How to Start Thinking Like a Candidate
The job market is getting better, especially for qualified candidates. The use of social recruiting and job boards like Indeed and Craigslist provide a job seeker with many options. So, to be successful in your search for the ‘perfect’ candidate requires a strategy to make your offer more enticing than others. Think like a candidate when you are casting your recruiting net. Ovation is designed to help craft professional job descriptions and applications which are effective tool to do just that.
The qualified job seeker is looking for a job relevant to their skills and ambitions, they often won’t stick around your post if it isn’t in their sweet spot. So, capture their attention quickly and keep it.
Here are 8 tips to help you get inside a candidate’s mindset:
1. Make the job title as relevant to the job as possible because many people search for a job using a site’s keyword search. For example, rather than just labeling a position “Restaurant Manager”, get more specific with job titles like, “Manager for Fine Dining Restaurant” or “Manager for Fast Food Chain of Restaurants”. Try “Audit Manager for CPA firm” rather than “Auditor” or ‘Accountant’.
2. Establish “WIIFM” or “What’s in it for Me?” in the opening paragraph of the job description. For example, rather than starting with ‘ You will be responsible…’, one might say “Our team of professionals provide an energized environment that makes work fun and stimulating…”.
3. Talk about your company’s culture and include the team in describing that culture. For example, “Our team enjoys flex schedules and work together to get jobs done timely and correctly” or “Our team is empowered to make the customer happy, because a new customer is harder to get than a happy repeat customer”.
4. Be as precise as possible when listing the required skills and qualifications required. List optional skills as such so, as not to discourage applicants who fit the job but may not have those extras. At the same time, a specific job description will weed out the unqualified applicants.
5. List the location of the job and if there are optional locations, list them. Many companies hire on a regional or national basis. Candidates finding your postings on the Internet may be interested in another location or in working remotely.
6. List the pay range of the position so you don’t waste your time or their time. If a job doesn’t meet their pay expectations, let them move on to another posting.
7. List some of the benefits your company offers, and not necessarily those that cost you money, like free lunches, tuition reimbursement, 401Ks, and gym memberships. For example flex schedules and dog friendly work environments are very important to many candidates. Remember, they are buying into your culture as well as the job itself.
8. Ask specific questions in the job application. Ovation allows you to ask custom questions of the applicant. These are very useful in ranking the candidate according to suitability. For example, ‘Do you have the _____ certification?’ or ‘Do you have reliable transportation?’ or ‘Are you available for various shifts?’