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How to Excite an Applicant

How to make An Employee Want To Work for You After the Interview

Recruiters are often tasked with two distinctly different issues. The first is being hyper-critical about who you hire. You are forced to look at each and every applicant as thoroughly as possible, vetting them for a role in your company and making sure they fit the persona and personality that you hoped you would for you. It’s a process that is actually quite powerful, as in the end you’re going to offer someone a great deal of money, and make someone else very happy.

Yet the other issue is also important. Even though the person interviewing is “lucky” to get the job from you, you are also “lucky” to have them. You want people to want to work for you. You want the best talent to believe that you’re a great place to work, to turn down any other offers they may have, and to commit to your workplace in the short and long term.

It’s that second part that is a problem for many employers, especially those that hire a lot of entry-level workers without a great deal of experience. Many companies focus so much on who not to hire that they forget that they, as the employer, are also lucky that someone talented wants to work for them as well.

Why You Should Want Applicants to Desire to Work for You

It’s important to take time during the interview to sell the applicant on the company, and make them want to work for you. The clearest reason for this is competition. Rarely does someone apply to only one job, and if they receive another offer you want them to forgo the other offer and choose your company instead.

But that is not the only reason you want to try to convince the applicant to work for you – in fact, you want to convince any and all applicants to want to work for you, even if you don’t plan to hire them. Reasons include:

  • Starting Strong – First impressions are important both in the short and long term. An employee that is genuinely excited to work for you is one that is going to come on their first day happy to be there and feeling ready to take on the work. An employee that accepted the job but is not excited to work there will notice anything your company does that makes it feel like you are a bad employer. This can start your relationship off poorly, and lead to the employee seeking other jobs.
  • Positive Referrals – Networking is incredibly important in business. Everyone you hire or interview knows other people that have talent – people you may want to employ someday. You want them to speak positively of your company to other job seekers, and you want them talking about you in a positive light to those around them.

In addition, the act of exciting each applicant to your company is one that will also teach you more about yourself. If you have not been able to come up with good reasons to convince talent to work for you, chances are it will affect you in the future.

How Do You Excite an Applicant?

There are many different ways to excite applicants and make them want to work for your company. Some of these include:

  • Be a Great Company

Sometimes you don’t need to do anything at all. You simply need to already be a company that people want to work for. If you’re a genuinely great employer, applicants will be able to tell.

If someone asks your recruiter “why should I work for you?” your company should have a great answer. If you don’t, then you need to take the time to figure out what you can implement that makes you a great employer. It’s not enough to be profitable and have a good product. Companies that value their employees and turn their company into one that is desirable will have more to share with the applicant, and thus more to attract them to work for you.

  • Have a Friendly, Well Trained, Patient Interviewer

Their first impression of your company is often the job interview. That means that your job interviewer should be well trained, sociable, and knowledgeable about how to treat each applicant with respect. Likeable interviewers that know how to conduct a fair interview and relieve pressure from the applicant are going to create fans that make people want to work for you.

Make sure the interviewer trained to promote your company, and has a plan to make sure they are speaking highly of your culture.

  • Involve the Work Family

Make sure that there is a welcoming culture on your staff for anyone that comes inside the building – applicants, new hires, etc. Teach them to say hi, and make sure they know how to be friendly and proactive. The more inviting they seem to incoming applicants, the more the company will feel like it is a great place to work.

  • Have An Interactive Component

Interviews are stressful for everyone. Some type of friendly, interactive component that relaxes the situation can go a long way towards building rapport. For example, you can take them to a coffee shop, invite them to your break room (if there is something to do, like pool or air hockey), or otherwise find a way to make the experience more like a friendship than an interview. Some recruitment experts have also said that they have had an easier time getting truthful answers when they use this strategy as well.

