I learned staffing the hard way. After a week of training, I was set in front of a computer with a stack of paper resumes and told to call through, entering information and looking for cablers at $8 an hour so we could charge $13-$15. My first two months was spent calling people who just graduated with an MCSE and convincing them that a job cabling, while not glamorous, was a good start for the industry.
At the time, my background in cold-calling was very helpful. I was used to making 125 calls a day, so 60 was a welcome relief, and I was offering people a job, not selling them a product over the phone. As we entered names into the computer, the job got easier. We had Personic's EZAccess, which functioned more like an Access database, and less like an ATS, but it was fast, easy, and I was able to track my progress easier than my old way of pencil and a notepad.
Over the years, I used a variety of systems at different employers - none matched the ease of Personic, and my personal call volume dropped each time I changed calls as I got further from pure calling. At my final job, the system was so bad, I went back to the pencil and paper, using Outlook to track numbers each day - giving me the numbers I needed to add a hire a week from January 21, 2005, to October 15th 2005, when I left on a honeymoon cruise.
In the last half of that year, a new directive came down to add all of our activity to the new applicant tracking system. The system was slow, had about 10 clicks for every action, and the only way I could get it done was to stay 2 hours after work and enter that data. That experience didn't make me want to quit, but it did get me to thinking about better uses of my time, which three months later would culminate in me leaving to start my own company.
I bring this up because a similar story was told to me a couple of weeks ago, from a top producer at a different kind of firm. Their new CRM was difficult to use, and while it didn't make the person want to quit, it did put a seed into their mind that a company that needed you to do busywork might not be the best place for your talents.
I wonder how many times this happens. Executives purchase a piece of software, and institute training based on what they want entered, and not based on what their top producers need to make more money. Is your CRM/ATS/DataEntry system built for you, or is it built for efficiency? Today, I use Sendouts and SugarCRM, but really I use my iPhone, Outlook, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I look at my paper trail, and wonder if I could ever adapt to another internal system, but then I look at my productivity, and it's the highest it's ever been.
Something to think about.