Do You Make It Too Hard to Get a Job At Your Company?
BY Janine Popick
Your job application process may be scaring excellent candidates away.
When it comes to running a successful business, you need to always be on the lookout for great talent to grow your organization and keep moving forward. In the effort to make it as easy as possible for both the company and the job seeker, you may be using online application submissions and sophisticated candidate filtering.
But despite all that efficiency, your company may actually make it harder for potential employees to get the job than to do the job they're seeking. Here are some issues to consider from the perspective of the job applicant.
Does Your Website Serve Job Seekers?
Your website is where you present your products and services to prospects, customers and job seekers. But are you putting your best foot forward? Are your job listings so buried that they require a fine-tooth comb to uncover, or do you put them out there showing the world you're growing?
And speaking of job listings, I've discussed this before and I can't say it enough: Make sure you put as much thought into your job descriptions as you do any product or service you offer. Why? Just like you want to attract customers that come back again and again, you also want to attract A-players who will love your company and love what they do. Will they be attracted by a boring job description? Not a chance, so kick the corporate-speak job description of the past to the curb and replace it with some personality. It'll help your company culture shine through from the start and bring better matched candidates to your door. At my online marketing company, VerticalResponse we revamped our listings and have seen a huge spike in the number of quality candidates that came calling.
Are Your Employees Your Best Recruiters?
You've already got a motivated team of contributors all around your company. Are you tapping into that to get more great people like the ones you've got? Using your internal resources can save you a ton of time and money finding a great fit for an open position. In fact, an article by The Undercover Recruiter, notes that "applicants hired from a referral begin their position quicker than applicants found via job boards and career sites (after 29 days compared with 39 days via job boards and 55 via career sites)." And the savings can come in the form of fees for recruiters and in retention costs. The Undercover Recruiter reveals that "referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies--46 percent stay over one year, 45 percent over two years and 47 percent over three years."
Make sure employees are rewarded for sending qualified candidates your way. You can reward on referral, on hire and based on retention. It's up to you, but make sure the reward is given out in a timely manner to tie the incentive to the action and keep the referrals rolling in.
Do You Promote From Within?
Speaking of employees, sometimes your best candidates are right under your nose. Earlier this year my company was looking to add a content marketer to our ranks. After putting out the feelers, we realized we had the perfect hire already working for us in another role. We adjusted a few things and hired someone to fill her current role and we had a win-win. Make sure your current employees get a crack at open positions and have a career path within your organization. For example, we do some cross-functional job experiences that allow members of our customer support crew to dip their toes into other roles in the company for special projects. It not only helps get things done, but they get great exposure and we've promoted many people this way.
Is Your Process a Process?
According to AOL Jobs, "the average length of a job search is at an all-time high in America. For the unemployed, it's now well over 7 months." That's a long haul when you're out of work and trying to get back in the game, so make sure you amaze and delight job seekers by being present. By being present, I mean having someone with a pulse on the tail end of the funnel where all those applications go. Follow up and let people know straight away if they're a match or not and why. Either way, they'll appreciate knowing if they should keep at it or move on.
And, make sure you make it easy for candidates to get their applications in the door to begin with. According to Kes Thygesen, co-founder and head of product at RolePoint, "more than 70 percent of job candidates report using their mobile devices to look for jobs." Ensure your application process is optimized for mobile devices so candidates can access job listings and submit applications on your site. And, don't require folks to jump through rings of fire just to submit their application. To learn a bit more about our candidates at VerticalResponse, we ask job seekers to submit a joke along with their application. It's amazing what you can glean from the kind of jokes people send in!
By making it easier for potential employees to find exciting job listings, rewarding your team for referrals, promoting from within and making your application process a delight, you'll attract more all-star candidates who will not only feel proud about coming to work for your company, but also feel great about how they got there.
Have you come across any companies with unique or memorable job application processes? Share them with us in the comments!
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JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick