Bond Adapt to Structure Recruitment Data with HP Autonomy

AutonomyThe Autonomy Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) understands the meaning of information in any format, such as text, video, audio, or social media data. The ability to recognise patterns, concepts and ideas in the so-called “human information”, or unstructured data, is expected to provide a critical advantage in recruitment, where resumes are not consistently formatted and use a range of different phrasing or compressed language to convey the same information.
Autonomy IDOL’s ability to understand meaning in this way will make it possible to analyse the complete profile of a candidate, rather than try to match a series of keywords.

Bond Adapt’s customers include Adecco, Hays, Michael Page and Manpower. 

Autonomy has a broad customer base which includes the UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Homeland Security.

Professional contractors demand increased work flexibility from recruiting and staffing firms

The evolution of the workplace has created a new balancing act for employers and recruiting and staffing professionals. Millennial professionals, especially those in the creative and information technology fields, are looking toward the changing workplace as a sign that they need to be entrepreneurs. They are optimistic and idealistic that even if they are unable to get traditional employment, they will be ok because they are empowered by technology and a different way of thinking, reports The Miami Herald.

This mindset has led to an increase in the number of workers who are either completely freelance or working for themselves part time. More and more workers are looking at non-traditional employment options with the help of the digital evolution.

A new survey from oDesk has found that 72 percent of freelancers who have “regular” jobs are looking to quit and work entirely for themselves. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, 61 percent of those respondents are planning on quitting their job in the next year or two.

“We believe that the barriers of Industrial Age work simply don’t make sense for businesses that want to get more work done, or for workers who are demanding more freedom,” said oDesk CEO Gary Swart, according to the source. “No one today wants to be confined to a cubicle. As independent professionals embrace this freedom, hours worked on oDesk have increased eightfold since 2009.”

The study has found that this expansion in the idea of freelancing for a living is partially coming from the expansion of the work-life balance movement. Workers are looking for greater flexibility, which is now possible because of mobile technology.

“They are willing to trade traditional work experience for something that provides more freedom and flexibility,” said Swart. “They don’t want to be confined to a cubicle.”

As a staffing and recruiting professional, don’t for a minute believe that this will negatively impact business. With the right strategies and recruiting software, you can capitalize on this new trend. Businesses still require the work to get done, even if workers are not flocking to the corporate world. With the changes to the workplace, many organizations are now relying on these freelance workers or contingent forces to get things done. Capitalize on this need of workers and hiring managers by using staffing software to identify, place, payroll, and manage the right freelance worker for the job.

How cloud-based recruiting software can improve the coordination of your staffing and recruiting professionals

As the future of information technology infrastructure, the cloud is here to stay. What many small- to medium-business owners are finding is that cloud-based applications are at the forefront of advancing the services of localized brands. For small and medium staffing and recruiting firms, the cloud allows professionals to focus on core business practices instead of wasting company hours on IT issues.

Cloud offers accessibility
Cloud computing allows staffing and recruiting professionals to log onto a website and access all the tools and programs that employees require to do their jobs. The centralization of information and contact solutions makes it easier for workers to collaborate on projects and converse about day-to-day tasks that need to get done. All of the office productivity tools like email, calendars, word processing, databases, invoicing, CRM and – most importantly — the staffing and recruiting software containing candidate tracking is accessible in one place on any device – even mobile options like tablets and smartphones.

Cloud offers a central communications platform
How are staffing professionals in a recruiting firm contacting each other? With the myriad devices, software, programs and applications used for connectivity now available, it can get confusing or promote time wasting. Using the communication platforms offered by a software as a service (SaaS) recruiting software option allows everyone to get on the same page. The other tools like texting and phone calls are still available for use, but when available, professionals should use the most common denominator tool. That means that your recruiting and staffing software becomes the ‘depository of record’ for all of your critical communications and interactions between clients, candidates, employees, and other staff members.

Cloud offers central programs
Using staffing and recruiting software in the office offers workers the ability to increase productivity. Because of an investment in the cloud, an individual doesn’t have to be in the office at his or her desk to get the full benefits of the program. A cloud-accessible software program that allows a worker to check on the status of projects and communicate with clients, potential job candidates and coworkers is the cherry on top for productivity. With mobile smartphone support, instead of having to run back to check on something or send an email, a staffing professional can whip out his or her smartphone or tablet and get the answer right now. This can help increase productivity and allow workers to cultivate a more collaborative attitude in and out of the office. The need to constantly be plugged into a cubicle is gone thanks to the use of cloud-compatible staffing and recruiting programs.

