So your business has grown the extent that you need to grow your employee base. Congratulations! This is wonderful, and also not so wonderful. You are now entering the world of ‘why are good people so hard to find’? If you are on a tight budget, or new to the game, chances are you started with a help wanted ad on Craig’s List or some other relatively inexpensive job board. You may have even broken out the big bucks and posted on Monster. The results were probably that you got about two hundred resumes in two or three days which fell into two categories: ‘Did they even READ the ad?’, and ‘They’re all equally qualified, how do I decide?’ You probably have no problem weeding out the ‘no way, not even if you were the only applicant’ applicants, and are left with the few who appear to be absolutely perfect, and the bigger pile of people who seem ‘fine’ but nothing really stands out about them. You then start scheduling interviews and find that of your perfect people, some have already found jobs, and the rest must have paid a lot of money for their resume but it is clearly bogus. So now you stare with sinking stomach at the fifty or so ‘pretty goods’ on your desk. Then you get busy. Then it’s a week later and you can’t even stand the thought of starting to make all these calls. Ugh. Did you just waste your time and money even posting the ad?
If this sounds familiar, believe me, you are NOT alone! Recruiting can be the most overwhelming and discouraging part of management. Here are a few tips that can help, and we’ll be posting some additional articles on this since it’s such a big topic. First is resume screening. Before you even post your ad, make sure you are very, very clear about what the person will be actually DOING. This should form the basis of your job description as well. Don’t skip this step no matter what. Besides the job description, make this a checklist. It should contain things like, for example, create spreadsheets, call customers, greet clients, send out newsletter or whatever you will have the person be doing. Then make a second checklist about the traits you’d like the person to have. Is sense of humor important? Put it on. Does punctuality matter? Get it on there. What should NEVER be on your list is anything to do with protected characteristics such as age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin. Incorporate both these lists into your ad and make it easy on yourself by asking the candidates to include a cover letter explaining how they meet your requirements. When you’re screening the resumes, only people who comply make the shortlist. This also can form the basis of your interviews. For more on interviewing, check our next blog; Interviewing’