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Doug Coull

Doug Coull

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., makers of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. A leader in technology development for nearly 30 years, Doug brings a unique perspective to the development and user adoption of software and technology in the HR community.
Doug Coull

Doug Coull

Doug Coull is the founder and CEO of APS, Inc., makers of SmartSearch talent acquisition and staffing management software. Doug founded APS in 1986 after a successful management career in the contract engineering industry. A leader in technology development for nearly 30 years, Doug brings a unique perspective to the development and user adoption of software and technology in the HR community.
journey of boomerang clients

The Journey of Boomerang Clients

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” —Arthur C. Clarke No business likes losing clients, but it happens from time to time, and sometimes the reasons are unknown to us. Some clients will be forthright and give a reason while others quietly walk away. And sometimes a client leaves and well … we’re glad. Sometimes the reason a client leaves is something I call the “False Glitter Effect.” What this does is hoodwink people into believing something is true when it really isn’t, thus casting a seemingly hypnotic trance over them. It gives people unrealistic expectations based on marketing propaganda

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Be Inclusive, Not Just Tolerant

Be Inclusive, Not Just Tolerant

When I think about the words “inclusion” and “tolerance,” I see a large chasm. In regards to the modern-day workforce, diversity and inclusion mean accepting and welcoming people from different walks of life. Tolerance, on the other hand, does not denote acceptance, but rather an attitude of being faced with something you must go along with but in your heart don’t accept. This isn’t just an esoteric difference, because diversity and inclusion have real business benefits, and even subtle forms of bias have increasingly negative effects in terms of brand reputation and in competing for talent. How do you address this

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Talent Magnet

Being a Talent Magnet Takes Work

The tide has turned. What once was an employer’s market is now a job seeker’s delight. The unemployment rate is hovering around 4% which is something we haven’t seen in the U.S. since the 1960’s. This is great news for people seeking employment and has opened more options for them. Conversely, companies are adding jobs at a rapid rate with many positions remaining open for long periods of time due to a lack of (qualified) individuals to fill these roles, and expectations are that the talent shortage is not getting any better. A Korn Ferry global study revealed that human capital

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relaxed workplace

Humility. Authenticity. Happiness. Appreciation.

The four words in the title of this post both individually and collectively mean a lot to the people in my organization and me. We live by these words through our actions and in how we approach working with our customers, vendor partners, prospects, and the public in general. Being in business for over 30 years has been a labor of love, but it’s not always been easy. Like any organization, we had to figure out our workplace culture by watching and listening carefully to what was happening in and around our company. Learning about which skills and traits were a

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The-Practicality-of-Owning-an-ATS-Part-3 (1)

The Practicality of Owning an ATS: Part 3

Upkeep and successful tactics for maintaining an ATS (Part three of a three-part series) How to own an ATS In part one of this three-part series on the practicalities of purchasing an ATS, I discussed how best to navigate through the processes of conducting a gap analysis to understand the state of your current ATS fully. Part two focused on how to determine the true value of your ATS in relation to your unique business needs and what you need to know about the vendors to determine if there will be a true partnership with that software provider. In this third

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The Contemporary Recruiter

The Contemporary Recruiter

The HR Technology space is a crowded one, and with that is fundamentally changing how we recruit, the processes, and how we view business. This fundamental change can create an overwhelming situation that leaves many people in a state of uncertainty and confusion. HR Technology is Your Friend So, you have multiple positions to fill and precious little time to source and find qualified candidates. Most organizations are now using technology in one form or another, including spreadsheets to power their efforts more effectively and efficiently. But using technology in the best ways requires a change in mindset to purposefully embrace

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HR technology

Caveat Emptor

When it comes to the world of business, there is much that goes on behind the scenes that would scare consumers. As someone who has seen firsthand what goes on in a restaurant’s kitchen, I can tell you, it’s not a place people would find particularly appetizing. This is an example of how sometimes keeping the buying public in the dark is in the best interest of everyone. By contrast, this doesn’t work for all buying decisions, and it’s not uncommon for people to be victims of backroom deals that often turn into situations where consumers are convinced to buy products

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Employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy = Engaged Employees

A great work environment with happy employees is the start for creating sincere and enduring employee advocates. When people experience a wonderful culture in action and believe in the reputation of their company, they become your most effective spokespeople. Why Does it Matter? There is a lot of research out there that supports the direct correlation between employee satisfaction and its impact on customer satisfaction.  When employees are engaged advocates, they will go the extra mile for the customer, seeking out alternate and better ways to deliver service that amazes and delights. These employees don’t mind spending extra time with a

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Technology

TECHIE-NOLOGY

Imagine this World for a moment. Computers no longer exist. Mobile technology is a fantasy we desire, but it’s not obtainable because it only exists in science fiction movies. Medical equipment like MRIs that can detect cancer in its early stages, and the da Vinci robotic device that reduces human surgical error are only ideas on a piece of paper. The very thought is unsettling, isn’t it? We are a society so enveloped in, and by technology, that the very thought of losing these items is unconscionable. Simply, we are technology dependent with adapted lifestyles to incorporate technology into our lives

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customer satisfaction

6 Things To Make Your Customer Service Standout

Have you ever heard the saying, “The moment you win a new customer, you begin to lose them?” There’s definite truth to this, but there are simple ways to keep your customers engaged with you, your product and company that can make them long-term partners. Build a Personal Relationship One of the biggest engagement factors with clients is how they feel they are perceived and treated by their service provider. So how much do you know about your clients, not only their product issues and concerns, but them personally? Ultimately, people want to deal with people, preferably people they actually like

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Managing Your Talent and Business Alignment

Managing Your Talent and Business Alignment

Good business leaders recognize the value in a good hire, but often times don’t appreciate that one key individual can add to or deter from a company’s overall business plan. Consider a new Chief Technology Officer versus a sales executive within the same company. Most people would immediately acknowledge the CTO’s position as being the most pivotal and in large respect, it is a critical position and one that should be occupied by someone who can elevate the company’s technical advancements. So let’s consider the sales executive’s role. The sales executive’s role is probably one of many like it within the

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Corporate Perks: A Thinly Veiled Disguise

It’s no secret that there is a war going on… a tug of war to be exact. Companies are scrambling to find the best and brightest talent and many are failing miserably. One of the tactics used by many companies is to seduce candidates with profound and presumably attractive perks as a lure for employment. Further, these same tactics can be used as a retention tool with existing employees. In the short-term, perks are novel and with that may be considered interesting, but in the long-run, they are not the enduring enticement employers believe them to be. Perks come in many

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Give Employees The Gift Of Well-being

Undoubtedly, a sense of well-being is one of the precious joys of living. It’s foundational to who we are and what we do. This important underpinning sets us up for success… or failure. As a business owner, I appreciate the well-being of my employees and understand the value of helping them stay mentally focused, for many reasons, including how well-being affects attitude which in turn affects productivity. There are a variety of ways which companies can contribute to employee well-being. Pet-friendly Environment I am a proponent of animal rights so with that, acknowledge the value of my pets and having them

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The Real Partner Is Your Customer

Venture Capitalism. Vulture Capitalism. When I hear those words, I immediately envision business owners whose top priorities are their investors exit plans, and subsequently are serving their investors rather than their customers. I’ve been a business owner long enough to see the effects of vulture capitalism within my industry. The landscape is littered with our competitors’ corpses and lingering bad business practices. And what’s left to show for it? Customers picking up the broken pieces of a defunct service agreement. It’s sad and very recognizable to see customer service go by the wayside… and even more disheartening to see how the

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Communications and Negotiations

Contrary to the belief of many, negotiations actually serve as a stepping stone to a potentially long-term, mutually beneficial alliance. Fair-minded negotiations are not the one-and-done actions played out by those who lack the skills and temperament to look beyond the moment, but are in fact, an interaction to ignite a satisfying, enduring relationship. In business it typically means that the people negotiating have come to an equitable agreement on terms for the outcome and where the “win-win situation” happens. For example, this could be product delivery, cost, quality, warrantees, and follow-up service… really anything one or more parties want to

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Pay Inequity

“People don’t care who they hurt or beat. For the love of money.” excerpt from the song “For the Love of Money,” by The O’Jays Pay inequity. This is a well-worn topic that has been getting a lot of attention, especially over the past few years. Pay inequity is an insidious practice felt by many and one that knows no boundaries. Undeniably, it’s more targeted at certain people based on their gender, age, occupation, education, race, religion, and geography. There are even people in the Hollywood spotlight who have spoken out against this transgressive bias, as even these privileged few have

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Entrepreneurship 101

In The Beginning There are many reasons why someone desires to be an entrepreneur. There is, however, a commonality most often found among entrepreneurs… the entrepreneurial spirit. This trait is the driving force behind why people start their own business. It is a strong desire to create, coupled with a vision to succeed. Various life experiences combined with someone’s own personal drive and vision can set the wheels in motion when considering livelihood as an entrepreneur. Undeniably, some of the biggest and best companies started in garages and basements by people with a vision to create. So what happens once the

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How Evolved Are Your Customer Relationships?

“Customer experience is the perception that customers have of all their interactions with an organization. Customer engagement is something different, it’s a behavior and attitude, an outcome of customer experience.” ~ Bruce Temkin I came across an article in my archives about customer relations that got me considering my own business relationships. The article discussed the differences between customer experience and customer engagement. I forgot what an excellent article this is and how well it explains the difference between the two. Often times, I find companies proclaim a devout loyalty to customers, which can be unfounded. Customer loyalty is when a

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Be The Influencer You Admire

“You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Influencer. This is a word bandied about quite a bit. It’s usually associated with someone in a leadership, management or pop culture position. Being labeled an influencer has a positive connotation and it’s a compliment. It means the person with this brand has earned his/her stripes and is now being recognized for their knowledge and strengths, but along with this acknowledgment comes a huge responsibility. Specifically, the responsibility lies in how someone

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Discrimination: A Workplace Disorder

I came across an article recently that caught my attention. The story centered on the topic of discrimination as commented by and seen through the eyes of a few recruiters in the staffing industry. At first I assumed this was an outlier situation, but upon finishing the article I was met with a startling realization. This story, in fact, was not an isolated instance, but something much worse. The comments in this article illustrated the very nature of systemic discrimination across America and how well engrained it is in this country. The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 No, workplace discrimination is

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Onboarding Is The Holy Grail Of Employee Retention, Engagement and Productivity

How does effective onboarding relate to retention, engagement and customer satisfaction? Simply put, in every way. Onboarding is a widely misunderstood practice. Some companies believe it’s a handshake on day one with a pile of papers for the new hire to complete. In actuality, great onboarding begins at the first touchpoint in the relationship. This means, the first time the company representative engages with a job candidate, the onboarding begins. Further, should this touchpoint result in a hire, it should carry through to the first day of employment and all the way through the employee’s tenure. Onboarding Is Not Brain Surgery

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Texting and Mobile Recruiting Are A Hiring Panacea

Talk to any recruiter about how timing and agile technology can make or break reaching the right candidates. Timing and technology for the purposes of recruiting can be a joy or a drudgery. All-in-all, the role of recruiting hasn’t changed, but the way we go about sourcing candidates and communicating with them has. A Case for Texting and Mobile Recruiting The use of texting and mobile recruiting is not just a case of using it because the technology exists, it’s builds a case for how and where people want to be contacted. Further, there are texting technologies used in recruiting that

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