Posts Tagged ‘recruiting software’

Stay Calm and Use More Hot Sauce

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Stay Calm and Use More Hot Sauce


Interview with Joel Passen of Newton Software

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment
Joel Passen is the co-founder and VP of marketing at Newton Software, an innovative recruiting software and applicant tracking company that is changing the way we recruit.  He shed some light on his product, how it’s different from everything else in the recruiting software space, and how applicant tracking is constantly an evolving field.

[Guru] Joel, thanks for agreeing to the interview.

[Joel] The honor is mine. I read your tweets.

[Guru] You guys claim to have the easiest to use applicant tracking software. Easy-to-use – I hear this all the time. What makes Newton any different?

[Joel] Frankly, most vendors can’t really explain what makes their software easy-to-use. We can. Newton is easy-to-use because it has recruiting DNA built in. This is particularly evident when you look at Newton’s workflow. It’s flexible and is designed to work the way that recruiting works.  So, from day one, our customers get an application that is smart and understands what they are trying to do. This smart, flexible workflow also allows us to enable critical features like automatically tracking EEO and OFCCP data, sending thank you letters to every candidate and providing real-time analytics.

With Newton, on day one, you get a login, get your job listings online, do a short walk-through with one of our product specialists and that’s it- you’re ready to go. Giving Newton to hiring manages is simple too. And, it takes just minutes to get them entirely set up. Tell them to hit the green button if they like someone and the red button if they don’t. They love it and they use it which makes life easier for recruiters.

[Guru] So, you can activate Newton in a day?

To us, easy-to-use translates to easy to activate – easy to get started. We don’t require customers to wade through paperwork or sign their first born away to get started. And, even better, it doesn’t take much training at all to get started with Newton. Recruiters are up and running in an hour and training a hiring manager takes a matter of minutes. We activate 95% of our customers, soup to nuts in less than 24 hours. And, activating Newton is 100% free – no activation or implementation fees. Oh, and we don’t charge for support either.

[Guru] Ok, so what do you charge for?

(laugh) We have tiered pricing plans at Newton and charge for only staffing users. Hiring managers, interviewers, executives and HR stakeholders are all considered general users and we encourage companies to create as many general users as they want for free. And, we never require long-term contracts. Newton is a month to month service, pay as you go. This forces us to earn our customers’ business every month and holds us accountable. We’re forced to provide a stable platform and to continually strive to make Newton better, to be innovative, to listen. We have a saying here: “We design software that we’d want to use and we sell it the way we’d want to buy it.”

[Guru] With this type of model, how do you make money? How do you compete?

Well, my simple answer is that we charge people to use our software Guru. And, we have quite a few customers so we’re doing really well. But, I know what you’re really asking – how can we survive? Listen, we’re pioneering a trend that’s taking place not just in the applicant tracking space but in the software industry as a whole. With the availability of common platforms and open source tools combined with pure internet distribution models, delivering software is getting more efficient every day. Simply put, it’s gotten cheaper to offer better technology and we’ve built our company and business model reflect the times. Plus, we don’t have the baggage that our competitors have, the debt, the huge teams to support, the fancy offices, the tradeshow booths. We don’t need to charge exorbitant prices or charge for training implementation or any of that peripheral stuff that makes buyers weary.

[Guru] What do these new models mean for the recruiting software space?

Well, for the buyers of applicant tracking software, these new trends are great. There’s finally some innovation in the market. It means that software is getting better and less expensive at the same time. Buyers like that. It’s a buyer’s market and it will remain this way.

As for the vendors, this means that they are going to have to find ways to adapt. The competition is going to continue to increase as new vendors come on line offering innovative technology delivered in more economical ways. It’s going to get harder before it gets easier for vendors that aren’t prepared to adapt to the new software economy.

[Guru] So what’s next for Newton Software? Are you guys heading into Talent Management or the HRIS space?

Well, as you know, we just released Newton RPO, a version of Newton designed for recruitment outsourcers. We’ve actually had customers using this edition since 2008 but just recently started to market it. We’re comfortable in the recruiting software space. We know recruiting and there are other opportunities in this space.  Otherwise, we have a full product roadmap for scheduled for Newton for the rest of the year consisting of some really killer new features that continue to focus on improving and simplifying recruiting. Beyond that, we have some plans for a new product that we’re not talking about at the moment. You’ll have to stay tuned.

Why your Business Needs Software as a Service

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a growing business model that can provide a great new perspective to companies that need to utilize software applications for their everyday operations.   Today, there are thousands of SaaS applications that can handle everything from corporate recruiting and lead generation to inter-organizational collaboration.

In the past, antiquated ‘bulk’ pricing methods often left companies high and dry without the desired results from a software application. Software as a Service changes the game completely, allowing companies to choose their own pricing plan and get the most bang for their buck, so to speak.

One question that often arises is: why didn’t SaaS happen before?  If it’s so great, why now?  The answer is, cutting edge internet technologies have recently allowed SaaS companies to provide their technology to clients at minimal costs by leveraging cloud computing, open development, and flexible software models.

If your business hasn’t tried out a SaaS specific to your industry, here are several reasons to get going now:

1. Ready-Made

Just as you would save time from cooking by picking up some ready-made food, SaaS is also ‘ready made’ for specific industries.  For example, SaaS Recruiting Software is tailored specifically for hiring managers and recruiters, and is often developed by them. The cost and time it would take for a company to ‘cook up’ their own tailor-made software package would be enormous compared to utilizing a SaaS solution. Deploying SaaS for your company is fast, and will have immediate results.

2.  The Most Bang for Your Buck

Many SaaS providers charge a monthly fee that can be cancelled at any point if the services provided are not adequate.    This low risk program allows a business to evaluate the success of the software package on an ongoing basis to decide if they want to continue its use.   This is in strict opposition to the B2B software models of old, that often had large upfront costs and strict contracts that required a customer to take a big risk.

3.  No Installation Required

The majority of modern Software as a Service solutions live ‘in the cloud.’  This means that these programs are fully accessible online and don’t require  installation onto a specific computer for use.  Not only does this save a business time and resources during the installation process, but it also allows a company’s employees to access the system anywhere, anytime.

4.  Expert Support

Because Software as a Service is often industry specific, many SaaS providers also are experts in that industry.  This industry expertise translates to far better support than your traditional ‘broad spectrum’ software package.  How many times have you spent countless hours on a support line, just trying to get to the right person within an organization?  With SaaS support, anyone you get on the phone will most likely be able to answer your questions.

5.  Real Time Collaboration

Because many SaaS packages live online, they tend to stress a collaboration and ‘social networking’ aspect that many older software models tend to forget.  We live in a world where Facebook and Twitter are mainstays of communication, allowing for real-time updates and news.  Online SaaS takes a similar Web 2.0 view of business, allowing employees to communicate and view incoming data in real-time.

How to Pick Your Resume Builder Software

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

One new category of software application that has been gaining visibility recently is the online resume builder.  If you search for “resume builder” you will discover a plethora of free and pay-for tools as well as expert resume writers soliciting their services.

So how do you pick which Resume Creator is best for you?  To help you out, I’ve taken the liberty to try four of the most popular resume builders.  Basically, I created a resume on each of the following sites and evaluated the program’s performance:

Visual CV

VisualCV differentiates itself by allowing users to add videos, images, and links to your standard resume.  The software also utilizes a very simple job search functionality as well as privacy settings over who has access to your profile.    This is a great program for users that are looking to showcase portfolios within their resume.  Think artists, web designers, film makers and more.


ResuWe is a free site that lets a user optimize their resume by uploading a current version of the document.  It points out the key components of a resume and automatically breaks up the information with very little data entry required. Although ResuWe is easy to use, some of the site seems a bit slapped together.  ResuWe also allows a user to search jobs through  The service provides some basic SNS and promotional tools as well.

Job Spice

For the time being, Job Spice is free.  This program runs much like an application created during a school project, rather than software that could be valued by a business or paying consumer.  The service concentrates on making your resume visually appealing through the use of a number of preset templates.  One problem I had when demoing JobSpice was successfully exporting my resumes to .pdf format.


Pongo has several options for subscription: a free trial account, a monthly fee or an annual fee.  For the fee you can download a resume you’ve created and also utilize tools like advanced job matching and task management.  The free option is fairly elementary, taking you through a step by step list to build your on site resume.  Overall, Pongo’s UI is not very efficient at all.

