Meet Alisha—nice red eyeglass frames. She’s a top talent recruiter on the lookout for excellence. Alisha needs to find a laser-focused self-starter who can hit the ground running.
There’s an $8.5 trillion shortage of great talent. That means it’s easier to run into a jeweled squid than an A+ player.
The good news—Alisha is about to learn how to recruit the cream of the crop.
Write a Sizzling Job Description
Alisha only gets one shot—most job seekers spend 49.7 seconds on a job ad before clicking away. This means her job ad needs to be flawless. But—it also needs to drip with company culture and values.
It’ll help pre-screen candidates for cultural fit (stick around to learn why it’s important) and make the candidate pool Hulk-level strong.
Need an example?
We’re looking for a Content Marketing Manager who thrives on collaboration and transparency. If hard startup culture is not something you’re OK with, our company might not be a good fit for you.
Re-Calibrate Outbound Recruiting
Like most recruiters, Alisha heads over to Indeed or Monster to post her new job ad. She hits submit. One day later, Alisha’s inbox is chock-full of applications (734 of them!).
Except—a gut-wrenching 99% of the resumes match the job description as much as red pants match a green shirt.
Aleksandra Włodarczyk, an HR Specialist / Recruiter at ResumeLab, explains:
Most job seekers that use global job boards take the shotgun approach. They fire resumes at whatever comes their way in hopes something pops up.
The result—the candidate pool turns into the Atlantic Ocean with no fish.
Hit niche platforms based on region or industry (see 50 free job posting sites handpicked by Google). It’ll propel your chances of attracting frontrunners.
Because Alisha works at a startup, she can also check the latest marketplaces for junior hires:
Stir Inbound Interest
So far so good. Alisha penned a mouth-watering job description and posted it on niche marketplaces. But—the job ads will go stale. Sooner or later, Alisha will see a drop-off in candidates’ interest.
But all is not lost. Alisha can have a constant stream of candidates who apply proactively.
How? Good storytelling.
They bathe in a constant flow of topnotch candidates who come to them. Since Alisha works at an exciting, fast-paced startup, she can get proactive candidates too.
- Set up a page on the company blog.
- Communicate vision and mission statements. (People don’t want to work for yet another money-making corporation. They want to change the world for the better.)
- Spotlight the company culture and values. (You can coach the person to do their job, but you can’t make them align with core values and culture.) For inspiration, see how Medium does it.
- Get the word out there. (Share/promote your story across social media channels to up the reach.)
Alisha knows referrals yield amazing hires. Except—most of the employes kinda know what roles are open. They kinda know who might be a good fit.
The referral program has the same effect on recruitment as a fly on a windshield. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s how Alisha can pour some rocket fuel on the process:
- Make referrals part of onboarding. (Sit down with the employee and talk about referrals. Have them go over their LinkedIn, GitHub, and Facebook accounts to jog their memory.)
- Spotlight open positions. (e.g., in a newsletter, at all-hands meetings).
- Throw regular referral events (Grab a few pizzas and comb through potential hires with staff once or twice a year.)
- Bring clarity. (Don’t just ask for a referral. Be ultra-specific instead: We’re looking for a content marketing manager who has 2+ of experience writing for a company blog. Do you know anyone like that?)
- Kill incentives. (If you promise employees $1K for every referral, they won’t care if their friends are a great fit. But if staff believes they work in a great company, they’ll naturally want to intro others.)
Don’t Lower the Bar
It’s been 21 days since Alisha started the recruitment. The candidates have been OK but nowhere close to a golden crop.
Hell—Alisha might as well give the job to whoever picks up the phone.
Best advice? Fight for quality.
The gap between hiring average vs. exceptional is huge. Let me use an example from Laszlo Bock’s book Work Rules! (Head of Google’s People Operations):
A good administrative assistant can answer the phone and make coffee runs. An exceptional assistant will make your life easier. She’ll organize your time and priorities 3x times better.
Even if recruitment is the leaden-footed type of slow, don’t compromise. Ever.
So—What Do You Think?
How do you acquire top-value asset? What strategies do you use? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Max Woolf is a writer at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.