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Easing the strain in matching people to jobs


It’s a tough world out there for the HR professional. Caught between the explosion of the information age and the impassioned cries for a return to a more human element in work practices, the personnel department is now more than ever in a quandary.

Staff reductions, shrinking budgets, staff turnover, increased administrative duties and added reporting have really put the pressure on. Add to this the fierce competition for skilled employees and graduates alike and it can be a mammoth task to sift through the endless flow of CVs in the quest for that golden candidate. Now thanks to the Internet – both the bane and blessing of HR – this steady stream has manifested itself into a raging torrent. It is little wonder that personnel departments have embraced HR technology as the “new messiah”, seeking it to liberate them from their administrative chores.

At its most basic, e-HR enables a company to give its staff information about policies and procedures via an intranet. More sophisticated systems allow employees to individually check their personal details such as annual leave and pension details; whilst for the HR director, psychometric testing, skills matching and web-based training tools are just some of the many e-solutions available. With personnel departments facing increasing pressure to show value to the board it is not surprising that the more routine administrative tasks have now shifted to the web. Candidate sifting software such as Axiom’s new “JobQ” has taken the tedious task of manually sorting through mounds of often inappropriate CVs and put time back into the hands of HR to concentrate on the “right people” for the job.

Cisco Systems, the Internet equipment provider, is a leading pioneer in the e-HR revolution. Taking on large numbers of new recruits weekly, Cisco saw the use of web-based tools as providing quick, effective induction and training, thereby ensuring that employees “hit the ground running”. Employees also have direct links to service providers, including healthcare and expenses claims, further eliminating the need to involve HR. Supporters of e-HR point out that this takes away the administrative, mailbox-type role of HR, allowing the department to focus on more strategic matters and make a bigger contribution to the “business” – the coveted prize of e-HR. Furthermore, getting tedious tasks done electronically frees up HR people to focus more on face-to-face communication and the “softer issues” involved in employee management.

Today’s cut-throat business environment offers no allowances for mediocre employee performance. It is therefore essential that management identify and recruit only the best-qualified job candidates. Having said this, the Internet has brought with it greater numbers of qualified applicants to the attention of the hiring staff. This can result in an overwhelming CV-processing workload for the recruiting manager. CV sifting software that can identify and sort meaningful information quickly and accurately, and then store it in a way that makes it instantly accessible, has brought relief to this process. However, seasoned HR staff want additional functionality that goes beyond automating CV record keeping. They ask for technology that can perform skills tracking functions as well as employee databases that can be easily updated with newly gained employee information.

JobQ, Axiom’s new web enabled “Applicant to Job Matching” software, was designed to ease many of the on-line management problems faced by recruiters. Sifting through large numbers of CVs is not only time-consuming but subject to human error as well. More often than not, the very best candidate may not have the most attractive CV. The JobQ process sifts, screens and assesses candidates automatically, according to the company’s own selection criteria. This not only speeds up the process, but also makes it as objective and accurate as possible.

Inappropriate applicants can then be sent a suitable rejection response at any time after their initial enquiry. Screened applicants who get past the first stage can then be further assessed using a combination of psychometric testing, aptitude and skills instruments built into the JobQ process. “JobQ enables you to concentrate on the most appropriate candidates. The final selection is from the widest possible field of potential employees suited to the vacancy,” says Mark Housley, CEO of JobQ’s Axiom. “This not only saves times and resources, it helps you to make your business stronger by acquiring the best talent more efficiently.”

Article written by Alan Whitford, an e-HR Consultant.

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