3 Tips for Organizing Before You Hire

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Congratulations – you’ve made the decision that it’s time to hire a new employee! Before you log in to your applicant tracking system (ATS) and whip up a job description, take just a little bit of time to step back and get a game plan together. Spending some time getting organized means you’ll attract and hire great talent for your open positions and spend less time sorting through resumes from unqualified applicants. 3 tips organizing before you hire

The three steps below will make sure you are ready to move fast when a rockstar candidate’s resume comes your way. And it also means less time second guessing decisions.

1. Review and Evaluate Your Hiring Needs

This is the most important step, but it’s also the one that gets skipped most often. So, the best thing to do is suck it up and start answering these tough questions.

To start, ask yourself – where is the company headed in the next year? And does this new position align with that? Can you afford to hire? Can you afford to not hire?

Ask yourself – what type of personality, skills, education or experience is necessary to do this job? Are you leveraging all of your existing resources and staff?

What would you consider your worst hiring mistake? How did that happen and what did you learn from making that hire?

How much can you afford to spend on the candidate search? Will you be covering travel expenses for candidates? Buying paid placements on niche/specialized job boards? Contracting a recruiter to conduct the search?

Now, take a look at the company and ask what’s so great about it? Benefits, pay, culture? And what’s not so great about it? Be honest, painfully honest.

Ok, that was tough. But now you’re in a much better position to know your next move. And when you make your next hire, you’re doing it with eyes wide open.

2. Write a Killer Job Description

Going through the evaluation above should have provided you with some great insights you’ll need to write a great job description. A killer job description is more than a list of bullets. It’s a chance for you to tell your company’s story to job seekers.

Assigning a job title for this position is an important step. It needs to be right to attract good candidates. It also needs to make sense for the people currently working at your organization. If not, you could ruffle some feathers internally.

Next, include a short, narrative introduction to your company. Include a link to your company website or careers page.  Describing your company’s culture in the introduction, then infusing some more of your culture throughout the description will help candidates understand whether or not they are a good fit.

Also, give a snapshot of the reporting structure. You’ll want to outline key responsibilities and qualifications. Keep each to just a few bullet points – candidates tend to tune out if the job description is too long. Including information about travel requirements, benefits and salary will further help possible applicants know if this job is for them. Do you have other cool perks like summer Fridays off or free gym memberships? Be sure to mention them!

Once you write the description, share it with other people to get feedback. You may want to create a word cloud of the job description using a tool like Wordle. This will help you see what words you’ve emphasized in the description – and then you can make modifications before posting the job. The words that show up in the job description word cloud will help drive search results when job seekers are searching the web for openings.

3. Look For Talent in All the Right Places

Before you post your job opening, spend some time thinking about how you’re going to attract great candidates. Is it a specialized position that might do well on niche job boards? Have you had luck finding qualified candidates for similar positions on certain sites? Will it be a local or national candidate search? Your own company website will also be a valuable resource. Make sure job openings are posted there.

For most positions, it’s not enough to post a job opening on one site and expect to see loads of highly qualified candidates. But creating accounts on multiple job boards can also be exhausting and time-consuming. Using an ATS can take care of much of this work for you. Most ATS systems will automatically post your job to dozens of free job boards, and they also make it possible for you to post paid listings with just a few clicks.

Other ways to attract great talent are to create an employee referral program and to use social media to promote open positions. Employee referral programs that compensate employees for referring candidates tend to attract highly qualified applicants. And social media is a great way to attract passive job seekers.

Once you’ve made these decisions and posted the job, you should monitor which sources are working best to attract candidates. Compare the quality of applicants from each source. And be sure to ask candidates where they found your position.

Follow these three easy tips to stay organized AND attract the best talent in your hiring endeavors.

Looking for Applicant Tracking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Applicant Tracking software solutions.

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Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell is the Director of Marketing at HiringThing, an online application provider dedicated to changing the way small and medium businesses hire talent. Follow HiringThing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too!

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