Two Minute Tuesday: Mail Tagging in Portal

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Topics, Two Minute Tuesday

In our latest Two Minute Tuesday video, we’re looking at Mail Tagging in the PCRecruiter Portal for MS Outlook. This recently-released feature lets you color-code senders in your Outlook inbox based on the Status field from their name in PCRecruiter.

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If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

Welcome back for another Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

In this week’s edition, we’re going to look at the new Mail Tagging enhancement available in the PCRecruiter Portal for Microsoft Outlook. This new option lets you color-code your emails based on the status of the contact record in PCRecruiter, making it easier to spot emails from candidates, clients, managers, and so forth in your inbox.

First off, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got the latest version of the Outlook Portal. If the feature we’re reviewing in this video doesn’t seem to be there when you open Outlook, you’ll want to visit the Downloads area of our website at PCRecruiter.net to get the latest installation file.

Now we’ll launch Outlook and check it out. The first step is to open the ‘Options’ item from the PCR Config section. Before proceeding, you’ll want to verify that the ‘Server IP/URL’ section points to www2.pcrecruiter.net, rather than simply www.pcrecruiter.net. The ‘www2’ URL is the current PCRecruiter hosting domain, and this new feature requires Portal to be connected to the current PCR servers rather than the older PCR 8 version.

Now we’re going to select the new Mail Tagging tab. In the dropdown at the top, we’re going to select the email account that we’re working with in the Portal.

Next, we’re going to use the ‘Configure Category Colors’ option. This pops up Microsoft Outlook’s own Color Categories tool. I’m going to create a ‘Candidates’ category that’s green, a ‘Hiring Authority’ category that’s blue, an ‘On Assignment category that’s purple, and a ‘Reference’ category that’s orange.

Now we can use the checkbox list to associate some or all of PCRecruiter’s Status options for Name records with a category color. We can associate multiple statuses with the same category if we want to – for example, we can place emails from Hiring Authority, Employee, and Manager records all in the same blue category. When we’re done lining everything up, we click ‘Save & Close’.

As a final step, we’ll right-click on the headings in the message list, and choose ‘View Settings’. We’re going to click on ‘Columns’ and add the ‘Categories’ column to the view.

Now, whenever we check email, the Portal will look up the sender’s address in our primary PCRecruiter database, and will color-code these messages based on the Status field on the Name record. If the same email address is found on more than one Name, the color code will be based on the record that was most recently active. The color coding may not be instantaneous depending on the synchronization between the PCRecruiter Portal and the data servers, so if you’re not seeing the colors applied, just wait a few minutes and they should start showing up.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, join the LinkedIn PCRecruiter user group, and watch our blog posts on your PCR login screen. If you have any ideas for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Custom Fields

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Topics, Two Minute Tuesday

Configurability is one of PCR’s key strengths, and we’ve talked about user-adjustable layouts and settings in many of these videos. This week, we’re going back to basics and looking at how to create a Custom Field.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, join our LinkedIn Users Group, or YouTube to stay in the loop, and watch the lower portion of of your PCRecruiter login screen for all the latest blog posts and updates.

If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

Welcome back for another Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

Configurability is one of PCR’s key strengths, and we’ve talked about user-adjustable layouts and settings in many of these videos. This week, we’re going back to basics and looking at how to create a Custom Field.

You can add virtually unlimited Custom Fields to your Name, Company, and Position records to contain just about any data point you require. For this example, we’re going to make a custom ‘Category’ selection for our positions to help group them for searching, sorting, and reporting.

First, we’ll head to the System area and open ‘Custom Fields’. If you don’t see this option, your user login doesn’t have the admin permission necessary to make and edit Custom Fields. We want to define a Custom Field for our Position records.

Below we’ll see a list of the existing Custom Fields. We can delete them, change the ‘Sort’ value, which controls the order they appear in on some screens, set the ‘Action’, which indicates what type of data we’re putting into the field, and set the ‘Default Values’ for the field if it’s going to be a multiple choice. Please note that deleting a field’s definition from this area simply de-lists it for the purposes of searching, reporting, and so on. If you’ve already completed this field on individual records or placed it in custom screen layouts, it’ll remain there until you specifically remove it.

We’ll click the ‘plus’ icon to add a new field, and give it a name, which can be up to 25 characters long. The sort order can be left alone in most cases. The ‘Action’ dropdown defaults to ‘No Action’, meaning that this will be a plain, 255-character text field. It also includes options to designate the data as an email address, phone number, web address, date, currency value, dropdown, and so on. For our ‘Category’ field, we want users to be able to select from a list of categories, and we want them to be able to select more than one at a time, so we’re going to choose the ‘Multi-Select Checkbox’ Action.

