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An Easy Hiring Process Can Attract Better Candidates

October 26th, 2012

Are you exhaustively tweaking your recruiting strategy and still not attracting the qualified applicant pool you need? Are you publishing your postings to a carefully identified target audience and still letting great candidates slip away? If you’re doing everything right, but still generating only a thin trickle of candidates while your competitors wade through an avalanche of resumes, it might be time to take a closer look at your application process. Keep these considerations in mind.

1. Keep things simple. Unemployment rates are high, but that doesn’t mean all candidates are desperate or willing to jump through hoops for your company. Nor should they be. If you think that a long, tedious submission process will thin the herd and bring in only the best, think again. This only selects candidates with a high tolerance for nonsense. Talented candidates who have other options will stop after the first or second online submission form you make them fill out… Or after the third time your website application tool freezes.

2. No unconventional file types. Don’t insist that candidates submit their documents as Richtext files, PDF files, blog URLs, or anything else. Just a resume and cover letter in Word will do. Even if a file conversion only takes two minutes, the message you’re sending to candidates is clear: You aren’t familiar with common technology or standard hiring practices, you aren’t sure what you’re doing, and you don’t mind wasting a candidate’s time.

3. Re-examine your overall hiring process, not just the way you accept submissions. When candidates apply, send them an automatic message letting them know their documents have been received. Keep them updated at least once a week throughout the interview and selection process. Don’t leave them in silence, lose their materials, subject them to five rounds of interviews (three at the most will do), or send mixed, confusing messages about their chances.

4. Respect your candidates. Don’t ask demeaning or baiting questions during interviews, and don’t ask candidates to submit “samples” of work unless you intend to pay for them. Setting up obstacles like these will only weed out the strongest candidates. The ones who stay in the running are the ones with high levels of desperation and questionable self-respect.

5. Act fast once you’ve made a decision. If you like a candidate, never let her dangle on the line. Put the hiring wheels in motion right away. And follow through—don’t tell her over the phone that she has the job and then wait two weeks to send a formal offer letter. By the time you finally act, your candidate may have signed on with a faster moving competitor.

For more tips on keeping your hiring process lean, efficient, and candidate-friendly, contact the Connecticut staffing recruiters at Merritt Staffing . We’ll help you build up a strong applicant pool and attract the top talent you’re looking for.

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