Hiring new talent can be a daunting task. When it comes to a startup or small business, strategic recruiting can be the difference between game-changing sales and a deep dive into the red. But don’t just settle for hiring a family friend who won’t set fire to your fortunes. Devoting the time and effort necessary to finding a superstar employee that can be the business breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.
For your next big hire, consider the following six tips to ensure top notch applicants.
1. Ask for a Portfolio
Although many positions don’t require an artistic portfolio the way a graphic designer role might, that doesn’t make a portfolio any less useful. Portfolios can range from closely curated professional pieces that showcase ability and ambition, all the way to random clusters of neither-here-nor-there work samples that depict a collection of interests, hobbies and side skills. Either way, they are a great source of applicant insight in addition to a traditional resume.
2. Provide Link Options
Give applicants the opportunity to link you to their online portfolios, profiles, or personal websites. This will not only give you immediate access to necessary contact and experience information, but shows their willingness to maintain a professional personality online and their overall dedication to personal branding.
3. Use Application Deadlines
Don’t underestimate the value of an application deadline. Creating an extra sense of urgency for potential applicants will increase your likelihood of seeing that all-star application in time. Keep in mind, however, that the deadline is completely adjustable and can be easily extended if you aren’t pleased with the initial applicants. Do not let the demand for talent influence your decision making.
4. Build a Talent Pool
You will often meet a handful of amazing candidates that all battling it out for a single position, and you may wish you could have them all. Well, just because there’s only one spot available, doesn’t mean you have to cut ties with the remaining candidates. Use candidate management software to keep track of top talent and create a pool of suitable future hires. Your small business is growing, and more roles will likely need filling in the near future.
5. Involve Others
Sometimes the best talent is closer than you think. Let your team know that a position is available and that you’re happy to take candidate recommendations. Your employees already understand the business’ expectations and culture, and they can help short-list a few high energy, professional suitors. If possible, dedicate a section on your internal monthly newsletters that highlights upcoming job openings. You can also provide a referral bonus to employees that recommend successful candidates.
6. Make Applying Easy
The ease of the job application should be a top priority in your recruitment process. Yes, the fill-in-the-blank applications make it easy for your tracking system to organize resumes. However, this saved step doesn’t come without a cost. Top candidates are probably very efficient. They likely have other options readily available, and may not want to spend their time filling in forms when they could be busting out five more applications in the meantime, so aim for a one-click application process.
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