After we save, we can use the ‘Default Values’ link to put in our options. Each one can be up to 35 characters long. If you have a lot of choices, you can also use the ‘Import’ option.

Now that the field is defined, where does it show up? Custom fields can always be found under the “Details” navigation on any record. When we define a custom field, it doesn’t ‘exist’ for any specific record until some data is put into it, so the default display here is only going to show fields that have data in them already. We’ll select ‘Show All Fields’ to see the full complement of empty fields we might fill in.

If this is a field is one you’ll be using regularly, you’ll want to add it to your main screen. We’ll use the familiar ‘Customize’ option on the record. When we click in any of the spaces, typing the name into the dropdown should bring up the field we just defined. After saving, the Category field is now available for use on all the positions we view with this username.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, join the LinkedIn PCRecruiter user group, and watch our blog posts on your PCR login screen. If you have any ideas for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Notes vs. Activities

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Topics, Two Minute Tuesday

In this Two Minute Tuesday, we’re going to talk about a subject that some users can find confusing. Namely, when to put information about a contact into the Notes and when to put it into the Activities. While PCRecruiter’s flexibility means you can often put your data wherever you find it most helpful to have, there are some clear-cut situations in which one or the other of these areas of the record is better suited to the job.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, join our LinkedIn Users Group, or YouTube to stay in the loop, and watch the lower portion of of your PCRecruiter login screen for all the latest blog posts and updates.

If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

It’s time for another Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

In this episode we’re going to talk about a subject that some users can find confusing. Namely, when to put information about a contact into the Notes and when to put it into the Activities. While PCRecruiter’s flexibility means you can often put your data wherever you find it most helpful to have, there are some clear-cut situations in which one or the other of these areas of the record is better suited to the job.

At the simplest level, the Notes area is for saving annotations to the record; things that aren’t in the candidate’s resume or don’t necessarily fit into a specific field. Your Notes might include information about their family or hobbies, or details about their job search or relationship with the company they work for. Notes are included in the system’s keyword index, so if you use the Keywords search box, any words stored the Notes will be included in that search. In addition, you’ll see the first 250 or so characters of the Notes when you hover your mouse over the contact’s name in your search results or Rollup views, making it a good place to jot down details you want to reference quickly in these contexts.

When you enter a Note on a record, the system stamps it with the date and time of entry and the user who entered it, so it can be tempting to use the Notes area to keep track of events like phone calls, meetings, interviews, and so forth. However, the date on your notes is simply the date that note was saved, which makes it tough to record a past or future event. The date and username are essentially just meta data within one large text document, not discrete pieces of trackable info.

If you want to keep track of what’s you’ve done or will be doing in regards to a contact outside of the context of a position Pipeline, you’ll want to record Activities instead. The system automatically writes some Activity records when you perform actions like adding or saving records, sending emails, and so on, but you can also create your own custom Activity Types under the System area to track things like cold calls, the date when you received a document, or when you sent a LinkedIn connection request. You can even set up Result Codes to log the outcomes – like whether that LinkedIn Request was accepted.

Because the Activities track the Username, Date, Activity Type, and the memo text as independent fields, you can filter, sort, search, and report on them to get an idea of what happened when, and who did it. You can also attach Activities and their follow-up events to your Schedule, so they track not just what you’ve done, but what you plan to do.

So, in short, when you want to supplement a record with searchable freeform information, the Notes are a good place to do it, but if you want to track something that occurred or will occur, then Activities are the better choice.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, join the PCRecruiter LinkedIn users group, and watch our blog posts on your PCR login screen. If you have any topics or suggestions for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Rollup “Call Plans”

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Topics, Two Minute Tuesday

In this week’s Two Minute Tuesday video, we’re looking at the ‘Plan’ feature in the Rollup lists, which combines the Rollup and Schedule into a valuable tool for tracking your phone call lists for sourcing and business development.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, join our LinkedIn Users Group, or YouTube to stay in the loop, and watch the lower portion of of your PCRecruiter login screen for all the latest blog posts and updates.

If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

It’s time for another Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

One of the primary uses of Rollup Lists in PCR is to keep track of your calling plans. In this week’s video, we’re going to look at the Plan feature, which helps you to keep track of who you’re planning to call each day, who you reached, and who you didn’t, by placing some or all of a list on your Schedule.

Every Plan starts with a Rollup list of contacts. We’ve talked about Rollups in an earlier Two Minute Tuesday. To use the Plan, we need to properly configure the Stages on our Rollups. The ‘Configure’ option is in the Action menu at the upper right corner. We’re going to work with the Stage Setup tab.

