Everyone knows that a job candidate must put his or her best foot forward in pursuit of a desired position. These days, if an employer wants to appeal to the best and strongest candidates, it also has to make itself look good. Who would want to come work for you and why? If you don’t know the answer to this basic question, you may not really know what you’re looking for.
Start at home. Take an informal survey among your current employees. Find out what they like about working for your organization–good boss, great office environment, opportunities to learn, etc.–and include these factors in the description you compose for the desired position. (Be sure to survey your very best employees, as they are likely models for the person you’d like to hire next.)
Make your job description sing! No, you don’t have to write like Shakespeare or even John Grisham, but the days of terse, abbreviated job descriptions are long gone. Job candidates want to know as much about the position as possible, and they’ll get frustrated if you overlook the basics–the required skills and qualifications, compensation and benefits package. Don’t stop there. The best job ads also include a well-crafted company profile, describing its culture and history, as well as opportunities for growth and training. Just as the candidate tries to make himself look good for you, so you must do the same for him.
Network for results. In addition to posting ads on online job boards, get out of the office and work your network. Get in touch with people you know in the business community. Tell them what you’re looking for and get their input. Chances are there’s someone in their network who fills the bill.
Local colleges and vocational schools are a good place to find recent graduates who are hungry to find work. If the opening is a junior-level position and the main requirement is enthusiasm, you’ll likely come across great candidates by contacting a college or vocational school and asking for a list of their best graduates.
Reward outstanding referrals. If you want to hear about great candidates through word of mouth, there’s no stronger incentive than a referral reward program. This should include your employee base. Make sure your staff knows who and what you’re looking for, and attach a dollar figure to your desired outcome. In general, employees only suggest someone they believe will be a good match. Remember, referrals can come from anywhere. People just have to know you’re looking, and feel motivated to help out.
Design the most desirable position possible. Competition for excellent job candidates is fierce. To stay in the running, you have to first make sure you’re offering the best salary and benefits package your business can afford. Flexibility is another key element in today’s job market. The best of the best want to know the company they’re intending to work for is open to flexible work arrangements, with more control over their responsibilities and work hours.
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to attract A-player candidates. But you do need to get the message out there that coming to work for you could be the best decision a job candidate makes in their career.
Learn more about attracting top candidates at www.highprofilestaffing.com.