Finding qualified candidates is not an easy task. While the internet has helped recruiters make enormous strides in reaching more candidates…the question of ‘are they the right candidates?’ still leaves many hiring managers in the dark. Anyone can post a position on their website or a job board and see the resumes come pouring in. A large number of interested candidates may seem like a good problem to have, at first, but midway through the tedious task of reviewing all of those resumes, you risk letting review-fatigue cloud your judgment…resulting in you settling for the okay-est candidate. Let me walk you through the 4 best practices that have significantly improved my overall candidate pool while reducing the amount of time I spend searching.
By spending time to build a detailed job posting and putting in a little more work on the front-end of your candidate search, you ensure that the resumes you see are from qualified and skilled candidates. Outline a list of concise yet detailed core responsibilities. Include not only technical skills that are essential to the job function but also day-to-day activities that the candidate can expect. By adding details like routine monitoring, reporting, or any research the candidate is expected to conduct, you reduce the likelihood of any miscommunication about the job requirements. General or vague job postings will cast your net too wide and result in over 50% of your applicants being under or unqualified. Specify how this position will directly affect your organization. If you can paint the bigger picture upfront, it will give candidates the opportunity to determine if the company’s long-term goals align with their own.
Go Beyond Technical Skills
While experience and technical skills are important, they only tell half the story. The soft skills the candidate needs can make or break a hiring decision. Spend some time with the manager that the candidate will report to and ask the questions that will determine if they will be a good fit for their team. Does this position require communication with executives or stakeholders? How important is adaptability? Will the candidate be in a collaborative environment? By listing these qualifications directly on the job posting, you attract candidates who thrive in these situations and avoid candidates who can fill the technical requirements of the job but may struggle with the soft skills. As an added level of precaution, ask situational questions during the phone screening. Depending on the candidate’s answer, you’ll be able to differentiate if this is the proper position for them.
Make Sure Your Job Title Fits the Description
Ensure your job title is targeted directly to your ideal candidate and relative to the content of the job description. All too often hiring managers create job titles that don’t align with the skills needed for the role, resulting in hundreds of applicants that don’t really fit the job description. For example, we worked with a real estate development company that had been struggling for a year to fill a position for a civil engineer. Every person they had hired in the role over the previous two years had ultimately failed. Upon closer inspection, the duties for this particular role were best aligned with the job title Scheduler. Remember, you can always change the job title once the person is hired to align with your organization’s preferred titles, but during the search you want to use more universal titles that best fit the role and job description.
Look at Why Others Have Previously Failed in the Role
Oftentimes, recruiters and hiring managers are in such a bind to fill positions that they don’t take time to think about why the previous employee left to begin with. Has the position changed from the original job description adding new responsibilities without taking any away? Does the position require the employee to take on more of a leadership role among their colleagues? Does the job function require learning innovative technology on a regular basis? All these questions will help you better understand what a successful employee looks like for this position. It will allow you to edit or enhance the job description thereby increasing your chances of making the best candidate choice.
Searching for the right candidate will always take time and effort. By implementing these 4 simple strategies, you’ll find the right candidates easier and faster. If you’d like more information or have any staffing concerns, visit our website at www.epmainc.com or give us a call at 713-400-9200…we’d love to help!