Many of my clients are struggling with finding good applicants for their open jobs. Some of it is the residuals of Covid and the widespread avoidance of in-person working, but much of it is because employers are not presenting their openings or their company in a way that attracts good candidates to apply.
Here are three steps every employer should take to increase their chances of getting the right people to apply for their open jobs:
Let’s dig into each a little deeper.
First, you must know the skills, experiences, and personality characteristics of your ideal employee. This comes from doing a thorough job analysis that reveals what it takes to succeed in the role. Ideally, you would know this from existing job descriptions and having refined role processes over time. However, if this is a new role, one that’s never existed, you can still define the role by mapping out what tasks and responsibilities the employees will perform in order to achieve your overall business objectives. The collected tasks would be used to create a thorough job description which is then used to define the role and create our second step. . . the inviting and informative job posting.
If you searched for open positions similar to yours on any of the major internet job boards, you’ll likely see there are dozens of other companies competing for the same candidates you are. Now, look at those same ads and critique them for what they tell and how they tell it. Are they organized and coherent? Can you tell what skills and experiences they are looking for? Is there anything about the posting that would make you want to apply for the job and to the company?
A job posting is your chance to tell the world about your company and your open positions. It is often the only way prospective applicants know anything about you. Therefore, it’s critical to make it good and communicate what you want them to know about you and what they should work for you. It should include a compelling story about your company and what good you are doing in your community and for your customers. Also, detailed skills and experiences that describe what the employee will be doing. Paint a picture of success that the applicant can place themselves into. And. . . provide an invitation for them to apply with information that makes it easy and encouraging.
Which brings us to step 3. . . Applying for a job today is easier than ever with automation. However, after the application is when things can get sticky. It is worth your effort to create an interviewing process that makes life easy and productive for you and the applicant. For this, I suggest making your initial screening by phone or video chat to avoid inconvenient travel. Provide flexible time options including evenings and weekends. Be ready with an interviewing guide that sets up relevant questions and expected responses, along with a scoring dashboard so you are sure to uncover the information you need to make an informed hiring decision.
I often get the impression interviewers are looking for the flaws in candidates, or they try to trip them up along the way. In today’s employment climate, it is important to look for ways to include candidates, rather than exclude them. That subtle shift in your interviewing approach can make a world of difference in how you’re seen by applicants.
Use an objective scorecard that removes biases and interpretation from the interviewing process. Lastly, communicate with every applicant in one way or another, regardless if they were qualified or not; got the job or not. Your reputation as a caring and considerate employer will help you attract the right people to your open jobs.
If you want to learn more about attracting the right employees, drop a note or give me a call. firstname.lastname@example.org or 980-435-1457. Thanks.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.