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Big Data and Language: How the New HR Understands Its People

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley No Comments

As organizations adapt to data, HR has kept pace.

HR systems have transformed from stagnant storage centers to self-service cross roads, enabling HR to pull insights based on all the ways employees interact. These advancements have empowered administrators to use data collected from online communication.

Understanding what makes a workforce successful is the primary goal. Companies are able to gather people-related data to better cultivate talents.
The latest HR tools have a strong focus on collaboration for this very purpose.

Tracking Applicant Traits
Today’s applicant tracking system is a shining example of how far HR solutions have come. What once only served to collect resumes has transformed into a complete recruiting tool including personality metrics receptive to passive talent.

As recruitment technology advances into the cloud related solutions are also gaining momentum in order to support the growth of talent sourcing.
IBM Watson Personality Insights service shows that businesses can target people’s language online to identify dominant traits. The result is a solution for deriving personality insights that reflect actionable tendencies. Some key stats from IBM and related studies:

  • Targeting the top 10 percent with high openness and low emotional range resulted in increases in click rate from 6.8 percent to 11.3 percent.
  • People who score high in orderliness, self-discipline, and cautiousness and low in immoderation are 40 percent more likely to respond to coupons than the random population.
  • A person’s personality characteristics can predict their brand preference with 65 percent accuracy.

When this type of tool is combined with an applicant tracking system, potential employers can narrow down candidates by certain values. Recruiters are able to develop a higher quality talent pool then evaluate qualifications accordingly.
Filtering applicants to match the culture of an organization has become increasingly important with global talent acquisition trends. Social media plays a vital role for recruiters seeking top applicants, expanding the organization’s reach all over the world.

The latest applicant tracking solutions such as #ProjectNova include a range of analytic capabilities with LinkedIn integration and side-by-side candidate scoring. Comparisons include both candidates and current employees, directly pulling key similarities and differences from the organization’s cultural ecosystem.

Because these digital interactions contain word for word exchanges, HR is able to follow the exact values that drive performance. HR is destined to draw insights that will positively influence company culture through tools that help hire better talent in less time.

Contributed by:

Julia Scavicchio - Digital Content Specialist
PBP Media


How Hiring Managers Can Use Data to Fight Resume Overwhelm

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Sujee Saparamadu, CEO at OrangeHRM, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode we discuss everything from recruitment to mobile, big data, and OHRMCon 2015.

Listen To Podcast

Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

TA: How does your HR software translate internationally? Do you see different trends in different parts of the world? Or is this mobile, data-driven trend a thing of the industry as a whole?

Sujee: Mainly, what I have seen, is people are using more mobile devices in Asia or even towards the European side, mainly because of the infrastructure, These areas, they don’t have huge infrastructure, fiber optics, and things like that. They mainly use mobile devices to do their day-to-day work. And that’s why more things are coming from Asia and Europe than from the US markets for us.

TA: What are some challenges that you’re seeing right now in HR industry?

Sujee: One thing is HR managers, they would like to see summarized data. Recruitment is one of the main things that’s going to happen. When you put a vacancy out there, hiring managers get thousands of resumes.

They say, “Sujee, I just don’t have time to go through all these resumes. Is there a way you can summarize? Show me the most important people that I can go ahead and shortlist.” That is because of time. So that is an area a lot of vendors are looking into: how do you give this type of summarized data to hiring managers?

TA: What is the solution there? Is it just building an application that can better view the data? Or is it building an application that HR managers can understand better? How do you get around that challenge?

Sujee: We have set up an application with best match criterias. Even if you have thousands of resumes, the hiring manager should be able to say, “Okay. These are the five items or ten items I really want to see in this resume.” And then you have different algorithms or searches that can go through, and out of the thousand, it will say, “Here are the top 20 you will be able to go through.”

TechnologyAdvice: How important are mobile phones to the workplace?

Sujee: If you take the New York Subway or if you go to London, the Tube, or you are in Singapore, the Metro, then you will see 80 to 90 percent of people working on mobile devices in transit. They want to use the time they’re spending commuting or going from one client to the other to go ahead and do their day-to-day work. That’s why mobile devices are very important. People are not just going to be sitting at their desks and doing things.

