I'm teaching PSL this week with Esther and Jerry. I met one of the participants for the first time yesterday morning, and he thanked me for writing the Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers book. I thanked him, and asked what he liked the best.
He said that the advice about thinking about the attractors for the job advertisement was what helped him the most. He didn't ask for technical skills in the ad; he discussed the work people would do. At the end of the ad, he asked for a code snippet of the work the candidate was most proud of.
This is one sharp hiring manager. He managed to avoid the laundry list job description, and ask for an audition in the ad. A candidate who doesn't include a code snippet is a candidate you don't need to consider for that position.
He had over 100 candidates for this one position–at a time of relatively high employment in his country. A number of candidates thanked him. Asking for that code snippet made them think about what was important to them as individuals.
He hired someone–a candidate with different domain expertise, but someone who would fit the culture and could perform the activities and deliverables required by the job. That person has gone on to be a senior technical leader in the organization and has won internal awards.
Here's what the ad did for him:
- It provided a filter (via audition) by which to eliminate unsuitable candidates, with the code snippet
- It helped candidates see what it might be like to work for him
- It enhanced his expertise as a hiring manager
- It made him a mentor to these candidates!
I was happy if an ad filtered candidates for me. If the right kinds of people applied and the people who weren't right didn't apply, I was happy. Seems I set my sights too low 🙂
Think about what you want your ad to say, when you are hiring for a job. It might do more for you than you can imagine