How to Attract Qualified Candidates
As we head into the fall months of 2014, we continue to work with clients who are having a tough time finding suitable skilled candidates for their open technology related positions. A recently released study from the Brookings Institution found that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions often take 2 – 3 times longer to fill as the non-STEM jobs, due to a talent shortage. Since the rate of technological change is so rapid, often potential candidates are simply not up to date or experienced using the latest technology required for a particular position. The demand for skilled technology workers has created an extremely competitive hiring environment. Since most companies don’t appear to be willing to settle and hire candidates who don’t have the necessary skills, they must focus on ways to attract viable highly-skilled candidates.
One of the best ways to pique the interest of qualified candidates is to create an ‘attractive’ job description. An employer looking to hire should think of their job posting as a sales opportunity with the job description as their product and the candidate as their customer.
How to Create an Effective Job Posting
- Be Realistic in your expectations – It is important to publish a job description that focuses on a specific set of related technologies. (i.e. don’t double or triple up on unrelated skill sets) Many companies often look to replace an employee that may have served multiple roles and learned various ‘unrelated’ technologies during their tenure at the company. For example, if John Smith was hired as an EDI Analyst and then learned SharePoint Administration while on the job, when John leaves his role, an employer would essentially have 2 unrelated technology skill sets to fill. Instead of posting one job description that seeks candidates that have both EDI and SharePoint skill sets, post two separate job descriptions.
- Be clear and concise –. Choose the words you use to describe the job title and position carefully and make sure to craft a job title that truly reflects what the position entails. Remember that a job title is often the first thing that prospective candidates will see when searching for a job. Clearly list the daily job responsibilities and highlight the ‘Must Have’ skill sets as well as preferred skill sets.
- Include a corporate culture overview – It’s important to showcase your company as a great place to work. Describe the corporate culture and if you provide generous perks and flexible work hours, don’t hesitate to post some of them within the job posting. Mentioning that the company understands and promotes the concept of work-life balance may also go a long way in attracting candidates who are tired of working 60 – 80 hour work weeks.
- Provide a competitive salary range – Ensure the salary range meets or exceeds the job marketplace expectations. You don’t want to go down the road of multiple interviews with a candidate, only to find out that you won’t be able to pay the requested compensation for that highly skilled candidate. EDI Staffing provides a free competitive salary analysis for hiring managers looking to compare their salary offering with similar open jobs in their area.
Finding that stellar technical candidate who has the skills and experience an employer needs is tough in this job market and requires patience and time. An employer should not let top candidates slip through their fingers by missing the mark in their job postings. Of course, once an employee is hired, it is extremely important to ensure they remain happy and motivated. Retaining these quality candidates is an essential step in building an incredible team.
How do you attract quality candidates?
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