If you are looking to attract the best candidate for your job, it might be more of an involved search than you might first imagine.
In some ways, many people look for ways to get more candidate applications, but sometimes, more is not always better – rather than focusing on increasing the number of applications, it might be worth focusing instead on increasing the quality of applications you receive.
After all, it would be better to receive five applications from candidates who are perfectly aligned with what you’re looking for – rather than fifty candidates who are disparately aligned with what you’re after in a candidate.
In that sense, the mantra of “the more you do the more you get” comes into play, as is often the case in almost everything in your business and life. Yet, ironically, the more applications you get – the more you have to do… which is not what you want as a business owner, as most business owners are already inundated with tasks to complete.
The two principles below are fundamental to attracting the right candidate:
You want to get really specific in your recruitment advert; whether you outsource this to a recruitment agency or manage the campaign yourself – specificity is your friend, as the more specific you get, the better aligned the applicants that do apply will be.
Again, you don’t want hundreds of applications – you just want a handful of applications from highly qualified prospects, and in this sense, highly qualified does not relate to their academic or industrial qualifications, it relates to their alignment with what you’re looking for.
In many ways, your recruitment advert should filter out unsuitable people; meaning it needs to disqualify the majority of people that look at your advert – as you only want the best. If you’re too generic and wishy washy you will get people that are advertising for a whole host of jobs, yet, “the best” don’t tend to submit blanket applications out of desperation – they have a very focused approach on working for companies that are a good match.
You therefore need to show that you are not looking for someone “hardworking and reliable” for instance. It would be better to be much more specific, even if it seems counterintuitive to say “willing to burn the midnight oil in order to get the job done”.
This way, it will put off a lot of candidates – but those that are serious will be attracted by you looking for such an ‘overachiever’ in the sense that they will identify as someone that is happy to burn the midnight oil in order to get the job done.
This way, you are showing them what you mean by ‘hardworking and reliable’ as we all have different definitions and standards when it comes to such things – for instance, some people consider hardworking and reliable to be satisfied by turning up on time for work each day.
If, however, you are using such terms it would be helpful to ensure the candidate can see that they will be rewarded for such behaviour; for instance “willing to burn the midnight oil in order to get the job done – and being compensated very well in return”.
This way, you are being specific in both aspects; first what you expect – and second what they can expect.
For you to be specific, you first need to get very clear on what it is you are looking for – as it’s this lack of clarity that is often responsible for bland job descriptions. Just like in the world of dating, you need to know what you want before you can even consider whether someone is a viable love interest.
If you don’t, then you bounce around like flotsam in the tide, trying things out with a variety of people that tend to fizzle out quite quickly. You do not want this in your business. Yet, if you have a very clear idea of what you are looking for, then you can ensure you are not wasting anyone’s time – and only meet people that are appropriately able to satisfy your needs.
Establishing a structured candidate criteria must be thought about from all angles, as often we focus on the tangible tasks we require completing and put a skills description out on that basis – yet, the skillset of your workforce is just one aspect to consider. Perhaps, a more important aspect to consider is that of “attitude” as the way people approach a task creates a culture, and the culture of your company is inherent to your happiness as well as your success.
See, we spend so much time with our team, working, that they become a version of an extended family – and as such, we want to ensure we are around positive nurturing people that are happy to be there. If you have a workforce of grumpy or miserable people that loathe coming into work but are very highly skilled… it’s not going to be a pleasant experience.
Therefore, when you are focusing on what you want from an employee, be sure to consider their attitude and approach rather than just their skillset. This is where personality tests can be helpful.