  • Advertise Your Strengths

You don’t have to wait until the interview either. At Recruit Shop, one of the things we promote for our clients is the idea of an exciting job description. While most people simply state the qualifications, the best job descriptions focus on all of the benefits of you as a company. They entice people to apply to the jobs, and they promote your best features in a way that will attract more applicants. First impressions don’t have to wait until the interview. Your job advertisement, your phone screens – even your website and online presence – all have the opportunity to create great first impressions.

Make the Applicant Want to Work for You

The interviews are considered a chance to get to know the applicant. But prioritise their ability to get to know you as well, and give them information and a taste of all of the great things you offer. You’ll find that your recruitment becomes easier, your employees stay longer, and you are able to get more from each employee.

Are You Recruiting on the Lesser Known Social Media Sites?

Lesser known social media sites

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are some of the most highly recognised social networks in the world. Companies use these social media websites every day to find and evaluating some of the top talent in the local area and around the world.

But they’re also not the only social media websites out there. There are hundreds of others, all of which have their own unique user base. While many of them are still up and coming, companies that want to expand their talent pool may want to consider using these social media sites to find some of the talent that would otherwise be missed.

Examples of Social Media Sites to Target

There are social media sites for every profession, every type of worker – even every income level. There are social media accounts for different races, genders, ages, and so much more. All it takes is a bit of a search and you’d be shocked what you can find.

But for those that would like a good place to start, consider the following:

  • Angellist – Although better for marketing your open positions than it is for networking, Angellist is a very popular social media website for startups looking to improve their online presence and reach an audience that is specifically interested in Startup culture.
  • Makerbase – An interesting social media site useful for those in the tech world, Makerbase connects you to the people that worked on projects that you’re familiar with, so that you can see what they’ve done and who they are.
  • Xing – Xing is essentially a smaller LinkedIn. But it may have benefits for those looking internationally for new employees, especially if you want to reach German speaking countries and European talent.
  • Jobcase – Jobcase is similar to LinkedIn, especially their group feature. It is a social media site for people to ask and share information, almost like an advanced forum. You can often spot people that have significant expertise in their field.

You should also look for any websites that are tailored to the industry that you are most passionate about, and see if there are any difference makers that you can bring into your organisation. While of the people you want are going to be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms, you may still find that the person you want most is in a location that you had never before considered.

7 Things to Ask Employees to Do Before They Resign

7 things to do before they resign

When an employee quits your company, they generally give their 2 weeks notice. Many companies use that time to have the employee complete their usual tasks as they look for someone to replace them as quickly as possible. But these employees are also a vessel of information that can help the person that takes their place.

That is why when an employee exits, you should have a list of work you need from them specifically related to their leaving, in order to make sure that the next person is ready for the challenges ahead. These include:

  • Have Them Write the Job Description – No one knows the job as well as they do. They should be the one writing about what the job entails, including breaking out the work that they complete, how often they spend performing each task, and anything the incoming staff member may need to know.
  • Have Them Consult on the Job Advertisement – You may know what you want in the next staff member, but the exiting staff member is going to have an excellent idea of what their replacement is going to need. Make sure they are consulting on the job advertisement to replace them.
  • Survey Their Reasons for Leaving – Employees that are leaving the company can provide you with highly valuable information that can help you avoid retention issues in the future. You can ask them about management, about engagement, and about any of the issues that may have affected their satisfaction levels during their time at your organisation. This information can be very valuable in avoiding similar problems in the future.
  • Let Them Create Training Manuals/Advice – If possible, have the employee complete training manuals to help future employees with the role. If it’s not possible to have them complete them manual, then have a staff member that is in charge of training new employees talk to them and see what trainings may need to be completed in order to ensure the next employee is up to speed.
  • Have Them Prepare a Schedule and Contacts – The incoming person is going to have a lot of work right away, especially if the previous employee was a great contributor. To help both management and the new employee know what to do next, the exiting employee should create a calendar of events for months in the future, provide contact information for anyone involved, and make sure that the person is ready to step in on day one.
  • Make Sure They Reorganise – Everyone has their own organisational system, but before the employee’s last day, everything should be standardised in some way. This is especially important for those that work with computers. Items should be very easy to find and manage, in order to reduce training time for the new employee.
  • Let Them Train the Manager – Often during an employee’s tenure, the manager tells them what to do. But before an employee leaves, it may be a good idea to put the manager through a training. By allowing the exiting employee to train the manager, the manager gets a better idea of what their workday was like, knows the job inside and out, and can better prepare the incoming employee.

