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5 Tips from our Candidate Attraction Playbook

When it comes to hiring the right people who really fit their business, small-to-mid size organizations actually have a significant advantage over large corporations. The ability to act quickly, adjust roles to fit specific skill sets, and grant access to senior leadership during the interview process creates an environment of trust and mutual respect between candidates and hiring managers. With a well thought out recruiting process, you can ensure you’re not losing the right people for the wrong reasons as you attract top talent to your team.

Here are SUM tips from our candidate attraction playbook:

1. Stop posting job descriptions. They are not the same thing as job ADS; Instead, think of your job postings as marketing material. Include statements about your company’s culture, opportunities for growth or community involvement, and inject personality into the job requirements. It has been said that there is no such thing as a bad culture, just a bad cultural fit, so promote the culture that you have.

Helpful Hint: Not sure how to describe your culture? Start by asking your current employees how they would describe what it’s like to work for you. Discover the words they use to label the general atmosphere of your organization and to describe their workplace environment. Incorporate this language into your ads.

2. Give up the boiler plate sales pitch. Sure, you need a well-crafted and targeted message to communicate who you are. But, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work here. You’re not trying to attract a generic worker; you want someone who can really mesh with your team, so personalize your post and speak to that individual. Compose a message that explains the value your employees perceive in working with you. You can leverage that message across all of your advertising channels and even talk about it in your initial phone calls with potential candidates.

3. Lose the application. Or, at least move it. With resumes and LinkedIn profiles, do you really need to capture work history and contact information again? Candidates are people too, so respect their time! They may already be working, or have other commitments that would prevent them from spending an hour applying to your open job. And while I understand the desire to make candidates jump through hoops to prove themselves, their very first interaction with your company is NOT the time for that. Follow the golden rule: treat your applicants the way that you would want to be treated.

Helpful Hint: Every hiring manager should apply to their own company at least once a year. Feel the experience of what it’s like to be on the other side, so that you can find opportunities to improve the process. Do you like the way it flows? Do you feel encouraged to keep going? Yes? Great! No? Change it.

4. Include your employees in the interview process. A-players love to work with other A-players. They’re inspired by greatness and want to surround themselves with it. So, ask your A-players to participate in your selection process.  Then, give your candidates an opportunity to ask real questions of the people they will be working with every day. And, give your employees the freedom and security to answer those questions truthfully.

5. Provide timely feedback at every step in the process. Candidates’ #1 complaint about the job search process is that they never hear back from prospective employers. Even if someone is not a fit, you don’t know who they know – and negative news travels fast. Every single applicant should have such a great experience with your company that they tell everyone they know to apply, even if they themselves didn’t get the job.

Compliments of SUM Innovation – a member of the EACCNY