Whether you’re starting a new business, doing a complete overhaul of your current staff or adding employees to the team, feeling overwhelmed by this task is common. In addition to ensuring that you hire employees at the right time, you also want to ensure that they are suitable candidates for the job. Considering a variety of factors, including how to craft job postings and choose the best options, can help you to conquer this endeavor with confidence and success.
This journey starts well before any prospective candidates walk through the door for an interview or even submit their resumes online. Before any of these actions, you must create a proficient job posting that clearly articulates what your company needs in a candidate. Integrating some tips into the completion of this task can lead you toward success.
You and your colleagues may have an image of the ideal candidate in your mind. While the job posting should certainly identify these ideal qualities, you don’t want to accidentally eliminate potentially excellent candidates. For example, your ideal candidate might have a degree in creative writing. However, consider if someone with a degree in journalism or literature could also fit the role well. Narrowing down the specifications could eliminate stellar candidates. On the other hand, having a posting that is too broad could mean that you end up with numerous junk applications.
Another essential element is the ability to differentiate between required skills and preferred ones. Categorizing information in this manner provides potential employees with a sense of how their additional experience might bolster their ability to procure and succeed at the job. Furthermore, candidates can better speak to the job in their application materials. In other words, imagine that you would prefer a candidate who has volunteer experience in the art industry. Someone searching for this type of job may very well land on your posting and can then tailor the information on the cover letter to that specific set of skills.
If you are anticipating a high number of application packages, you may need to use some gatekeeping tools simply to handle the quantity. Application-tracking software can help to narrow down possibilities. For example, you may want to hire only candidates who graduated from a specific set of top business schools. You could program the software to accept and move forward only those applicants who have this specific credential in their application package. On the other hand, application-tracking software may have a negative effect if you receive only a small number of applications that the human eye could reasonably review. In other words, the software may end up eliminating candidates who could prove to be a good fit for the company. What you may want to do is start by managing the applications manually and switching over to a software program if the quantity becomes too much to manage. Allowing yourself the opportunity to revise is also key.
You don’t want prospective employees confused about how they are to tackle the application. You should make clear what your specifications are for the application. In other words, articulate how interested parties should submit their materials, what the deadline is and any specific information, such as references, that they should include. Putting specific directions on your application can also help you to narrow down the pool of candidates. In other words, if you receive applications that do not adhere to the directions, you can automatically eliminate these candidates because they are showing themselves incapable of following instructions. An application that doesn’t follow instructions is essentially a warning sign to you to not advance that application any further in the process. An employee who cannot follow instructions from the start is essentially a risk to your company.
Now that you have a coherent and crisp job posting, you need to know what to do with it to encourage the most proficient candidates to apply. In today’s electronically intelligent world, you can use both digital and traditional tools to spread the word.
One option is to post the job internally. In other words, you may work for an entity that has many branches, divisions or locations. At a university, for example, jobs are sometimes posted internally first. An employee working in one department may want to expand opportunities and take on a part-time job in another department. If you work in this large of an environment, consider posting the job internally first. Already knowing some information about the employees who are applying can help to smooth out the process even more. You may want to consider sending out this information via email.
Skipping the obvious sometimes happens, especially when you’re on the search for the best employees in the field. However, think about where your ideal candidates are searching for jobs. For example, if you are looking to hire employees with college degrees for entry-level positions, post the job openings at local university career centers. You could also try community pages on social media if you are hiring employees to fill part-time positions. Social media platforms can work well regardless of what type of position you’re looking to fill. People venture to social media for a variety of needs. If your company has a large following on social media, chances are that at least someone out there is looking for a job.
Knowing the inner workings of your industry is also important when you want to find the right candidates. In your industry, candidates might go to specific locations to find jobs. For example, industry-specific job boards might exist on the internet, or many of your employees might have started at the same job long ago, a place where a new batch of eager workers is ready to move on to their next position. If your business is in a technical field, graduates from technical colleges may be looking at your company as a place to work. Scouring these platforms is likely to introduce you to some suitable employees.
