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Optimize Your Job Postings for Maximum Exposure

The first step to reeling in top job applicants is to have the best possible job posting. Beyond  a detailed description that tells a job seeker what you need, a perfect job posting uses persuasive communication to grab their attention as well as optimizes tools to drive people to the posting so it gains more exposure.

All of a sudden, creating a great job posting seems more difficult than a standard cut and paste job… it requires thinking! Before you get too overwhelmed, have a look at this AkkenCloud infographic that was created in partnership with Ghergich&Co. It highlights the most important strategies for gaining maximum exposure for your job postings.

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How to Optimize Your Job Posts for Maximum Exposure

Via AkkenCloud

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How to Use Google Drive to Track Candidates

How to Use Google Drive to Track CandidatesApplicant tracking systems (ATSs) are great tools for recruiters. The right ATS provides capability to easily accept resumes from candidates, sort and screen through those resumes, and organize them so qualified candidates can be contacted for future opportunities. Unfortunately, small companies rarely have the resources for a dedicated in-house recruiter, let alone technology such as a sophisticated applicant tracking system. However, in today’s world of free technologies and cloud storage, there are still opportunities to create a makeshift ATS with similar capabilities, albeit missing some bells and whistles. Enter Google Drive!

If you’re not familiar with Google Drive and are interested in exploring it to create an ATS, here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  1. Create a Google Account. The days of needing a Gmail address to have a Google Account are long over. Anybody can create a Google account, using any email address, which will give you access to the hundreds of Google’s available services. For the sake of this post, Google Drive is the only service you need to worry about.
  2. Start Creating Folders. Just like Windows Explorer, where you may already store most of your documents, Google Drive lets you create folders and sub-folders. To organize it like an ATS, you may want to create folders for each department in your company, and then common positions within each department. From there, you can create a folder for individual candidates where you can store notes and resume versions.
  3. Share Folders. As long as your co-workers also have created a Google Account, you can give them access to all or specific folders so they can also browse resumes. If at any point they receive a resume that they think would be helpful for you in the future, they can save it into one of your folders for when you need to hire.
  4. Verify Folder Ownership. Creating folders and sharing documents can start to get out of control as different people become owners of different folders. For security purposes, consider organizing your structure so only one person in the organization (ideally somebody who will never leave) is the owner of all folders. This will simplify things down the road should a folder owner leave your company. You might also consider creating a generic account for the company that is not associated with a specific person and, therefore, is never closed.
  5. Start Searching. As you know, Google is pretty awesome when it comes to search capabilities, and they bring this knowledge into Google Drive. When you’re searching for a candidate, type your criteria in the search bar and see which resumes pop-up.
  6. Upgrade Your Google Drive. As noted, one person at the company is going to “own” all of the folders. This doesn’t mean they physically own anything, but it means their Google Account is the official home for all files. It won’t be long before the free space Google provides to that account is used up. Given the very low monthly costs of an upgrade (around $3/month) this would be a good move.

That’s it! Google Drive does not replace the amazing capabilities of a regular applicant tracking system, and will not come without its flaws; however, if you’re a small company looking for an applicant tracking solution, Google Drive is a great place to start. How do you organize your resumes without an ATS?

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How to Write a Job Description (Video)

A proper job description is helpful when posting jobs during the recruiting process, but their usefulness goes beyond hiring. A perfect and detailed job description will ensure all employees are completing their tasks and allow for accountability if something falls apart.

Writing job descriptions can be daunting, especially when you’re starting from scratch or dealing with extremely outdated files. If you’re working in HR, or any sort of management, and find yourself in this position, have a look at this short video from HRCloud. Not only is it entertaining, but it gives some quick pointers on the basic elements of a job description.

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How to Easily Pick the Best Candidate Based on the Resume

How to Easily Pick the Best Candidate Based on a Resume You have an important role that you need filled ASAP, or you’ve had a nagging job opening for the last month and half and don’t know where to start with that pile of resumes on your desk.  You know one thing, there’s no way you have time to interview them all, so how do you know which resumes are the best?  Is there a way to, quickly and effectively, spot the best candidate just by scanning their resumes?

