This is a guest post by Scandio's Daniel Unnützer. You can see the original article here.
Choosing a process strategy for your HR-team is not a trivial decision. Why should you change something in your applicant management? The everyday observations below provide some reasons for this:
Postal applications have now become obsolete, as many applicants send their documents to the company by e-mail or directly via an online form. However this leads to an increased volume of data. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, without a separate HR department, the data is usually stored in a disorganized way. This makes it difficult and time-consuming for a third person, like a new employee or a different contact person to trace and understand the structure and work with it. As a result, more and more applications are not processed correctly. In the worst case, promising applicants are invited too late or not at all and are lost as potential future employees.
But what can be done, in order to introduce a smooth operational sequence of applicant management in a company? We have collected 5 tips to become more effective to eliminate unnecessary sources of error and facilitate the recruitment of new employees.
Project management software tools such as Jira are perfectly suited to bring order to the regularly arriving applicant documents. In the first step, a ticket is automatically created for each applicant, with all important infromation clearly available. Then, the responsible employees can process it and work on it simultaneously. With the possibility to restrict permissions to specific employees, the adherence to the data security is guaranteed as well.
The following tips and tricks will now be explained in connection with the Jira ticket system. Of course, any other project management tool can used as well.
Overview of an application in Jira
At the beginning, fields such as contact data must be defined in such a way that they are filled out automatically when the application is submitted via a form on the website. The arrangement of the fields remains identical in all tickets which makes it easy to quickly see important information, such as the desired starting salary. In addition, a workflow is designed to define the procedure for each applicant. This creates a consitency which ensures an accelerated application process and that no important details are being overlooked. Filters can be created to make the incoming of applications even clearer. Each ticket can be assigned to the respective filters by assigning a label.
Example of a workflow
In most companies, there are two ways of receiving applications: by e-mail or a form on the website. The advantage of applying via the form is, as already explained above, the transfer of the complete contact data and information into the fields provided in the template. If an application comes via e-mail, this data must be entered manually. But in both cases a ticket is automatically created in Jira with the attachment and text of the e-mail. After receipt it is possible to send an automatic confirmation to the applicant. If this automated reply is too impersonal, this feature can be deactivated and a personal reply can be sent. By defining the workflow, the path a ticket will take can be defined individually.
An employee processes the application directly in the created ticket. This saves switching between several systems and thus time. It is also possible to integrate an evaluation function in the ticket. The responsible employees can decide either for or against the applicant before he or she is contacted. A further option would be to specify a minimum number of pro-votes without the applicant may not be invited for an interview. If the applicant at best meets the requirements of the job profile and has obtained the consent of the employees involved, they will be invited for an interview. This can be done via the comment function of the Jira ticket, whereby the new entry is sent to the applicant as an e-mail. After the applicant has been invited, the status of the ticket is set to “Interview”. In addition, the date when the interview will take place can be entered. If, however, a candidate does not meet the requirements, the next step is taken directly and the status is set to “Cancel”. The different steps are of course dependent on the predefined workflow. A member of the affected team can also be added to the ticket. This gives him full insight and he can also take part in the interview or give his opinion.
The workflow has two final statuses: Cancellation or Acceptance. In the much more pleasing case of an acceptance, the applicant has gone through the entire workflow and reached the status “contract concluded”. Then the respective ticket is closed, but it is not deleted as a result. It still exists in Jira and can be opened again as required. In order to comply with the regulations of the DSGVO, tickets including all data are automatically deleted after six months.
To make this system even more effective, we have developed the Atlassian app “Pocket Query for Jira”. With the app data sources (also from third party systems) can be used and displayed in an overview. Specifically for our effective application management this gives us an up-to-date overview of the respective applicants for all vacancies with the corresponding statuses. This makes it possible to decide in a flash whether a job advertisement should remain active or whether another candidate should be invited for an interview. This is possible because PocketQuery can match vacant positions and the statuses of applicant tickets through a defined query.
Use of PocketQuery in large companies
Through a largely automated application process, valuable resources such as the time spent by employees in the HR team can be used effectively and sources of error such as the loss of promising applicants can be avoided.
PocketQuery for Jira also supports the clarity of incoming applications and the respective statuses.
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