Cloud offers increased ability to track clients, candidates
In the competitive field of staffing, a professional needs to know exactly where his or her potential candidates for positions are in the interview process. This is about ensuring that clients are hiring the best candidate you can provide them and getting your workers competitive jobs in their field. As a professional, it’s important to know what companies are hiring for a set position and who you can have in the pipeline for the job. Cloud-accessible recruiting and staffing software gives you that ability, enabling you to track everything as it comes through with an easy-to-use interface.

While the attributes of cloud-based software are readily available in enterprise hosted systems, cloud-based software offers several other benefits. These include simplified deployment, no-headache maintenance, easily scalable growth, and consistently manageable IT costs. As a staffing and recruiting professional, the time is now to consider the merits of using a cloud-based system. SaaS cloud software allows workers to increase their productivity and collaborate on projects easier than ever. Is your staffing and recruiting company using the cloud?

Financial services industry faces increased staffing and recruiting needs

The financial industry is facing a change revolving around staffing. According to a Robert Half Global Survey, finding and keeping strong employees has proven difficult for companies in the industry.

“While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment which has resulted in additional hiring,” said Neil Owen, global practice director of financial services recruitment for Robert Half. “This is creating challenges in finding the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Competition for the industry’s top talent continues to intensify for middle-office and support roles, particularly accounting and finance, as well as operations positions.”

As a staffing professional, you have a clear understanding of what employees are looking for from their employer. If the finance industry is undergoing such a rapid change in employment satisfaction, you could find yourself with more clients looking to fill empty positions. Employers in the financial industry may not only be looking for more employees than usual, but the quality of potential candidates must meet their criteria.

According to the survey, a talent shortage is impacting the industry. The need for finance professionals is on the rise, but less-and-less high-quality employees are available, which is creating increased market demand.

“Institutions around the world need staff who can manage fundamental business needs, drive profitability and ensure compliance mandates are met. Building a team with these skills has become increasingly difficult as firms face situations in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply,” said Owen. “A combination of factors, including heightened demand for skilled specialists in financial services, the growing need for regulatory expertise and operational changes taking place in the sector, may exacerbate current retention challenges. Employers will need to focus on competitive compensation, progressive perks and rewarding career paths to keep their best people.”

As a staffing professional, it’s important to deliver clients the right potential job candidates who can provide a wide array of skills and the ability to learn individual system processes that are unique to the organization. Recruiting software can help you locate and track the potential job candidates who can wow executives and hiring managers. The diverse array of social tools made available to you, and the ability to harness this resource and manage job candidates for every position allows you to fit the needs of the financial services industry.

Regardless of whether a company is small or large, selecting the right candidates from the very beginning will provide a recipe for success in the competitive marketplace of financial services. Your skills in recruiting and the various tools that you have mastered will allow you to locate and expertly prepare a potential job candidate for a client interview. With staffing software, you will be better able to not only track this person as they work their way through the interview process, but also gauge how well the candidate is prepared for other positions that customers are trying to fill if they do not get the first position he or she interviews for.

In the financial industry, there are a lot of details and certifications to check for before you’re able to decidedly choose one job candidate over another. Use cloud-accessible software to help you make the best hiring decisions.

Are you seeing an uptick in the number of finance clients you’re handling?

Generational diversity in the workplace Part 2: How it could impact your recruiting and staffing decisions

In our previous post on generational diversity we identified the key differences between younger and older professionals. “Traditionalists,” those born before 1946, most likely experienced World War II rationing, and baby boomers, those who were born between 1946 and 1964, often have a differing opinion on workplace etiquette compared to the younger groups. The younger generations include generation Yers who were born between 1965 and 1985, and Millennials, those born after 1985.

However, the issue is more complex than just throwing out some rudimentary reasons why one generation may disapprove of the other. The continuity of workplace equilibrium is important for the strength of businesses as a whole. Recruiting software – which can help to reduce subjective decision-making that can get you into trouble with the EEOC — can help you create the right balance between the generations because there is not one inherently better generation in comparison to another – just differing viewpoints and work practices. It is up to us as staffing and recruiting professionals to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of all generations when providing candidates for hire to our clients (and that’s a big responsibility!)