Follow our foolproof 6 step process to save hours of interviews, background checks and reference calls wasted on candidates that were never going to be Mr. or Mrs. Right anyways, and streamline your hiring process by learning the best way to rank candidates just by looking at their resumes:

  1. List all of your requirements for the job, necessary skillsets, education or certifications, and minimum experience. Once you’ve got the full list, categorize them into mandatories, desirables, and bonus qualifications.  Set a minimum score or tally that you want, either for each section or for all of the mandatories, desirables and bonus qualifications in total.
  2. Without looking at any names, personal profiles or pictures, scan through the resumes and tally how each resume stacks up against the above requirements.
  3. Eliminate the resumes that don’t meet your standards from Step 1. Unless one of those resumes grows legs and walks back into your new pile, you’re done with that candidate.
  4. So now you’ve got a new stack, but how do you break ties or close ranks? Within your new, whittled down pile, look for measurable results listed in the resumes.  Search for achievements like awards, goals met, dollar value of projects, or number of people managed. This will give you a tangible view of the candidate’s past instead of waiting until the interview or reference check process to find out your Project Manager has only managed a 1 person, $1 project that was 1 month behind schedule.
  5. This next step is the personality/culture fit.  Every office has its own vibe; what types of personalities click in your office? Similar, to step 1, list some personality traits that you think would be beneficial to someone joining your office.
  6. Scan the profile/hobbies section or any other personal information section on the resumes. Sometimes the personal profile section can be a bit of a gloss-over section, but if you know what works in your corporate culture, don’t be shy to look for it.  For example, if your office is very green, look to see if anyone has noted any environmental volunteering on their resumes, or if you’re in an ultra-competitive company, see if anyone has marked down sports accomplishments.

By the time that you’ve run through this process you should have your own quick, clear ranking of your candidates, based on experience, results and personality fit, prior to interviewing them. We still recommend you go through the interview and reference check process, but this should help you get to that process faster and with a better view of what candidates to seriously consider!

Next time you’ve got an open position, try this process out and let us know how it worked!


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How to Attract Top Tech Talent (Infographic)

Finding IT professionals who meet the minimum requirements to fit your team and technology projects is challenging enough. Being able to attract the best talent so they want to work at your company is a complete other level. Sure, there are the standard perks that make anybody want to work at your company, but techies are different. The best ones are in high demand and you’re competing against organizations who are willing to pay big bucks for that talent.

We shared a post this past summer that provided tips for recruiting IT professionals and it received great feedback. So, when we came across this infographic from TalentPuzzle, even though it’s a few years old, we had to share it with our readers. Enjoy!

How to Attract Top Tech Talent (Infographic)


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How to Deal with an Arrogant Candidate During a Job Interview

How to Deal with an Arrogant Candidate During a Job Interview Job interviews can be a painful process in several ways. Sometimes you deal with smelly applicants, other times candidates are clueless and clearly falsified their resume, and, unfortunately, in even more situations, we end up having to put up with an arrogant, pompous narcissist.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confident applicants are people who you want working with you. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and can back-up their claims with real life experience, references, and measurable proof. Arrogant people may possess those qualities, though it may be a false confidence if they can’t prove experience, and they come with other traits that will damage your corporate culture. To spot the poison before it sneaks onto your team, keep an eye out for certain behaviours during the interview. Some examples include:

  • Negativity towards past co-workers and managers
  • Inflating importance on past projects
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Interrupting
  • Using condescending tones and language
  • Blaming others for past failures
  • Making you sell them on the open position, as though you may not be good enough for them

How do we deal with these pesky headaches? Here are 6 strategies you should consider — you’ll notice they all involve taking the high road (no matter how much you’d like to bring them down a notch).

  1. The first step is to determine if you’re talking to the “real” candidate. Physically you have the right person (hopefully) but are they nervous and not acting like their true selves? This can be confirmed through reference checks, but it also requires good judgement.
  2. Look at their skills and decide if what they bring to the table will out-weight the fact that they come with a not-so-good personality. Will your team be able to handle this person?
  3. Ask some questions about their current work environment to understand their present situation. A work environment filled with more arrogant people, coupled with a low self-esteem, can cause a nice person to act arrogant. Will your culture bring them back down to Earth?
  4. Remember that their accomplishments should speak for themselves. If your candidate seems to be overselling and trying to convince you they’re awesome, they’re probably not awesome.
  5. Get yourself through the interview and be polite. Job applicants are still considered customers, and they will talk about a negative experience. Being rude can cause you to lose future star applicants or customers.
  6. If all else fails and you’re ready to throw-up, just cut the interview short. This comes with pre-planning. Refrain from setting expectations by telling them how long an interview will be or exactly what will happen.

Every recruiter, HR professional and hiring manager has been through a dreadful interview with an arrogant person. Believe it or not, a 2012 study from University of Nebraska-Lincoln said job seekers are more successful when they’re narcissists, meaning these people are not going anywhere and have potential to make it into your company. While you can’t control arrogant people, you absolutely can control yourself. Have a look at the signs of arrogance above, and ask yourself: Do job applicants think you’re arrogant?

