Buying Guide for Applicant Tracking Newbies

According to SoftwareAdvice, a majority of buyers were evaluating HR software for the first time. Furthermore, the most requested HR application was applicant tracking.

Before you schedule that first applicant tracking demo, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who will use the system?
  2. What is your hiring process? What key processes do you want to automate and track?
  3. How do you want to access the information? (mobile phone, tablet, computer)
  4. Where will the information be stored? (online/hosted or installed)
  5. How much do you want to pay? (One time fees, ongoing fees, customizations and configurations)

For additional information on how to select an applicant tracking system, please download our complimentary toolkit at

Feature Based Applicant Tracking Buying

One of our sales representatives is from the Detroit area and he regularly compares the applicant tracking buying process to that of a car. He contends that before you go into the dealership, you need to be prepared and have an idea of what you are looking for. Sports car, mini van, or SUV. Ferrari or Ford. Leather or cloth. The options go on and on.

Case in point, according to Software Advice, 44 percent of all potential HR software buyers cited missing functionality as a reason for replacing their current system.

Top Reasons for Replacing Current Software

SA Graph - Top Reasons for Replacing Current Software

In the sales process, it is easy to miss out on the fact that there is only one set of cup holders or that heated seats are in another package. Before you sign the dotted line, prioritize the features you are looking for in an applicant tracking system and rank them against vendors.

Feature Score Comments
Social Media Tools
Mobile Capabilities
Candidate Experience
Requisition Management
Hiring Manager Workflow


What are you looking for in an applicant tracking system? Unsure? Download our complimentary toolkit at

Are you Keeping Up with the Minimum?

Minimum Wage to Increase in Several States This Summer

The minimum wage rates are set to rise in a number of states over the coming months, generally as follows:

  • California: $9.00 per hour, effective July 1, 2014
  • Delaware: $7.75 per hour, effective June 1, 2014
  • District of Columbia: $9.50 per hour, effective July 1, 2014
  • Michigan: $8.15 per hour, effective September 1, 2014
  • Minnesota: $8.00 per hour (enterprises with annual gross volume of sales of $500,000 or more) and $6.50 per hour (enterprises with annual gross volume of sales of less than $500,000), effective August 1, 2014

If an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage. Be sure to comply with any city or other local wage requirements (which may be higher than the state or federal minimum wage) that may apply to your business.

SHRM Orlando

SHRM is back in beautiful Orlando this year. While the masses are in queue to visit Mickey, we’ll be sharing laughs with Robin Roberts and learning from the former First Lady Laura Bush. In the evening, we’ll be shouting “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it” alongside Tim McGraw. In addition to the stellar speakers and entertainment, the expo hall will be abuzz with more than 700 exhibitors. myStaffingPro will be engaging with partners, friends, and prospects in booth 765 with the Paychex Inc. team. Stop by to learn more about our end-to-end possibilities and enter to win!


Benefit from Recruiting Process Compression

Does your recruiting process suffer from process bloat? Is there so much lag time that even the most straightforward hire goes on and on and on? Shrinking the lag time between recruiting steps can help you compress your hiring process without sacrificing due diligence or quality of hire.

5 Ways to Compress your Recruiting Process:

  • Reduce the requisition approval process with an automated workflow.
  • Conduct interviews virtually.
  • Change approval processes from sequential to simultaneous.
  • Utilize a hiring manager approval portal to get expedited feedback on applicants.
  • Launch multiple processes at the same time.

Are you looking for an applicant tracking system to compress your hiring process? Visit to learn about our automated workflows and tools.





Speed Interviewing

In this day and age, we want everything faster. I want my coffee faster, my French fries faster, and the person in front of me to drive faster. As Maverick would say, I feel the need….the need for speed!

Speed dating has been around for a while, but what about speed interviewing? Could you interview someone for 10-15 minutes and make an educated decision as to whether or not you want to bring him or her in for a second interview? What types of questions would you ask? Would you want to sit in a room with dozens of other employers vying for the same candidates?

As a candidate, how would you stand out from the others in such a short period?

As a competitive person, I’d be game for sitting at either side of the table. In my opinion, this tactic might work for sales openings, but fail miserably for accountants or IT professionals.