Overall, I give my best grade to ResuWe because it understands its target customers. ResuWe was created by experts that realize that in a resume, simplicity is the biggest factor. Their service doesn’t let you use thousands of fonts, insert videos, or export in anything but MS Word format, but it gets the job done.  In fact, MS Word docs are the standard for recruiting software programs that hiring departments utilize to upload and parse.

Top 5 Ways to Organize your Small Business

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

blackboardRunning a small business or start up can be a daunting task because most of the primary day to day responsibilities often fall on the shoulders of one or two owners.  There are a multitude of tasks to keep track of, including accounting, hiring, marketing, financial forecasts and deadlines for clients.   Sometimes, it can be overwhelming for one person to juggle so many different tasks simultaneously.

I’d like to take a moment to go over several simple tools and methods to help small business owners keep track of and prioritize the various tasks involved in operations.

1.   Use a Whiteboard

Whether it’s a whiteboard, blackboard, bulletin board, or a simple notepad, try to keep a weekly log of primary tasks up front and center.  While there are a plethora of online programs and tools for organizing daily/weekly tasks, it helps to back it all up with a basic pen and paper list.    It is integral to have this weekly ‘grail’ to refer to when you hit a wall – try placing it in the center of your office for everyone to see.  Utilize different colors or check boxes to re-enforce accomplishments or the completion of a task.

2.  Use Google Documents

While Microsoft Word is still the standard in word processing, Google Documents has several advantages that make it the perfect online tool for inter & extra-office collaboration.   Need to brainstorm a list of potential clients for your wedding cake business?  Simply hop on Google Docs, create a new sheet, and share it with as many collaborators as you like.  The whole team can then log onto the document and make edits ‘live,’ to avoid the hassle of huge email chains or lengthy phone conversations.  Also be sure to try out Google Spreadsheets, a MS Excel alternative that allows you for seamless organization and collaboration.

3.  Use Recruiting Software

If you are a small business is the process of finding the best talent available, the task can become process intensive and  fairly complex.  Keeping track of multiple candidates, reviewing resumes and tracking progress can drastically slow your company’s forward movement.

One way to combat this small business brain freeze it to utilize a recruiting software package to track applicants, manage resumes, and provide a collaboration tool for your hiring managers.  Many modern day recruiting software solutions live completely online, making it incredibly simple to access and utilize with the click of a mouse.

4.  Prioritize with Flexibility

Sometimes, when it’s just you and 500 different tasks, there will be a tendency to jump from one task to another before completion. This can be good and bad.  It’s good to be flexible and not bang your head against any one task  if you aren’t making any progress.   Sometimes it helps to step back, breathe, and come back to something with a new outlook.   However, if your mind wanders too far and too often, nothing will end up done.  Try to find the balance between priority and flexibility that allows you to find a natural rhythm in completing weekly tasks.

5. Early Calls

If part of your business involves contacting potential clients, cold calling, emailing or collaborating with various individuals, I would suggest using the first half of the week for this.  People have the natural tendency to be more receptive during the first half of the week.  After Wednesday many potential business contacts begin to fade into their weekend shelters.  Getting a hold of these people on Monday or Tuesday will make the second half of your week far more productive.

Government Needs to Play Catch Up in Hiring

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

861513_interviewThe US Federal Government is about to undertake one of the largest hiring initiatives in its history.

According to the Wall Street Journal, over the next three years, the government will attempt to attract nearly 270,000 talented specialists in various fields across the board, including the health, financial and administrative sectors.  The difference between this government hiring initiative and the recruiting processes of old, is this time Uncle Sam will be actively seeking qualified candidates instead of passively sitting on his laurels.

What has prompted this large scale hiring campaign?  One factor is certainly Mr. Obama’s ambitions to take on such looming problems like health care reform and the economic downturn.   And what better way is there to combat long-term problems than to get the younger generation’s  brighest minds involved?  How else can we expect to positively affect the future of our government than to actively seek the best talent for the jobs of the future?

In order for this massive job overhaul to occur successfully, our government will need to implement some much needed change to its hiring process.  ‘They’ are already on their way to cleaning out some dusty corners, but just to make it clear, I’ve listed two points that can help us move toward a new breed of government hiring.


The brand marketing of the various government sectors seeking qualified candidates will be integral to attracting talent.  We don’t often hear about ‘branding’ in reference to government work (outside of the military).  When the younger generation thinks about a federal employee, they most often picture a white-collar bloke sitting in a musty office with no windows, slowly filing through a stack of paperwork.