In addition to the tasks you have them complete, you should also give them a great send-off. Treating employees well affects the entirety of your company’s morale, and is a good practice no matter your industry.

Learn From Every Employee

The key to great recruitment and better employee retention is to always be learning, and often there is a great deal you can learn from an employee that is in the act of leaving your company. Take advantage of every opportunity to get information, and make sure you take advantage of their knowledge of the role.

15 Questions to Ask as Conversation Starters for Recruiters at Networking Events

Questions to ask at a Networking Event

Some people excel at networking events. They are social animals, able to start a conversation with complete strangers and by the end of the conversation, the other person feels like they’ve just met their new best friend.

But for others, networking events can be a challenge. Visitors often go specifically because they want to be recruited – which is hard enough for the attendee, but can also be especially hard for the recruiter, who has to balance both the awkwardness of the candidate and the expectations they have about the events.

How to Start a Professional Conversation

If you have never been to networking event before, or you find that starting these conversations can be difficult, the following are 15 questions to ask that can help you start a conversation and learn more about them as employees and as people:

  1. Are you actively seeking work or are you happily employed?
  2. What do you think of your job right now?
  3. Are you on a specific growth path at your company?
  4. Do you take advantage of any of your company’s perks?
  5. Are you connected to your co-workers?
  6. How would you describe your company’s culture?
  7. Was this the career path you always wanted or did you find yourself here?
  8. Have you been to any other networking events in the past?
  9. Are there any training courses that you’ve completed? Did your company set them up for you?
  10. What kind of work environment do you like most?
  11. Do you have any professional goals over the next few years?
  12. Do you feel like your company is innovative and likely to keep growing?
  13. How do you feel about the industry in general?
  14. Do you feel challenged?
  15. Do you find much time to travel, for business or pleasure?

You’re also under no obligation to talk only about the professional. You may find that there is plenty you can learn about someone by talking about personal interests, hobbies, and so much more. All that really matters is getting the conversation started, and for that, there may only be one question you need to ask:

  1. Hi. What’s your name?

Why You May Want to Always Accept Job Applications

Human resources may not like to admit it, but most companies hire at the last minute. They wait until a position is open, and then run to try to fill the position as quickly as possible. At Recruit Shop, we’ve written frequently about how beneficial it can be to use recruitment services before you even need to hire someone – when you’re not rushed:

  • You have more time to select the right candidates.
  • You can fill the position quicker.
  • You are able to select from a larger pool.

It’s why we actively encourage companies to consider using some of their hiring budget to get a head start on positions that may open, even though they may not open yet.

However, recruitment is only one of several ways you can advertise to potential job seekers before a job is open. Another strategy, which all companies should consider is accepting applications on your website all year.

Why You May Want to Always Accept Job Applications

Even if you have no specific job openings, and you are not sure what will open in the near future, it helps to have a page on your website where you accept job applications – for example, a page that talks about the benefits of working for your company, and an email address where potential job seekers can send resumes.

There are many reasons that this can be a highly valuable tool for your business:

  • It Attracts Those that Want to Work For You

It is in your best interest as an organisation to find people that want to work specifically for your company – not just those that see an open job and apply. When someone wants to work for you, it increases the likelihood that they know what your job entails, that they like your company, and that they will stick around. It also decreases risk. Keeping a page open to accept job applications means that the person chose you over all the companies that actually had open positions. That is always advantageous.