If you can take that data and then compare that data with your current and past employees, you’ll be able to see a pattern. With that pattern, you’ll be able to say, “Hey, you know what? This person that we have hired, who had IQ test of maybe about 80 or 90 and did well on the writing test, now where are those candidates in our organization?”

Sometimes we can say, “Oh, you know what? These guys have done so well, now they are managers or they have climbed the corporate ladder. It’s this kind of data that’s in your systems that should be summarized and sent to the hiring managers.

Provided by Josh Bland at Technology Advice.


OHRMCon: Future Challenges for Leadership and HR

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Future vision is essential to address todays’ rapidly changing world.  For this series, we have had the opportunity to speak at length with Lee Congdon, Chief Information Officer at Red Hat, and an upcoming speaker at OHRM Con, in New York in October.

The only current certainties are technological and market flux. Mr. Congdon offered his thoughts on the challenges ahead for IT, enterprise, and HR leadership.

Toward transparency—what’s ahead for IT

Earlier Mr. Congdon talked about the alignment of enterprise leadership , culture, and incentives to move people and processes in the right direction.  What direction? Toward an agile, flexible, business ecosystem able to rapidly respond to business and market opportunities.

When an IT organization is able to serve its constituent domains, what is next? Mr. Congdon suggests development of technology-driven leadership opportunities for the enterprise including:

  • Pushing into new technologies
  • Leadership in Clouds
  • Providing better data and analytic capabilities for the organization
  • Offering better collaborative opportunities
  • Embracing consumer tools for the organization

As noted earlier, in the push to be more effective, agile, and collaborative, IT organizations need to better speak the language of their business partners—plus get the right people to lead the business.  Part of that enhanced role for IT includes:

  • Recognizing new business and revenue opportunities
  • Building and gaining the trust and confidence of business partners as an internal consultant
  • Delivering solutions and collaboratively participating across the enterprise

Two-speed IT transition?

Along with the need for speed  comes the need for a competitive model for IT.  Grappling with demand from business units to identify and embrace new capabilities, leverage mobile engagement, cut costs, define new revenue sources and so on, IT must transition from slow and stable to fast and flexible.  In addition to the open organization , bimodal or two-speed IT is proposed as a dual service IT context.  The model retains some traditional IT processes and services, while allowing organizations to make the jump to digital speed, development, agility, and delivery.

Remarks Congdon, “I am not really a believer in what is being called bimodal or two-speed IT.  I think it may be a useful transition for some organizations.  You can’t necessarily get the entire organization to pivot immediately, but I think the expectation for the people in the organization, for the culture, needs to be yes we are in this together, [and] yes we all need to work in the same direction.”

HR Challenge: Find and retain the right talent

When asked about the key future issue for HR management, Mr. Congdon was unequivocal—“global war for talent.” Expanding on that, Congdon noted the challenges ahead in building and maintaining a creative, responsive workforce:

  • Finding the right people and getting them on board
  • Managing the long-term pipeline of skills
  • Giving people a voice in the organization
  • Creating a mission, and investing talent in the mission
  • Developing a default culture of transparency where people see information, and see decision making occur
  • Offering rewards and incentives, monetary and otherwise, aligned with expectations

Talking about OrangeHRM and open source HR technology, Mr. Congdon notes “…open source enables [key transitions] to occur across enterprises and creates the opportunity and the challenge for collaboration, partnering, [and] competition in a[n] open and more transparent environment.”

Stepping out of the open organization context to discuss the current state of traditional business models, Congdon commented, “…[M]any traditional firms in the technology industry that classically held their intellectual property very close and were very reluctant to participate in open source are in fact increasingly announcing open source initiatives. Whether it be Microsoft, Apple or others,…I think that is a fascinating trend that may be relevant to this conversation as well.”

Hear more from Mr. Congdon at OHRMCon in October. Network, learn and share best practices as you discuss the challenges facing the Open community, open organizations and innovations in open source HR technology. See you in October!