The bad stigma that goes along with federal jobs is a major hurdle that the government needs to overcome in order to compete with the private sector for the best talent.  Why was working at Google such a hot commodity at the start of the decade?  Company branding: they were known for a laid back work ‘campus,’ rife with badminton courts, plush bean bag chairs and organic gardens.   Today, many other companies looking to attract younger talent have also implemented the ‘Google Campus Model.’

Our government needs to concentrate on marketing to a new generation of talent.  Good benefits and patriotism are not currently enough to compete with the private sector.


Sure, the US government is known for some of the most innovative, expensive and mind blowing technologies the world has ever seen.  But when it comes to a new generation of internet tech, they are still playing catch up.  The Obama administration has certainly made big steps between its acceptance of social networking tools and the current planned overhaul of .gov portals, however it needs to concentrate on other specific tools that are giving the private sector a big advantage in talent acquisition.

New applicant tracking and hiring software solutions are allowing private companies to better announce job openings, track qualified candidates, and analyze source data to optimize the recruiting process.   Newton Software, a leader in applicant tracking software, is one such application that boasts a simple to use interface which also provides the utmost efficiency in streamlining the recruitment process.

If the government really wants to compete with the private sector for top talent, they will need to embrace the technologies currently utilized in the private sector.

Top 5 Best Looking Online Applications

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

As the summer winds down many people will start to slack on their workout regiments and dieting fads in preparation for the winter. Beach-toned bikini bods will give way to blubber concealing puffy knit-sweaters, and soon enough only the summer memories will be keeping us going through the dark winter days.   Lucky for us, the most beautiful online software applications will continue to show skin throughout the winter, keeping their interfaces trim and efficient as ever.

‘Best-Looking’ is a category more often found in high school yearbooks than software design reviews; application critics are fonder of specific terminologies like ‘navigational elements’ and ‘interaction design.’ I’d like to throw the specifics out the window and concentrate on the straight-out best looking, curvaceous, saliva-inducing app. designs on the web.

1. Pandora:

The online radio service, Pandora, has long been the hallmark of a slick online application. From its refreshing, cool blue color scheme to its curvy card-like song icons, Pandora is a looker.   Pandora also has an integrated advertising platform that completely swaps the entire application background when a new advertiser appears. Although many would say this large design migration is disturbing, it actually sits better than tiny ad swaps or ole’ the inescapable hovering banner trick.

2. Tumblr

This Twitter competitor lets users ‘tumble’ various stories, links, images and videos out to the web. Although twitter wins as far as it’s ability to efficiently reach a group of followers with a message, Tumblr gets the award for prettiest ‘real-time news platform.’ Tumblr’s beauty may be the result of the site’s user base, who are fond of posting dazzling landscapes, closeups of delicious foods and quirky pictures of star wars figurines in real-life situations.   Beyond the appealing content, Tumblr possesses a simple yet attractive interface that keeps the people coming back to it.

3. Newton Analytics

Newton Software is a recruiting software solution that is fully accessible online, offering features that allow businesses to announce jobs, review resumes and track applicants.  The company recently launched a new reporting suite, Newton Analytics, that is simply beautiful to behold. Clearly the reporting functionality is quite advanced, allowing users to analyze dynamic data and target bottlenecks before they happen.  Newton Software is  equally advanced in its stand-out design: providing slick graphing modules, handy drop down menus and a relaxing blend of colors.

4. Google Adwords

Google recently upgraded the look of its money-making advertising platform, going from about a 4 to a 10.  The new adwords interface very closely mirrors the Google Analytics platform (which could also be considered a contender for best-looking.) Fancy graphs, soothing gradients, and enticing new tabs are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the updated Adwords.  Although many nay-sayers complain about Google changing up a tried-and-true design, the newer version proves that it doesn’t hurt to be good looking.

5. Hulu

Although was launched with a public bias it was able to eventually gain footing as a very popular video portal.  Hulu certainly posses advantages over YouTube in its exclusive access to network television content, but it also has the edge when it comes to looking good.  Watching online video content on Hulu is akin to watching a football game from the owner’s box:  it’s not as nitty-gritty as many other ‘bleacher’ video sites, but it feels exclusive and has a multitude of perks.   From the background dimming options to the slick control panel to the wide-screen view, Hulu is clearly the centerfold of online video.