Finding the Needle in a Resume Haystack.
In the highly competitive environment of technical
recruitment, time is literally money. Just ask Frank Wood or Phoenix Resources,
a recruitment firm in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In recent years, the job market for technically
skilled professionals, particularly in the computer and software industries,
is extremely competitive and it is becoming increasingly difficult for
businesses to find employees with the right combination of technical skills
to meet their requirements.
Companies turn to recruitment firms such as
Phoenix Resources because they have the facilities to find qualified candidates
more quickly than the client can using traditional, direct recruitment
techniques. The difficulty for recruiters in this job market is maintaining
a competitive edge. Most important is the ability to find candidates with
the right combination of skills and experience before a competitor firm
finds a matching candidate.
Due to the limited number of qualified candidates
in the market, and their tendency to register with several recruitment
firms at once, speed is becoming the primary concern for agencies wishing
to successfully procure contracts. The faster these firms can search their
resume database, the more likely they are of submitting a candidate first.
Phoenix Resources, like many recruitment firms,
maintains a repository of resumes from active job seekers and recruited
candidates as its primary search resource. In the past, it was customary
to organize this information using traditional filing systems, but advances
in software and hardware technology have provided recruiters with a huge
range of alternatives to this manual approach.
Improved scanning technology to convert paper
resumes into electronic files and specialized database systems to manage
resumes and candidates mean that the majority of an agency's information
now resides on a PC or network. Whilst this can make things a lot easier,
systems such as these were not meeting the needs of Frank Wood. Then a
colleague suggested he try the ISYS knowledge management software.
"What I needed was a system that would
let me perform searches on the entire text of all my resumes and email
files," said Mr Wood. "Many of the software products I tried
would not let me do this. What I like about ISYS is that it lets me perform
a true Boolean search on the resumes in my database and returns a list
of only those that meet my search criteria."
When doing a search for one of his clients,
Frank Wood is often constrained by very specific skill sets. Because ISYS
consults the entire resume, not a coded or fielded database subsection,
the criteria can be as specific and varied as the client wants. By entering
a query into ISYS such as "UNIX" and "Detroit", Mr
Wood is provided with a result list containing only those resumes that
include both search terms.
"Since ISYS searches the entire text of
each document rather than on specific fields in a database, nothing is
left out. With resume management systems that are built around fielded
databases, you are limited. You have to choose the information that you
want to store in advance. In some cases, the information that could mean
an ideal match for a client's needs might be omitted from a database system.
But ISYS can find that information anyway."
In fact, one of Frank Wood's recent success
stories hinged on ISYS' full text search capability. One of his clients
called up and told him they needed a developer with experience in Cullinet
systems. This is an older, highly specific technology often used for manufacturing
control applications and Mr Wood was doubtful whether he had any matching
candidates in his system. Nevertheless, he went to ISYS, entered the word
"Cullinet" and was pleasantly surprised when ISYS flashed up
a results screen listing not one but two resumes in his repository of
candidates referencing experience in Cullinet systems. Delighted with
the findings, Mr Wood referred one of the candidates to his client, which
eventually resulted in a job placement and a $17,000 commission for Phoenix
"If I had been using a database system
to manage my resumes, I might not even have listed the Cullinet references
as skills for these two candidates. Since ISYS was able to search the
entire text of these scanned-in resumes, I was able to isolate the candidates
from thousands of others," said Mr Wood.
Since then, Frank Wood has had a number of
success stories using ISYS to find qualified technical professionals to
meet his clients' staffing needs. ISYS has allowed Phoenix Resources to
search and retrieve information from its resume repository much more quickly
and efficiently than before, and to drastically reduce the response time
to its clients' requests.