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OHRMCon: Lee Congdon on the Need for Speed in Responding to Opportunity

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As an advocate for business readiness, digital innovation, and global information strategies, Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat, is an experienced voice in the IT community.

Earlier in this blog series, Mr. Congdon discussed the changing role of IT unitsand open organization. In this piece, Mr. Congdon comments on how business can structure itself to respond to fast-breaking market opportunities.

Getting the right culture, intention, and people in place to respond
Change is certain. Sweeping developments in technological capability are driving enterprise to rethink old models to remain profitable—and relevant. Open source HR platforms like OrangeHRM give users access, ability, and transparency. With open source in a creative business community, the future is wide open.

For any size enterprise looking to incrementally adjust—or restructure—Mr. Congdon offers some comments on key issues to consider:

Need for speed: IT organizations must enable business partners to quickly recognize, respond, and capture business opportunities. “IT organizations cannot afford to be unable to deliver for their enterprise because of budget constraints, legacy system constraint, lack of skills, or ineffective vendor partnerships.” Alignment toward more flexible, agile IT might include:

  • Streamline IT organizations to move more quickly
  • Aggressively retire legacy technology debt
  • Incorporate a cloud, or open hybrid cloud portfolio of solutions
  • Implement Agile and DevOps technologies
  • Select vendor partners that move quickly and respond with agile and flexible solutions
  • Free up costs in the legacy base to afford investment in new technology
  • Re-frame culture and tone within IT organization toward efficiency, transparency, and speed

Along with speed, IT organizations must realign to drive new opportunity and confidently lead business partners when needed.

Resolve differences: New market realities call for scalable, responsive businesses and IT partners. This means cultural shifts toward an environment that supports a shared sense of purpose across the entire organization. Enterprises can create a collaborative culture less likely to dissolve into factions by promoting concepts such as the following:

  • Full, honest disclosure on project status
  • Trust-based, open relationship between IT organizations and business partners, rather than nurturing insularity and competition between units
  • Shift toward transparency
  • Joint decision making and shared accountability
  • Repair and move forward, rather than blame and attribute

Promote change: Organizational shifts are difficult. Even highly adaptive employees can have difficulty with the open approach. Notes Congdon, “You must have the right people and culture, and that is a long-term investment.” Steps to promote change include:

  • Focus on getting the right people for reliable production and deliverables
  • Set vision and focus on tactical steps to build credibility for change
  • Put the right people and processes in place at the appropriate level
  • Retain people willing to learn skills, and viewed by business partners as vested in enterprise success

Reiterates Congdon, “It takes a while to get the right culture, intention and people in place to establish those capabilities.” Mr. Congdon emphasizes IT organizations cannot, by themselves, effect change across the enterprise. “The leadership, the culture, and the incentives need to align to get people moving in that direction.” IT organizations can be leaders—but they need partners.

In October, Mr. Congdon will speak at OHRM Con in New York City. Along with David Axmark, Dr. Richard Johnson, and others, Mr. Congdon will share his view of technology and the future of the Open community. Register today.

Learn more about Mr. Congdon’s views on leadership and HR challenges.


OHRMCon: Understanding the Open Organization

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Catching up with Lee Congdon, CIO of Red Hat, we had a chance to talk with him about his views on how IT organizations and their business partners function in an open organization.

What is an open organization?

In his recently published book, Open Organization, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst defines an open organization as a business model with qualities that include:

  • Engagement of individuals in participative communities
  • Nimble response to challenges and concerns
  • Avenues to external talent and resources

In his remarks, Mr. Congdon discussed the open organization as a company culture that supports the bridging and blending of service and business counterparts to maintain and build mobility and meet objectives. An open organization offers a flat business ecosystem to cultivate trust, participation, engagement, and capability.

Transforming a traditional business into an open organization is a paradigm shift involving long-term effort, commitment, and resources. As it applies to IT, Mr. Congdon’s comments on the evolution of enterprises toward an open organization include the following:

Reliability: Notes Mr. Congdon, “IT is fundamentally a service organization and should realize that the business objectives of the enterprise, or the business, are an overriding concern.”

