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Support Tip: Adopting Bullhorn Internally

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Using software to manage your staffing business means you have to admit a hard truth to yourself. Software is meant to do more than just replace legal pads and filing cabinets. The real power comes from being able to search and interpret the data you put into your system.

If your day to day work is no different than if you only used a whiteboard or filing system, it’s time to admit that you’re not using your software to its potential.

Often I’ll talk to folks using Bullhorn and the biggest challenges end up something like this:

  • My team refuses to use the database.
  • I spend more time looking for information than I do closing deals!
  • I know I should use my system more but I just don’t have the time to figure it all out.

There are a lot of reasons why you may feel like you haven’t “taken it to the next level” with your software. Over the next several posts, we’ll unpack a few of the common issues I’ve seen before.

If you’ve run into any of these problems you’ll want to keep reading:

  • Poor adoption
  • Unable to report on or find information you know is in your system

Building the right environment

Most issues stem from not respecting the fact that you are working with a database. Ask any database manager and they’ll tell you a simple fact. Garbage in equals garbage out. Fixing adoption, reporting, searching, and generally increase your ROI, all begins with data integrity.

The problem with focusing on data integrity is that it’s boring and often overlooked. A lot of managers will use blanket statements like I told my team to enter the right information. They refuse to do it correctly!

To prevent a situation like this, the best thing you can do is build an environment that encourages accurate data input while understanding that humans will be entering the data.

True data power comes from consistency. Not entering phone numbers or postal codes in a uniform manner can wreak havoc on your ability to reliably run searches and reporting.

I recommend two enhancements:

  • Remove obstacles to entering data.
  • Dedicate a clean up or triage process and hold yourself and your team accountable.

For this post, we’ll discuss removing obstacles. In the next post, we’ll dive into the triage process as part of general database upkeep.

Remove obstacles to entering data

A common mistake is having an overly complicated system or making every single data point required to save a record.

A question to help identify potential issues is how much does someone need to be trained to understand how to enter a candidate into my system?

To figure out where you can remove complexity, ask yourself:

  • How many data points do you want?
  • How many data points do you need?

In most cases, the second overrides the first. Most users recognize there are a minimum number of data points, such as name, email, address, etc that everyone needs. Users may not enter a candidate’s work history because they feel they could easily search their resume for that information.

Some ways to get around this:

  • Automate as much as humanly possible. This could be as simple as using Bullhorn’s email integration to get emails into your system automatically or even a custom script your developer builds that performs a validation check to ensure that data entered is formatted properly.
  • Remember that less is more with required fields. Attempting to solve for data integrity by making more and more fields leads to a poor end user experience. The better of an experience you can build, the more likely your users will do what you’d like.
  • Hold usability testing! You’d be amazed with what you can find if you watch your users interact with your system. What you think is simple might be complex. Your users may even point out that they use a part of the system you’ve never noticed before.

Discussing how your users want to use the system can lead to better methods and added buy-in from your team as they feel they are contributing to the process.

We’ve heard some great ideas from other users. They range from complex automations that prevent an edit on a record until it’s verified that a third party ID was entered into the system to one of my favorite recommendations—banning physical sticky notes in the office because employees were relying on them instead of entering notes into the system.

It’s easy to demand that your staff use your system, but by involving them in the process as well as reviewing the how and why of your data storage you can increase usage and reliability within your system.

Having an organized process doesn’t automatically make it self sustaining. You need to commit time and resources to maintaining your database to ensure continued success.

In our upcoming posts, you’ll learn how to keep up with your data by doing regular maintenance as well as preparing your database to ensure it’s report ready.