I currently have 12 employees. I have had to hire a total of 18 employees in this current business and many many more in past ventures and jobs.
I used to dread the process. Trying to get applicants and then trying to guess who is the right person based on resumes… No wonder research suggests that odds of finding a good employee are about 50/50 no matter the hiring process or amount of resources dedicated to finding the right applicant.
Truth is, everything has changed for me. I love hiring new people now because I've found the formula that works for me. If you follow the below steps you will save a ton of time and stress while greatly maximizing the chances of finding good people.
Indeed.com Is Magic
Trick number one, use indeed.com. Over the last 5 years Indeed has grown very fast and has overtaken the monster.coms' that previously dominated the space for decades.
Indeed allows employers to post jobs for free. When the platform was still growing I felt that the free listing generally served my purposes. Depending on the job you are hiring for and the pool of potential applicants in your target area you might be fine with the free option.
However, I found that if I sponsor my listing for about $20 a day and let that run for 3 days and then turn off the paid promotional aspect of it the momentum continues and I can get about 5-6 applicants a day for 10-12 days in a row with an investment of only $60.
Be sure to download the Indeed mobile app that makes it easy for employers to peruse job applicants.
Lastly indeed will optionally auto-notify rejected applicants that they didn't get the job. Awesome!
Job Title Is Everything
The number one thing I'm looking for is someone who really wants to work for me. Not just someone who really wants a job but that truly would rather work for me than anywhere else. So the job posting process is designed to filter out anyone else.
The first step to doing that is to use a job title that says exactly what you actually want… not what society thinks should go on the new employee's business card.
Recently I hired for a customer service rep. The job title used:
“Firearm Enthusiast and Relationship Professional”
Before that my last hire was a mobile app developer. Job title used:
“Firearm Enthusiast and Mobile Developer Extraordinaire”
Yes I start all my job postings with Firearm Enthusiast because I want people who are excited to work for me and will be happy to be part of our company's mission. Why beat around that bush?
Have Something Super Valuable to Offer
If you want to hire really awesome people you have to offer an opportunity that really good people would consider.
If your pay sucks, your benefits are not existent, and the work environment is not inviting you cannot get good applicants.
We try to pay more than any other company would. We allow most employees to work from home. We don't regulate vacation days or time off. It may not be like working for Google but about half of our employees have taken pay cuts to work for us because of the value of the opportunity.
Ask/Require Cover Letter
Resumes are, in my opinion, not very good at telling me what I actually need to know. Do they really want to work here?
Sure the resume will tell me if they are qualified and if they have experience but it won't give me any sense for their level of desire.
That is why I request a cover letter. You can request the cover letter at the very top of your job description and certainly, that will help applicants know you are requesting one. However, don't despair if you don't see a lot of cover letters.
Platforms like Indeed are designed to make it as easy as possible for people to apply for your job from a mobile phone.
So, after I review a resume if I think the applicant appears qualified and I'm interested I send them a message (via Indeed) requesting a “cover letter” detailing their passion for my industry. I use a saved templated response that looks like this:
Dear Applicant, thank you for applying for our job. A resume is a horrible way to gauge your desire to work for our company and your passion for our industry. To be considered for our position I kindly request that you send me back a message explaining why you want to work in the Firearm industry, and detailing your passion for the second amendment and self-defense. Thank you!
With that in place, if the person doesn't reply to my request I reject their application. Those who do reply with a cover letter get considered.
Do Short Phone Interviews To Narrow Down the Group
If you have followed the above process you are going to have a decent number of good applicants. Do not interview them all!
Instead, call the top 10 or so and conduct 5-minute phone interviews. This should make it easy to get it down to a final shortlist of 5 or less than you can interview.
Ask Them To Ask Questions
My favorite interview question? “What questions do you have for me about the company or opportunity?”
I don't have a simple or magical explanation as to why this works but it does. I always get great insight into the individual when I let them air all questions they have.
Good luck with your next hire!