The Art of Recruiting

The Official Resume Tracker Blog

Launch: New Resume Export, Email Notification and Mass Emailing Rejected Applicants

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Since launching Resume Tracker, it has had a feature called “Export Data”, which export all the applicant’s data in CSV or Excel format. However, users were not able to download resumes for a specific job position.

Today we introduce the new “Resumes Export”


Our customers have been asking for a better way to export data for backup purposes. They liked the original Export Data functionality, but they also wanted to be able to export resumes for a specific job instead of downloading all the information every time.

Also, they wanted to have the option to download the resumes in PDF format.

We’ve been listening your feedback and we’re proud to release the brand new “Resumes Export” feature today.

After you choose the output file format, we will compress all the files into a single ZIP file and email it to you. The whole process should be finished in a few minutes. It will take longer if you are exporting hundreds or thousands of resumes.

Resume digest


In the past, Resume Tracker users received an email notification whenever someone applied for their opening positions. It works fine when there are only a few applicants applying per week/month. For some of our customers who have more than 10 applicants per day, those emails become annoying.

So starting from today, our customers can choose to receive those notifications in a Daily or Weekly Digest email format. We hope this will improve the user experience for our heavy users.

The default setting is still “per resume”. You can change it on our “Settings” page.

Mass emailing


Finally, our users told us they hope Resume Tracker can improve the communication with their job applicants, especially keeping the applicants update on the latest application progress.

Based on this feedback, we’ve developed a new mass emailing feature so our customers can notify all the applicants when their applications are rejected. So they don’t have to email each applicant separately.

When you go to the Job Position page now, you will notice a new “Rejected Applicants” button on the right. In there, you will be able to mass emailing all the rejected applicants. For the email content, you can modify it in our Settings page.

We hope you find these new features useful and would love to hear your thoughts about them.

Thanks for your continuous support.

When Employee Referral Turns Ugly

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Why do companies use employee referral programs? Because, by definition, they can generate the best candidates at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods.

An employee referral program can also help employers to reach a source of high quality passive candidates (people who are not actively looking for new jobs). The referring employee usually screen his or her referrals closely because their own reputation is at stake. Employees tend to make sure the referrals are a good fit with the company’s culture before making the recommendation.

However, not every employee referral has a happy ending.

Here is a dramatic story between a former Miso engineer and the company’s founders.

To cut a long story short, the employee forgot to claim his referral bonus after referring a personal friend to Miso. After this employee left Miso, the employer refused to give back the bonus because they believe bonuses are to reward current employees only.

This incident turned into a PR disaster harming the company’s reputation.

Eventually, Miso’s CEO admitted the mistake and agreed to pay for the referral bonus. Check his response here. He also makes the following changes in their referral program going forward:

Moving forward, we have established the following clear criteria to explain how employees will be eligible for the $10K referral bonus:

  • The employee must provide a referral for a full-time hire.
  • The referred employee must work at Miso for 6 full months after hire date (excluding any leaves of absence)
  • The referring employee must be employed at Miso and not have given notice to depart the company prior to the date of the bonus payment.

They probably never expected their referral program would hurt them so bad.

How to do it right?

So what can you do to avoid the same mistake?

Firstly, your organization has to understand that it is necessary to add clear structure to an employee referral program, make sure the employees understand the benefits, track the result of referred candidates, reward successful referrals and discourage bad referrals.

You can find a list of Employee Referral Program best practices here.

After all, the benefits of successful employee referral programs should outweigh the potential pitfalls. Just remember that, before encouraging your employees to refer candidates, you have to make sure that a well designed employee referral program is already in place. And you have to spend time to teach your employees how to do this right.

Image credit: mosippy@Flickr

Small Business Answer to Filling Jobs: Personal Touch

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Say you want to hire for a new position. Do you count on interviews alone to make hiring decisions? Does your company have an obsession with grades?

