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The Economy And Jobs: More Than You Can Handle?

Feel that? It's the economy quaking. With the House rejecting the $700 billion bailout bill, stocks seesawing, and loads of uncertainty looming, it's possible you'll have more candidates than you ever imagined applying for jobs at your company. Are you ready to handle that?

Feel that? It's the economy quaking. With the House rejecting the $700 billion bailout bill, stocks seesawing, and loads of uncertainty looming, it's possible you'll have more candidates than you ever imagined applying for jobs at your company. Are you ready to handle that?Hopefully, your company is still growing and in hiring mode, despite all the fear mongering. Better yet, hopefully, some kind of economic recovery plan will still come to fruition and the United States won't slip into what the trailers are billing as the Next Great Depression.

In the meantime, if you're someone looking for a job, or a manager wanting to fill a position, you know how that whole process can drag out -- from sending a resume, reviewing it, passing it along, interviews, negotiations, approval, and so on. Think about how much longer that process will take if you've got that many more people (notably those recently laid off) vying for the same job.

Even before the latest glut of bad economic news, some employers have found that a little bit of technology can go a long way in streamlining the hiring process, especially when they're anxious to put new employees to work sooner rather than later.

Not that long ago, SupportSoft, a provider of help-desk services and software, dumped its manual job recruitment and hiring processes in favor of using Web-based job candidate tracking tools from Jobvite, which delivers its offering via a software-as-a-service model.

Using Jobvite to help manage job recruitment workflow, SupportSoft recently hired a brand new team of 220 employees who are scattered throughout the United States and work from their homes.

SupportSoft hired these home-based "call center" employees in seven months using a staff of only three recruiters, says Wendy Brauchler, SupportSoft VP of HR. That sort of hiring by SupportSoft's tiny team of recruiters would've taken a great deal longer had the company relied on its old manual processes, sorting through applicant information, passing it on to SupportSoft hiring managers, and all the back and forth steps that happen after that, many which involve a lot of waiting.

Now, "everything is done from a portal and is real time," says Brauchler. When a job candidate is interested in a position that's posted on SupportSoft's job site, candidates submit their information electronically, and recruiters and hiring managers are immediately electronically notified about the applicant's interest. SupportSoft also recently added an assessment test to the online process to help screen candidates' skills before applicants' information is routed to company recruiters and hiring managers.

Jobvite manages the job-hiring workflow and tracks candidate information and status along the way, such as whether the person was interviewed and offered the position. On the back end, Jobvite's tools also help SupportSoft generate reports such as on the company's affirmative action plans, says Brauchler. By using the Jobvite tools to manage job recruitment and hiring, Brauchler estimates recruiting costs have been slashed by 50% "because we're not spending the amount of time we were spending on those processes and are able to generate reports faster," she says.

SupportSoft receives about 3,000 to 4,000 job applications annually. The company plans to more than double the size of its U.S. home-based call center team to about 500 people within six months, Brauchler says. So, the Jobvite tools should come in handy to handle that, too, especially if the volume of applicants surges.

Does your company use tech tools to manage its hiring processes? With all the economic uncertainty these days, do think your company will be getting much use out of them in coming months?

Tell us what you think.

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