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Wednesday, 06 August 2008 17:08

iProfile to change the way jobs advertised: ITCRA

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Peak IT recruitment body, the IT Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA), will play a key role in the Australian launch of UK developed online resume database iProfile in September and, according to its chief executive, will have representation on the board of the local branch of company when it opens its offices.

iProfile is an online CV system where candidates can store their resumes in a standardised format. The UK company of the same name recently annnounced a AUD$2.1 million deal with four Australian ICT recruiters who will adopt the system.

The system, which is almost universally used by ICT recruiters in the UK, has been introduced to Australia largely through contact between ITCRA and iProfile.

"We've been working on this for 18 months now," says Norman Lacy, executive director of ITCRA.

"iProfile is a software system that significantly enhances the efficiency of our members. It's a centralised resume database into which our members dump their existing databases into one centralised common XML format.

"From the moment our members dump their resumes in it, the resumes get formatted and duplicates get removed. For an embargoed period, only the agency that dumped that resume into the database has access to it.

"But after that period, whenever the IT professional goes in to update his resume, he gets the option of choosing which of the range of agencies that are partners in the system will have access to that resume.

"All the work in maintaining and keeping the resume up to date is done by the candidate. So it removes from our members the requirement to maintain these huge databases of resumes because it's all done automatically by the candidates."

So why is ITCRA involved and an advocate for the iProfile system?

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"They are the leading organisation in the UK," says Mr Lacy.

"All the major ICT recruitment agencies and many of the generalists are on this system. It's been thoroughly checked out.

"We've had for instance the managing director and finance manager of Spring Group, which is the biggest IT recruiter in the UK, out here to address our members at meetings. Many of them have become convinced that this is the way to go and they need to be in it."

According to Mr Lacy, use of the iProfile system will impact the job advertisements market. However, he did not elaborate simply saying: "It's going to change the extent to which they need to advertise for candidates."

Mr Lacy says ITCRA is pleased to be playing an ongoing role in the introduction and promotion of the iProfile system.

"The proposition to us to become the facilitator of the launch of iProfile Asia Pacific in September in Sydney was sufficiently attractive to us to want to become involved in it and many of our members have chosen to do that as well."

One such member is large Sydney-based ICT recruiter Finite Recruitment, which has indicated that it is pleased to be an early adopter of the iProfile system in Australia.

Finite's general manager Duncan Thomson said the system will automate a lot of processes and save a lot of time for the company.

"We were slightly sceptical to start off with but the more we got into it the more we started valuing the product," says Mr Thomson.

"What we found after evaluation, was that there were a number of things that it could give us an additional edge over.

"First of all, the parsing service seems particularly good. That means it can take a resume and completely reformat it. We have a partly automated service at the moment but this is a fully automated service so the time that the candidate sends us a CV and have it physically loaded into our database instead of two or three days comes down to under five minutes.

"It also formats it into a much more user friendly search format for us and it gives us good search facility.

"Candidates also can go into the iProfile portal and keep their own resumes up to date. They can issue it to any of the job boards and there's a whole variety of back-end options that the candidate has for the first time. So that's a whole new service for the Australian ICT industry that the UK has enjoyed for a number of years."

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According to Mr Lacy, membership to the iProfile club will be limited to a select group of recruiters for the first two years.

"There's a foundation membership of 10 companies and they're going to have a lead time of two years before any others can come into it," says Mr Lacy.

"They will be iProfile partners and they have to be members of ITCRA. iProfile has appointed a managing director (Glen Perry), he will be arriving in September and ITCRA will be represented on the board of the new company that's being formed."

Mr Lacy says the initial membership of the iProfile partners club is just about full already.

"There's a foundation membership of 10 companies and it's pretty much taken up but I think there may be one or two vacancies," he says.

Interestingly, however, just four Australian recruiters have been named to date, ICT specialist heavyweights Paxus and Finite, and smaller recruiters Ambition and Abraxas Asia Pacific, neither of which is an ICT specialist.

Missing from the list named so far are the likes of Peoplebank, the largest ICT recruiter in Australia, Hays, Candle ICT (the largest division of Clarius), Diversiti (Chandler McLeod), Ross and Hudson, among others.

So are Peoplebank and the others lining up to covet the last "one or two" vacancies?

Mr Lacy's coy reply: "It's possible."

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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