According to a research by Frank Schmidt and John Hunter in the Psychological Bulletin, interviews are not the best predictor of performance, despite their widespread use.

Big corporations, like Google, would collect and analyze data about their existing employees and come up with some sophisticated models to evaluate and identify top talents. Unfortunately, as a small business, you probably don’t have a large data set and the skills to build such a statistical model. So does that mean you should give up and compromise your hiring standards?

So if you’re trying to compete with companies that are much bigger and better funded, you’re not going to win by playing their games. You have to think differently. So what can you do to attract superstar candidates to come to you?

In a world of technology innovations, hiring managers are often too busy to give superstar candidates the “personal touch” they crave. They tend to rely too much on technology, mostly sending out impersonal emails, and forget that this is a people business. People like to be touched, talked to personally, courted, and wooed.

Recruiting technology can help, but it can only take you so far. And it definitely is not a silver bullet because hiring is still a highly personal activity. Many companies hate adding the “personal touch” in the hiring process because it takes time and perseverance.

So if you find top talent candidate, your company has to be willing to invest more than just money because you can’t compete based on wages, or equity alone nowadays. You need to make sure that they know you value their talent.

One of the classic examples is how 42Floors, a startup trying to disrupt the commercial real estate market, decided to publicly offer a college sophomore a job via their company blog recently.

Below is the offer letter. For the full blog post and background story, please check out here:

Dear Dan Shipper:

Please join us. Consider this a job offer to work at 42Floors. Because you have never applied for this position, this may come as a little bit of a surprise. But you have known for awhile that I have been really impressed with your work.

You’re only a sophomore in college, but you’ve already started several companies. You’ve taught yourself to code, and you are a maker at heart. And you have that rare gift of having a sense of style in your design work as well. AND, your blog posts that reach Hacker News are eloquent and well thought out. It would be an honor to have you join us here at 42Floors.

Here is your job description: You will make gorgeous products that help entrepreneurs find their dream office. There are dozens of things we need built — you will pick what you most want to work on or come up with your own project.

If you ever decide you want to go back to working on your own startup, you have my full support, and I will personally do everything I can to help you be successful as an entrepreneur.

You will never be asked to sign a non-compete. You will be free to contribute to open source, free to blog about anything and everything, and never be required to submit a patent that could be used offensively.

This offer has no expiration and, regardless of whether you decide to work with us, I hope to personally be there on your side in everything you do.

Most sincerely,

Jason Freedman

Co-Founder, 42Floors

If you are willing to go the extra mile to recruiting the top talent like 42floors, your people will eventually become your company’s competitive advantage.

Image credit: leg0fenris @Flickr

Innovative Hiring Tactics That Go Beyond Job Ads

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Companies should never compromise with the talents and qualifications required of their employees. However, talented professionals are becoming a rare commodity in the job market now. How do you plan to win them over to your small company? You probably have already tried campus recruitments, internal job postings, employee-referrals, participating in job fairs, advertising in newspapers and job portals…etc. As a small company, what else can you do?

Let’s see how other startups did it.

Facebook - Using library

When Facebook was young and hunting for talent, says Lee, it combed through Stanford’s syllabi and course catalogs to find relevant students. Facebook was already well-known on campus.

If, for example, Facebook needed engineers, it would search for engineering classes.

Once it found relevant classes, it would find their required reading lists. Zuckerberg and his staff would go to Stanford’s library and put fliers for Facebook positions in those books. When students pulled them down, they’d find what Facebook left behind.

IGN - Code Foo

The program, which ran this summer, brought in people with a core aptitude for programming, then spent six weeks “teaching them something to see if we could get them up to a level where we actually might want to hire them,” Bahat says. IGN specifically downplayed the importance of experience and education. “Flipping burgers to scrape together enough cash to buy Portal 2?” read its recruitment ad. “Blow our minds while you’re here and we’ll hire you.”

