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How to Find and Recruit Candidates (while weeding out the fluff)

Posted by Margot Nash on May 9, 2012

Are you still "winging" your interviews? Hiring based on "gut" instincts? Have you ever picked the wrong person for your job, or asked interview questions you'd rather not recall? We don't blame you.

Hiring Risks AheadEach of these offenses are committed by even the brightest of hiring managers. "Why," you might ask? Two reasons: Regardless of the company, job, or manager we're working with, almost everyone in the role of recruitment experiences one of the following two challenges that make them push aside everything they've ever learned about hiring best practices:

1) Too many unqualified candidates OR  2) Not enough qualified candidates

Around here, these are referred to as "the BIG Two." And, it's possible to suffer from both. When we look at all the reasons companies fail to pick the best people for their jobs, it all boils down to the aftermath of these two equations.

What happens when you suffer from #1? The "screw it, there's not enough time in the day" effect takes over.  When you're on resume overload, there's no choice but to be overwhelmed with the amount of viewing and sorting one must do. When you have tons of candidates, reading resumes seems a burden - let alone setting up and conducting interviews!

So what happens? Maybe you'll look at 80% of the resumes. Maybe you'll even skip over a candidate based on their name... (no, you wouldn't do that)! Research shows that the average resume is looked at for less than 6 seconds, so imagine what an overload can do. The most discouraging part is when you take all day looking at resumes and only 1 out of 20 actually meet the minimum qualifications for your job.Candidate Survey SmartRank Score

What to do about it? We've found that the most successful recruiters combat this "too many unqualified candidates" problem by automating a survey or quiz that candidates must take before even being considered for the resume review phase. The quiz must produce a numerical result in order for it to save you any time: Many on the market offer open-ended questions that you'll end up having to spend more time reading through, and that defeats the purpose.

 

 What happens when you suffer from #2? When you're not getting enough qualified candidates, it's common to feel tempted to hire the candidate in front of you, no matter how qualified they are: You've got a position to fill, you need the help yesterday, and you don't want to risk waiting weeks (maybe months) for the right person to apply to your job. This scenario poses an obvious problem because you're forced to look at the few candidates you have through rose-colored glasses. You WILL hire the wrong person, and it won't be pretty.

Your interviews will seem great (unless you have quantifiable responses to look for). Your candidate will seem personable (unless you have specific questions you know you need to get through). And, you'll want to skip the final round interview - for fear you'll lose your candidate's interest.

 The desperate hiring fallacy is not easy to combat. Some resort to recruiting firms, which can cost you an arm and a leg. Before you go that route, we offer a few less pricey suggestions for what to do about it:

1. Write a killer job description that shows off your office culture

2. Post to the free job boards (SimplyHired and Indeed), and share your job URL on your Facebook, LinkedIN and Twitter pages so that Find Candidates Post Job Recruityour network knows you're looking and can help re-broadcast your job for you.

3. Have your employees broadcast your job to their social networks, and attach an employee referral bonus to their efforts.

4. Post to a few select paid job boards (trust me, it will still cost less than hiring a staffing firm) The ones we like are Careerbuilder.com, LinkedIn, Mashable for tech jobs. Craigslist is also great for some jobs and is much less expensive.

5. Network. Tell everyone you meet (including friends and family) that you're looking and what your'e looking for. Your contacts want to help you.

6. Make sure your open jobs are always listed on your existing website, so that you can build your bench (even when you're not hiring).

When you fall victim to the "BIG Two," just know that you're not alone. Hireology is here to help.

Think you may have a hiring problem? We have the solutions. 

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Fresh Perspectives New Ideas, Hiring Millennials, Recruiting, How to Hire


Margot Nash

About the Author

Margot Nash is Hireology's VP of Product where she integrates her experience in psychology, selection consulting and recruitment into Hireology's platform. As a self-proclaimed "selection junkie," Margot has a true passion for understanding the psychology of success and is determined to pioneer a shift in the way businesses approach the hiring process.