Would you try it?

The Benefits of Integrating Background Check Software with Recruiting Software

The integrity and performance of your employees is your company’s greatest asset. As a result, it’s critical that you evaluate the claims that candidates make regarding their backgrounds and education. In many cases, further background checks are required to minimize your company’s risk exposure. Background screenings are becoming a routine part of hiring, but they can also be time consuming for your staff and onerous to outsource. Here are some of the advantages of using an integrated background check service with your recruiting software.

Optimize your workload: Recruiting software eliminates a lot of administrative work for your HR team and hiring managers. Background checks, if conducted in house or outsourced as a separate service, can require managing a wide range of administrative details from consent forms to informational sheets to paying vendors. By choosing an integrated background check software solution, it’s easy to move to that step automatically. From verifying degrees to checking for criminal convictions, a full background screen can be underway with just a few clicks.

Simplify documentation and improve the candidate experience: If you’re ready to move forward with an employee, time is often of the essence. Once you’ve decided to move to the background check stage, you can simplify the process for the applicant by allowing them to review the disclosure online and electronically sign it, eliminating potentially days of lag time.

Centralize your FCRA compliance requirements: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that employers comply with several provisions. The first and most important is to get written permission from the applicant to conduct a background check. The second is to make any disclosures of “adverse action.” That is to say, if you might potentially use information in the background check to deny a candidate a job, you need to let them know in advance. If you do deny a candidate a job because of what you find in their credit report, you are legally obligated to provide the candidate with a copy of the report as well as a copy of A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Reporting Act. Integrating your background checks with your recruiting software enables you to keep compliance information centralized, and even set limits on the number of days a signature will remain valid.

Easily track progress and review results: After your request has been initiated, it’s easy to keep track of your background check progress. You’ll be able to quickly verify whether a request for a specific candidate has been submitted, confirmed, and completed. You can track the time to completion and conduct an in-depth review of the information that’s provided. All of this can be completed online and centralized in a candidate’s file.

Manage access to results: Different organizations have individual sign-off paths for background check information. Whether it’s your top recruiter, your VP of HR, or your hiring manager that needs to provide the sign-off for hiring, it’s easy to share results or restrict access in accordance with your company’s HR and information protection policies.

Background checks no longer need to be the time consuming and stressful process they once were for your HR staff. By integrating your background check software with your online recruiting platform, it’s easy to manage your workload, provide a good experience for candidates, and get fast and accurate results.

Manufacturer Benefits from using myStaffingPro

We asked the HR Generalist at Bassett Mechanical what their experience was with myStaffingPro applicant tracking system. Below, she answered your most frequently asked questions in the buying process.

How long was the implementation process? How much work was it on your end?

After deciding to go with myStaffingPro there was an initial phone conversation and demo with our Rep to go over the implementation process. This call was probably about an hour and ½ in length. There was a very comprehensive implementation guide that was also provided to me. Some of the things I had to set up were choosing which pieces of the application we wanted (and what order) and what statuses we wanted (based on our interviewing/screening process). I think we were up and running within a month from the time we signed the agreement.

How has the level of customer service been since you started with them? How long have you been using the system? Any issues with the program?

The level of customer service we’ve received through MSP has been amazing. This is actually the reason we ultimately chose to go with them when we were researching different options as well. Everything I could find about them and the references I spoke with, all talked about the high level of customer service.  Whenever I have any issues with the system I reach out to our Rep, Koji, and he gets back to me the same day (next day at the very latest). There has never been anything that he hasn’t been able to help me with. This is probably the biggest benefit I’ve seen to using myStaffingPro. Even if it’s something that I should be able to do on my end, if I’m struggling with it, Koji will take care of it for me. He was also the person I spoke with during the implementation process and he was very helpful. I can’t say enough about the level of customer service we’ve received. I’m very happy with this.

How has the applicant experience been? How has this streamlined your recruiters’ process?

I’ve gone into the system as an applicant numerous times to go through the process and make sure things are clear and easy to get through. Once someone gets into the application, it takes them step-by-step through the different required areas. One thing I think is really great is that when someone first applies to a position and goes into the application process, they enter a name and email address. If there are other positions that they want to apply for in the future, they go in and enter their name and email address and it pulls all of their information so they can just apply to the new position, without entering everything all over again. That is one piece that I would imagine applicants really like about the process.

