It’s All In Magellan

By Derek Zeller
When I first started in recruiting there were significant differences than in today’s environment. It seems that the first thing we do is run to a job board, LinkedIn, or just post and pray. What happened to that database that you have? I mean there are agencies and companies that have been accumulating resume of candidates for years. Yet when it comes time to find that elusive purple squirrel we search on every website know in existence with Boolean strings that would make Shakespeare shake his head. Why? What are we so afraid of? I don’t know but I am going to break it down to why the first place you want to go IS your database.

So, What’s Magellan You Ask? 

When I was still wet behind the ears and job boards were just starting to be something we only had a few places to really dig in and look for people. I was taught early in my career that the internal database the owner had built up over the years by resumes he had scanned in from faxes and emails over the years was in there. Yeah, faxes, I am old and remember those things, sue me. He had an expression, “It’s all in Magellan”. The other recruiters would often giggle behind his back but he was right. My first placement came from a Boolean search that I did in Magellan. I found a candidate jus wasting away in there. My first placement was a C/Unix Programmer at a brand new client. I was sold and have been ever sense. You see the owner and recruiters built something. 

You and Your Team Have Built Something…

So why not use it? I mean there is always a slew of people that have applied or that you sourced for your different roles. That was hard work. You have notes on the ones that fit, salary expectations, strengths and weaknesses etc. You don’t get a great deal of information from job boards or LinkedIn for that matter. Yet right here at your finger tips are profiles with more information than you could ever imagine AND they are more than likely doing something similar to what your company is doing. I know what you are going to say, “but Derek they didn’t get the job so why would I want to work with them.” Simple, they may have not fit THAT job but a month down the road or even three months down the road they just might be a fit for THIS new job.

Searching the Database the Right Way

OK so I get the argument that there is a lot of garbage in your database. People apply just to apply or in the US to prove that they are looking for a gig while on welfare. Yeah they do that. So I came up with a pretty cool solution to this. I call it my hot 100 list. I use a separate database where I house the resumes of the really A+ game candidates. When I am searching in the database and I find a cool candidate OR the candidate that did not get the gig but was still a cool candidate I put in a closed job only I can see. I title the job after what that skill set is. This way when a new position comes up I can go back and check notes and who was in there last that could be a good fit. That’s pretty cool huh?

So even though an ATS can be the bane of a recruiters existence it can also be a handy tool if you use it just right.

Derek Zeller is the Managing Editor at You can connect with Derek on LinkedIn or Twitter