Many companies today face a problem: because online job applications have become the norm, it’s easier than ever for hundreds, sometimes thousands of applicants to submit a resume whenever there’s an opening.
Now, that may sound like a champagne problem, for organizations with a tight budget and even less time to spare, making a decision when you have hundreds of applicants can sometimes be daunting. Add to that the fact that many people may apply “just to see what happens,” regardless of qualification, and you have your work cut out for you.
That’s why, in this post, we’re going over what you need to know to ensure that you attract only the best of the best when posting your job openings. Check out these tips, then apply them to your applying strategy to start seeing results.
Start with a “soft” job posting
Rather than uploading your job posting straight to LinkedIn, start by slowly putting your feelers out to see whether there is anyone in your immediate ecosystem who might be a good fit for the job. This might mean posting the listing on smaller forums related to your industry, or even reaching out to professionals and colleagues to see if they know anyone who would be a good fit.
Use networking to your advantage
Networking is key here. Maybe your old boss knows a young professional looking to get ahead in their career; or maybe you met the perfect candidate a few months back at a university career fair. Whatever the case may be, reaching out to these talented individuals before making a public posting can be a great way to start with a smaller, more skilled cohort of applicants.
Go beyond the resume
Resumes are a quick and handy way to learn a lot about a potential employee, but they’re not the final word on whether someone is qualified. Plus, by only asking for a resume from applicants, you’re pretty much opening the flood gates to anyone who wants to email it in and see what happens.
Rather than sticking to the same old resume strategy, try asking for some of these documents as well:
- A cover letter specific to the job the applicants are applying to
- Work samples that demonstrate their skills in the area
- Writing samples, if applicable
- Professional references from their past work and schooling
- Criminal background checks for employment
Adding more hoops to jump through ensures that your applicants are more dedicated, and are truly willing to do what it takes to get the job – and produce high-quality work once they have secured it.
Boost your interview
Once you’ve gathered a group of high-quality applicants, it’s time to think seriously about how you plan on conducting your interviews. Traditionally, interviews consist of the applicant talking with a hiring manager and maybe the team lead for the department they’re applying to, answering a handful of stock questions about experience.
If you want to bring in only the best candidates, however, you’ll have to get a little more creative than that.
Ask detailed questions about how the applicant has handled challenges at previous jobs, what experience they have negotiating with coworkers who disagree with them on a critical issue, and where they see their career progressing, and how the job they’re applying to helps them advance.
The importance of in-interview testing
In addition to detailed questions, more and more employers are opting to include interview tests as a part of the interview process. Interview tests are a short puzzle, prompt, or assignment that a candidate must complete within a set amount of time.
The benefit of these tests is that they provide you with critical information about how the applicant performs on the tasks they’re meant to do in the job, and how they perform when put under a time crunch.
Here’s what you need to remember about attracting and securing the best job candidates for your company:
- Start with a soft opening, and network to find up and coming professionals perfect for the role.
- Think beyond the standard resume, and find other ways to assess the qualifications of an applicant, like work samples and background checks.
- Conduct interviews that dig deeper into the candidate’s background and abilities, asking detailed questions, and providing a test of their abilities on-site.
The right strategies can make a significant difference when it comes to bring the right people into your company.