Smarter online hiring tools arrive

By David Essex, ITworld.com |  Career

Power Hiring also emphasizes smartly crafted job descriptions. "If you use traditional advertising, you'll get traditional results," Adler says. Bad job descriptions blather on about skill sets. Good ones describe the opportunity and the work the candidate will be doing; they include the words that match candidates with jobs and cultures. They're also the basis of future performance reviews.

Adler offers tons of insights into how to turn candidate interviews into fact-gathering opportunities. For example, Adler says, many candidates are either nervous interviewers who don't make their case very well but who underneath are the most qualified, or the opposite -- those who exude confidence that masks inexperience. Adler says that over many years of conducting interviews he's observed an interesting effect: the two traits tend to flip-flop the longer the interview lasts. He therefore recommends that interviews last at least a half hour.

"People get less confident if they don't really have the skills," he says. Conversely, recruiters who spend the extra time to make nervous people comfortable will find that their interviewees sound more confident as they begin to realize they can do the job. "Anybody can fake it for an hour," Adler says. "Interviewing personality doesn't predict on-the-job performance."

Like PowerHiring.com, other hiring portals offer access to varying combinations of software, training, information, and recruitment services.

IT-focused Directfit (Irvine, Calif.) claims precision matching with online tools that require hiring managers to complete a profile describing the types of people who fit their corporate culture. You also work with a job-description wizard that can handle jobs in 23 technical categories and is kept up to date with information Directfit gleans from meetings with IT professionals. Live Directfit recruiters do phone interviews with candidates and ask them to complete behavioral-based profiles and make a video at one of the company's 17 locations. Directfit performs background checks and sends only the prequalified names back to the client.

Use of the site is free, but Directfit gets an industry standard 15 to 25 percent commission on completed transactions.

Taking the résumé out of play

"It really takes the résumé out of play and allows the IT hiring manager and the IT professional to get to a much deeper place in the recruitment process," explains Nat Dodge, Directfit's executive vice president. "It's using technology to streamline the evaluation process and have it done more precisely and quickly." Dodge adds that Directfit's human intervention is equally important. "It's very hard to capture all the vagaries of a final match with an online tool," he says.

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