What is myStaffingPro’s greatest benefit?

The biggest benefit that I’ve noticed with the ATS is that we can now look for applicants to see if we’ve talked with them before and what our thoughts were, as well as why we made the decisions we made. Other things that have been helpful are the “hiring manager review” option where a notification is sent to the manager via email and he/she can go in and add their own notes and input and it can get logged right into the system vs. going through email without a record of it if you look back in the future.

 Any closing comments?

I hope that some of the information I’ve provided helps you with your decision-making process. We went with myStaffingPro because it offered what we’re looking for, without all of the extra things we didn’t need (and the much higher price tag). We liked what we saw in regards to their customer service reviews as well. I’m very happy we went with MSP and put this in place and I would go the same route if I had the same decision to make again.

How Filtering Applicants with Ranking and Scoring Simplifies Recruiting

In today’s economy, companies are flooded with applications for each position that they post as job seekers apply for more positions than ever. One recent study revealed that companies were seeing as many as 211 applications for every entry level job. Meanwhile, HR departments are leanly staffed. It’s critical that your team uses the right tools to identify the top candidates, while reducing administrative workloads as much as possible. The strategic implementation of scoring systems to rank candidates in the pre-interview phase is one of the best ways to do this. Here’s a closer look at how this system works, and why myStaffingPro is the right tool to help you do this effortlessly.

What is candidate scoring?

In an ideal world, a recruiter or hiring manager can evaluate two applicants and immediately determine which person is better qualified and a better fit. However, each application is really a composite of numerous factors that qualify them for the job. One candidate may have an outstanding educational background, while another has the perfect experience profile. Meanwhile, a third candidate may have acceptable educational qualifications combined with just enough related experience to also be a serious contender. How can you score candidates objectively and rank them?

One of the best approaches is to develop a candidate scoring system. A candidate scoring system involves strategically deconstructing a job description to identify a position’s most critical qualifications or points. As part of the application process, you can then ask candidates pointed questions about these areas. In some cases, a lack of specific experience or certification may allow you to filter out unqualified candidates immediately. In other cases, their answers will help you form a picture of their potential vis-à-vis the position.

Developing good questions and scoring mechanisms

The key to getting this system to work for you is developing the right questionnaires and scoring systems. Learn to ask great questions. There are three areas that are helpful to consider:

  1. Yes or No questions: Yes or no questions are incredibly valuable in the instance where you have a specific factor that’s a deal breaker in your recruiting. For example, if your candidate must hold a current LEED certification or a Ph.D in English literature to move to the next phase, getting their answer early on is key. But for most other circumstances, we recommend multiple choice questions.
  2. Multiple choice questions: Multiple choice questions are a recruiter’s secret weapon. What they do is allow you to identify a range of possible answers, which you can then attribute different values to. For example, if you’re recruiting for a position that requires ten years management experience, you could frame the question as a yes or no. But you might screen out highly qualified candidates with 8 or 9 years of experience. Instead, if you frame it as a multiple choice question with a range of answers (e.g. 0 – 3 years; 4 – 6 years; 7-9 years; 10+ years of experience) you’ll have a better understanding of where they fall on the experience spectrum. This theory can be applied to almost any type of question or specific qualification.
  3. Ranking scales: In the previous section, we discussed multiple choice questions. Each of these answers can be assigned a range. For example, 0 – 3 years could be assigned 0 points, whereas 10+ years of experience could be assigned 10 points. If you have five prequalifying questions, a candidate that offers the “best” answer will score a 50. But you’ll also have a better picture of what candidates are strong by looking at which ones rank in the 40s.

