The latest PCRecruiter update adds Email Categories, letting recipients opt in or out of specific types of mass-email for more control over your email marketing.

A new update has been released on the PCRecruiter hosting servers this morning. In addition to the standard issue corrections and performance enhancements, this update also includes changes in preparation for the release of our Sequencing feature, which will be officially available in September. While most of the changes will go unseen for those not using Sequencing, there are some important changes that will affect those who are using our current Email Campaigns or legacy Bulk Mail feature.

Subscription Statuses

In earlier versions of PCRecruiter, an email address could have one of four statuses:

  • No Status – No opt-in or opt-out request has been recorded, therefore this address can be sent single or mass-email until otherwise specified.
  • Opt-Out Bulk – PCRecruiter can send email to this address on an individual basis, but the email will be skipped when sending any multi-recipient email, such as a Campaign or legacy Bulk Mail.
  • Opt-Out All – PCRecruiter cannot send email to this address.
  • Opt-In – This address has explicitly given permission to receive all email.

It’s important to note that the subscription status is linked to the email address itself and not to the Name record, as you might have multiple records with the same email address, or you may remove a name from the system and re-add it at a later date.

New: Subscription Categories

Because the Opt-Out/Opt-In feature in previous versions was either “all-in” or “all-out”, it could limit the ability to manage more nuanced marketing and communication.

The new update includes an Email Category designation that applies to the email’s opt-in/out status, as well as to the mass email sends, thereby allowing recipients to receive only the kinds of email they wish to receive.

For example, someone may wish to receive Billing emails, but opt out of Newsletters. By giving recipients the option to choose by category, they are less inclined to opt out of all email just to avoid receiving some email.

The pre-defined list of Email Categories consists of the following options:

Announcements, Appointments, Benefits, Billing, Business Development, Compliance, Corrections Recalls, Education Training, Follow Ups, Holiday Greetings, Marketing, Networking, Newsletters, Operations, Opportunities, Referrals, Requests, Shareholders, Surveys, Updates, and Other

By default, ALL Categories will be visible. To hide the Categories that you don’t intend to use, any administrator-level user in your database can navigate to SYSTEM > Email Setup > Bulk Email Categories. From there, they can uncheck the extraneous choices. This will hide that Category both for users sending email and for recipients editing their subscription options.

What does this change for PCR users?

The new Email Category dropdown supporting email subscriptions.
The new “Email Category” dropdown is required when sending email to a search result or Rollup list of recipients.

When users are sending any Campaign or Bulk Email, they will now be presented with an “Email Category” dropdown. The user must select the appropriate category based on the content of the email, so that the email is only sent to those who have not otherwise opted out of such communications.

Note that in the Campaigns email feature, the new “Email Category” dropdown is different from the existing “Category” field. The “Email Category” is based on the content of the letter and is used for opt-in/out purposes, whereas the “Category” field designates how that Campaign will be grouped when reviewing the Email area of the PCR Analytics.

What does this change for email recipients?

Any Form Letters which you are using for mass-email should have the [[Email Opt Out Link]] merge tag included in the footer, as well as your full contact information (see the Email Opt-in/Opt-out article in our Learning Center for complete setup instructions).

Subscription Checklist
Visit SYSTEM > Email Setup > Bulk Mail Categories to adjust which options are available.

With the new update, the “Update Subscription Preferences” popup includes a new “Subscription Preferences” link which will allow the recipient to check or uncheck the categories they’re interested in.

Clicking “Confirm” from the initial popup will only opt them out of the particular Category of email that they clicked the link from, but the “Subscription Preferences” panel includes an Unsubscribe All option.

For the moment, the option to add/remove an address from specific Email Categories is limited to this recipient-facing popup window, but we will be adding the option for system admins to add or remove emails from particular Categories in an upcoming version.

What does this change for PCRecruiter Administrators?

Admin-level users will see changes to the SYSTEM > Email Setup >Email Opt-In/Opt-Out List screen. There is a new “Categories Opted-In” column adjacent to the “Status” column.

