Quickening the pace of hiring remains a hot topic. Rightly so. The time it takes to fill a job grows year after year.
Many ideas about faster hiring are focused on the employer. But what about jobseekers? Sustainable speed can only be achieved if both sides of the hiring equation are addressed.
Here are four things jobseekers can do (and you can suggest they do) that increase hiring speed and improve selection accuracy.
Recurring media reports from a variety of sources indicate that two-thirds or more of resumes contain misinformation. Companies assume that resumes have exaggerations or flat-out lies and that these lies continue during interviews. This frequent inaccuracy has elicited a knee-jerk response by companies. To combat this, companies slow down the process and dive deep to find these erroneous details. Instead of hiring being built on trust, it’s a tedious process filled with suspicion and doubt.
Combat this misinformation head on. Inform jobseekers that you’re not seeking perfect people, but people who perfectly represent themselves on paper and in conversations. Share examples of how you’ve hired less-than-perfect people and helped them advance their careers. Make your company a place where potential hires can be safely transparent.
Avoid Spraying and Praying
Like a farmer spreading manure to fertilize plants, many job candidates are spraying their resumes far and wide, praying one will take root and land them an opportunity. Employers end up buried in a pile of resumes, many of which are a crappy fit (pun intended). Sorting through this takes time, and time kills making good hires … especially when a talented person, who was at the bottom of the pile, is snapped up by a faster competitor.
Encourage jobseekers to take a more targeted approach to their searches. Start by setting and communicating boundaries early. For example, in the content on your job opportunities landing page make it clear that you’ll only consider and respond to candidates who match required qualifications. Repeatedly reinforce and re-communicate this boundary. Popular places for doing so are on the page where candidates enter work history and just above the final “Submit” button for their application.
Offer Proof Instead of Promises
Talk is cheap, especially when answering questions during interviews. Answering an interviewer’s questions may create a feel-good moment, but these answers offer nothing in the way of proof of fit. That’s why so many good interviews turn into bad hires. Candidates talk themselves into the role, one that wasn’t a fit after all.
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Have each candidate offer proof in place of promises that he or she will fit in. Instead of letting a candidate tell you how she’d solve a problem, have her show you in a role play. Rather than asking about his top skills, have him demonstrate those skills by performing sample work. Require the candidate to go beyond sharing stories of how she works well with others and let her show you how she’ll collaborate with your current team. Showing, instead of telling, provides proof for making an informed decision.
Make Better Choices
Searching for a job is an emotional experience. Too often feelings trump facts, prompting the jobseeker to accept a role because if feels right, versus doing so because it is truly the right fit.
Teach jobseekers how to make decisions rooted in facts instead of feelings. One approach is to ask the candidate to make a list of dealmakers (must-haves) and deal-breakers (must-not haves) and send it to you for discussion during a phone interview. Compare the list to the job and your company. Let people know where things match up and where they don’t. With eyes wide open, you both get to make an informed choice of whether to move forward or not.
Helping jobseekers should be a top priority for everyone involved in hiring. Putting people to work is one way. Guiding them in how they seek work is another. Seize every opportunity you can to inform and educate jobseekers about their role in increasing speed and improving accuracy during the hiring experience. Your role in hiring gives you a unique opportunity to exert your influence beyond just filling the next job. Use that influence to make jobseekers better at their part of the hiring process. You’ll be giving them a gift that serves them the remainder of their careers.