On Thursday, April 26, 2018, APS, Inc., Chief Technology Officer, LJ Morris held a presentation to discuss recent updates and enhancements to the SmartSearch system, along with future advancements and events, and ended the discussion with a question and answer session. As with the Q1 SmartTalks, this was a well-attended presentation, and LJ did a great job of covering many topics.

LJ began the presentation with an overview of SmartSearch, and for anyone new to SmartSearch, he reiterated our current slogan “True Partnerships Matter,” and how this is an integral part of how we do business.

One of the hot items discussed is the GDPR. It’s a complicated initiative, but it’s developed to safeguard people’s personal data, and it applies to all companies, globally, that store the personal data of citizens from the European Union (EU), even if a given company is not domiciled geographically in Europe. LJ discussed how this will affect SmartSearch clients who store data on European candidates. In anticipation of this initiative, which goes into effect on May 25, 2018, SmartSearch has been preparing for the change as it’s part of the Privacy Shield. New reports have been added to the system which allow SmartSearch clients to extract data that identifies information which may be potentially detrimental if you do not seek out the express consent of candidates to store their information, especially passive candidates, from applicable European countries. There is a new “GDPR Candidates by Country with no Consent” Report Writer template designed specifically for SmartSearch clients to use in their discovery of candidates who are members of the European Union. In conjunction with this, SmartSearch has set up automated tasks to send out consent requests to the identified EU candidates, seamlessly. As LJ pointed out, the wording of the communications needs to be clear and specific to seek permission to hold someone’s data. SmartSearch is not offering legal advice on this topic, so LJ highly recommends speaking with an attorney who can guide you through the process of staying compliant.

The next item discussed was the Office 365 integration. The functionality has been expanded with new tools, running within the Office 365 web-based platform, which will allow Mac users to access all the same features as PC users, including via mobile devices. All SmartSearch users can log into the system via their mobile device to do look-ups, save resumes, as well as incoming and outgoing messages in Notes if using the web-based version of Office 365. This enhancement is nearly completed and will be released soon.

The next item LJ discussed was the updates to SmartSign, the SmartSearch proprietary eSignature tool, and the Onboarding Portal. Documents can now be reordered and merged once signed, and the information verified to allow for quicker access and understanding of which documents are signed and which still need to be. This will expedite your search through all documents without signatures by prioritizing pending documents which still require a signature. And coming soon will be the added feature of requesting a countersignature from people inside (currently available) and now outside the SmartSearch system, too. For people outside the system, simply add a name and email address and this request can be sent to anyone who is authorized to sign the documents.

Tentatively scheduled to launch, on June 15, 2018, is SmartSearch Gamification for training. To support continuous learning of the SmartSearch system, a series of training videos, found throughout the system via little video icons, will be available with mini “quizzes” to test visitors on what they have learned. When signed in, the viewer can watch learning videos, participate in the quizzes and earn points they can later cash in for gift cards. Fun!

The dashboard has been enhanced, once again, with interactivity and allowance for users to granulate information to finer details or view the bigger data. Additionally, the number of graphs has been increased with a fuller complement of options including new graphs that allow for deciphering various data. These graphs can be customized and enable the user, based on his/her user-access level, to review employee performances, trends, and goals, for example, with multiple views ranging from data on an entire company of end users down to an individual user’s activity.

Also, newly added, is the ability to view color-coded information from any list. A small icon found in the upper left of the dashboard has been added to all list pages so you can move information to the left panel. This feature will better optimize activity in your lists.

Default languages have been added to the Career Center. The Career Center will default to English, Spanish, and (coming soon) Canadian French allowing your candidates to view the job postings as desired. Other recent updates to the Career Center include the ability to map jobs, new interactive vendor and hiring manager pages and all the updates come with a responsive design to keep your site on the cutting-edge. Also, included is the GDPR consent form to keep you compliant. If you haven’t updated your career site, LJ highly recommends contacting your SmartSearch rep to discuss this option.

LJ also discussed SmartSearch X (light), a redevelopment of SmartSearch. This is a mobile-first initiative to overhaul the SmartSearch software with many new and cutting-edge updates.

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic at SmartSearch. Currently, SmartSearch integrates with two AI providers, Arya and Pocket Recruiter. These are high-tech, innovative products. SmartSearch is also working on an AI engine and is currently in testing and monitoring of this tool.

Email campaigns, like a Constant Contact type platform, will be launched soon. A new email editor will be added which allows for responsive design and flexible email templates with greater design options. The ability to view and track email responses from recipients will, also, be included so you can better manage your campaigns.

Please be on the lookout for our next Smart Practices webinar scheduled for May 22, 2018, at Noon ET. A representative from Arya will be presenting on the topic of artificial intelligence. You can register here. Separate invitations will be arriving to your inbox soon.