SYSTEM > Email Setup >Email Opt-In/Opt-Out List
  • Emails that have been opted into specific categories will have “Opt-In” in the Status column, and will show their selected Categories in the “Categories Opted-In” column.
  • Emails that have been opted out of all BULK mail will have “Opt-In” in the Status column, but will show no categories in the “Categories Opted-In” column.
  • Emails that have been opted out of ALL mail, bulk or otherwise, will have “Opt-Out” in the Status column and nothing in the “Categories Opted-In”.
  • If you are using our GDPR features, any existing emails that have been opted-in will appear with “Opt-In” in the Status column and will have ALL Categories opted-in by default.

Whichever type of recruitment you’re involved with, and whatever sector or niche you specialize in, having the right tools to handle your recruitment process can give you a competitive advantage and ensure you fill your open roles with top talent.

For any type of recruiter, from permanent placement through to internal HR departments, the right applicant tracking system / software (ATS) can help you manage large quantities of applicants and candidates and make your recruitment process more efficient and effective. 

In this blog post, Stacy Racutt, PCRecruiter Training Manager, explores the basics behind applicant tracking software, and how the right solution can streamline workflows to enable you to make the right hires, faster. 

Isometric cartoon of man holding an ATS (applicant tracking system) sign

What is an applicant tracking system (ATS)?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a type of software which enables recruiters and employers to track applicants and candidates through the recruiting and hiring process.

Functionality is typically broad, covering everything from a candidate database to email and SMS integrations which help to streamline and automate communication between candidates, employers, and recruitment professionals.

The right ATS can facilitate the standardization and improvement of processes and workflows to achieve the bottom line: finding the best candidate for the role.

How an ATS works

Once a company’s job descriptions have been created, they’re typically posted on a job board on a website. This gives active candidates a window into what’s available, allowing them to view open positions, and apply for suitable roles. 

After completing and submitting an online application, often uploading their resume or curriculum vitae (CV), applicant information is then captured and added to a database on the ATS. Once a candidate is in the system, recruiters can then interact with, and track, the progress of candidates throughout the recruitment process.

With PCRecruiter (PCR), any activity around a specific candidate can be tracked across the full range of communication channels including emails, SMS, and calls. This helps recruiters build a clear history of their relationship with a candidate. With every communication in a single, centralized record, it’s easily accessible, and highly visible to recruiters and their managers.

Passive candidates take a slightly different path into the ATS. These people are not actively seeking a specific position, but may be open to the right opportunity. The PCR Capture tool enables employers and recruiters to parse candidate contact information from popular social media and professional websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Indeed to create a record for them. 

Why use an Applicant Tracking System?

From a candidate application on a job board through to the final interview, some system to track the sourcing and placement process is a recruiting necessity. However, for many smaller-scale search firms, or recruiters who are just starting out, it’s not uncommon for workflows to include manual processes, which are inefficient and vulnerable to human errors. 

Over time, and with an ever-growing talent pool, it can become increasingly challenging to keep track of top talent and MPCs. They may lose out to competitors, have to settle for second best, or not make a placement at all. While sticky notes on a whiteboard or a series of Excel sheets might be a workable solution in the early days, the need for applicant tracking software quickly becomes obvious. 

Digitally transformed recruitment

Isometric illustration of someone looking at a large resume on a screen

Digitization of manual recruitment processes usually leads to the use of spreadsheets to track candidate progress. If you’re dealing with a very small data set and a narrow set of needs, a spreadsheet can do the job, up to a point. There may be nothing inherently wrong with a spreadsheet, but it wasn’t designed with recruitment in mind, and it’s not a searchable database of resumes or CVs, or a convenient way to track a process over specific dates and times. 

A spreadsheet was built for numbers and data, and there comes a point when it’s not the right tool for getting the job of recruitment done. On the other hand, digitalization represents a step on from simply transferring an existing paper-based system to a digital one. Digitalization of your recruitment process requires the use of cutting edge recruitment technology to add value and drive efficiencies to your day-to-day operations. Digitalization gives you the opportunity to improve your existing workflows by leveraging the potential of digital tools and their functionality. 

