Writing Job Descriptions That Deliver

In many instances, job descriptions serve as your unofficial introduction to top talent. Many candidates are viewing your job descriptions before visiting your website or reading your brochure.

Are your job descriptions doing THEIR job?

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever. They want to work for companies that align with their culture and beliefs, that offer a strong culture and possibly flexibility. Are your job descriptions selling them on your job and your company?

For many organizations, job descriptions are little more than a checklist of requirements used to weed out unqualified candidates. Changing your view on job descriptions and putting a bit more time and effort into their creation could make a big impact on the number and quality of candidates applying to your jobs.

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Effective job descriptions: A checklist

This checklist can help – print it out and hang it by your computer to help you truly create job descriptions that deliver:

  1. Sound like a human being. Are you hiring robots or people? Then why do most job descriptions sound as if they were written by a machine? Today’s job seekers are much more discerning about companies and opportunities they apply to – your job descriptions should be elevated to meet those needs. And the first way to do that is to add some “human” to them. If you’ve been writing job descriptions the “old” way for years, this might be hard at first. Here’s a tip: Record yourself talking about the job and its requirements as if a candidate was siting right in front of you. Type it up, format and you are done. It really is that simple.
  2. Sell your company. We’re in a candidate-driven market, and the notion that candidates should be grateful for any opportunities is an outdated one. Today’s job seekers have more choices than ever, and they need a reason (other than your job) to choose your company over the competition. So take the opportunity and sell your company in the job description. Were you named a best place to work? Is your break room fridge always stocked with great snacks? Now’s the time to share it! Anything you can do to differentiate your business from the competition, while building your employer brand, is going to help your job description stand out for the right reasons.
  3. Quick and easy. Remember the last time you were applying to jobs? Applying to jobs is in and of itself a full-time job for many people! Crafting unique resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs, then reading descriptions and applying to jobs (often with a fairly long and tedious process within the applicant tracking system) is exhausting for candidates. If you can convey the first two bullet points in a clear and concise manner, you’re much more likely to be on candidates’ good sides. Focus on the most important facts and points, and leave the rest to your hiring process. The simplification will make it that much easier for candidates to get to the “good” stuff (and will look much better on a mobile phone, where more and more candidates are reading and applying to jobs).
  4. Include a call to action. Want candidates to apply now using your ATS? Prefer that they send a resume to your hiring manager? Tell them! Be specific in next steps to ensure that candidates can clearly take the correct next steps in your hiring process. As a bonus, candidates who don’t follow these directions may not be as detail oriented as candidates you would need for certain roles, so you can potentially weed out those who don’t follow directions here.

Job descriptions are one component of a successful recruiting strategy, but there is much more to attracting and hiring top talent. At Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top candidates across Southern California. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business maximize its talent investment.

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Take Your New Hires From “Employees” to “Superstars”

Hiring employees takes considerable time, effort and ultimately, cost. But once you’ve got the right team on board, your work as an organization doesn’t stop there. Tapping into your team’s true potential raises everyone’s performance and can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.

Are you maximizing the potential of your team?ID-10066157

There’s a superstar within nearly every new hire you make — it’s up to you and your organization to help employees realize that potential. Here are three ways you can get started right now:

Get off to the right start. Onboarding really is essential to the long-term performance of new employees. From introducing new hires to their new coworkers to ensuring they have all the technology and supplies needed to get started, your organization is responsible for how new employees feel as they get used to their new positions. Onboarding should never be an afterthought, but a carefully planned and executed part of your engagement and retention strategy. A couple other suggestions to help new employees get off on the right foot:

– Create daily “lessons” or “homework” so that new employees know what is expected of them for their first week or two. Rather than feeling confused or like they’re not contributing, new team members will go home each day with a sense of accomplishment.

– Keep in regular contact with new hires leading up to their start date and send paperwork in advance – let them know what to expect on their first day.

– Ensure they’re “in the loop” by providing a list of any company jargon that is used regularly – being the new guy or gal is hard enough, but feeling out of the loop when people speak what feels like a foreign language can make it significantly harder.

