The first piece of advice I can offer is using what some business owners call “self-selection”. If there’s one thing that bothers me about recruitment, it’s the time it takes. There are always countless resumes handed in for a single position, even if the business is relatively new and unknown. You or your HR person will have to sort through and interview the applicants, many of which wouldn’t get the job in a million years! One way to really narrow down the choice is using a self-selection tactic. After receiving your resumes, invite all your eligible applicants to some kind of open group event. This could be anything from an exhibition to an open house. The event itself isn’t really the point. As you can imagine, not everyone who submitted their resume will turn up to the event. The people who do are more likely to be really interested in the position, and not looking for anything that pays. Obviously I’m not suggesting you give people jobs based on the way they act at an open house. However, this kind of setting can be a great phase between the resume screening and the actual interviews.
After narrowing down your search even further, you can move onto something a little more like an actual interview. The stiff, one-on-one setting we’re all used to can certainly be an effective way of finding the right person for the job. However, if you want to try something different, another group setting can be exceptionally helpful. This is a great way to gauge people’s interest, professional knowledge, and communication skills. Aside from that, you’ll be able to tell immediately how well these people will fit with the business’s culture. There are any number of ways you can run a group interview. However, it should include the best-looking candidates at the time, and let people currently at your business interact with them. One popular method is setting up some “speed dating” style interviews, run by you and some of the higher-ups at your business. In these settings, some candidates will pull the stops out for one interviewer but betray some big weakness to the others. Another idea could be setting up some kind of activity, designed to bring out passion and knowledge for the industry.
Another important tip is to recruit from pools other than all the popular job boards. When you use Indeed and similar websites, you’re likely to get far more applications than you need. However, when you recruit in a less conventional way, you can simplify the process. For example, let’s say you were trying to open a retail outlet. You’d want people with some knowledge of its niche, and great customer service skills. Sure, you could post an advert or get set up with a recruitment agency pretty easily. However, if you want to have a more personal hand in getting the right candidates, you should try something a little different. Send out a few trusted employees to various retail outlets to interact with the staff and offer interviews to the people who are the best workers. Make sure to change the days up slightly so that you’re checking out all the talent. Usually, these tactics make for an impressive pool of candidates. You’ll also have an even wider access to talent through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Just as it can be beneficial to branch out from the job boards, it’s also good to expand away from job fairs. While I believe there’s at least some great talent wherever you look, job fairs can often end up being pretty sparse. The best candidates you run into at these have usually been snapped up, and are there representing another company. Instead, turn your spotlight on other large events. Even if they aren’t geared towards recruitment, all kinds of valuable talent can come to the surface. Let’s say you needed a graphic designer. You could attend art or graphic design events in the local area. You’ll know right from the outset that the people there are passionate about their occupation. Also, in a more relaxed environment, you’ll be able to get a better idea of what the person is really like. There are many places where you can find events that are great for checking out talent, such as Meetup.
Finally, be proactive with social media. Almost everyone uses some kind of social media platform these days. These contain all kinds of information about the person you wouldn’t know otherwise. The obvious platform to use would be LinkedIn, but I recommend extending your search. More casual networks like Facebook might paint quite a different picture! There are other, less well-known sites geared towards recruitment like Brazen. This allows you to view resumes, conversations on other social channels, and any other details the person wants to post. When you post a passive ad on a recruitment site, you’re kind of letting the recruitment pool decide who goes for the job. When you go trawling through social media yourself, you’ll be hand-picking out the candidates who seem like the best to you. This kind of method takes a lot more time. However, no one knows what your business needs better than you!
Run a more creative recruitment drive this time around, and you’ll be able to hone in on a single candidate much faster than you would usually. While these methods may be a little far out, if you take an active role in them, you’ll see great candidates springing up everywhere!