I have a friend who has his own consulting business was describing some pretty cool RSS functionality he’s been using. One of his customers has an order system that gets input into theirs salesforce.com system. Each night, any orders get sent to my friend’s system through RSS. The RSS integration has been engineered not only to take the orders that are in Salesforce.com, but also to pick up additional information along the way. For example, if there are documents associated with the order, those documents are added to the RSS feed. At the end of the integration stream, there is not just a file of the RSS order, but basically every piece of information that they need to execute the work, not just process the order.
As I think about RSS for recruiting, I don’t actually think about the obvious things like having feeds go to job boards. I’m actually thinking of possibilities around applicant and new hire data. For applicant data, I wonder if the data can go out through and RSS feed, and a matching program written to see if they are already in any of the existing databases for ex-employees or agency contacts that might sit in other databases. If not, there are then various other possibilities for the RSS. For example, if applicants are turned into real interview candidates, it’s possible to then take the information and further parse out RSS feeds in XML formats (since RSS is already and XML format) to create requests to your background check vendors and start getting degree verifications, security clearance verifications or anything else you might need.
The new hire is another interesting place where RSS can be used to collect data for you. An RSS new hire feed can also be used to trigger a program that will collect all of the new hire information, attach any resume files, and any other pertinent information that needs to be placed into the hands of the end user/processor. This data can then be automatically fed into the core HRMS system, but the same data set can also be used to set up any employee files and feed the onboarding system.
Today, we already use automated file transfers for many of the described processes. However, most native API’s don’t always fit into our unique scheming of how we would like a process to work for our own organizations. The workarounds or re-tooling of interfaces is often more costly than using something simple like RSS and creating some programming code around it.
Years ago (ok, 2 years ago) when RSS was first gaining mainstream adoption, we were all really excited about the possibilities of RSS, but we have slowly lost the visibility not only to what it could do for us, but to the low level of cost and implementation effort associated with it. In these years of leaner implementation budgets, perhaps it’s time to look at RSS with fresh eyes again.