“I love spam,” said no one ever. You use spam filters to keep unwanted messages out of your inbox. But, keeping those low-quality or unqualified resumes away from your job postings is tough. Even if you use an automated system, you are still getting spammed. Imagine how much easier it would be to attract the right candidates if you had a resume spam filter that actually worked.
The best way to keep spam out is to keep it from finding you in the first place.
Before the internet (yes, I’ve been around that long), we used to pay by the word or line for job postings. Now everything is online and at a fixed price we’ve become slackers, defaulting to posting the standard job description. To save time, many businesses post the job description instead of writing a strategically crafted job posting. As a result, these businesses get frustrated by the flood of resumes. Someone has to look at those resumes and somehow find the right candidates to interview. Those are the few candidates who can actually do the job.
There are a few things you can do before you post your job to save you time and money later. I’ll be honest, these things require some time and careful thinking about the job and about the type of person who will be successful. And I promise you the investment will be worth it.
Tip #1: Define the right candidates for your business.
Start by listing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors of your best employees. Then, create a pie chart with the top three to five attributes critical to success. Your chart is a snapshot of your ideal employees.
Next, think about your unsuccessful employees. What are they like? When you understand the difference between success and failure, it will be easier for you to communicate that to your employees and potential employees.
Tip #2: Use your job posting wisely.
One of the best ways to attract the right candidates and reduce the number of unqualified applicants is to write a great job posting. In a world where time is money, most of us lack the time and resources to wade through a sea of resumes to filter out resume spammers and get a manageable number of highly-qualified candidates. With a little extra work up front, you can use your job posting to make your screening efforts smoother, more efficient, and ultimately more effective.
Job descriptions are boring, boring, boring! Even worse, most look exactly the same. Dare to be different! Catch their eye. Stand out from the crowd; make ‘em go, “Whoa!”
Tip #3: Make the candidate (buyer’s) market work for you.
This means you have to think like a marketer. When you market your product or service, you do it in a way that will bring customers to you. When you write your job ad with a marketing focus, you will attract the right candidates. To do this, you have to understand what appeals to them, because attracting quality applicants takes less time than screening out the bad ones. When you attract the right candidates instead of screening out the unqualified, you’ll spend your time on a small number of resumes and stop wasting time on the worst candidates.
The most useful question that you can ask yourself is, “If I were a potential employee, why would I want to work for you doing this job?”
Tip #4: Be clear about how the job contributes to your success.
The right candidates want to know what it’s really like to work at your company and how their work will contribute to your company’s success. I recently asked a candidate why he applied for the job I posted. He told me he was selective about applying for jobs. Did you hear that? Good candidates are selective. This man felt that he could throw most job postings in the air and pick one because they were the same. This posting was intriguing because it had things that made him say, “This is a company that wants to go beyond the general norm.” He wanted to know more.
Tip #5: Go where your candidates are.
Marketing your job also means making sure your brilliant job posting gets noticed by the right candidates. Many people no longer look at job boards because the jobs are similar and their time is in just as short supply as yours. You have to reach them in different ways.
The “post and hope” method for recruiting is inefficient and costly. Actively work your personal and professional networks including social media, volunteer groups, networking groups, Chambers, BNI, trade associations, and other places where your candidates are likely to be either in person or virtually. If you do use a job board, do some market research and make sure your candidates will look there. Remember to use your own website and your employees as ways to market your jobs.
Take the First Step.
If you still have some work to do to attract the right candidates, no worries. The important thing is you are ready to learn. Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 20 minutes of focused coaching that will pay huge dividends.
You may also want to grab a copy of my book, The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business, available on Amazon. It’s a handy resource packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions.