Two Minute Tuesday: Relational Database Structure

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

In this week’s Two Minute Tuesday video, we’re going to take a departure from how-to and take a broader look at how PCRecruiter’s internal database is laid out.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 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 to this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

We’ve been together in this video series for a few months now, and we think it’s time to discuss the relationship. Specifically, the relationship between the major record types in PCRecruiter. While most users will never need to or want to know how the SQL database under the hood of PCR is laid out, a mental picture of how records are related can be helpful – particularly if you’re building an advanced search query, custom report, or planning a development project using the PCRecruiter API.

PCRecruiter uses a relational database with multiple tables to contain different kinds of information. For example, there is a table for companies, a table for names, and a table for jobs. Each table has columns of data for the specific attributes of that record type, such as a city, title, middle name, and so on.

Every record in the main tables has a unique global identifier so that the system can track which records are related to each other and how. Setting things up this way allows the same piece of information to be used in relation to multiple records, or to be easily re-associated with a different record at any time.

PCRecruiter is somewhat unique among recruiting systems because it uses the Company record as the central record type, although a company record can really represent any group of related names or jobs, not just an actual physical company. While it may appear that the names and jobs are ‘part of the company,’ the Company record itself just contains the info about the company. The people and jobs associated with that company are in the Name and Position tables. So, when you view the names belonging to a company, PCR is actually querying the Name table of the database for any records that match the global identifier of the selected company.

The critical advantage here is that a name can be moved from one company to another simply by changing the company identifier, allowing a candidate to become a client, or a vendor to become an employee, without duplicating or recreating their contact record. All of that person’s activity logs and attachments (which, incidentally are kept in their own separate tables), stay linked to that name no matter what jobs or company the name is associated with. Over time, PCR’s company-centric database structure lets you build up a much clearer picture of where your contacts have been and how they relate to one another.

The connection between jobs and candidates is managed in the same way. When you view an applicant Pipeline, you’re looking at records from the Interviews table. Interview records (which in PCRecruiter terms represent any step in the recruiting process – not just phone and face-to-face interviews) include things like the date, time, and status of that step in the process, but they don’t include the information about the job or the candidate. Instead, they include the global identifiers indicating which job and which names those pipeline records are pertinent to. This setup lets you have multiple candidates tied to multiple jobs, regardless of what company the job or candidate are associated with.

In fact, most of the time your candidates will belong to the ‘default company’, which is a special company record that PCR uses to group all the names that don’t belong to any more specific company. A talent pool. When you place someone, PCR changes their company identifier to the one from the job they were just placed in, effectively making them a name under that company, but without losing or changing any of the history they came with.

Fortunately, as you interact with your database, whether that’s through PCR itself or a third-party tool using the API, the software builds all the structured queries necessary to navigate the database and return the info you want, whether or not you fully understand how it’s all connected. If you do need more specifics on the tables in a PCRecruiter database, contact our support team at support@mainsequence.net.

And for more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel and watch our social networks or your PCR login screen. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Geographic Searches

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

It’s Tuesday, and we have a fresh Two Minute Tuesday tutorial to share! This week’s video shows you a few ways to find records by their location which you might not have tried before.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 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 to this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

This week, we’re going to look at techniques for searching your database by geographical area, and we’ll walk through a few simple searches, showing you some techniques you might not have tried.

Let’s start with phone number, since area codes can indicate where someone is located, although the portability of cell phone numbers means you’ll likely use this as a starting point and then re-filter your results. We can search the home phone, cell phone, work phone, and so on using the basic search form, but there’s also a comprehensive ‘All Phone’ option, which looks at every phone field in the record at once. To search by multiple area codes, we can use commas to separate them. For example, searching ‘All Phone’ for 416,647,437 finds everyone with a phone number near Toronto, Ontario.

We can use comma-separation with the City and State too. If we want to find people in Aurora or Naperville, we can select ‘City’ and enter ‘Aurora,Naperville.’ Now, there are a lot of cities called ‘Aurora’ and we only want results from Illinois, so we’ll add “IL” into the State search. PCR’s basic search treats these boxes as AND criteria, so it’s going to give us results with either Aurora or Naperville in the City field AND Illinois in the State field.

Similarly, using commas in the State field searches for multiple states. A search for OK,AR,LA,TX will find anyone in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Texas. But there’s actually an even simpler way to do searches across multiple states or regions like these.