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Employee Referral Programs (Video)

Word-of-mouth may be the most reliable marketing tool in selling. People are much more likely to trust their friends, or even strangers, when it comes to making a purchase, than they are to trust the company selling the product. Just look at review websites like Google and Yelp. Even job seekers turn to online forums such as Glassdoor to learn about a company before deciding to accept a job.First-hand experiences and referrals play a strong role in the consumer world and they can play an equally strong role in the hiring world. We’re not recommending a forum where employers can rate past employees and leave references for future hiring mangers (as attractive as that may sound), but instead, building out your employee referral program and reaping the benefits of first-hand knowledge.If your referral program doesn’t get much attention, then this video from HR360Inc is for you and your team. It outlines the benefits of referral programs and why they’re more important today than ever.

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How to Hire the Person Who Hires

How to Hire the Person Who HiresSo, you just made that big sale, or got that big investment your company has been waiting on. Now, you’ve got the capital and you’re looking to open two new offices and hire some new employees and get the ball rolling, congratulations! Only one problem, there’s no way you have time to handle all that, so you decide to hire a recruiter. How do you hire someone to do your hiring? What should you be looking for, and how do you interview a recruiter? The whole reason you’re hiring them is because you don’t want to, or don’t have the right skillset to hire people!

First thing is first, you have to know what you’re looking for. There are 3 different levels of personnel with hiring expertise and all of them have different responsibilities.  You selection will be impacted by how much control you want to keep and money you want to spend:

  1. Sourcer – Person who scans LinkedIn, and other networks for candidates and aggregates resumes to hand off to someone to conduct the rest of the process. This is a good, cheap way to get some of the leg work out of the way and still have most of the control.
  2. Recruiter – In charge of collecting aggregated resumes, scanning through, deciphering the top candidates for specific roles, reaching out to them and leading the initial screening process. This person also co-ordinates and books interviews as well as conduct the reference check.
  3. Recruitment/Hiring Manager – Completes the entire hiring process end-to-end including the full interview, ranking candidates and negotiating employment contracts. This is the best option if you have little HR knowledge or a high quantity/important number of openings.

Now that you’ve decided what level of hiring personnel you’d like, here’s our top 5 most important, must-have characteristics and why:

  • ‘Big Picture’ View: This person is going to have profound impact on your company’s ability to compete and achieve goals, immediately and in the long range. If they can’t see your company and your candidate’s future  a few years down the road, you’re going to end up with the wrong employees and will have to start the process over again.
  • Passion: The most important part of any company is the people. If you want to hire dedicated, passionate employees, your hiring personnel need to be passionate about the success of your company and needs to be able to spot that passion in candidates.
  • HR Knowledge: In order to stay out of trouble and ensure that you’re interviewing and hiring the right way, it’s imperative that this person know proper processes and regulations, especially if you’re going to be focused on other aspects of the business and/or don’t have this knowledge yourself
  • Organized: This person must be able to keep track of multiple candidates for multiple openings as well as understand future needs and prepare for them. Mixing up meetings, lack of engagement with candidates throughout the process and long wait times will turn away in-demand candidates
  • Industry Knowledge: If you’re hiring for technical roles, you need someone with at least a broad understanding of the subject matter to keep candidates honest and appraise their skills appropriately

You’re finally ready to interview! You’ve determined exactly what kind of hiring personnel you need and what qualities you’re looking for, but how do you interview the interviewing expert? The most fool-proof way is a “baptism by fire” — give them some mock recruiting tests. For example:

  • Have a sample of 3 or 4 short resumes and ask them to quickly read through and rank them
  • Discuss what roles your company has recently hired, or typically hires, and have them write a short job ad
  • Sit in on a mock interview. Allow them to run a mock interview with another employee and watch them in action

These tests will show you if the recruiter is just a good candidate on paper, or whether they have certified recruiting chops.

Now that you know what type of hiring personnel you want, what to look for to fill that role and how to test them, all that’s left is to get them in the door!

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How to Attract and Retain the Best People (Video)

Everyone knows the importance of branding to market your company to consumers, but what about the branding directed towards employees or potential employees? In order to recruit the best employees, you need to market to them. If you want to hire the best people, motivate and engage them you need to optimize your employer brand. This quick video by The Strategist Group digs in a little deeper to explain employer branding and how it’s created and applied.