Make Each Hire a Golden Opportunity

Cityscape with waterfront and greenspace
The Golden Rule, treating others the way you like to be treated, is especially true in hiring. That’s according to a survey of 1,400 employers and 13,000 candidates conducted by Allegis Group Inc. in 2015, which found that the most successful hiring managers are the ones who make sure the candidates have a positive experience.

Only 35 percent of employers surveyed rank the candidate experience as one of the top three performance metrics in talent acquisition. But when they do, they are significantly more likely to be very satisfied with:

  • Number of applicants per open position
  • Length of time to fill
  • Relationship between HR and hiring managers
  • The understanding HR and/or the Recruiter has of the hiring manager’s business
  • Overall satisfaction with the recruitment process>
  • Effectiveness of job postings
So how do you make sure the candidates you’re considering are having a good experience? According to 81 percent of the candidates surveyed, they’re happier when they get a clear job description, with detail on technical aspects of job and information on culture fit.

As a hiring manager, you probably want that open position filled yesterday. But don’t let the pressure to hire quickly lead to glossing over the importance of writing an accurate, detailed and complete job description.

Employers who fail to correctly define the job opening will frustrate all parties involved in the hiring process. And there’s a perception gap as well -- although many companies surveyed believed they were “nearly always” creating quality job descriptions, only a third of candidates agreed. So how do you go about creating the best job posting? Here are some actions that separate the leaders.

Invest the time to make it right
Managers are busier than ever, so it’s easy to prioritize other seemingly more important and pressing activities over writing a good job description. However, time investments can pay off. High-performing organizations invest three times as many minutes as the average organization. These high-performers understand it takes time to craft a clear and accurate view of what is needed for every open position.

Accurate and detailed job descriptions that include the non-negotiables needed to perform in the role are beneficial in speeding up the recruiting process, as well as helpful for the candidates in assessing if they can succeed in that position. With generic job descriptions and postings, the applicant pool usually increases, which leads to more resumes and candidates that need responses, and longer recruitment period before identifying qualified candidates. Clearly defining the description to include the mandatory skills and knowledge required can help create a more efficient job posting, or understanding of the business need which can decrease the time to fill the position, and allow the recruiter or HR to create realistic expectations with the candidates.

Ensure culture is represented
Nine in 10 candidates surveyed think culture fit is important when deciding to accept a position. Providing details about the cultural environment will help potential applicants decide whether to apply for the position and will inevitably make the recruiter’s job easier. Best-in-class organizations recognize that the job description is an extension of the employment brand and view it as an opportunity to showcase their culture.

The candidate or job seeker often times researches or interviews the company just as much as the company interviews the candidate. Providing details about the company in a job description including cultural environment, or how the company may differentiate themselves can draw in more qualified applicants and serious job seekers. This information not only speeds up the recruiting process, but can help with retention by finding a candidate that is not only a fit for the job, but a great fit within a specific team or company.

Update with frequency
Make sure you’re updating job descriptions regularly. Talent acquisition leaders recognize that each new vacancy represents an opportunity to improve the process.

Believe every job description matters
High-performing organizations believe that job descriptions are the single most important activity to attracting and retaining top talent. Regardless of pay or prestige, every job must be clearly defined to ensure recruitment remains consistent and successful. An organization that sacrifices a quality job description for an entry-level role could very well take time and energy away from recruiting for the next C-level executive.

Make it compelling
At a minimum, job descriptions must be correct and clear. But to attract the best quality candidates, job descriptions should be compelling. Job descriptions are an employer’s first, and sometimes last, chance to attract qualified candidates. Tell candidates what they need to know and they will have a much easier time evaluating whether the position is a good fit for their skills, goals and interests.

Compensation, benefits, perks and opportunities
Define the pay upfront to narrow the applicant pool and reduce screening time. In addition, emphasize important or unique benefits to entice candidates to your jobs. Outline the typical career path for the role so job seekers see that the position can lead to more.

What’s the payoff in spending all this extra time on one document? Candidates who say employers always provide a clear job description are twice as likely to be very satisfied with the recruitment process.

Want to know more? Check back next week for Part 4 of 5, or access the white paper with the full results of the survey.