04:52 PM

The Best Way To Find The Best People

Fleet turns to workforce-optimization software to cope with expansion

Managing 55,000 employees is a challenge. Add to that the need to track thousands of job applicants, and any human-resources department would feel strapped.

Fleet National Bank hopes to ease the challenge with workforce-optimization software. The Boston retail-banking subsidiary of the $200 billion FleetBoston Financial Corp. last week disclosed plans to deploy integrated workforce-management and online-recruiting applications from Deploy Solutions Inc. Fleet hopes to better manage recruitment and retention at more than 15,000 bank branches.

Fleet has grown aggressively through acquisitions during the past few years and continues its expansion as a national retail bank, taking steps such as launching a $50 million customer-service improvement initiative.

"We want to be seen as a state-of-the-art player," says John Allen, Fleet National's director of recruitment and staffing. "Having a tool that provides effective communication between hiring managers and applicants will do that."

Even with the economic slump, companies are still posting strategic openings, says International Data Corp. E-recruiting analyst Chris Boone. "Recruiters have had to sift through hundreds of resumés. These systems find the 10 best candidates and free recruiters to spend more time with them."

Deploy's Hirequest hosted career portal will be customized for Fleet and will let candidates search for jobs online based on criteria such as location and function. The system prompts candidates with customized prescreening questions that will help HR personnel sort through resumés. When Hirequest is integrated with Employ, the vendor's workforce-management application, recruiters can monitor candidates through the full recruiting process. Employ also lets employees manage personal profiles and match skills and goals with internal job openings.

Pricing for the hosted service starts at $12,000 per month; the software starts at $250,000.

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