Think about the Job First, not the Person
When trying to fill an opening in your company, it is important to think first and foremost about the job in question, not the type of person you want—sure, that is important. But, focusing on this first will help you figure out who the best person is. Avoid the vague descriptions about ‘’attention to detail’’ ‘’self-starter,’’ etc.. Outline the specific duties, responsibilities, desired outcomes, required skills and the work environment. Ask a manager to describe three or four major projects, and what she thinks is most important to succeed in this position. Companies that provide HR resource services provide many services related to hiring, such as access to quality job descriptions.
You may come across resumes where the person looks good on paper, but you may want to dig a little deeper before you schedule the person to come in for a lengthy interview. Pre-screening can save precious time on behalf of the hiring manager and anyone else involved in the process. A brief telephone interview can reveal a lot of important information that can determine whether to move further with the person. You can find out if their experience is truly a good fit for the position, whether salary requirements are in sync and if this person will fit into the culture of your company.
Work on a Strong Pitch
Chances are, most of your top candidates for a position are already working somewhere else. What is the main reason they will want to take a new job? Because it looks like it will be a better opportunity than what they are currently doing. You must keep this in mind when you make your first contact with your most desirable candidates. You have to have a strong pitch during this first interaction—something that will pull them in and want to come for the interview. You want to use this same pitch on the voicemail to get them to call back. Thinking about it in terms of a voicemail message can be a good way to formulate your pitch—if you had to leave your pitch on a voicemail, what would be the most compelling way to describe this position?
Working with Resume Databases
Resume databases can be a great way to source potential employees, but it is important to use them efficiently to minimize wasted time. Once you have compiled a list of top candidates, commit to calling them within a week, lest you lose them to another company. As for the second-tier of candidates, you do not need to spend time calling them. Rather, formulate an email message stating you reviewed their resume and that you think they may be a good fit for the position. Insert your ad and ask that they respond back if interested with their most recent resume and a paragraph or so on their greatest accomplishment in X area (whatever is relevant to your business.)
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of human resources topics.