3 Hiring Lessons From Your Holiday Shopping List


by Josh Tolan, Mashable

With the holiday season in full swing, your shopping list has probably grown impressive in size. Just like finding the perfect holiday gift, finding the right employee for your company can be tough. Walk into any mall and there are thousands of potential gifts for your friends and family, but finding the right one takes work.

Before you head out with your shopping list in tow, here are some lessons you can take from the holiday gift grind and apply to your hiring efforts. This way, you always get the perfect gift – and the perfect employee:

Make A List and Check It Twice
Just like a certain portly holiday figure, it’s important to make a list and check it twice. This is true whether you’re making a list for a big shopping trip or putting together a list of the attributes you need in the perfect job candidate. The job posting is a huge part of ensuring you attract the right people, and if you don’t start with a good foundation, you’ll increase your odds of hiring the wrong person.

It’s important you focus on the most essential skills and qualifications needed for the job. While it’s true recruiters and employers only spend about six seconds on average looking over a resume, it turns out job seekers don’t have much longer attention spans. A recent study showed job seekers only spend about 76.7 seconds reading through your posting.

This might explain why so many employers waste time and money weeding through the wrong candidates. For every corporate job posting, there are about 250 applicants, meaning there are plenty of candidates applying for your jobs who just don’t fit.

You need to keep your job postings short, sweet and to the point. Focus in on the most essential skills needed for the job and put these essentials at the top of your posting. This way, you’ll get more targeted applicants and spend less time weeding through candidates who never made it down to the “qualifications” section of your job description.

Get Personal
Have you ever received a holiday present and wondered if the person giving it even knew you at all? Sure, everyone needs socks and scented candles, but they’re not very personal gifts. The best holiday presents are from the heart, and the best employees are those who fit into the company culture as well as they fit the job description.

Finding the best people for your company and position means getting personal earlier in the hiring process. For instance, you might want to skip out on the traditional phone screen. A phone interview can take about 30 minutes on average to complete, which is wasted time for most seasoned recruiters who can tell within 90 seconds if someone is all wrong for the job.

Instead, employers should consider replacing a phone screen with a one-way video interview. In these interviews, candidates answer an employer’s written questions on video. These videos can then be watched at any time, meaning if someone is all wrong, you can just move on to the next candidate.

Beat Your Competition
The competition for the best deals and the hottest presents is fierce every year when the weather starts to grow cold. Big deal days like Black Friday can bring out millions of competitive shoppers.

Just like the war for the perfect holiday present, the war for talent is currently raging. This is helped along by the skills gap, since it is getting harder and harder for employers to find candidates with the right skills for their open positions. You’ll need to look at different talent pools to move faster and hire the best candidates.

Social media and new technology can help here. Connecting with candidates on social media and in talent communities means you can build up a talent pipeline before you even have an empty position to fill. You can see what the best people in your industry are talking about in discussions, Twitter chats and blog posts.

You can even use the social sphere to help brand your company as an attractive place to work and allow candidates to see what your company culture is truly like.

Finding the right candidate can be as difficult as finding that perfect present. Using the skills you learned from battling other shoppers at the mall, you can beat out the competition and find the right employee for your company.

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