Each generation has a different expectation for their careers and personal lives; so by measuring aptitudes accurately, we’re better able to fill positions and create a cohesive team in a workplace. As a result, each one can offer valuable experiences — it’s just about trying to get the right balance, like a seesaw.

“It’s easy to group employees by generational differences, but we all have different personalities, and different competency levels,” Stephanie Drake, executive director of the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources, told Hospitals and Health Networks News. “So it’s important to help those employees work with each other, learn from each other, and be able to leverage each other’s innate skills.”

While generational conflict may break out, it’s more likely to happen because of simple misinterpretations. For example, Millennials’ comfort and lack of rigidity when interacting with upper management may come across as disrespectful to a baby boomer. However, in most cases the respect is there, it just doesn’t equate to a fear of questioning. Millennials are very final product driven and the quicker the better. So, instead of standing attention and waiting until they are addressed, Millennials are more likely to go right up to a manager and start questioning or discussing their ideas.

As with many things, communication between the different age groups is paramount to the continued success of the group. According to some testimonials, setting up a system of understanding and age diversity training may be the best method of integrating the various generations within a single department or office.

“One of the things that we encourage is to understand that taking the time on the front end as a supervisor can certainly benefit you and the employees because you’re helping them to gain confidence, to feel comfortable, to be independent and make decisions,” Lauren Hill, director for diversity and staff development at Beaumont Michigan Hospitals, told the source.

Often, traditionalists or baby boomers feel that generation Y or Millennials are not focused or paying the proper attention to something at a given moment. However, it is that same scattered approach that may allow these younger generations to complete a variety of tasks at the same time.

“[Generation Yers] may still be as productive as the boomers – it’s just how they do their work that’s different. They’re very savvy at the computer, the phone, GPS, tablets. They know how to leverage technology to increase productivity. As long as they have access to that technology, they can be very productive,” Christine Ricci, a healthcare human resource professional, told the source.

Balance the strengths and weakness of both generations to better create a cohesive workplace that thrives in all scenarios.

SEO face off: Google versus Bing. Which is better for your staffing and recruiting firm?

As a staffing and recruiting professional, you understand that how you are perceived by your peers and the stances you take will develop your personal brand. You also know that those qualities hold true for your digital presence or brand. You’ve worked hard to craft an individualized personal brand that thrives on successful and ethical staffing practices. Part of this process is the creation of a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. That’s why knowing how to leverage the differences between Google and Bing is important.

From the largest corporate brands in the world to the individual person, the successful SEO strategies deployed by one or many people have helped boost market success in a number of ways. However, when you are crafting an SEO strategy for yourself or your organization, are you aware of how your SEO keywords and branding will appear in different search engines?

If you’ve watched television in the past year, you most likely would have seen the marketing campaign Bing has taken on to encourage the average internet user to switch from the “ultimate power” Google to Bing. Entrepreneur reports that the main theme of the campaign suggests that blind internet users prefer the search engine results of Bing over Google by two-to-one.

Experts question whether Microsoft’s Bing has managed to finally advance enough to pose a threat to Google. Besides simple user preference, marketers and you as a staffing professional may need to question whether your SEO strategies are friendly to both search engines, because if not, you could be hurting your business.

According to a study by AdGooroo, Google’s AdWords algorithm still outperforms Bing Ads by serving 7.3 million more ad impressions in shopping and classified categories. However, for those staffing professionals working in the finance industry, watch out – Bing outperformed Google in the financial services category by nearly 30 percent – 5.31 million ad impressions versus Google’s 4.11 million. In all other categories, including: travel, education, computer and internet and business, Google may still reign supreme in ad impressions, but the gap between the two is closing, which means that SEO strategies need to integrate best practices for both search engine algorithms when possible.

Research conducted by experts at Entrepreneur found that Google still provides more relevant information for searches than Bing, but Microsoft’s search engine manages to integrate social networks better. The company’s contacts with both Facebook and Twitter has allowed Bing’s developers to display more social data to the average user of Bing. For recruiting and staffing, this social networking advantage may be significant.

