Why Bland Job Descriptions Attract Bland Candidates

July 22nd, 2016

You do everything you can to attract top talent; you hire the best recruiters, maintain a polished and far-reaching social media footprint, and make sure your current employees are properly rewarded for suggesting referrals that lead to great hires. But there are a few simple, inexpensive moves you may be overlooking. For example, your job descriptions. Paying a little bit of extra attention to a one-page ad can mean the difference between hiring a star and settling for an uninspiring pool of applicants. Here are some tips that can help you shine a spotlight on your post.

Start with the positive.

Begin your post by selling your company. Emphasize the value of your business model and describe the qualities that separate you from other similar organizations. Feel free to summarize the history of your company and list some of your proudest accomplishments. If you launch right into a list of aggressive demands, the best candidates may quickly lose interest.

Describe the job accurately.

Of course you’re looking for a “true go-getter” and a “passionate, creative winner” and of course this person will be joining a team of “world-class experts” and “industry disruptors.” But these aren’t jobs. And they tell the applicant absolutely nothing about what you’ll actually want her to do in this role and what you’re looking for in a new employee. Provide a description of her daily activities and who she’ll be reporting to.

List meaningful metrics.

What are some of the personal traits, skills and qualifications that suggest a mutually compatible match? If you won’t accept a candidate without a bachelor’s degree, make this clear upfront. If the candidate will need a professional certification, bilingual fluency, a social media following of at least 500 or a local address, say so. Don’t be vague, and keep your list logical. For example, don’t require ten years of experience with a software platform that appeared on the market three years ago. And don’t insist on advanced degrees or more than five years of experience for an entry-level job.

Don’t ramble.

You probably prefer to hear from applicants who get to the point and keep their pitches tight, so show them the same courtesy. If your job post takes an hour to read, don’t expect candidates to remember every detail, absorb every word or follow your instructions to the letter. Keep it short.

Share the post with stakeholders.

Make sure the managers who will ultimately work with this candidate have a say in this process. Don’t create confusion between eager, prepared interviewees and interviewers who haven’t read the post. Even better, allow team members and co-workers to look over the post before it’s published. Everyone involved should know exactly what you’re asking of your candidates.

For more on how to hire and attract the best applicants in the marketplace, reach out to the Cleveland County staffing team at PSU.

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Preparedness: A Candidate’s Secret Weapon on the Job Hunt

July 8th, 2016

You’ve shoehorned hours of job search time into your already busy day. And you’ve been fielding calls with recruiters and network contacts all day long. Now it’s time to check out and leave the job search alone for another day—maybe a couple of days—while you redirect your focus to other responsibilities. Nothing can go off the rails while your attention is diverted for a little while, right?

Wrong. Once you start your job search, you flip a switch that stays on all day, every day, until you land your next position. Even when you’re asleep, your online profiles are still visible, and your voicemail message, email address, and public persona are still awake and active. The job search process is an adventure, and as with any adventure, from the moment you sign on, anything can happen at any time. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re ready.

Keep your messages tight.

You can’t control when potential leads, employers, recruiters and network contacts will reach out to you. So record a professional, friendly voice message that tells callers who you are and what you’re about, no matter why they’re calling. While you’re at it, adjust your phone habits. Instead of ignoring numbers you don’t recognize, train yourself to answer. And never answer the phone with a rude, sleepy, inarticulate single syllable. Practice these words: “Hello, (insert your name) speaking.”

Check your email.

Make sure your email address looks professional and serious, and if it doesn’t, get a new one. Check your messages at least two or three times per day during your search, and review your spam folder as well. If you check your spam folder very rarely—or not at all—don’t be surprised to discover that your dream employer tried to contact you six months ago.

Keep your schedule flexible.

Prioritize your job search, even if it means putting some other aspects of your busy life on a temporary hold. If an employer can only meet with you during a time slot in which you’ve scheduled a dental cleaning, a date with your spouse, or a casual get together with friends, don’t hem and haw. Just reschedule your date. Your spouse, friends and dentist will still be there later. Your potential employer probably won’t.

Keep your resume updated and on hand.

Once you’ve edited and polished your resume, be ready to send it off at a moment’s notice. This may mean buying an app that can help you send documents on the go, or it may mean creating business cards that direct readers to the blog or website where your resume is posted and available.
For more on how to keep your job search active, even when you’re not, reach out to the Charlotte career management team at PSU.

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