When considering an open organization, units must first have their deliverables and talent in place. If you can’t deliver projects reliably, you really have to start there. You may be able to do some of this work in parallel in different parts of a large enterprise, but IT must be able to get the basics right.

Trust: The move to an open organization is easier for an IT organization already invested in developing skills and solutions needed now—and in the future—by the enterprise. IT will need to position themselves to identify opportunities and potentially sell them to the business. IT must look for serendipity – and a business partner that is in need of assistance.

Moving past traditional hierarchy: To stay market relevant, business and enterprise are going to need a talent and resource scalability that is not present in traditional business models. “I think it is going to be increasingly difficult for enterprises to respond quickly in a traditional hierarchical organizational structure that’s perhaps focused on doing repetitive tasks more efficiently.

“In the future, many, if not all, repetitive tasks are going to be automated. It’s going to be an issue of how fast the organization can respond to market opportunities – and how fast the organization can transform, enabled by technology, to address those opportunities. Those sorts of criteria really change the nature of competition over time, and just about every enterprise must be ready to respond.”

Open organizations present a different way of thinking, engaging talent, and responding to market opportunities. In the next in this series, we’ll explore what Mr. Congdon calls the “need for speed, ” in keeping pace with the developing edge.

Learn more about the Open world and the challenges facing HR from Mr. Congdon at OHRMCon in New York City in October.


OHRMCon: Lee Congdon on the Changing Role of IT Organizations

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley 1 Comment

In October, OrangeHRM invites you to OHRMCon in New York City. At the conference, you’ll have access to the voices, vision, and best practices that are carrying HR tech into the future. Recently, plenary speaker Lee Congdon shared some insights on the accelerating transition from an industrial to information society and how that is impacting business technology today.

As Chief Information Officer of Red Hat, Mr. Congdon is the innovative mind behind the company’s global information systems. With a career that began as an IT manager and developer, Mr. Congdon understands the costs of legacy systems—in both IT and business units.

Arguably, the race toward a knowledge-based society stirred with the Space Age. Technological developments, miniaturization, and an ever-increasing need for speed in both information transfer—and staying ahead of the learning curve—have not slowed since.

Staying relevant during rapid transition

In discussing the digital transition, Mr. Congdon highlighted the challenges pressing the redefinition of relationships between IT departments and their business partners. To deliver products, build profit, and stay relevant, enterprises must consider:

  • Re-framing IT and business partner interaction: The legacy style of defined boundaries between IT and business units is history. Instead of distinct departments competing on costs, jointly developed solutions between the technical and business sides serve the entire enterprise in its goal of marketplace relevance.
  • IT skills development: By better understanding the language of its business partners, IT units can better serve the larger goals of the enterprise. Notes Mr. Congdon on the changing role of IT, “…instead of just working with their business partner to select an Agile Portfolio, implement it over time, assist in the change management and so on, IT organizations now must bring offers to the table to either reduce costs, or more importantly, to increase revenue. They also must implement offers independently but with a level of success equal or greater to that in the past.”
  • Changing services: Developments such as SaaS and mobile apps offer important efficiencies and services to business—and opportunities to utilize IT operations in different ways. Mr. Congdon describes this transition, Mature IT organizations have solid partnerships with their business and they are able to understand the context of their work. In the future, it is going to be even more important for IT organizations to assume a greater business leadership role while at the same time ceding technology leadership to other parts of the organization. Because, in many cases, not only can the business do it themselves – it’s possible they are already doing it themselves.

Toward a more collaborative future

We talked earlier about the importance of an engaged business ecosystem. Open organizations such as Red Hat are a flat, opt-in environment ripe for innovation and engagement at all levels. Next post, we’ll share comments from Mr. Congdon on his view of open organizations.

Hear and meet Mr. Congdon, David Axmark, Dr. Richard Johnson, and other leaders in the tech field at OHRMCon in New York City on October 1-2, 2015. Register today!