As a result of all of this, your SEO strategy should comply with both search engines’ specialized algorithms. In addition, you should be prepared to search for potential job candidates using both tools when integrating information into recruiting software. If the differences between Google and Bing can impact searches relating to your business or personal brand, then those differences can certainly make an impact on how one candidate compares against the other in the digital sphere. Are you prepared to develop SEO strategies for both search engines?

Four useful mobile phone applications for staffing and recruiting professionals

As a recruiting and staffing professional, you are always going to be on the go, which is why having the greatest tools at your fingertips is important. For many people, the smartphone has become like a second appendage. Mobile application developers have designed an amazing array of applications that you can use every day for the platform of your choice that can help you be more organized and productive in your recruiting and staffing efforts.

Consider the merits of using a few of these four mobile applications for professionals:

1) Evernote. If you’re looking for an effortless note-taking application that allows you to synch these tidbits of information with all of your devices via the cloud, then Evernote is the answer. This application is effortless to use and has excellent search capabilities if you’re one of those people who is constantly jotting something down. In addition, the stacking feature of this application allows you to organize notes in a folder system. You can take more than simple text notes with this tool. Evernote designers have given you the ability to save images, tag videos and record audio as individual notes themselves. The designers of Evernote have made sure to deliver on their promise of creating an easy-to-use application that is accessible where ever and when ever you need it.

2) Chrome. If you’re a fan of Chrome’s desktop interface than you should do yourself a favor and download the iPhone Chrome application. This mobile app isn’t much different than the Safari browser, except the interface is easier to use and has a few more features. The real difference between the two different browser applications is Chrome’s Omnibox or combined URL address and search bar, reports PC Magazine. Google’s Chrome is, according to the company, the most popular web browser for both Mac and PC users, so it makes sense that so many people are excited to see the mobile application finally come to life.

3) Dashlane. Don’t be too embarrassed if you have to admit that you’re one of those people who constantly forgets passwords. Like the phrase goes, “there’s an app for that!” For iPhone users, Dashlane has won the hearts of reviewers at PC Magazine. The simple design of the password manager application allows you to auto complete some information so that you’re not retyping the same information over and over. Because this nifty little tool contains all of your password information for work and personal accounts, you’re going to be directed to create a very strong password for this tool. However, some may believe that a password manager application is worth the convenience and peace of mind. The free version of this application does not allow you to log into sites automatically from the app, but the Premium option, which as of May 2013 cost $4.99 a month, will allow you to click the website you want and directs you there from the password manager interface.

4) Hootsuite. If you’re constantly on social network sites you might benefit from the use of a social media management tool. Instead of logging in and out of multiple social media interfaces like Facebook or Twitter, use Hootsuite to update both of them at the same time. The interface is easy-to-use, simple in design and provides you with a number of fun features.

In addition to using these applications on your phone, a recruiting software that is cloud accessible is also key for ultimate productivity. Bond offers a mobile application that gives you access to your critical recruiting and sales data. Don’t let yourself fall behind the competition because you constantly have to walk back to a desktop and log into a system to check something. Get all the answers you need right from your phone. What mobile tools are you using as a staffing professional?

Three tips for expert networking that improve staffing and recruiting results

As a staffing professional, your job doesn’t just start with providing an expert recommendation to a client about which workers will provide the right set of skills to fill a role. You have to find the candidates first. And expert networking will help. Networking puts you in a room with professionals from a wide range of industries who might be looking for a new job.

Expertly honing your networking skills will allow you to gain introduction to workers who could possibly fill either a current or future position offered by one of your clients. By meeting an individual at a networking event, you are getting a face-to-face evaluation opportunity. Leave a strong impression with a professional at a networking event and then fill out a profile for the individual using your recruiting software. When you are looking to fill a position, you will then have a wider array of people you’ve already met who could fit the role’s requirements. And don’t forget that networking referrals from your candidates and contingent employees are often the best source for new candidates.

Keep these three networking tips in mind so that you make the most out of every meeting:

1) Get rid of the sales pitch. When you are at a networking event, it’s easy to fall back on a choreographed introduction of who you are, who you work for and what you can offer someone. You will often be better remembered as a strong listener – one who showed real interest in others – THEN offer up what you do and your (nine-second) value proposition. Take the time to instead create a bond with a person. People remember those who they enjoyed talking to and they are often more willing to work with an individual if a friendly bond was created. Instead of pushing what you do and what you can offer someone, work on trying to create a natural conversation.

