Six ways to ensure the best candidates apply

I recently spent two months job-searching before being hired as Executive Assistant at Strategic Talent Management. The search for a new position was exciting, but the amount of time and energy I wasted during my search made it exhausting. If you haven’t recently gone through a job search you might be amazed by how many companies make tiny mistakes that can potentially drive away valuable candidates. Here are some of the easy-to-avoid mistakes I noticed while searching for an open position.

1. Not including the job’s pay range

Money isn’t everything, but if it’s not enough to pay the bills, then the job simply isn’t going to be appealing. Just like you don’t want to waste your time interviewing a candidate who’s asking for too high a salary, applicants don’t want to waste their time applying for a job that’s offering too low a salary. Lots of prospective candidates won’t bother applying if they’re uncertain about the salary – especially if they already have a job that’s paying them well. The solution is simple: post the pay.

2. Asking about expected salary

This goes along with #1 and can easily be avoided if the pay range is already included in the job description. It’s easy to do a bit of internet research and determine what salary ranges are available for comparable positions. Also, consider what this person is going to be worth to your company and come up with a salary range that’s contingent on experience if need be. Getting this information at the outset saves time on both ends and that’s a win-win.

3. Posting lengthy “job descriptions”

If I’m required to do it less than once a year, don’t include it in the job description. If it’s a task that anybody can do or that’s easily learned, don’t bother putting it in the job description. I’m just trying to see if I’m qualified to do what’s expected day-to-day. A description with a laundry list of minor tasks takes away from the more important duties and potentially drives away candidates who may feel over qualified.

4. Requiring more traits and characteristics than skills

Is someone really expected to be all of these things all the time? You’re likely driving away someone who could potentially be everything you’re looking for, but you didn’t make it clear what the job is really about. Include only the most necessary skills and attributes for the job, and get to the nitty gritty during the interview process.

5. Requesting the same information over and over again

I just uploaded my resume, why am I being asked to enter my education and work history? Usually I exit the application as soon as I’m prompted to enter any information that I’ve already submitted. People put lots of time and effort into crafting nice resumes for your company’s benefit, so take them for what they are and don’t consider them a formality.

6. Making cover letters optional

This puts applicants in a difficult position. Is this a test to see if I’m willing to go the extra mile? Or will I be wasting my time trying to impress someone who likely won’t even read the letter? If you, as the recruiter or hiring manager, know you’re not going to spend time reading through carefully crafted cover letters, don’t ask for them.

When you’re recruiting for an open position, put yourself in the applicant’s shoes. Everyone’s time is valuable and no one likes to waste it. Avoiding these simple mistakes can save your company from potentially losing valuable candidates.

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