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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Tips and techniques'>Tips and techniques</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Recruitment/selection'>Recruitment/selection</a>
Sales Leadership
Feb 25, 2010 | Nick Leigh-Morgan lock

Here are my eight top tips for helping to improve the effectiveness of your hiring programs. Having spent over 14 years in recruitment you'd be surprised how many of these experienced recruiters get wrong.

1. Write a proper job description

Sounds obvious right? But you'd be amazed at how many companies write very poor job descriptions.

If you're going to advertise the role somewhere, make sure the text of the advertisement covers 3 things. A summary of who you are as a company, a summary of the key functions and tasks this person will do and lastly the minimum requirements you'll accept.

Every good job description should be laid out with 3 distinct headings:

  • About us (the company)
  • About the role
  • Minimum skill requirements

In the last section.......the minimum requirements of the role..... make sure you list measurable criteria. Simply saying.......'energetic' or a 'great team player' isn't going to filter out the duffers. Who is going to say they're not energetic? Much better to say......'Experience working within the finance team of a mobile telecoms company. You will have had previous management experience as well as experience working with Sarbanes Oxley compliance procedures'.....................or words to that effect.

That way the candidate can realistically self filter themselves.

2. Lots of relevant keywords

If you're going to advertise on a job board make sure you use lots of relevant keywords in the job text. e.g. the sort of words that candidates will be searching for. So if it's a PR job, make sure you mention PR several times and all related words, publicity etc. All the recruitment agencies swamp their made up job adverts with lots of keywords so if you want to get above theirs in the'd better do the same.

3. Use a relevant industry job title

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to come up with some wacky title that no one in the industry is familiar with. If you're hiring a Finance Manager call it Finance Manager. Don't call it Vice President of Cash Flow Enhancement. Remember that job-seekers will search using fairly generic terms........'HR Manager' 'Brand Manager' 'Web Developer' so if you're job title is very different it may not appear in the search a job seeker does on a job board.

4. Use a free applicant tracking system

Still using e-mail to get cvs in? Oh dear. There are a few really good systems out there that can help you manage your hiring programs for you. The system does all the donkey work for you like bulk rejecting applications etc.........all saving you precious time.   is a great example........and it's completely free.

5. Avoid putting a salary bracket down.

$45,000 - $55,000.........sound familiar?

You might as well just tell your preferred candidate that you'll pay them $55K. When negotiate on buying a vehicle do you tell the salespersonwhat your real maximum budget is? Thought not.

6. If you don't want to interview someone then reject them.

The number one gripe job-seekers make is that they never hear back after submitting an application. It does nothing for your brand to annoy them like this and if they've put the time and effort into applying the least you can do is let them know what's going on. A free ATS can do all that for you with the touch of a button.

Remember, a disgruntled job applicant isn't exactly a walking advertisement for your products or services.

7. Don't wait until you've got a shortlist of candidates before you interview

If you read a CV that you think is suitable............interview them ASAP!!! Why oh why do so many companies wait............'I'll just hold off calling them to see what other CVs we get in'. Er no, if they're right now, they'll still be right in 2 weeks. The longer you wait, the more chance you've got of losing them.

8. Don't rely solely on interviews

If you just rely on an interview to assess the candidate's suitability the likelihood of that candidate turning out to be a great success isn't terribly high. Add in psychometric testing, assessment centres, in tray tasks, technical tests...........anything you can think of really to reflect the person's day-to-day duties. Lots of people look great at interview but put them under pressure with a task and they fall to pieces. Oh, and vice versa of course.

About the Author:

Nick Leigh-Morgan has been involved in recruitment for over 14 years. Now the MD of Zodo a company supplying innovative recruitment systems and services to the SME market. He has a particular passion for using technology to help companies hire smarter and faster.

(ArticlesBase SC #1844736)

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