Hiriing Tip #7: Do your ads help candidates screen themselves in or out?

In a previous post, Attracting Suitable Candidates, Laurent caught me being vague. In Screening Out, he points to a great skit, where the technical people are talking about people skills but the HR people are talking about tools and technology.Too many recruiters just don’t get it — that software is much more people and perseverance than technology or tool skills. Unfortunately, not all hiring managers understand how to tell the recruiters what kind of a person they want.If you’re not sure how to ask for the kind of person you want, describe your environment:

  • Do we have a collaborative environment?
  • Do we have project teams?
  • Do we have everyone focused on the same thing?

If you have a collaborative environment, you could write an ad like this:

“We have a collaborative development environment, where we work together. If you have the interest and problem solving skills to work with a group of stubborn persevering colleagues, we want to talk to you. Be ready to tell us about how you’ve solved problems with others.”

This ad would not attract the kind of person who wants to sit in a cube and write code all day (and not test it).If you have a focus-on-one-project group, you could write an ad like this:

“We work together on the next generate of [whatever-it-is]. We focus on one release at a time….”

If you have a many-projects-at-one-time group, you could write an ad like this:

“If you’re worried about being bored, don’t be. We have multiple projects and we need your help to make them succeed….”

These ads attract different kinds of people and help candidates screen themselves in and out, so you have fewer resumes to review. So first think about your environment. If you had to describe it in one or two sentences, how would you describe it?

I just read Describe Opportunities, Not Requirements and Lou Adler explains even better what I was trying to say. If you describe requirements, you create a list that too many people (but not enough of the right people) can measure themselves against. If you describe opportunities, the people who want to do what you have will answer the ad.Describe opportunities in your ad, to attract more appropriate candidates and prevent the ones that don’t fit your environment from applying.

Leave a Reply