How To Reel In The Best Candidates
Finding the right candidate is tough. Often there are numerous resumes to sift through, and the majority of applicants may not be a great fit for the position. There must be a better way to attract qualified talent.
What is the number one reason companies fail to attract needed talent? Ineffective job descriptions. Poorly written job descriptions do not describe what the job is and what the job requires.
1. Filler Words. Fluff words hide important information. Skip unnecessary verbiage and stick to the essentials. A lean style goes far.
2. Poor Formatting. Today's job seeker is on the move with his mobile phone in hand. He will pass over a mile-long job description formatted with giant blocks of text. An ideal job description is easy to skim, which means the use of brevity and formatting choices such as lists.
3. Unrealistic Expectations. Of course, you want the most capable candidates. Yet, over packing a job description only repels job seekers. Some job descriptions ask for more qualities and skills than one employee can realistically possess. Talk to people who have experience in or have intimate knowledge of the kind of position you wish to fill. Learn what skills are truly essential.
Job Description Do's
1. Discuss Your Organization's Identity. A good candidate has skills matching your position's requirements. A perfect candidate is skilled and a great fit for your organization's culture. If a qualified candidate can get behind your business' values and mission, that candidate then has the makings of a star employee.
In the beginning of the job description, include information about what your organization does and values. Explain features or facts (such as community service or stellar employee amenities) that make your organization special. Include a sentence or two on your company's future goals.
The point is to attract candidates who share or agree with your company's values. Applicants who can see themselves reflected in your organization's identity are more likely to apply.
2. Communication with Purpose. Write the job description in a way that reflects the desired candidate. For example, a law firm seeking a paralegal would use a formal, technical writing style to attract experienced (and professional) candidates. A retail business filling a customer service position might use a friendly and low-key writing style to attract personable and easygoing candidates. However, avoid the use of terminology too specific to your business. Keep your message clear.
3. Define the Position in Detail. Accurately describe what the position is without listing every facet. Be as specific as possible with the position title. Cover everyday duties, and explain how the position fits into your business. Who will the candidate, if selected, interact with? Is there daily or less frequent contact with supervisors? Or, for instance, maybe a major part of the position is customer or internal service.
4. State your Requirements. Emphasize what you desire in regards to experience and education. Make clear which requirements you will not compromise on.
5. Mention the Pay Rate. Do mention compensation. Candidates will decline job offers if they feel the pay is too low. Mentioning the pay rate upfront spares you wasted time (and frustration) later.
6. How Should Candidates Respond? Include specific directions on how you wish applicants to respond to your job ad. An applicant who does not complete directions as you desire will not follow directions once hired. Use the application process as a front line vetting tool.
A key ingredient to any company's success is hiring the right kind of talent. Recruiting that talent can be a chore, especially if the foundation — the job description — is weak. If your organization struggles to find ideal candidates, try crafting more on-target job descriptions.
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