  • You May Need the Person Now

Sometimes an applicant fills a need you didn’t even know you had. For example, if you have someone that that applies for a position as a sales manager (with a very strong resume), and you have a sales staff that has been managed by the marketing department – not a sales specialist – you may find you want to consider them even if you hadn’t originally considered the need.

  • It’s Free and You May Need Them

Even though the position may not be currently open, you never know when it might be. Accepting applications on your website is free, simple, and doesn’t require much extra work from your HR staff. It’s a great way to collect names and plan for the future should the need arise, without having to seek out people later.

  • More Talent

Highly talented job seekers are not on the market that often. They may look for a job only a few days a year, especially if they are employed but still open to other work. There is an advantage to being able to collect their resume now. In the future, if they are employed, you can still send them an email and let them know that you have an open position. This allows you to find passive, rather than active job seekers on the market.

  • A Simple Website Change for Better Hiring

There is no guaranteeing that everyone that applies to jobs via your website is going to be worth hiring. You may still not find that difference maker you are looking for. But adding a page to a website is easy, and it does not necessarily require a lot of extra work from those on staff to organise the applications they receive. If you’re looking for a free, simple way to improve recruitment, it may be a strategy worth considering.

How a Third Party Recruiter Can Take Bias Out of Talent Acquisition

Objective hiring practices

No one wants to admit it to themselves. But we all have implicit biases. Implicit biases are biases and prejudices that we have instinctually that we do not know about or think about consciously.

Consciously we may know that all people are equal. Yet subconsciously, we all have feelings that we’ve created about men, women, people of different religions, people of different skin colours, young people, older people, and more. None of these are on purpose, nor do they imply that you are a hateful or prejudiced person. It is simply a human behaviour that we are still learning to control.

Implicit Bias and Professional Talent

Your personal biases and prejudices are your own business. But when it comes to building a successful company, what you need more than anything is talent. Whether that person is black or white, young or old, male or female, it doesn’t matter as long as they are going to bring you the revenue and productivity that you need from your staff.

Your goal is to hire the best of the best. But implicit biases are everywhere. So how do you avoid letting these biases affect your hiring practices?

  • You can have a staff member remove names from resumes before you review them. This helps eliminate any accidental bias towards someone whose name gives away something about their demographics. This is a good practice to implement.
  • You can have a diverse team provide independent scores for resumes. This can help reduce at least some implicit biases (though of course they can all have the same biases, so it’s not clear how much that would affect).
  • You can use a scoring system that tries to use objective scoring. These are very effective but they take years of experience to study and use.

Yet another strategy that can be very useful to implement is simply using a third party, like Recruit Shop, for your recruitment needs. We use our own unique methodology to ensure that we’re looking at people’s talent. We score resumes using a specific system, find the ones that make the most sense for you, and then send the list to you. You can be certain that each and every person on that list, regardless of their demographics, is qualified for the job. Then you can give each one a chance and see which one feels like the best fit.

When you work in recruitment, your priority is finding talent. Learning more about implicit biases and controlling for those biases by using a recruitment company (as well as some of those other strategies above), and prioritising talent above anything else.

5 Formatting Tips for Your Job Advertisement

The content of your job advertisement is important. But sometimes, one of the most important parts of creating a job advertisement has nothing to do with words. It’s simply about ensuring that you format your job advertisement correctly. Job advertisements – especially those posted online – have to follow some of the same guidelines as other forms of online writing, with special formatting rules that help to ensure your job advertisement is more visible to your audience.

Job advertisements – especially those posted online – have to follow some of the same guidelines as other forms of online writing, with special formatting rules that help to ensure your job advertisement is more visible to your audience.

How to Format a Job Advertisement for the Internet

On the internet, even with job seekers, there is a limit to how much of an attention span each reader will have, as well as where their eyes go when they are visiting your page. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you have the right formatting, to help your job advertisement get noticed.

