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If you're like most business owners, you do an excellent job of selling your service to prospective clients. But how well do you sell yourself to prospective employees?

Unlocking Recruiting Success

By Steve Noe


If you’re like most business owners, you do an excellent job of selling your service to prospective clients. But how well do you sell yourself to prospective employees?

“If we want to hire good people, we need to do better,” said Rachel Roche, founder and president of Smart Search. “We need to be proactive and recruit before we need anyone.”

In order to project a positive image for your company and increase your chances of hiring quality employees, Roche recommends that you take the following action steps:


Upgrade your Web site

Many companies have their own Web site, but the majority of them are not being used to recruit employees.

Using a Web site as a recruiting tool is critical because today’s candidates are Internet savvy and tend to look for jobs online versus help wanted ads in newspapers.

Six simple steps to maximize your Web site are as follows:

Keep it simple — just a few clicks
Make it prominent — link to job opportunities should appear on the home page
Give candidates the information they need
Make it compelling
Provide an online application
Provide testimonials


Employee referral program

Create pathways to good candidates. For example, you can start an employee rewards program for new candidate referrals. Getting current employees to refer good people is incredibly cost effective. Employees have a vested interest in making your company successful.

In addition to asking current employees for referrals, you should turn to others such as your customers, friends, accountant and barber. “Good people tend to know other good people,” said Roche.


Promote “Us” as a good employer

Most Web sites have an “About Us” page, but Roche recommends you take one step further by creating a “Why Work Here?” page that recruits even when you have no job openings.

Another good way to promote your company is through billboarding, which grabs the attention of everyone — customers, candidates and employees. You can billboard in several ways. Conduct a survey and get it printed in the local newspaper. Sponsor a community project. Create an award and get the results published. Promote employee accomplishments publicly.


Write a good job spec

A good position description, or job spec, highlights the importance of a prospective employee to the overall success of the company, offers an honest appraisal of the job, and describes potential for the future. “It sells the steak and the sizzle,” said Roche.

One example of a good job spec: “Are you looking for variety? Working here will give you the opportunity to work on a great variety of tasks. Our company is like a family in which all employees are truly valued and treated with respect.”

The keys to writing a good job spec, according to Roche, are to focus on rewards, both tangible and intangible; keep it simple; don’t use buzzwords; don’t inflate or deflate the job; and emphasize fun and team.


Create a “Where You’ll Go” sheet

Candidates need to know that they are not applying for a dead-end job. They want a job that stretches them, an opportunity for advancement, a high-quality boss or mentor, a good team, a company with a good reputation, as well as good pay, benefits and quality of life.

In order to help candidates see that in writing, create a “Where You’ll Go” sheet. This sheet should brief candidates on what skills they stand to gain or improve, type of work they’ll do, breadth of tasks they’ll be exposed to, flexibility of work options, and rewards (both economic and career).


Treat people like candidates, not applicants

Once your marketing efforts begin to generate qualified leads, remember this: Recruiting someone who is employed means understanding the difference between applicants and candidates. Court them. Showcase your business. Be sure they see that working for you could be a good career move. You need to sell them more than they need to sell you.


Showcase your company during the interview

Showcasing your company is among several things that you should do during the interview process. Be sure that candidates hear a consistent message from everyone that they meet at your company. Other interview tips include don’t rehash the resume, and use the interview to learn what’s behind the resume. For example, ask candidates about their goals and what are the most important elements in a new job. Also, express interest and enthusiasm in what they have to say. To close the deal, make the job offer an event. Offer the job in person. Get others involved by making follow-up calls. According to Roche, if you are selling the concept of a team, then it has to be a team effort.


Steve Noe is editor of Outdoor Power Equipment magazine. For additional information about Smart Search and its services, e-mail Rachel Roche at smartsearch@wi.rr.com

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