As you probably know, some websites are specifically designed for companies posting jobs, and ignoring these sites could leave you with a crop of undesirable candidates submitting resumes to your company. Since plenty of people searching for jobs know that these websites exist and visit them to see what the options are, you should make sure that your listings appear on them as well. On these websites, candidates can filter jobs by a variety of criteria. You want to make sure that your postings are detailed and that you’re filing them in the right places so that the correct candidates can get in touch with you.
During both the application process and the interview process, you must know what qualities to look for in your potential employees. Of course, if you have degree requirements for the job, the candidates need to meet these requirements. However, hiring the right individual goes beyond an academic degree. You also want to see if the candidates have other important qualities.
Graduating from the top of the class at a top school is an admirable accomplishment. However, if this hypothetical candidate has never had any work experience, you might question whether the individual can handle the demands of the job. Both book smarts and practical knowledge are important in the job setting. Theories in books can provide employees with a framework of how to approach a host of situations. However, real-life situations can test whether or not employees can put that knowledge into practice.
Experience in the workforce is important, especially when you’re talking about internships. Internships allow students to gain experience in the specific fields in which they are interested. In fact, you might even have some past interns who are now applying for full-time positions at your company. Taking on internships during college also suggests a sense of responsibility and strong time-management skills. For example, it is common in many fields for students to procure internships. If you have some potential candidates who never took the opportunity to pursue internships, you may need to question how hard they are willing to work.
When you’re hiring employees in a creative field, you likely already know that you need individuals who exude creativity. However, this skill comes into play in fields that aren’t traditionally considered to be creative. Simply consider the times when your company has faced an issue and could not seem to find a reasonable solution. Perhaps a creative mind on the team would have helped bring a solution into fruition sooner.
If you’ve been on the hiring committee for a while, you might know very well that people will lie to get jobs that they want. In fact, you might even have started ranking how bad lies are. In other words, you might consider an invented job as a serious infraction and a stretching of the truth regarding how many years that one worked as not as much of a big deal. Hiring either candidate can put your company at risk. If the interviews aren’t matching the resumes or if you find that some candidates have added a couple of extra work years to their stories, seriously consider avoiding the hiring of these people.
Of course, all people have to start somewhere when it comes to getting a job. Taking a risk and hiring a recent college graduate could leave you with the best employee you’ll ever have. On the other hand, some positions simply require more experience. Therefore, you will want to make sure that the candidates have the correct experience. You also need to look for problems on resumes. Some people have legitimate reasons for large gaps in work history, but other situations might raise questions. Also, you should keep an eye out for too many jobs held for short periods of time. This type of job history could suggest that the candidate is going to work at your company for a short period of time and then just leave.
Asking for references and actually calling them might seem like a tedious part of the job. However, this step can help you to eliminate undesirable candidates from the pool. If you ask candidates for references and they cannot provide you with any, you can have some level of assurance that they are not the right fit for your job. On the other hand, if you are provided with a robust list of references that tout these candidates’ abilities, you can have greater confidence in adding the prospective employees to your team.
Adding to your team is important, especially when you’re in search of fresh talent or perspectives on situations. If you have just opened a company, a strong start is also crucial. In order to build your business in this fashion, you must hire the strongest employees whom you can find. This process doesn’t begin when someone walks through the door to sit down for an interview. While an interview is a crucial part of the path to success, it isn’t the only component. Long before the interviews start to occur, you must develop a brilliant job posting that attracts the right candidates and conveys necessary information about the job.
This description should arise from what you’re looking for in a candidate but also mix in flexibility. Once you have created this superior job posting, you’ll want to place it in the right spots to attract people who are most likely to fit the requirements of the job. Depending upon the method you use, you may end up sorting all of the applications by hand or having them go through software to determine a smaller group of strong matches. Then, you get to bring in those top candidates and interview them. This process all starts with the right formula.