Sourcing for a new candidate for your organization may often be an exhausting experience. In some situations it may seem as if a certain position within your company is a revolving door. Why is that? Are you sourcing for the wrong type of person to match a job? Rest assured, the perfect applicant can be found, but you may need to get back to basics first.
For just a moment, put yourself in the position of a fresh faced candidate scrolling through the pages of the local job boards or social media sites. Look at a few job descriptions and think “why would I want this job?” If they all look the same, read the same way and have no details on the companies, what sets that job apart? Don’t you want the job seeker to be enthusiastic about applying to your company? The applicant should be excited at the prospect of getting that job. But they are definitely not going to be that way if your job posting blends in with the rest. Whatever you do, it is recommended that you not use a template. Chances are you wouldn’t use a template to describe your company or your team; they have more personality than that. So take the extra time to create a job posting worthy of that awesome individual you’re looking for to fill that perfect job.
When creating a job posting, it is important that you catch a potential candidates’ attention. In some cases, and depending upon the type of business, it may only be necessary to give a brief description of the essential duties and responsibilities, working hours and compensation. However, for a position that requires more experience and/or a higher level of education, candidates expect more information. Attaching a catchy title that better describes the job, as opposed to a basic title like “Vice President” also provides more detail. A company overview is essential in relaying to the potential candidate just what kind of environment they could potentially be working in. In addition, a job posting with a detailed list of essential duties and responsibilities may potentially bring more high-quality candidates. Using adjectives that detail the knowledge, skills and abilities required of the potential candidate that you are searching for is helpful too. Overall, including detailed, specific requirements in the posting will let the applicant know right away whether or not they should apply.
Positing an open job utilizing web-based job boards and social media sites seem to yield the highest number of qualified candidates. However, if you have used certain job boards or social media sites and haven’t had much luck, you may want to switch to another, or try posting to multiple locations. This will allow you to track the success of both postings to adjust what isn’t working for future job postings. You may also want to post two slightly different versions of the same posting, to see which one results in more desirable candidates. Even formatting differences like bullet points versus paragraphs could lead to higher number of potential candidates submitting their application.
While recruiting is often time sensitive, it is worth a little extra time to find the right match for the position. Keep in mind while recruiting for any job; you have to know who you’re looking for. But in order to know what type of person you need, you need to look at the job itself. It is critical to review the essential duties and responsibilities of the job description and knowledge, skills and abilities needed in order to be successful with those essential duties and responsibilities in order to determine the type of person needed to fill the position. Making sure that you have a thorough, up-to-date job description is critical in the recruiting process. Questions when updating the job description should include some of the following. Throughout the employment of the last staff member, did the job change? Had that employee simply adapted themselves to the position? (Remember, job descriptions should be written for the job and not the person who was in the job.) Are there other departments that the new employee will be assisting? Providing a copy of the newly revised job description to the potential candidates during an interview process provides the necessary conversation to assist you with determining whether the candidate will be the “right” fit for the job or not. Having a behavioral-based discussion around the potential candidates skills and experiences aides in helping you to determine whether they are qualified to complete the essential duties and responsibilities as outlined in the job description. Providing a copy of the job description up front also helps to eliminate the frustration on behalf of the candidate once they are hired when they find out that there were additional duties not specified during the interview process. It sets an expectation of what is expected before the candidate is hired. It is also a great time to introduce that famous clause that should be in all job descriptions, “all other duties as assigned”. It is the best use of time for both parties to be honest and thorough up front before the employment relationship begins. By providing an up-to-date job description at the time of the interview is the best way start the potential employment relationship off on the right foot, so to speak.
Having the top potential candidates complete an occupational-based job assessment is another tool that aide in determining whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the job or not. There are several good assessment companies in the marketplace that offer assessments. However, finding that company that provides a good occupational-based job assessment compared to just providing a personality-based assessment is essential. Occupational-based assessments help you determine whether the candidate has the behaviors that are needed to be successful in a certain job by building a performance model profile or benchmark for the job and matching the candidate to it. By matching a candidate to a performance model, you will have greater success with making sure that you have the right person who fits the job. However, make sure that you are using the assessment as a tool to assist with the hiring process and not as the only resource when making a hiring decision.
Last, but not least, it is important that you check references, criminal backgrounds and have all potential new hires complete a drug screen. Once you have made the formal offer of employment, it is best to state to the potential new hire that the offer is contingent upon the successful completion and passing of a thorough background check and drug screen process. This process should include speaking with past managers, supervisors and coworkers, if appropriate and/or verifying dates of employment to make sure that the potential new hire actually worked where they stated on their application. The completion of a criminal history search, and if appropriate for the job, an employment credit check, is important too. Drug testing? Need I say more? What company wants an employee who has issues with either legal or illegal substances? All of these tasks round out the recruiting process and if they result in a clean search assist with making sure that you are hiring the “right” candidate not only to fill the job, but who will potentially be an asset to your company for years to come.
For additional information on job postings and recruiting basics, please contact New Focus HR at www.newfocushr.com.
Written By: Kristen Shingleton Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP
President, New Focus HR LLC