Editor’s Note: This is a guest post freelance writer – James Riddle. His opinions are his own.
Finding qualified candidates who will perfectly fit into your team can be a challenge. Top candidates always have numerous options, so no wonder they are extremely picky about the offers they accept. That means that combing through resumes from applicants and hoping to find some talent doesn’t work anymore.
So if you truly care about attracting the best candidates, you need to put special thought into a hiring process and develop a strong employer brand.
1. Don’t wait too long
As the good old networking book by top entrepreneur Harvey Mackay says, ‘Dig your well before you’re thirsty’. So try to avoid filling a vacancy with unrealistically tight deadlines. Instead, start getting in touch with potential applicants in advance — long before you actually need them.
If you follow these tips, you should always have a vast candidate pool:
- Spread the word about upcoming vacancies within the company so employees can search for applicants from time to time. Publish posts on Facebook, share growth plans with team members, and announce vacancies at team meetings. Don’t forget to encourage employees with referral bonuses.
- Persuade interested candidates to subscribe to your company newsletter or send a personal newsletter to them specifically. It will provide future applicants with up-to-date information about company developments.
- Invite potential employees to your office when they are in the area. Sometimes one personal meeting is worth a thousand emails or phone calls.
- Keep a list of industry leaders and dream candidates. Keep in contact with them regularly. Who knows, maybe your next letter happens to be in the right place at the right time.
2. Keep your website ‘neat and clean’
First of all, make sure you have a ‘Join our team’ (careers) section on your website. It should not only give job seekers a brief portrayal of the company’s vision, mission, and values but grab their attention and reveal your personality.
Keep away from those mediocre ‘selling’ descriptions. Be authentic: for instance, find out what your employees love about the company, ask what exactly drew them in. Collect those insights and use them to attract new candidates.
Second of all, put a ‘Contact us’ link on the website to encourage talent to reach out to the company directly. Such an open door policy will help you stand out among the standard ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’ attitude.
3. Learn to write job descriptions
How many times have you come across jargon-filled, incomprehensible job descriptions that can barely explain what the position is actually about? Apparently, this is not uncommon. That’s why your main task is to strive for transparency and creativity.
Help future employees see themselves in the new position. Describe their daily duties and work environment in detail, provide examples of some obstacles that will likely come their way. And try to avoid those dull lists of duties — they lack soul and emotion, and they creates boundaries between companies and candidates.
4. Use the power of the Internet
As simple as it sounds, make a list of the most popular job boards, explore networking sites, analyze online recruiting tools. As time goes on, you will find options that work best for your company and attract applicants more effectively.
And don’t underestimate the power of growing social media presence. Sometimes using a corporate account is the only way to cut through the noise and find the right people.
5. Don’t play games on salary
Who said that salary negotiation has to be so tricky? The reality is, people need money. Thus pretending that’s not true and refusing to name a salary figure will only scare away all the good applicants.
Therefore, stop making a big deal out of it and be honest and transparent instead. Talk about salary upfront — preferably in the job description or job ad, or at least while phone screening. Such a fair play will be highly appreciated by strong candidates.
6. Turn to headhunters
Sometimes, it is better to use professional recruiters, than spend another month looking for talent only to find no one. Of course, in this case, be ready to pay up to 35% of your new recruit’s annual salary. But sometimes this can be a a reasonable price for the time and effort that could be possibly invested.
Plus, most search firms already have an already-developed pool of candidates. They can even be industry or skill specific, which is especially helpful when looking for a particular skill-set or a rare specialist.
7. Learn more about your ideal candidate
Get to know your future employees. Find out what they read, which platforms they prefer, what networks they use. Identify their favorite news sources, forums, discussion groups, and places to practice social networking.
Is your dream candidate keen on languages? Scroll through the language schools they might attend, and shape their schedule so they won’t miss lessons. Do they take online CPA courses? “You can go to professional services and learn the details related to the whole CPA licensing process,”– explains Jason Galaif, CEO of CPA Exam Guy.
Simply speaking, find out everything you can about the people you want to see in your office. Use this information to improve your interviewing and staff selection.
8. Simplify the application process
If you want to show your company as results-focused, modern and employee-driven, you just can’t start the application process from a ‘yes/no’ form. Sure it might be quick to complete, but at the same time absolutely useless, providing candidates with irrelevant questions and making them skip half of the form.
So it’s always better to stick to audition-style hiring processes or use smart forms with branching logic which adapt to every applicant showing and hiding follow-up questions if needed.
9. Set up an employer branding strategy
Nothing attracts top candidates more effectively than a consistent employer branding strategy. Just like the commercial image helps consumers differentiate your products in the market, the employer brand sets your company apart from other organizations hunting professionals.
According to a Glassdoor survey in 2016, 69% of job-hunters would rather apply to a job if the company actively develops its employer brand: updates your company profile, answer questions in social media, shares some stories. If you want to be included in that number, it’s time to look for employer brand ambassadors.
10. Gain publicity
Any publicity your organization receives is hugely vital for recruiting. A relevant article that views your company in a positive light or even a couple of good words about your mission can draw the potential employees to you. Thus try to make your organization as visible as possible. Remember, if you remain silent, no one will ever know about your existence.
These are just ten of the steps you can take to help attract the best candidates. They may not all be the easiest ones to follow, but they are certainly worth it.