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Talent Analytics—What Do they Mean to You?

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As the competition for talent heats up, HR managers are looking for more sophisticated tools to help them hire the right people—and retain them.

Big data is moving into recruiting in a big way. When companies combine native data with analytic capabilities, or a well-honed analytic team, the benefits are tremendous.

How does data help?

Cognitive tools, like those available with IBM’s Watson, use linguistics to make inferences about the personality and social behaviors of a target candidate. Through this predictive analysis, HR managers gain insight about a candidate, and how a candidate compares to other applicants and current employees. Here is how it works:

  • Predictive tools use past and present data to make suggestions about the future.
  • Using information gleaned from sources like LinkedIn, Twitter feeds, blogs, email, or other social media, analytics are gathered and inferences are made.
  • With sufficient information, analytics are displayed in a graph, offering you a rich, projective, characterological portrait at a glance.
  • Using predictive analytics, managers have a tool to match not just for skills—but for qualities that spell the difference between the right—or wrong—hire.

The analysis of candidate and talent data offers a wealth of information. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), some key benefits of talent analytics include:

  • Insight into important hiring factors: Although many employers believe educational background is a key predictor of success, some analyses suggest initiative, or other qualities, could be better differentiators. While the talent demands of each business are unique, the key attribute needed for success in a particular position may not reveal itself until a data model of currently successful employees is created for comparison.
  • Pricing with job banks: Analytics give you previously hidden information about referral points during the recruiting cycle. If analysis shows you are getting relatively poor, or unsuccessful candidates, from a particular service, use your information to negotiate lower prices or improve service.
  • Engagement, engagement, engagement: High levels of employee engagement lead to better retention of talent, lower recruiting costs, and increased customer and client satisfaction. Using intelligent tools, you can discover where to recruit the best talent, focus points, and how to challenge your human capital after on-boarding.

From perspective analysis that offers you insight before hire, to metrics that help you adjust HR practices on the go, talent analytics are becoming go-to methods for managers invested in hiring for human, and business, success.

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Dynamic Planet: HR Mobile Apps

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As the world goes mobile, HR functions are poised to go with it.

In the United States, searches on mobile devices outnumber those from laptops and PC’s. According to a 2014 study on the use of mobile HR apps, 37 percent of registered mobile users access pay information on their devices. While frequently browsing their devices, usage data indicates employees do not stay long on an HR app—taking only long enough to obtain the needed information before logging off.

Expanding HR functions and functionality into mobile space means apps that aim at targets such as the following:

Organizational coherence: Checking in while away from the office is a prime attraction and critical need for workers who do not have regular access to a computer during their workday. In addition to benefits, pay, and holiday functions, new mobile HR apps connect working peers for problem solving, teamwork, and organizational communication. HR and other apps can become a prime tool for real time exchange, shifting decision dynamics among employees and managers in an interesting way.

Engagement: Employee engagement is critical to productivity and talent retention. While mobile apps will probably not replace periodic employee satisfaction surveys, they can be used as a partner strategy. Mobile HR apps take the pulse of workforce sectors, speed the deployment of information or training, and keep engagement levels high through frequent touch communication within an office, or a global enterprise.

Compliance: Well-designed HR solutions reduce errors while saving both budget and human time. Compliance errors in record keeping, licensing, and training are costly. Mobile apps extend the function of your modular HR environment and enable you to log and track employee information.

Fluid HR management: Migration of HR function from the desktop to a mobile environment gives HR managers an untethered ability to recruit, manage, and communicate with onsite and remote employees and achieve business goals. Enhanced recruiting capabilities on mobile apps enable managers to access relevant job boards worldwide and use personality metrics to make side-by-side, on-the-fly comparisons between candidates and current employees. Location awareness could be used to develop alerts, or other capabilities, for traveling or local employers.

As individuals embrace mobile HR tech, they look for ease of use and convenience. Take advantage of this dynamic shift to increase HR efficiency, accuracy, and employee engagement.

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Four Highlights of Open Source 3.3.1

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Open Source by OrangeHRM is a leading, full-featured HR environment—and it is free. Open Source Version 3.3.1 is the second Open Source release this year and it has some great features to align and improve your HR service, including mobile compatibility.

Open Source already comes with a host of features and functions to serve the HR needs of small business or large enterprise. Some of those include:

  • Easy system administration
  • Efficient management of personnel information
  • Resourceful handling of leave, time off, timesheets, and attendance records
  • Recruitment cycle support
  • Full performance management including self and supervisor reviews

With the latest Open Source release, look for great new capabilities that include:

Open ID & Google + Authentication:  Open ID & G+ authentication increases the ease, and security, of logging into OrangeHRM Open Source.  This feature allows users to sign-in with two-step verification instead of requiring users to set—and forget—additional passwords.  This provides a seamless login experienc.

Future API development:  This release enables web services that communicate with the mobile app also introduced with this version.  The release also lays a foundation for an upcoming OrangeHRM application program interface (API).

Corporate directory plug-in: With this release, Open Source gains a valuable plug-in already part of the OrangeHRM Professional and Enterprise versions.  The corporate directory gives personnel the capability to look up, and locate, employees and administrative staff, throughout their business or organization.

Mobile app:  Available on Android and iOS platforms, this release features the OrangeApp.  In many countries, more than half of all searches are conducted via mobile device.  The new OrangeApp lets you view and conduct important HR functions when you are away from your office.  Use the app to request leave, view timesheets, and manage personal profiles.  OrangeHRM puts the power of HR mobility at your service.

Explore these new Open Source features and more at OHRMCon in New York City this October.  This unique conference focuses on service and trends in the Open community and offers you a workshop opportunity to optimize your OrangeHRM system.

In addition to rich learning and networking opportunities, conference attendees receive OrangeBuzz, an intra-office social media tool, and the new OrangeApp—for free.  Register for OHRMCon today.

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Sneak Peek: Applicant Tracking System from OrangeHRM

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Across industry and enterprise, applicant tracking systems (ATS) help hiring managers and recruiters attract, manage, and hire desirable talent. To streamline the process, reduce costs, and enable you to hire the right person for the job, OrangeHRM is rolling out an ATS system what is code named #ProjectNOVA.

For businesses and candidates, ATS play an important role in the recruitment cycle. As we talked about earlier, a well-designed ATS offers integrated mobile service to all parties. #PojectNOVA offers this—and more.

From job board integration and personality metrics, to interview support and mobile access, #ProjectNOVA has it all. Consider these highlights:

Job board coverage: Integrated with eQuest, a global job posting distribution service, #ProjectNOVA ensures your job posting is available to the right talent target pool. Using #ProjectNOVA, your job opening is available to prospective employees across the country—or around the world—quickly and securely.

Mobile: Mobility means your candidates see your job posting, and interact seamlessly with you—regardless of location. View vacancy and candidate lists, profiles, and analytics on your mobile device or use the interview assistant to compare candidates and conduct a mobile interview.

Web comparison: Integrated with LinkedIn, #ProjectNOVA gathers and displays evaluative information in side-by-side candidate comparisons as your recruitment effort narrows. Interview and other scores are analyzed to help you understand fit and alignment between candidates and your current workforce. Based on captured information, #ProjectNOVA scores candidates for success in your company ecosystem.

Interview assistant: Offering analytic and interviewing support throughout the hiring process, the interview assistant tracks candidate scores, prompts you with interview questions, registers your notes, and tabulates scoring.

Analytics: NOVA has strong applicant tracking and parsing capabilities. Using IBM Watson technology, NOVA creates a personality profile with information collected from Twitter. NOVA seeks patterns, make associations, and offers insight. You gain at-a-glance understanding, through spider web graphing, of basic personality attributes like needs, social behavior, values, or agreeability. At any step in the hiring process, NOVA can create profile comparisons between candidates, or between candidates and existing personnel.

Save time, money, improve your candidate experience—and hire the right employee for your company—with NOVA, the new ATS from OrangeHRM.

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