Recognize them on social media. Everyone likes to see their name in lights (or their picture in the paper). While social media is a great tool for meeting new clients or customers, it’s also an excellent place to recognize your employees and show off your corporate culture. Welcoming new hires while promoting events like employee birthdays, special achievements or awards, team building activities and other internal recognition shows your employees that they are valuable members of the team. It recognizes their essential contributions to your success, and fosters a sense of pride in employees outside the typical 9 to 5 (as your employees “like,” “comment” on or “share” your posts, they’re also spreading the word about your great company to new potential clients or employees). Employees who feel more engaged and involved in their employers’ success are are more productive and invested in their future.

Use objective and reliable methods to assess performance. In many organizations, employees wander a bit aimlessly day to day, going through the motions and working on the same tasks, in the same way. Without consistent and valuable feedback, how could anyone expect employees to take it to the next level? Annual performance reviews are not enough to build a team of superstars. Gather your managers and define performance metrics for key roles within your organization. Objectivity here is key – input from other departments or leaders may be helpful to ensure consistency and fairness across the board. Then once those metrics have been defined, ensure they are communicated to each member of your team, along with expectations and steps to take to ensure their performance is where your organization expects it to be. Follow up regularly to encourage continued growth and performance, and offer suggestions while also soliciting feedback from your team.

Before you can help your employees reach their potential, you have to find the right people to add to your team. Helpmates has an extensive network of talent across Southern California – we’ll help you find your next superstar. Contact us today to get started.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Ambro

Want the Best Talent? Avoid These Top Recruiter Mistakes. 

You’re an experienced, savvy recruiter. You find the best candidates and make a perfect match with your open roles. Even the best of us make mistakes from time to time, though. In fact, most recruiters will succumb to one of these mistakes eventually.shareasimage 9.44.44 AM

Avoid these mistakes to land better talent for your organization.

Here are four of the most common mistakes – read them now, and you’ll be in great shape to avoid them later!

  • Not taking time to craft excellent job descriptions. With all that’s on your plate, job descriptions can almost seem like an afterthought. But spending an extra few minutes to create a compelling job description that accurately conveys requirements and expectations for the job will save you significant time (and possibly headaches) down the road. Better job descriptions lead to more informed candidates. More informed candidates have better prepared resumes and cover letters, which make identifying top talent a bit easier. Plus, they’re more likely to come to job interviews better prepared with thoughtful questions.
  • Only searching for the “perfect” match. You may think you know exactly the perfect candidates for your job openings. The precise background, education and experience needed to thrive in your roles is perfectly laid out for you. But are these expectations really setting you up to find the best candidates for those roles? Or more importantly, for your company? Take a “big picture” look at candidates before painting a picture in your mind of how the perfect candidate should look. Speak to managers and team members to understand how employees will fit into the big picture, then be flexible while meeting with candidates. While you certainly want to adhere to requirements and expectations, taking a more open-minded approach could mean landing a future superstar within your organization.
  • Turning down overqualified candidates. We are living in an era where career transitions are more common than ever. Online education has made learning about new fields and areas of interest easier than ever, and bright professionals are taking advantage. But, eager professionals with impressive resumes can set off the “overqualified” warning to recruiters. Turn off that warning and be open to overqualified candidates – while you certainly want to conduct your due diligence to prevent being a “stepping stone” organization, you will likely gain a passionate, eager employee.
  • Not communicating. Whether it’s explaining things during a telephone screen or following up post-interview with next steps or decisions, communicating with candidates is critical to a successful recruiting career. Remember, candidates are also your customers. If you leave them hanging or fail to provide critical information to help them make decisions or continue through the hiring process, you are providing poor customer service. While you may not be interested in certain candidates, taking a few moments to communicate effectively ensures that – while they may not have gotten the job – you still value their application. Word of mouth is extremely important when it comes to considering new employers…you want to ensure word of mouth about your organization is positive! Plus, while a candidate might not be the right fit for this role, he or she may be a perfect fit for another role down the line. If you’ve failed to communicate effectively and have left a negative impression, do you think they’ll want to work for you later?

Finding great talent in today’s marketplace can be a challenge, but following these tips can help you considerably. Need more help? Helpmates has an extensive network of talented professionals across Southern California who are ready to jump in and make an immediate impact on your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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