Pivotal Labs - Train junior developers through paired programming

Rather than spending months searching for a white whale, take those eager, ubiquitous junior developers you’d normally pass over and pair them with your senior developers. In three to six months, Knowles says, they’ll start adding value, and you’ll be able to rotate them out into autonomous roles. Cycle in more junior devs to keep the factory growing.

ZOHO - Training high-school students who can’t go to college

Zoho identifies promising high-school students whose families can’t afford to send them to college, then trains them itself. The program began six years ago, and about a tenth of Zoho’s 1,400 employees, and 20% of its new engineers, are graduates of it. “It’s not charity,” says Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu. “It works for everybody. We find great employees, and they make us money.”

SMS Country - Using collective knowledge

SMS Country recruits their sales teams on college campuses. They visit a campus to host a company presentation and call for applications. Every attendee is asked to name the eight other people from the class that he or she would want to work with on a sales team. The eight names that get mentioned the most frequently are hired. It’s that simple.

Rather than relying on a 20-minute interview with a stranger, SMS Country leverages the collective knowledge in the two-year “interview” conducted by fellow classmates. Brilliant! But the process doesn’t stop there. The 8-member team elects their own leader as well as finds and establishes their own office in their sales region.

If you know of any other creative hiring methods, feel free to let us know in the comment.

Winning With the Collaborative Hiring Process

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Many small businesses believe that hiring is a top-down process driven by the owner. They wrongly assume that employees are happy to leave the hiring decision to the management. However, this approach often left team members feeling disconnected and frustrated. After all, they are the ones who will work with new hires on a daily basis. They should be the ideal people to judge whether the job candidate fits the company culture and values.

But how can business effectively involves their employees in the hiring process? Simply put, they have to embrace a collaborative hiring approach.

It’s common for big corporations like Google, Facebook, Apple…etc, to let job candidates to meet with their future colleagues during on-site interviews. Why do they do that? Because they understand the huge cost of making a bad hiring decision. According to the Department of Labor, the cost of mis-hire is considered to be, on average, 3-4 times their annual salary. It can be even higher at a smaller company when you have only a few or even one employee.

Including existing employees in the hiring process can make sure the candidates fit with the company’s culture. In result, employers can make better hiring decisions and create a more productive and engaged workforce.

So how can small business learn to implement a collaborative hiring process? Simple steps like improving communication during the interview process can already create better and faster results. Ideally, employers can create a platform for team members to discuss potential candidates and give comments. They can do it on the phone, in person, or using recruiting software to help encourage engaged communication.

For example, on Resume Tracker, every team members can leave their comments about each candidates so that everyone in the team knows how each other feels about the prospects. These steps can seem time consuming at first, but it’s time well spent when you find the perfect candidate. The effective and collaborative hiring process can definitely save you time in the long run.

New Pricing & Offer for Our Early Users

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We’re committed to delivering a great product that continues to evolve with new features and benefits. Therefore, we are changing our plan offerings in response to our customer requests for different packaging and features.

We will continue to offer a Free plan. However, the Visionary plan is discontinued and replaced with the new Standard, Plus and Premium plans.

Below are the new plans and pricing:

  • Free Plan: 1 user, 1 job, unlimited resumes
  • Standard Plan ($29/mth): 1 user, 3 jobs, unlimited resumes
  • Plus Plan ($49/mth): 10 user, 10 jobs, unlimited resumes
  • Premium Plan ($99/mth): 50 users, unlimited jobs, unlimited resumes

What if I was using the Visionary Plan?

To show our appreciation for support, we are now offering an exclusive offer to all of our existing customers. You can enjoy our Premium Plan for $29/month (Original price: $99/month) - without a time limit!

Please go to the link below to choose your plan now:

If you were using our Free Plan and would like to remain so, no further action is needed.

We hope these changes enable us to continuously provide a high level of service to all customers, and really appreciate your ongoing business and feedback.

If you have any questions, please contact Thanks again for using Resume Tracker.