There are nineteen configurable Stages in Rollups, which you can use to track a variety of selection and ranking tasks. We’ll discuss this screen in more depth in a future video, but the key item for this process is the ‘Merge Plan’ column, which includes a simple Yes or No dropdown for each Stage. We want to set this to “Yes” for any Stage that requires future action – such as leaving a voicemail, or if the contact wasn’t able to chat when we reached them. Stages that are dead-ends, such as wrong numbers or lack of interest, can be left at the “No” setting.

Now that we’ve got that set, let’s walk through using the Plan. Here’s a list of Developers in Chicago that I plan to call. There are 400 people on this list, and I want to try to reach 20 of them each day. Let’s see how the Plan feature can help.

First, we’ll select the current page, which contains 20 contacts. Now we’re going to use the ‘Plan’ option in the Action menu. Here, we’ll select the date and a chunk of time in which we plan to try and reach these contacts. We can add notes about the project, a reminder alarm, and so on, before saving. If we click ‘Schedule’ and view the desired date, we’ll find our Plan holding the selected time slot.

When it’s time to execute the Plan, we’ll click ‘Open Plan’. We are now looking at the first selected subset of our Chicago Developers Rollup. It’s the same Rollup List, and all of the records remain on the list, but this Plan view is filtered to show only this Plan’s selected contacts. As we make the calls, we use our configured Stages to record the outcomes.

When we’ve contacted everyone, or when we’ve reached the end of the time we’d allotted, we select ‘Merge Plan’ from the Action menu. Now we will see our Chicago Developers Rollup List, minus anyone who has been given a Stage with a “No” merge setting. Now, we can select a group of results from this filtered view and create a fresh Plan to schedule more calls.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, join the PCRecruiter LinkedIn users group, and watch our blog posts on your PCR login screen. If you have any topics or suggestions for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Finding “Lost” Contacts

Written by Andrew Rothman on . Posted in Topics, Two Minute Tuesday

Have you ever misplaced a record? It’s very difficult to permanently erase information from PCRecruiter unintentionally, so usually a record that seems to be gone is simply not where you’re looking for it. This week’s Two Minute Tuesday looks at some techniques for locating these ‘lost’ contact records.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, join our LinkedIn Users Group, or YouTube to stay in the loop, and watch the lower portion of of your PCRecruiter login screen for all the latest blog posts and updates.

If you have any comments or suggestions for something we can explain in about two minutes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net

Video Transcript

We’re back with a fresh Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to help make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

There are few things more confounding than trying to find a record you know should be there, but it just isn’t. In this week’s edition, we’re going to look at ways to find a seemingly lost contact. In almost all cases, the record is still there. You just have to know where to look.

If you think the record may have been deleted, the first place to check is the Recycling Bin. In older versions of PCR, this was on the MyPCR screen, but in PCR 9 you’ll find it at the bottom of the System menu.

When you delete records in PCR, they aren’t actually erased – they’re simply removed from the searching indexes, compressed to save space, and sent to this Recycling Bin. If you do see the missing record here, you can use the ‘Restore’ link to send it back to where it came from. You’ll only see your own deleted items, but admin users can use the pulldown to get to records deleted by anyone at all. If you do want to permanently delete one or more items, you can check the boxes at the left, and use the ‘Remove’ button.

If the person we were looking for doesn’t seem to be in here, it’s likely that he’s still in the database, but some or all of the data on his record has been somehow replaced, making him harder to locate.

Let’s say we were searching for the candidate by name and he didn’t come up. Perhaps someone has changed the first name from Bobby to Robert, so we’ll try searching for him by email address instead. Unfortunately, that’s not finding him either.

If we can’t locate him by his fields, we might be able to find him by his keywords. If his name and email fields were both altered, but his resume or profile is still attached to the record, then a keyword search for his name or other identifying data in those documents may bring up whatever record those items are attached to. We’re going to wrap the name in quotes so we find only occurrences of the first and last name together in that order.

But what if this is a client or some other contact that has no resume? That’s where the Activity text search box can come in handy. We’ll click ‘Activities’ in the main menu, choose a likely date range for some interaction with that contact, and enter the name into the ‘Text Search’ box.

Here he is! It looks like these activities are attached to someone with a different name. Let’s find out why. From the navigation menu on the Name record, we’re going to choose the ‘Change Log’. This area lists all major alterations made to this record, with date, time, username, and the original value. Aha. Here we can see that another user replaced all of Bobby’s info with someone else’s a few days ago. Now we just need to make a new record for this other person’s info, and put Bobby’s data back the way it was.

Of course, if none of these methods pan out, you can always check out the Snapshot backup from the previous day, or get in touch with Main Sequence support about restoring from an earlier archive.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, join the PCRecruiter LinkedIn users group, and watch our blog posts on your PCR login screen. If you have any topics or suggestions for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.