Cheesy coaching and athletic stories tell us to "envision our end result." Then we will know how to get from Point A to Point B. Although we all scoff at motivational speakers for saying these things, maybe they are onto something. While you are not training for a marathon as you are sifting through resumes (or maybe you are), you can still employ the “picture yourself crossing the finish line” philosophy.
When you have an open position, once your job description is ready to go, take a step back before posting. Try to picture what qualities you would like in the person filling that role. Everyone wants the hardworking, detail oriented, collaborative candidate to walk through the door. But there are other items to consider (such as your time frame and what skill set the person needs) before you can start weeding out the less than desirable candidates that apply.
Question #1: Am I in a time crunch or is time on my side?
Sadly, this is typically the hiring reality and is not necessarily the best practice to employ. There are tips to make “time crunch recruiting” effective. Most people look for jobs Monday through Thursday, and not during the hectic holiday seasons. Post positions when people are looking to ensure you are getting the most visibility. Review your applicants in a timely manner. The more engaged you are with applicants when they come in, the more they will return the favor. Make sure you block off time on your schedule. If you need to hire quickly, you need to be available to screen candidates and schedule interviews. Jobs won’t fill themselves!
Luxury of Time
Even if you do have a lot of time to fill a position, candidate engagement is still extremely important. If you wait a few months before looking at applicants, the best ones could have already accepted another job offer. Instead of posting and waiting, start by thinking of team members you could add to your hiring process. You are typically looking for team players to add to your organization, try including the ones who are already engaged in this team spirit mentality. Some companies are always hiring, (ex: sales reps and nurses) since they constantly have a need to fill core positions. In situations like this, you may not know when there will be a vacancy for important positions in your company, but having a continuous applicant pool can be beneficial to your company long term. This way, when you found your “diamond in the rough,” you can make your star candidate an offer before you are in a staffing crisis.
Question #2: Do I need someone with proven experience or a potential to grow?
A seasoned professional is a great addition to any company. He or she will bring industry and job specific knowledge to the team. Who knows, seasoned pros might even have insight on the strengths and weaknesses of your main competitor! He or she can bring in fresh ideas to the company through his or her proven track record. If a job requires certification or knowledge in a certain area, seasoned pros will most likely have those skills added to their resumes. It can save your company time and energy to get your new hire up to speed (not to mention endless training seminars).
But there is a price tag associated with this “ready-on-day-one” hire, and the magical compensation range of “Depends Upon Skills and Experience” may not work in your favor. Workers with more experience, traditionally will expect the same amount of money they are being paid at the current job (if not more). Business is a place where “who you know” is important. Experienced job candidates could already be connected with people that can truly help your company, whether that be from a strategic or personnel standpoint.
Potential to Grow
Minimal training hours can be appealing. If you hire someone with loads of experience, there might not be a lot to teach them. However, hiring employees with lack of experience can be beneficial for you too. Most of us become “set in our ways,” whether that be at work or at home. But…(ah-ha!) if someone does not have much experience, your new hire can be trained exactly how you want the job done. Who would not want to create his or her own protégé?! The words “At my old job…” will probably not be uttered. You will need to spend more training new college grads to get them up to speed skillwise. But recent college graduates can be some of your best employees. While they may lack the experience you desire, young grads are special in their own ways. They are tech savvy and eager to learn!
Question #3: Do I need a specialist or generalist?
Hiring a Specialist
Larger companies often have more employees on their rosters. There is a person assigned to a department and the department is broken down even further. Since larger companies have a larger budget, they can afford to hire more employees with specialized sets of skills. Larger companies already have the basics down. As the company matures and develops, it develops a new set of needs, therefore, you recruit based on the needs of the organization. Take a look at the HR department, large companies will have recruiters, trainers, benefits, and employee relation specialists. Since each person would be more focused on an area, they become the “go to” person for items in his or her area of expertise.
Hiring a Generalist
Companies just starting out, or those smaller in size, are operating on a limited budget and may not have the workload to support hiring several specialists. In a small company the ability to work cross-functionally is essential. Employees need to step up in any situation and that is something a generalist is more apt to do. Hiring a generalist is a great way to bring in fresh, new talent. Generalists may not know what area of their field intrigues them the most. Since a generalist will be getting a taste of everything, he or she can figure out what is the best fit. As the employee is growing into the role, the company is growing as well. When the company needs to look for someone more specialized, you will realize that you have been fostering your own talent all along.
With the right applicant tracking solution in place, you can focus your attention on improving team productivity. For help choosing the right application tracking solution, check out this free eBook.