Finding qualified candidates for your job openings can be a difficult task.
Sometimes, applicants are scarce, either due to labor shortages or an abundance of opportunities in the job market. During these times, the most desirable prospects have all the options as to where they want to take their talents, and it may be difficult for you to persuade them to come work for you over a competitor.
During the times when there’s a surplus of applicants for every position you advertise, you still have to weed through a stack of resumes to find the potential hire that will best fit your business — assuming your posting even convinced them to apply for the role.
You’ll need to revisit your recruiting strategies and hone them to their razors’ edge if you want to stand out as a potential employer. This article will provide some tips on distinguishing your business and attracting the very best candidates to come work for you.
Define Your Ideal Candidates
If you’re having difficulty finding the right people to fill certain roles, it could be that you haven’t clearly defined the type of candidates you want in those positions.
Setting detailed criteria — both for a job and the individual who should fill it — will help you be more selective when you’re sifting through resumes and weed out the weakest options.
Start by listing as many details about the job you’re trying to fill as possible. What skills are necessary to perform the job to your standard? Talents? Behaviors?
You’ll also want to consider what traits someone would require to fit in at your company. You should list out your core values, then think about the individual characteristics that would allow someone to mesh with them.
If you’re recruiting candidates for a network marketing role, for instance, they’ll need to be enthusiastic, teachable, and communicative. Additionally, they should have skills like time management, situational assessment, public speaking, and direct selling.
You can break down any position in this manner, simply by asking yourself questions about what the role entails and observing your top performers who can already do the job well.
After defining your ideal candidate, you can use those details to help craft a killer job description that clearly delineates the type of employee you want to hire.
While this won’t net you the perfect candidate immediately (if such a thing even exists), it will help you put out the right signals to attract more of what you’re looking for and provide you a benchmark against which you can compare future applicants.
Optimize Your Recruiting Network
To bring in the best job candidates, you need to make sure you’re looking for them in the right places. In the modern era, that means recruiting via the internet, and there’s a substantial list of online spaces you’ll want to share your job postings:
- Your own website: Most employers have a section on their website to host current openings. Be sure to include your posting here so that potential candidates viewing your page can find your listing and apply.
- Professional association websites: Certain career paths have professional associations dedicated to helping their members achieve personal development and find employment. Posting your job here would put you directly in front of the types of candidates you’re after.
- Job boards: General job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster are still a good way to put out feelers for large numbers of candidates online.
- Social media: More people are on social media than ever before. Even if you don’t find suitable candidates when you first post your job listings on social media, chances are you’ll reach someone who knows someone else who’s interested in the job and will direct that candidate to you.
When advertising positions online, make sure to keep your job descriptions compelling and informative. You want to sell potential candidates on both the position you’re hiring for and your business as a whole. Portray your company as the type of place people want to work at, and you’ll be sure to encourage as many as possible to apply.
Screen Candidates Efficiently
Once you’ve attracted a solid pool of applicants, you’ll need to sort through them to find the few that best fit your ideal criteria. In days past, this might have meant poring over hundreds of resumes on your own. Thanks to technology, though, you can use AI in your recruitment processes to help you screen candidates based on keywords and criteria you set.
Adopting computer-based screening procedures will also allow you to comb over prospective hires’ online presence and better verify the details that they’ve included in their application. This all goes to helping you sift through the deluge of applications you’ll receive quickly, which will enable you to spend more time analyzing the cream of the crop.
Get Good at Interviewing
Effective job interviews are how you can drill down into a candidate's skills, experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. Going back to our network marketing example, you’d want to use the interview to assess their demeanor and make sure they demonstrate the necessary qualities, such as enthusiasm, optimism, and more soft skills, to succeed in the role.
If you’re a good job interviewer, you can discover potential red flags that may discourage you from hiring a bad fit. You’ll also be able to reveal the hidden depths that might indicate you’ve found a diamond in the rough.
Becoming a great interviewer won’t happen overnight, but these pointers will put you on the path to improvement:
- Read through the candidate’s resume to prepare your questions and plan for appropriate topics of discussion.
- Prepare your questions in advance.
- Use specific queries to pull details from candidates.
- Focus on listening to candidate responses.
- Take copious notes on what’s being said.
- Use the interview to keep selling your business.
- Limit initial interviews to a 15-30 minute timeframe.
Remember that, throughout the interview, you should try to make your potential hire feel as relaxed as possible. This will help you get the most honest answers and make the most accurate assessment of their viability as an employee.
Position Yourself as a Stand Out Employer
As an employer, you’ve got to make people want to work for you, which often means distinguishing yourself when it comes to what you’re offering potential hires.
Employee compensation, for instance, should be at a level that competes with or outclasses whatever your competitors are offering.
You can also attract top-tier talent by offering top-tier perks, such as continuing education support to help them further progress in their careers or flexible work schedules that allow them to complete their duties at home when needed.
Build your reputation as an employer who cares about their employees and you’ll have an easier time bringing on great hires.
Make Recruitment a Priority
It’s easier to run a profitable business when you have excellent employees. Implement these recruiting strategies to bring the best candidates to your doorstep. These strategies also find the best fit for your organization in a long-term capacity.