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Tips for improving the quality of job candidates

When searching for new hires, every employer seeks to find the best candidate for the job. For some organizations and departments, this means pouring over hundreds of applications and scouring resumes…many of which may not be at all qualified for the position that was posted. So how do you ensure that when it comes to new candidates it’s quality over quantity? These tips could help:

  1. Make job postings very clear
    Vague job postings will garner vague responses. Decrease ambiguity by clearly stating what a job’s requirements, tasks and expectations are in hopes of attracting candidates who meet the requirements and who can quantify or demonstrate qualifications that meet the standards upon the initial application.
  2. Post job postings on reputable sites

In the government sector, you may be limited to where or how jobs are posted. If allowed, however, take advantage of external sites to promote position openings. When posting the position, do so only to sites that attract audiences most likely to be qualified. While large job sites or boards may reach a wider audience, targeted outlets will likely produce more targeted applicants. Some industries have professional associations with job boards for members. For example, marketing professionals may be members of the Canadian Marketing Association while accounting professionals may be members of the Chartered Accountants of Canada. When seeking qualified entry-level staff to hire, also consider university job boards.

  1. Leverage the web
    As you post job openings on your organization or department’s website or on public job sites, use search engine optimization to your advantage. Make sure job descriptions include keywords that job seekers are likely to search for, like the title and the city in which the job is located. Additionally, use common job titles along with the referencing of multiple industries within the posting. By anticipating what job seekers are most likely to search for, your posting will be better positioned to appear in Internet search results.
  2. Tap your networks
    Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Ask current employees, managers and human resources professionals to reach out to their personal networks in order to find qualified candidates. Additionally, with the rise of social networking sites like LinkedInTM, TwitterTM and FacebookTM, word of a job opening is likely to spread from current employees to like-minded or similarly interested individuals much faster than an arbitrary job site posting. Create internal awareness of a job opening by offering a reward or raffle drawing, like a Collapsible Umbrella or a Grill Master Apron for current employees who tap their networks for referrals.
  3. Recruit
    Don’t just wait for candidates to apply—go out there and get them. Hiring professional recruiters or headhunters can sometimes make the process easier and leaves the work of finding qualified candidates up to the recruiter. Other options for active recruitment can involve job or career fairs. Send managers or human resources staff to these community events to boost awareness among job seekers. These events also offer greater opportunity to screen potential candidates before encouraging them to apply. If conversations with booth or table visitors seem promising, ask for applications on the spot. Then, send them home with more information on your organization or department in a logo’d Presentation Folder and a business card they won’t soon misplace, like the Business Card Magnet, to keep your posting and brand top of mind.
  4. Show off your brand
    Attract quality candidates by featuring your brand. When possible, avoid posting to job sites or boards anonymously—instead be sure to include your organization or department logo in postings along with links to your website or page. Encourage current staff to show career and brand pride with gifts like branded key chains or a tote bag; proud employees will be more successful in reaching out to networks or finding referrals for qualified individuals.

Be proactive, critical and targeted in your candidate search and your organization or department is more likely to find better qualified individuals!

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