Tips for formatting include:

  • Utilise Bullet Points – Perhaps the most affordable formatting tip is to use bullet points to highlight your most important information. Bullet points draw the eye naturally, especially in online writing. They are the first location the visitor’s eyes will go. Use bullet points to talk about your company’s best features, your most important qualifications, etc.
  • Use Subheadings – Like bullet points, subheadings help make job postings easier to navigate. If the person wants to scroll down quickly to read what the requirements are before they decide to learn more about your company, they’re going to look for something, like a subheading, that signals where they should start reading.
  • Use Short Paragraphs – Large amounts of text are overwhelming to the eye. They naturally promote skimming, and can cause the person to lose interest in your advertisement or miss critical bits of information. Shorter paragraphs – ideally no more than 4 lines of text – help ensure that the reading is easier to digest.
  • Bold – Not every job board lets you add custom formatting, like bolding, but there are ways to use bold to your advantage. Use bold to highlight important information that you want applicants to notice. This might include specific qualifications or experiences required, location and/or salary information.
  • Use Everything in Moderation – All of the above formatting tips can help improve your job advertisements. But you should also make sure that you aren’t overdoing it. You don’t want more than maybe 5 to 7 bullets at most (with 3 to 5 ideal). You don’t want 15 subheadings. You don’t want to bold every other word. Use each one sparingly to maximise their impact.

You take so much time creating your job advertisement. The last thing you want to do is accidentally cause people to turn away from your ad because you didn’t use the right formatting. Think about your presentation when you create your job ad to ensure that more people see it and appreciate it

3 Tips for Recruiting Top Entry-Level Employees

Every company needs to recruit entry-level employees, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to do. In fact, your recruitment process may be one of the biggest liabilities your organization has. If you have a revolving door of entry-level employees coming and going or simply spend too much time and money on getting them trained in, it’s probably time to rethink your recruitment process.

Recruiting Entry-Level Employees

  • Start with Internships

A lot of your entry-level employees are most likely going to be fresh out of school or with limited work experience, so this is the perfect place to start with your efforts. Internships are a fantastic way to find qualified candidates and mould them into the perfect entry-level employee. While the obvious benefit of interns is that they’re mostly free, focus on their potential to someday become your company’s star employees.

  • Focus on Transferrable Skills

Whether they’re fresh out of college or have years of experience, an entry-level candidate probably won’t have a resume that includes the exact duties and responsibilities you’re looking for.

So look for transferable skills instead. These can be talents such as critical thinking, leadership, p0roblem solving, and time management. You’ll have much better luck finding candidates with relevant transferable skills than ones who have actual experience with the position for which you’re hiring.

  • Be Upfront About the Challenges

While it is useful to talk about the perks of working for your company, the benefits package they’ll receive, and an approximate salary. This is important for recruiting top-level talent.

But don’t steer clear of the role’s challenges either. For one thing, this is vital information and will make your job post more descriptive. More importantly, however, it will help recruit entry-level candidates who are excited about challenges, not scared off by them.

You don’t want entry-level employees who are just looking for somewhere to hang out for eight hours a day. Let them know that your company expects a lot from entry-level employees and you’ll immediately be recruiting better candidates.

Recruit Top Entry-Level Employees to Your Company

Entry level employees are still investments your company makes in talent. You may not be able to find workers with years of experience for the role, but there are plenty of ways to make sure that you’re finding, recruiting, and maintaining high-end talent that can help your company for years down the road.

3 Tips for Salary Negotiations

After weeks of networking, interviews, research, and marketing, you have finally found the right fit for your company. But before you can hire them, you have to be ready to negotiate salary.

While many people may think that the stress of salary negotiations is on the potential employee, you know that this moment can be difficult for your hiring team as well. Your company benefits from paying as little as possible, and yet if you argue too strongly with the candidate, they may decide to seek out a position elsewhere.

