Attracting the Best Job Candidates: 4 Subtle Factors That May Tip the Scales in Your Favor

Imagine yourself on a blind date. The person you’re out with meets all your basic criteria: perfectly polite, looks great, seems like your type.

However, it’s the little details that come together to create the impression that you’ll use to decide whether to ask for a second date. In fact, when you make your decision, you may not even be consciously aware of what those details were.

The hiring process at your business isn’t so different. A compelling job role that offers great pay and benefits may be enough to attract good job candidates. But to seal the deal with the absolute best applicants, you need to put in extra work. That means making sure all the other little details are in place so your company can make the best impression possible.

Landing the best hires is essential. Sub-par candidates, or candidates that aren’t a great fit, come with big costs: lower productivity and higher turnover rates. Your company absolutely needs the best talent in order to beat competitors and reach business goals.

Here are a few ways to go above and beyond to attract the best potential hires.

Clear and Welcoming Job Descriptions

Your company probably spends lots of effort making your product appealing to customers. Why not use the same tactics with potential employees? Instead of selling your product, sell your company.

The very first impression a candidate gets of your company is usually the job description. That’s why it’s a mistake to simply list job requirements and benefits in a way that sounds straight out of the HR department (instead of the marketing department).

The best job descriptions are written specifically to attract candidates, and they use welcoming and inclusive language to make sure all qualified candidates feel comfortable applying to the job.

Begin your job description with what you think applicants would like the most about the job you’re posting. Make the benefits clear and compelling. Explain honestly why people like working for your company. Note what makes it different than other jobs.

The unique benefits of working for your company are usually not the pay and perks — although those are important, too. Think of the less tangible details employees will get, such as control over their work, control over their schedule, and direct access to company leaders.

Opting to use a friendly, casual tone also makes a very different impression than the buttoned-up, stiff job descriptions that have to filter through the bureaucracy of big corporations.

Did you know that using certain words and phrases in your job description can discourage applicants? Find out more in this bonus resource: Why Word Choice Matters in Job Posts

Your Website’s “Careers” Page

Job seekers don’t always find your company via a job description or posting. Sometimes they hear about you in other ways, such as the press, word of mouth, or even through a search engine during a search for potential employers.

When potential hires find you this way, the “careers” page of your website is the first impression they get. And if they don’t like what they see, they may never bother reaching out to you.

Just like you did for your job description, look at your Careers page more like a sales tool than a simple list of job openings.

A few ideas along these lines: include photos of your offices, current team, and staff events, and consider including testimonial quotes from your happy employees. If it’s in the budget, you could create a video that introduces potential employees to the company’s overall mission, vision and culture.

Consider noting on your Careers page that you’re always looking for smart, qualified applicants, even if you don’t have a job posted currently. Include a contact form or at least a link to one. This may just get you a few steps ahead on your next potential hires.

The Application Process

If you’re trying to present your company as results-focused, modern, or employee-driven, forcing potential hires to submit applications through a convoluted online application is a big mistake.

Web-based forms can certainly be helpful, and many can be simple for users. But if you over-complicate things, your impression on potential job applicants will get a terrible start.

This U.S. News & World Report article sums it up well:

“Online application systems may have made things more convenient for employers, but they’ve done the opposite for job seekers, who regularly run into systems that are riddled with technical problems, ask yes/no questions that don’t fit many candidates’ situations and demand enormous amounts of information just to apply. Candidates with options aren’t likely to spend an hour wrestling with an application system just to get it to accept their résumé.”

Plus, if you’re too concerned about collecting and analyzing all the minutia from every applicant’s resume, you may already be on the wrong track. After all, the most important thing to look for when you’re hiring is whether or not the applicant will achieve the objectives you’ve established for that job. That’s why many companies are now taking advantage of audition-style hiring processes that let each candidate’s work speak for itself.

For more on how to remove bias from the hiring process, download our bonus resource: Why Word Choice Matters in Job Posts.

The Reception Area

Once you’ve made a good digital first impression, it’s time to focus on making just as good of an impression in person.

You’re probably thinking of the first in-person impression as the job interview itself. That’s important, of course. But there’s one step that happens even before that, and it’s a step that people tend to forget about: A job candidate’s first experience physically walking into the building.

You want job applicants to picture themselves happily walking through that same office door every day. Click To Tweet

That requires a special effort in the reception area.

Of course you want to make sure that the front office is aesthetically pleasing. It should be well-designed and reflect your company’s brand, and it goes without saying that the area should be clean and clutter-free.

However, the reception experience is much more than the physical surroundings. For example, is there a chance that your applicant will encounter an awkwardly empty front desk? Will they be left waiting in the reception area with no way to contact the interviewer?

Or, will they be taken through a seamless and pleasant check-in process and be directed promptly to their interviewer?

Your front desk staff will play the biggest role in making this happen, and you want to make sure you’ve structured their jobs in a way that gives them the ability to prioritize the visitor check-in experience. But there are also tools they can use to make visitor check-in more streamlined and elegant.

We developed The Receptionist to do just that. Visitors check in on an iPad and are taken through an automated process that you can customize. When they’re finished, their host is notified automatically — and can even chat with them directly through the app. If you’re ready to try these and many more features for yourself, click here for to start a 14-day trial of The Receptionist.

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