If you do a Google Image Search for “zip code prefixes” you’ll find maps showing how the postal codes are arranged. The states we’re looking for all have a zip code starting with 7, so rather than searching the state field for four states, we can just search for 7 in the zip code field. If we want to search in a more specific area, we can use the first two or three numbers of the zip code. For example, searching 845,856,874,813 finds people near the four-corners of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, even though that area encompasses multiple cities and states.

You can also run a more accurate area search with the Zipcode Radius tool. (This feature works with postal codes from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Max radius 100 miles.) Let’s say we want to find anyone within 50 miles of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We can do that from the Advanced Search screen. We’ll select Zipcode Radius from the first pulldown. Now, we click on the Radius icon to the right of the field. I don’t know the zip code off hand, so I’ll select City, and begin typing. We pick the desired city from the list, set the radius to 50, and click ‘Search’. PCRecruiter returns all of the zip codes within the chosen radius, and we can click ‘Accept’ to add them to the Advanced Search. In the search results, the City column will indicate roughly how far the listed City is from the radius’s center.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel and watch our social networks or your PCR login screen. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: RingCentral

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

Partnered with us since Fall 2015, RingCentral brings SMS and VOIP connectivity to PCRecruiter. If you’re one of the many folks who’ve ask exactly how the two systems work together, this week’s Two Minute Tuesday video is for you!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 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 to this week’s Two Minute Tuesday, Main Sequence’s series of short videos with tips, tricks, and tutorials to make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

This week we’ll be looking at how PCRecruiter works with RingCentral, an integrated partner that gives users the ability to launch calls from PCR records, get incoming call popups linking to the matching PCR records, or send SMS text messages to one or multiple recipients at a time, and all with full activity tracking and reporting.

Here’s the RingCentral desktop app popping up, and now PCRecruiter pops up an indicator showing that there are records in my database matching the incoming call’s phone number. Clicking on the popup brings up the names, companies, and jobs bearing that phone number. Now I’ve got instant access to the records relevant to this call.

Well, now that you’ve seen an incoming call, let’s look at the outgoing side of things. If we mouse over any phone field on a record, the icons to call or text appear to the right. If we click on the phone icon, the PCR dialing popup appears with a short countdown, and then launches the RingCentral app to make the call. The popup remains visible so that we can write in some activity text while we’re on the call.

If we click on the SMS icon, the dialer window appears and we can select from the available phone numbers on the record to send a text message. We’ll click on the mobile number, which launches a fresh text message window in the RingCentral app.

Any calls or texts you which make on your RingCentral phone number, whether from a PCRecruiter screen, RingCentral’s interface, or the RingCentral mobile app, will generate activities on any record in your database matching the phone number. This means that you can keep your business communications and contacts separate from your personal cell number and still do your job on the go. Call and text logs from RingCentral are synchronized back to PCRecruiter’s Activities every few minutes, so now if we check back into the Activities area, we’ll see the inbound call, outbound call and text message have all been listed.

If we want to send the same text to multiple recipients at the same time, which can be helpful in notifying several candidates about a new opening, updating people on the status of a job, and so forth, we need to start by getting the recipients’ permission to include them in our bulk SMS messages. Check your local laws and regulations on bulk texting.

When RingCentral is enabled, a new Form Letter is added to the system which can be sent to your contacts, asking them to text the word Subscribe or Unsubscribe to your unique RingCentral number. The resulting Opt In list can be found and worked with by searching for SMS in the System area.

The bulk SMS option appears in the Action menu on your Rollup Lists and Search Results. You’ll select the records you want and click the SMS icon. The popup window indicates whether any of the people selected aren’t currently opted into your bulk texts, with the option to send the pre-defined invitation Form Letter to them automatically from this screen. To send a text to those who have opted in, you’ll just fill in the box with your message and click “Send”. RingCentral queues them up and sends them as individual texts from your phone number so that the recipients can text or call back.

If you’d like to get started with RingCentral and PCRecruiter, contact your Main Sequence representative for all the details.

And for more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel and watch our social networks or your PCR login screen. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Transferring Records

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

Our Two Minute Tuesday video series continues this week with a discussion of how to move or copy records between one PCRecruiter database and another.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 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 to 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 talking about transferring records between databases. You might have a separate databases in your account for different markets or divisions… situations in which the jobs, companies, and candidates in those databases would never mingle in any way. Another common reason for extra databases is for archiving records that you don’t need to work with anymore, but don’t want to delete. If you need a blank database added to your account, contact our support department; our hosted billing is based on your number of users and the file size of your data, so there’s usually no additional costs involved unless you’re adding new users or duplicating significant amounts of data into the second database.

