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.

Two Minute Tuesday: Custom User Metrics Report

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

As any manager will tell you, keeping track of what your team is accomplishing is key to success. One of the ways you can do this in PCRecruiter is to create a Custom User Metrics report to monitor the activity records for a better grip on your recruiting KPIs. We’ll walk through the setup in this week’s Two Minute Tuesday.

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

If you’re in charge of a recruitment team, you’ll want to keep tabs on the activity of your users. One simple way in which you can do this is with a custom User Metrics Report. Today we’ll walk through creating one.

First, we’ll click ‘Reports’ in the main menu. To create or edit a custom report, we need to select the ‘gear’ icon in the Action menu at the upper right. Now, from the group of tabs, we’re going to pick ‘Manage User Metrics Reports’ and choose ‘Add’.

In the window that appears, we use the first section to name the report. We’ll just call it ‘User Activity.’ Now we’ll open up the first row of data.

Each section includes a box for the label, a selector to choose what sort of metric it represents, and a link for choosing the source of the data.

For example, we can label the first box “Outbound Calls.” We’ll check the ‘Activities’ box, because we’re going to base this metric on the Activity record created when an outbound call is made. Now we’ll click on “Select/Edit Sources” and specify all of the possible outbound call activities.

We can also use the ‘Interviews / Placements’ option to track events in the pipeline. Here, we’ll make a label for ‘Submittals’, and select our ‘Submitted’ interview status.

It’s also possible to use the ‘Positions’ option to get numbers on jobs that have been created, filled, closed, and so on. In this column, we’ll create a ‘New Openings’ label, set the selector to ‘Positions’, and then choose the ‘Available’ option as the source.

Now let’s see how it works. To run the report, we’ll select ‘Auditing Reports’ and click on our new Custom User Metric report. We can also search for it by name from the reports menu search box.

We select the date range to report on – for this example, we’ll select the entire month – and we can exclude users by unchecking their usernames and apply additional filters.

When we print the report, the row of labels we created appears under each user, with a count of the applicable records. So, in this report, we can see that the user EWATSON had 65 outgoing calls this month, 12 submittals, and 20 new jobs entered. Clicking on the number searches the database for the applicable records.

We’ll look at more advanced metric reporting options in a future video, but that’s all for this Two Minute Tuesday. For more, 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 PCRecruiter login screen. If you have any ideas for future Two Minute Tuesdays, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Pointers on PCR’s Parser

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

If you’ve used PCRecruiter to import a resume, you know how much time its built-in contact parser can save you in completing the fields on the record. In this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, we’re going to look at three more things PCR’s parsing engine can do that you may not be aware of.

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

Here comes 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 computer terms, a parser is a program that takes some input and breaks it down into its parts for further analysis based on a set of rules. If you’ve used PCRecruiter to import a resume, you know how much time its built-in parser can save you in completing the contact fields on the name record. In this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, we’re going to look at three more things PCR’s parsing engine can do that you may not be aware of.

First up, Queueing Resumes for Parsing. If you have multiple resumes to import at once, you can save several clicks with the Add Resume Utility’s queueing feature. We’ll click the ‘quick add’ icon in the upper right and select ‘Parse From Resume’. Clicking ‘Start’ launches the familiar ‘Add Resume Utility.’ Now, rather than clicking the ‘Open’ icon to browse the computer’s drive for a resume, we’ll open up a folder on the machine that has multiple resume documents in it. Now, we highlight the ones we want – either with the mouse, or by clicking the first one and then shift-clicking on the last – and drag them to the lower area of the utility. Now we can see that there are 14 resumes in the queue. Then we can verify and complete the info on the first one, and click ‘Next’ to move right on to the next resume. When you have more than one document to import, this is much quicker than starting the process over for every file.

Now, let’s talk about the Clipboard icon. You’ll find this handy data parsing utility next to the Company Name field on Company records, and the Last Name field in Name records. This feature works in two scenarios. If we’re looking at a record that’s already saved in the system, clicking on the clipboard gives you a plain-text version of the major contact fields. This can be useful when you want to copy and paste someone’s info into an email or a document.

The feature also works when adding clients or other contacts without resumes to the database. For example, here’s the signature in an email I just received. I can copy it, go to the ‘quick add’, and choose ‘Manual Entry’. Here, clicking the clipboard icon launches a parsing popup. We just paste, and parse. Now the contact details are ready to save. The same trick works when adding a new Company record.

Lastly, let’s look at the Parsed History feature. This area is found at the bottom of the ‘History’ screen from the navigation menu on Name records, but really, you can think of it an alternate way to view the contents of a resume. When we click ‘Parsed History,’ PCRecruiter pulls the contents of the current resume on file for this person, and presents the education and work history in a convenient table. You’ll the time range for each item, and the parser’s breakdown of titles, locations, and skills deduced from the resume’s contents. Of course, the accuracy of this analysis will vary, depending on the formatting and wording of the resume, but it can be helpful for getting your bearings when you need to quickly skim a candidate’s experience.

That’s it for this edition of Two Minute Tuesday. For more, 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.