Candidate scoring for a hypothetical position

Consider a scenario where you’re hiring for an executive assistant position to a Vice President of Sales. The position has a number of key responsibilities, but a few points are the most crucial based on the needs of the job and the supervisor’s input. These could be:

  • A minimum of five years as an executive or personal assistant
  • Experience in sales – the more senior or long-term the better
  • A bachelor’s degree

Prescreening questions can help you identify which candidates meet your minimum requirement. For each one of these questions, you can frame multiple choice questions. Your scoring might look as follows:

How many years of experience do you have as an executive assistant?

a. 0 – 2 years (0 points)

b. 3 – 4 years (1 point)

c. 5 years (2 points)

d. More than 5 years (3 points)

Do you have previous experience working in a sales department?

a. No, I have no prior sales experience. (0 points)

b. Yes, I have one year of experience working in sales. (1 point)

c. Yes, I have between 1.5 and 5 years’ experience in sales. (2 points)

d. Yes, I have more than 5 years’ experience in sales. (3 points)

What level of education have you completed?

a. I did not complete high school. (0 points)

b. I completed high school or hold an equivalent GED. (1 point)

c. I completed an associate’s degree or other 2 year program. (2 points)

d. I hold a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or other graduate degree. (3 points)

An ideal candidate would score a 9 – an experienced sales assistant with at least a bachelor’s degree. But you could have some candidates that were promising 8s – for example a well-educated and experienced assistant with less experience in sales or a seasoned sales admin who only completed an associate’s degree. Each of these candidates will likely stand out from the pool and can give you a head start in vetting applications.

If you’re interested in implementing a candidate scoring and ranking system as part of your recruiting, myStaffingPro offers this functionality as part of its core recruiting software. Contact us to arrange a demo and get started using myStaffingPro in your online recruiting efforts today.

Applying for Jobs Online: Using a Mobile Solution for Your Online Recruiting

Applying for jobs using mobile devices is becoming increasingly common. According the Pew Research Internet Project, 58 percent of Americans own a smartphone and 32 percent own a tablet. With the increasing proliferation of mobile devices, recruiters need to develop online application processes that are mobile-responsive. If an interested candidate is unable to navigate your company’s job application on their device of choice, you’re likely to see an increase in application abandonments and candidate frustration. Here’s a closer look at the factors you should bear in mind when choosing a mobile solution for your online recruiting.

Applying for jobs online increases090413_1542_MobileRetur1.jpg

Searching and applying for jobs online has become one of the most common methods for viewing available positions and finding new employment. Mobile device usage is transforming how online recruiting processes and technology is deployed. TalentHQ estimates that 60 percent of candidates view recruiting pages via mobile devices, and 40 percent abandon non-mobile friendly processes. Having what candidates view as a non-functioning or low-functioning recruitment application can damage your brand equity and cause more tech-savvy candidates to look elsewhere for jobs. When choosing your online recruiting solution, it’s important to select an application with strong mobile functionality.

Compatibility with a range of mobile devices

Basic mobile solutions aren’t enough. With the wide range of devices on the market today, including Apple® products and a variety of AndroidTM models, businesses need to ensure that their mobile presence is optimized for each potential device. For example, myStaffingPro’s recruiting suite offers accessibility with mobile, tablet, and Macintosh-friendly application processes. The more you anticipate a range of devices and choose a solution that works with them all, the better results you’ll get with mobile recruiting initiatives.

The benefits of social integration

Another important component of mobile recruiting is seamless social media integration. Social media promotion can be one of your most effective strategies for reaching networks of qualified candidates. Whether its industry groups on professional sites such as LinkedIn or groups of connected individuals in the same profession, social media is an important mechanism for sharing information. Selecting a recruiting solution with an integrated social component enables your employees to more easily participate in referral programs, and makes it simpler for your job listings to be quickly shared with receptive audiences.

A mobile content strategy

It’s helpful to keep in mind the limitations of mobile devices when creating your recruiting content and designing your process. For example, does your company background material run for several pages or leverage formats like PDFs that may not work with all mobile devices? Consider the length and format of your supporting documents, and consider offering excerpts with links to more detailed information for candidates browsing on smaller screens. Mobile recruiting goes beyond technology; it’s important to pair the best technological solutions with processes and collateral designed with the mobile context in mind.

If your company is currently developing strategies to better meet the needs of candidates applying for jobs online, contact myStaffingPro today. Our advanced online recruiting tools streamline your processes, connect you more efficiently with qualified candidates, and eliminate unnecessary administrative work from the recruiting process.