Moving data between databases requires access to both the source and target databases using the same username and password. And, if you’re not a database administrator, you’ll also need permission on the “Data Transfer” security setting for your username.

There are two ways to copy or move a record. The first method is from a Rollup List. If you need a refresher on Rollups, check out the video from January 19. Here’s a Rollup list of names I want to move to my Archive database. I start by selecting the records I plan to move, either with this dropdown, or by checking off specific records.

Now I go to the Action menu and choose Move to Database, or Copy to Database. “Move” takes the record out of the source database after it’s been copied, while “Copy” leaves the original record intact. We’ll use the “Move” option in this example.

We select the database we want to move the records to, and choose a method for recognizing duplicate names, or disable duplicate checking entirely. Below, we have the option to group the moved records on a Rollup list in the target database. We also have the option to swap out the resumes on any duplicates in the target for the one coming from this source database. The old resume will be moved into the attachments area on the record.

When we click the button, the records are transferred, along with their attachments, resumes, activities, and so on. If there’s no company in the target database with the exact same name as the one they belong to in the current database, their company will be copied also. Because we’re not moving the jobs they applied to, their Pipeline records cannot be copied, but you can still see most of that history in their Activity records.

The other method of moving or copying records is on a one-at-a-time basis from the record itself. If you move or copy single records frequently, you might want to set this up.

When you’re customizing your record layout (see our February 16 video), you’ll find a “One Click Setup” option for moving and copying at the top of the layout customization screen. In this popup, you can configure the default settings for moving or copying. You can also set a ‘Source Label’, which creates a “Candidate Referral Source” custom field on the record in the target database so you can track which database the name originated from. Once that’s configured, you can add the “Predefined: Move Database” field anywhere in your layout. This creates a button on your screen. Just click the button, and the current record is moved or copied to the database you’ve select, using your configured preferences.

For more Two Minute Tuesdays, subscribe to this YouTube channel and watch our social networks or your PCR login screen. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.

Two Minute Tuesday: Pipeline Layout

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

The Pipeline is the heart of the applicant tracking process in PCRecruiter, and this week’s Two Minute Tuesday shows you how to get even more out of it by customizing the data fields you see on your screen.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, 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 make you a more powerful PCRecruiter user.

The Pipeline is the hub of your candidate tracking process in PCRecruiter, and like many other areas of the system, you can configure the layout to help you work more efficiently. And who doesn’t want to work more efficiently, right?

Customizing the Pipeline begins with the Customize icon found, as usual, under the Actions menu. When it first pops up, the sections are collapsed. Let’s look at them one at a time.

The first option lets you define which data columns appear in the grid. Key items you’ll probably want to include will be the name, interviews link, most recent interview, and current status. You can also add a star ranking tool, and stage icons for more nuanced candidate sorting.

The Default Pipeline Folder option lets you set a specific interview type to load when you first open the Pipeline. In this case, I’m setting it to ‘Presentation’ so I always start off looking at the fresh candidates.

If you’re including the candidate’s Company in the columns, the Additional Company Detail Felds section allows you to add more fields below the company name, such as the location, username, etc.

The Additional Name Detail Fields section does the same thing for the name column. Let’s give this area some special attention. By using this section, not only can you add helpful data points like the candidate’s contact info, sourcing details, and so on, but you can also add links to any custom profile forms you’re using. If I add my custom skill sheet profile to the layout, I’ll be able to see a link to it right in the pipeline for any candidate with a completed skill sheet in their attachments.

Expand Interview Type is a holdover from older versions. PCRecruiter 9 automatically expands whichever sections were open the last time you looked at a pipeline, so we can skip this area.

Rows Per Page, as the name suggests, defines how many rows appear in your Pipeline grid. It defaults to 20 and can go up to 100. Keep in mind that adding too many rows or fields to any layout in PCR can negatively impact screen loading speeds.

The Reporting Options section turns on a shortcut to the built-in Applicant Tracking Report right here in the Pipeline. When this box is checked, the Reports icon in the Action menu can run the Applicant Tracking Report report, pre-filtered to this one job.

And if you want to tear it all up and start over, checking the Remove Layout box and clicking Save will wipe out all of your customizations so you can start fresh. Any customizations you make to the Pipeline config will apply to the pipeline screen for all jobs you view with your user login.

We’ll look at more powerful things you can do with your Pipeline in future videos, but that’s it for this week’s Two Minute Tuesday. For more, subscribe to this YouTube channel and watch our social networks or your PCR login screen. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, send an email to twominutetuesday@mainsequence.net.