recruiter. And Beth Minter, director of talent and staffing for Nashville-based Emdeon, also emphasized the importance of recent tech innovations.

“I haven’t ran a newspaper ad in 15 years,” said Minter, who stressed the importance of actively networking in a city like Nashville that is built on connections. “There’s a lot of Tweeting and other activities in the community. It’s about building a pipeline so you can get people when you need them.”

Frank said companies have become more descriptive in what they’re looking for and that networking tools are helping them find candidates who may have been elusive before.

“Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, are fantastic tools that can help you reach the passive candidate who isn’t actively searching but would be a perfect fit for your opening,” Frank said.

Capella Healthcare, with headquarters in Franklin, has tapped executive recruiters like Frank to help find good candidates. The company made 27 hires in 2011, several of which were tech-related.

“There’s word-of-mouth, the Internet, job boards, executive recruiters, and then we’ll also post items to our own website,” said Carolyn Schneider, vice president of human resources for Capella.

Clinical information technology positions in particular have been sought as health care companies attempt to ratchet up the use of electronic medical records and standards, Schneider said.

Tracking the applicants

Experts note that an increasing number of companies use applicant-tracking systems, software that provides a central database for a company’s electronic recruitment efforts. According to 6 Figures Jobs, which manages a recruitment database and provides career advice, about 50 percent of mid-size companies, and almost all large corporations, use some type of applicant-tracking system.

“The use of an ATS helps keep all of your applications and resumes in one place,” Frank said. “A good ATS is a must for any company doing high-volume recruiting. It is used to not only protect the integrity of the process, but to more quickly respond to candidates.”

PureSafety, a software solutions company based in Franklin, noticed a difference in its recruitment efforts after it started using an applicant-tracking system earlier this year. The company hired 30 employees this year, largely for software or tech-related positions.

Mike Jones, vice president of human resources for PureSafety, said a tracking system provided him “an easier way of pushing out our job opportunities to our existing employee population, and they in turn would have an easy way to push it out to their social network.”

“About half of our hires come from our employees and/or their extended networks,” Jones said. “So, in particular this year, it’s made a significant positive difference in the candidates we’ve been looking for.”

LinkedIn has become a popular site for workers to scan for jobs — a trend recruiters have noticed, Jones said. PureSafety’s hiring system therefore targets the site.

“The tool we choose is great because it has bread-crumb capabilities, (meaning) it all traces back to somebody within my extended system,” Jones said.

Kim Cashio, director of human resources for BioMimetic Therapeutics Inc., agrees that LinkedIn has become a vital social tool when it comes to finding good job candidates.

“You find a lot of Internet utilization,” Cashio said. “Most of our initial contacts come through either a LinkedIn connection or our Internet site, where we have a link directly to an email address where resumes can be sent, and it comes directly to me.”