By Geoff Greene, CTO
During Bullhorn’s 11 years of helping recruiters put people to work, we’ve spent lots of time developing technology to find the right candidates in their candidate databases. So have others, because candidate search is a critical step towards filling almost any job. Despite all the effort, few recruiters would say the problem has been licked. However, our upcoming Winter 2012 release makes a big leap forward in Candidate Search. If you’ve ever wished finding candidates in your resume database was faster, easier or just plain better, then read on.
Why is candidate search so hard?
There is a big, gnarly terminology problem when it comes to finding candidates. The terms you need to search for may not actually be the terms that you see on a resume or job description.Here’s an example from the world of technical staffing, where roles are are awash in lingo and skills are constantly changing. Heard of “Java” and “SQL”? They’re so 2005. It’s all about Ruby, Python, Mongo, Grails and EC2 now. Worse, many of these technologies have aliases. A developer experienced with the database technology MongoDB, may not put MongoDB any where in their resume, rather it will appear as “Mongo”, “NoSQL”, or “sharding.”
Search terminology is a big problem for recruiters in any specialized industry. Especially those new to recruiting. They’d better be highly trained in the art of b.s. if they want to survive. Unless you’ve spent a year or two with an industry, it’s tough to be successful, because you don’t know the lingo. The only way to hang around long enough to get that experience is to be great at building a personal rapport, make lots of phone calls, have thick skin when people get annoyed and maybe be lucky. No doubt this tough learning curve partly explains our industry’s costly employee turnover.
Introducing the next generation of Candidate Search
Our new Candidate Search tames the terminology beast and helps recruiters scale the learning curve. It studies your job description, an ideal candidate or your initial guess at keywords and suggests terms to help you pinpoint the ideal candidate.
How do we do that? We’ve analyzed more than 5 million resumes, identified keyword relationships and built a Learning Library that provides suggested terms to help you complete your search quickly.Here’s a simple example, searching for a staff accountant. I start with a few key terms from the job, such as “accounting” and “payroll.” Our new Candidate Search then suggests that I also include “general ledger”, “accounts payable”, and “balance sheet” because these have proven to help find the right candidates. And the Learning Library is futureproof since it gets smarter the more it is used. As the terminology evolves, Bullhorn Candidate Search adapts.
Recruiters no longer have to worry when a hiring manager throws out a skill they’ve never heard before. Chances are, others have and already figured out how to find the right candidates. And for the new recruiter who is still learning the lingo? Bullhorn’s new Candidate Search flattens the learning curve so they can succeed faster.
There’s a lot more in our new Candidate Search as well, such as dragging and dropping keywords to visually build your search, personalized views that let you search and view results just the way you want, and team collaboration that makes it easy to share knowledge and expertise across your company. We also make it easy for a recruiter to search their entire candidate database — resumes, notes, flags, dates — all at once. Search grandmasters can create complex Boolean queries as well. We’re in beta right now, so stay tuned as we put the finishing touches in place and begin rolling it out soon.
I’ve shared a few more thoughts on the challenge of search and our new capabilities in the video below.