“I love spam,” said no one ever. We use spam filters to keep unwanted messages out of our inbox. However, we fail to keep those unqualified resumes from appearing in our inbox by using effective spam filters. (Even if you use an automated system, you are still getting spammed.) Imagine how much easier finding your ideal candidates would be if we had a resume spam filter that actually worked. The best way to keep spam out, is to keep it from finding you.
In the old days, we used to pay by the word or line for job postings. Now that everything is online and at a fixed price, we’ve become slackers, defaulting to posting the standard job description. To save time, most recruiters post the job description and receive a flood of resumes. Someone has to look at those resumes and somehow find the best people to interview. Qualified means they have the skills and experience as well as the right personality traits, behaviors, and mindset to complement your team and be successful in 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 your ideal candidate.
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: Make your job posting work for you.
One of the best ways to attract the right people and reduce the number of unqualified candidates 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: Think like a marketer.
It’s a buyer’s market right now and 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 instead of screen, 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.
Great 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 high-quality 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.
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With a little advance preparation and some research, your job posting will attract highly-selective candidates.
I invite you to join me for my BLR Webinar on August 9 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, “Getting to the Short List: How to Streamline Your Screening Processes to Find Top Talent.”
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