How to Negotiate Salary

If you need help negotiating salary with potential employees, consider the following tips:

  • Research Beforehand – Research plays an important role in hiring and salary negotiations. You want to take a look at what others in the industry are offering their employees for this position. You then want to consider what this employee is actually worth and adjust the salary accordingly. The more you know about similar positions, the more leverage you’ll have in negotiations.
  • Don’t Let Good Candidates Lowball – In our current economy, there are a lot of potential employees who are thrilled at the prospect of nailing a solid job. This can make candidates offer to work for less than they are worth. While this sounds tempting, you should make sure that you never let good candidates lowball themselves during negotiations. If you accept an offer for a lower salary than they are worth, you risk them searching for better pay in the future. Paying a reasonable amount is better for improving loyalty.
  • Let Them Know a Plan – If your company is not currently at a place where you can offer a higher salary, you should make the other benefits clear. If there are opportunities for growth in your business, such as quick advancements, you should explain them. Talk about what the raise system will look like, and what sort of benefits they will get if they work for you. You may not always be able to sell on salary, but you can win them over with other benefits of their loyalty and hard work.

The last thing that a business wants after a lengthy hiring process is to lose a talented candidate. These tips should make it far easier to land the perfect fit for your company at a price that works for your company and your new employee.

Benefits of Hiring an Overqualified Candidate

One of the first issues they teach you in recruitment is that sometimes you’re going to receive an application from a candidate that is overqualified for the position, and that even though you may be tempted to make the hire, you should strongly consider avoiding them. The reasons for this are justifiable, and can occur often in recruitment, including:

  • Overqualified candidates are more likely to leave for a better paying position.
  • Overqualified candidates may be bossy, or not ready to take orders.
  • Overqualified candidates are unlikely to be satisfied or try as hard with easy work.
  • Overqualified candidates may expect recognition and movement up the ladder.

These are all perfectly valid issues that can come up when hiring an overqualified candidate, and considerations that you should strongly take into account as you decide who to hire. But does that mean you should never hire an overqualified candidate? Not necessarily.

Reasons You May Want to Hire an Overqualified Candidate

Instead of focusing only on the negative, there are reasons that hiring an overqualified candidate can be beneficial. Yes, it comes with risks, but in some cases it may be valuable to take the risks in order to receive the reward. Consider the following:

  • Overqualified Candidates Are Often Talents

First, in order to become an “overqualified candidate,” the person had to have enough talent to continue to grow in their previous position. Talent always has value.

If they look like someone that knows the industry inside and out, and they appear to be someone that can contribute, then what you’re really hiring is someone with talent, and any time you hire a great talent you’re accepting some degree of risk, since people will always try to steal talent away. It’s better to have talent than to not have talent, and an overqualified candidate can bring that to the position.

  • Desire for Growth Can Be Valuable

If you are a very small business that is simply unlikely to promote anyone, then an overqualified candidate may not be for you. But if you can open positions up for thriving employees, and you have roles that they can play in your company someday, then that desire for growth within your company can be to your advantage, as it’s possible they’ll contribute not only at the position, but at future positions as well.

  • You Can Acknowledge and Set Expectations

Overqualified candidates generally know that they are overqualified. You also know that they are overqualified. There is nothing stopping you from having a conversation before you make the hire with the applicant, tell them your concerns and your expectations for the position, and see if they are still interested. Sure, some applicants will lie to you, or will start at the job only to realize they are unhappy. But others will be honest, and understand where you are coming from as a company.

  • People Have Reasons

Similarly, an overqualified candidate that is looking for work often has a reason for applying for a job under their traditional pay grade or experience. Some of these individuals may be looking for a change in careers, or were ready to give up on the pressure that their role entailed. In some cases there are perfectly valid reasons for an overqualified applicant to be applying. You can ask about this at the interview.

Making Smart Hires

Yes, there are many valid reasons that you should overlook an overqualified candidate. There are also many benefits to hiring a candidate that is overqualified.

Rather than overlook or hire any group, take into consideration the value they can bring, who they are, and whether or not they have talent. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions that help you determine whether or not they are going to provide value to your company and consider them just as you would any talented candidate with risks.