Software to match jobs, applicants

Broward County, Florida

Although applying for jobs online or sending e-mails with attached resumes

has become a ubiquitous practice, a southern Florida county is taking the

process a step further — matching an applicant's skills to a posted position.

By the spring, Broward County plans to unveil an applicant matching

and tracking system that will better help recruiters pick the right person

for an open position, according to Bret Busse, technology marketing director

for Minneapolis, Minn.-based iXmatch Inc., which is supplying and helping

install the software for the system.

The software helps "recruiters more effectively evaluate the candidate

down to a manageable number much more quickly," he said. That may be important

for Broward, which has more than 7,000 employees and is constantly hiring

new people to replace departing workers, he said.

Currently, the county posts jobs on its Web site, but users must download

a job application form and fill it out by hand and then mail it to the human

resources division.

Eventually, a link on the county's Web site will enable a candidate

to review jobs, register with the site and fill out a portfolio of their

skills and experience, Busse said. County offices also will have computer

stations available for individuals who do not have Internet access from

home, he said.

The county will not refuse paper applications, but he said the officials

are trying to head toward an e-government solution as a way to reduce paper.

Using criteria established by a recruiter or human resources agency,

the software will match the best candidate for the job that he or she is

applying for. "The applicant tracking system would show how well the person

matches up with the requirements for the job," he said. "The cool part is

no one is ever excluded from a job."

He said this system allows an "apples-to-apples comparison of all the

candidates," because it presents them in an equal format. Recruiters will

have the ultimate decision about which candidates to interview.

The process also places all candidates on equal footing. Sometimes,

when recruiters receive paper cover letters and resumes, some will reject

applicants simply because a wrong color paper was used, Busse explained.

If a candidate applies for another job, all he or she has to do is log on

to the site and submit information for another position.

IXmatch has several private-sector clients, but Broward is its first

public-sector client. "We think the government is a tremendous vertical

for us to move into," Busse said, adding that Broward's contract is worth

more than $1 million. "We hopefully will see the software being in use by

a number of counties and agencies with the next year."

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