Your company is growing, which is fantastic, but now you need workers to handle the growth. You obviously want only the best people, but how do you find them? Here are some tips on defining employment qualifications to attract the right candidates.
Assessing Your Company’s Needs
Before you launch job ads or browse LinkedIn profiles, it helps to know your company’s needs. That means thinking in terms of the desired result rather than specific job titles. Instead of asking if you need a finance manager or a bookkeeper, ask what tasks need to be completed. Then you can seek out applicants with skills matching your needs rather than ones with the right arbitrary job titles.
It also helps to figure out how many workers you need. Are you in rapid growth mode and need 15 new sales reps to start ASAP? Or do you just need one new sales manager? These are two very different hiring process that should be approached in different ways.
Understanding the Employment Market Qualifications
A smart business owner needs to understand the local labor market and what’s out there. That way, you don’t waste too much time looking for a snowball in Miami.
In other words, if you’re trying to fill a specific niche, you want to know if your local labor market can’t provide it. In that case, you can plan right away to expand your recruiting efforts to more fertile grounds.
Not Limiting Your Candidate Pool
If you’ve ever been a job-seeker, you’ve seen want ads that make you wonder, "Who could qualify for this position?"
You know the ones: "Please have 15 years of industry experience, at least five of those in some obscure sub-niche you’ve probably never heard of, a Ph.D. or higher, and not so much as a parking ticket on your background check." Maybe you think setting job requirements that are highly restrictive ensures you attract only the best candidates. In reality, it rules out more of those candidates than it attracts.
There’s nothing wrong with having standards. But instead of making them overly rigid, you might try asking yourself this: What does a candidate absolutely need that they can’t do this job without? Consider doing market research on successful companies in your industry. What do they demand from candidates for the same position?
You can use the data you glean to set your qualifications. The applicant pool that results should be robust, with plenty of talent. If you want to whittle it down later with higher standards, you’re free to do so. At least you know you aren’t missing out on top talent from the beginning.
Knowing What Your Company Can Afford
Every small business would love to have a visionary like Jeff Bezos on board. But unless you have an extra $100 billion in your personnel budget, that isn’t going to happen.
Before pursuing candidates, a smart business owner figures out what they can afford. That way they don’t spin their wheels chasing people they cannot pay for.
If your budget for an outside sales rep is $45,000 per year, you know right away to focus on ambitious recent graduates with high upside. That number isn’t going to attract professionals who’ve been closing million-dollar deals for years and make six figures.
Finding the best candidates for job openings is hard. But you can locate them with smart hiring, and it starts with establishing the right expectations.