For newer, scaling recruiters, the next logical step is to track and monitor candidates through an online recruitment platform. This acts like an ATS, but the information isn’t unique to them. Essentially, it grants access to a shared talent pool, which is being mined by multiple firms. It isn’t a private bank of contacts and resumes/CVs with a communication history that’s ready and waiting when it’s next needed for a potential hire.

History Matters

This history is really important. Why? If you have multiple recruiters in the same office, working in the same industry, it’s important they’re aware of each candidate’s history with your organization. Has anyone else interviewed them previously? Is someone else currently trying to place them elsewhere? 

Without a reliable ATS, it can be hard to tell. 

Having a complete history of a person, even including feedback from a client, on file and at hand, immediately provides a head start and avoids crossover with other recruiters going after the same talent.

Furthermore, all of your own notes and actions regarding a candidate can make them easier to identify for future searches. Searching across the open web or paid candidate sources may only turn up those who are actively on the market, or may only provide partial information, whereas your private talent pool may contain that perfect candidate that has been in your roster all along, and who may not be accessible to anyone else.

And this is to say nothing of the benefits of keeping your job openings and client information on file in the same database with your candidates, allowing you to efficiently cross-reference, promote, and communicate.

How an ATS benefits recruiters and employers

There’s no question that in a highly competitive job market, making effective use of the right ATS can give employers and recruiters the edge on their rivals when trying to acquire the best candidates. Here are five reasons to invest in an ATS: 

  1. Speed-up search by building a pool of talent which contains historical data, and personal details, which can come into play at any given moment in a future placement.  
  1. Centralize all communication, including calls, SMS, and email in one repository so that everything you know about a candidate is available with a just few clicks.
  1. Greater visibility over your processes can help you refine and evolve workflows by creating automations, finding spots where you can drive efficiencies by eliminating repetitive, routine tasks.
  1. Save time by creating re-usable templates for things like resumes, forms, and questionnaires. Upload online job postings quickly and efficiently to multiple sites.
  1. Quickly identify passive candidates through your ever-growing, searchable library of candidate records, including all your previous interactions with them. 

Choosing the right ATS

When a spreadsheet of contact information is no longer meeting your recruitment needs, and is actually slowing you down, an ATS gives you a lot more capability, versatility, and functionality. The right ATS allows you to do more with your data.

PCRecruiter is a fully customizable ATS and CRM designed to meet your specific recruitment needs, and works with your existing processes, evolving as you do. Pick the core and premium functionality that’s right for you, and discover new ways to speed up your placement process, from scheduling call plans to capturing data from online sources.

See PCRecruiter in action. Book a demo today.

Top talent tends not to stick around too long, so when it comes to securing the right person for the right role, the best recruiters need to be quick off the mark. As a recruitment professional, how can you hire faster without dropping your hiring standards? In the latest blog from PCRecruiter, we share ten tips for faster, more efficient recruiting.

When it’s time to hire, time is always of the essence. Not only is faster hiring an effective way to reduce your cost-per-hire, it can give you a better chance of securing top talent before they get snapped up by a competitor. No matter which industry you’re recruiting for, the time-to-hire metric is likely to be one of your most valuable performance indicators.

So how can you reduce the friction and increases the velocity of your hiring process, without working at twice the speed and suffering from recruiter burning out in the process? Like a professional athlete, making minor adjustments in your training and approach can make all the difference when you hit the field of play. 

Why hire faster?

The plain and simple reason why you should hire faster is that the best candidates have a short shelf life. Once you’ve uncovered a promising individual, there’s only limited time to act, and even then you may already be too late. The reason? Many employers and recruiters are using ever more inventive and time-efficient tactics to get the right candidates quicker through the door. 

The so-called ‘The Great Resignation’ – where millions of US workers voluntarily left their jobs – means that when it comes to the job market, the supply of vacant positions is now outweighed by demand. In addition, there’s also a notable trend amongst millennials (those born between roughly 1980 and 1996) to change jobs more frequently than other generations. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 60% of millennials are open to a new job opportunity.

The last 10 months of 2021—since March—saw the largest exodus of employees on record.
The last 10 months of 2021 saw the largest exodus of employees on record. The orange line in this chart represents job quit numbers in 2021.

How can you hire faster?

With the terrain of the general recruitment landscape mapped out, what can you do as a recruiter to navigate it quicker and more effectively? Here are our top ten tips for hiring faster.

  1. Select the right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and CRM

    It pays to invest in the right ATS and CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. After all, they’re the most important tools in your day-to-day and the key to structuring your hiring process more effectively. With the right, configurable solution in place for managing talent and applicant flow, you can continuously optimize every stage of the recruiting process.
  1. Refine, standardize, and automate your recruiting process

    When you need to take a quicker route somewhere, things  like maps, traffic reports, satellite navigation, and local knowledge can all come into play. And the candidate journey is no different. By taking the time to analyze their journey, it’s possible to identify and remove bottlenecks, find places where automations can save you valuable time. 
  1. Choose the right tools for your recruitment tech stack

    With so many integrations and point solutions out there, your recruitment tech stack can quickly become unwieldy. Jumping between tools, tabs, or apps, often creates unnecessary friction which slows down the entire process. Whilst it might not yet be possible to use a single tool for every aspect of the hiring workflow, some integrated solutions come pretty close to minimizing the need for multiple tools (which may nor may not work effectively together). 
  1. Take a data-driven approach

    In a world where almost every industry is harnessing the business benefits of ‘Big Data’, the right analytics can improve and accelerate recruitment decision-making at every level. Leveraging insights around the time it takes to fill a specific type of role or complete a particular stage of the recruitment process will help you to identity potential time-saving alternatives. 
  1. Fill a talent pool in advance

    The beauty of deploying the right ATS is that you can create a talent pool in anticipation of the future recruitment. Based on business needs and goals, this database is vital for smoothing and streamlining your search when it’s the right time to hire. It’s a ready-made source of candidates to whom you can reach out at the appropriate time.
  1. Hire faster by sourcing faster

    One way to accelerate your time to hire is by improving your sourcing efforts before the hiring begins. There are a range of strategies you can deploy, including utilizing social media, referrals, talent databases, and monitoring internal talent. Research by LinkedIn revealed that referrals are the number one way people discover a new job. 
  1. Deliver a better candidate experience

    As with your company brand, you need to ensure potential candidates have a consistent and positive experience at every touchpoint. That means everything from your careers page to your communication during the recruitment process needs to be aligned with your brand voice, and appealing to your audience, to reduce the likelihood of candidates dropping off. 
  1. Improve job postings

    Another absolutely critical candidate touchpoint is your job posting itself. If you’re going to get the best match for the role, you need to make sure it’s honest, engaging, and targeted at your ideal candidate. Focus on what the role offers first, before you go into the details. 

    Providing lists of essential and desirable qualifications and experience helps you to slightly broaden the net. Focusing on your target talent, you might get fewer people interested, but those candidates are more likely to be a better match – reducing the number of applications to sift.
  1. Streamline assessment

    Whatever kind of assessment you use to screen candidates, bear in mind that it can add on days to your hiring process. Be selective about which ones you actually need to use in order to make the hire. An ATS system with the ability to create customized filters might be another way to speed up the selection process.    
  1. Shorten the interview process

    Do you really need three rounds of interviews? One simple way to reduce the time to hire is to optimize the interview process and automate interview scheduling. By conducting fewer interviews or reducing the time between them, you can dramatically accelerate your talent acquisition.

Hire faster but don’t rush it

Hire slow, fire fast. That’s how it goes, right? The temptation to rush through a hire without going through the proper process and due diligence can easily lead to you selecting the wrong candidate: someone who’s not a good fit for a company’s culture; a person who’s going to onboard and then up and away after weeks or months.  

All that time and money wasted on sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding the wrong person (or people) could have been better spent on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process, ensuring your efforts to secure a placement are rewarded with the right person for the role. 

Hiring faster shouldn’t equate to a drop in your hiring standards. In fact, a faster, more efficient hiring process should lead to better hiring results. PCRecruiter has been helping recruiters secure the best talent since 1998. Find out how our software streamlines the hiring process from end-to-end, bringing automations and configurations that can ramp-up your speed and efficiency. Discover our tech.