Stories abound about hiring managers having to sift through hundreds of resumes to find their proverbial needle in a haystack. While this is true in some cases, often, hiring managers suffer from the opposite problem, struggling to build interest in their job openings. It only takes one qualified candidate to fill an open position, but you will have a better chance of filling that position with a skilled, qualified candidate when you have a larger pool of applicants to choose from. But how can you increase your candidate pool?
You likely have your job description posted on all of the top career websites relevant to the industry. There are several tools available online to automate the process for a small fee, making it easy to post a job listing on dozens of sites with a single click. However, if you want to attract more interested candidates, the job should be easy for applicants to find. A searchable job title will help your target applicants along in their search.
The job title should be commonplace, rather than unique, so that people easily recognize what the position entails when they come across the listing. Furthermore, the job description should not simply list the job’s necessary qualifications and other requirements. Instead, it should also sell an applicant on the position by talking about advancement and growth opportunities, how regularly your company gives raises, the amazing work environment, and other benefits that working for your company will bring.
Whether your company is looking for applicants to provide healthcare, engineering, or swimming pool financing, the application process should be fast and easy. As an employer, you may initially think that it would be in your best interest to have a more complicated application process. After all, this may screen out applicants who are not actually fully qualified for the position. However, if you were a job applicant, particularly one who was highly qualified and confident in his or her value, would you spend 30 minutes to an hour trying to apply for a position without knowing that you would even be considered? It is great to have a more in-depth screening process, but the procedure to submit a resume for consideration should be easy and fast. After you have screened resumes, you can ask individuals to fill out your in-house application for further consideration if you are actually interested in learning more about them.
Some hiring managers unfortunately weed out very qualified candidates because they sort through resumes too quickly. It is wise to create a rubric that you will use to measure candidates throughout the hiring process, which begins with resume screening. Create a list of preferred and required experience and education for the position. For example, you may give an applicant one point on the rubric for each year of managerial experience he or she has, or you may give three points for a Bachelor's degree and six points for a Master's degree.
Use the rubric scoring system to rank the resumes. Then, call the top professionals for a phone interview to further screen them. Again, use the rubric scoring system to rank the results from these interviews. Interviewing dozens of applicants can be time-consuming, and you can use this screening process to expand your applicant pool without expanding the number of in-person interviews you eventually complete. If you need help with this process, consider contracting with a headhunting or recruiting firm. A recruiter can help you to more easily locate the most skilled and experienced candidates for the position and may have more reach into the marketplace to find a greater number of qualified candidates for the position.
Keep in mind that job applicants will be interviewing you at the same time you are interviewing them. They will note how efficient the hiring process is, how friendly you and your staff members are, how promising the opportunity is, and more. While you are carefully screening applicants, you also must sell the position to the applicant so that your preferred candidate ultimately accepts the position. By taking these steps, you can more easily open up your pool of candidates and make a fast, intelligent decision about who to extend an offer to.