2) Create a tracking method. At larger networking events it can become easy for the names, faces and stories to blur together. Try and create a simple method of tracking all the names and contact information you receive. For example, if you receive business cards you have all of a person’s contact information right there with you. Consider jotting down a few descriptors on the card once you leave his or her presence so that you can better remember details about them. If a potential contact does not have a business card on hand, you have another key tool that can be helpful. Ask the individual if they are on LinkedIn and if it is ok to make a professional connection with them while you are right there at the event using your smartphone.

3) Practice. Our number one piece of advice was not to sound like a sale pitch, however, that does not mean you have to wing it when you walk into a networking event. You can practice more than a few different responses to commonly asked questions so you feel more comfortable at a networking event. This is an especially important step if you feel uncomfortable talking to strangers in an unfamiliar setting. Just because you’re used to performing interviews or talking on the phone with someone, doesn’t mean you are infallible to a bit of social jitters. If you don’t have a rehearsed answer ready or a go-to story, make sure you attend networking events somewhat regularly so you don’t fall out of practice.

As a staffing and recruiting professional, a large part of the job is related to having a database or recruitment program of talented individuals who can fill a position at any time. Do you attend networking events? Do you have any other recommendations for making the most out of these opportunities?

Bond Wins Contract with Academic Work

Academic Work Logo 300x114

Bond International Software has won a contract worth more than £1m with Academic Work, a temping agency specialising in young professionals in the Nordics.

The agreement includes a dedicated Bond Adapt configuration team who will manage the specialist portfolio of recruitment applications required by Academic Work to advance their current and future recruitment software needs.

The team will ensure that the applications fit with its growing business structure and further expand the working relationship between the two organisations.

Academic Work

Protect your data when researching candidates

Data Privacy Day, held every January 28, brings attention to keeping your information safe online. The digital world is constantly changing, which means a staffing or recruiting company, which contains the personal information of thousands of people, needs to stay current with appropriate safeguards to protect them – and you.

In the online world, data is constantly free flowing. Personal and private data is shared between points around the world constantly, but it’s important to strive for a strong wall of privacy in the staffing industry. Think of yourself and your company as a steward of data. According to Stay Safe Online, learning how to protect yourself as a private citizen and your candidates as a professional is crucial.

Here are three quick tips for keeping your candidate data safe:

1) Use a secure server. Your data is only as safe as the server that you are using. All too often, staffing and recruiting companies that self-host their servers fail this basic rule – keep your server(s) in a physically secure and safe environment. As a staffing and recruiting professional, it’s important to make a note of how your organization deals with data security. If you think some practices are lacking or have a concern don’t feel afraid to voice your questions or opinions to the right people. Your input could help make your organization and the information it keeps on both clients and potential job candidates secure. The easiest way to ensure the physical security of your servers is to have your staffing and recruiting software provider host it for you. They have access to and employ security systems equal to the task that are typically far beyond the reach of most small businesses. For example, Bond’s secure servers host many customers and carry ISO 27001 certification for data security.

2) Automate security upgrades. Have each computer and mobile device that is hooked up to the company server set to upgrade automatically. With the increase in the number of mobile devices being connected to the agency’s server, it’s important to make sure that software programs are updated regularly. Often employees will feel inconvenienced by software updates, but it is an important step for data security. As a staffing professional using recruiting software, various mobile devices and different programs, it’s important to make sure the devices you use are updated. Just think, if you use your smartphone for both personal and professional business, you could open yourself up to a security breach if you don’t allow the system to update.

3) Opt out of third-party tracking cookies. Congress is still in the middle of discussing whether companies can sell the rights to cookies you create when you traverse the internet. However, you don’t have to wait for them to make a decision to increase your security and reduce cookies. Set your browser to reject all third-party cookies so that only websites that you visit will be able to collect data on you, according to Reputation News.

In the internet world, staffing professionals have to be aware of where and how they are being tracked by “digital eyes.” An accidental security breach can have significant repercussions for a company and an individual. Imagine for a moment if your systems candidate and employee data was stolen – what would it cost you and your business? Use your best judgment when researching potential candidates or clients and looking around the internet platform. As a staffing professional, you know when something doesn’t look right. After all, you’re trained to identify if something is fishy with a candidate! What do you do to help keep your data safe and secure?