How come we keep seeing the bottom 1/3 of the candidate pool?

STOP trying to hook candidates floating near the surface - these represent the bottom third of the candidate pool (pond)

The primary method you use to attract candidates is guaranteed to bring the bottom 1/3 of the candidate pool to the table.

The primary method is posting job descriptions as job advertisements on job boards. Then we wait for those “fish” floating near the surface to pop up and come forward. We rarely consider fishing in deeper waters for candidates who not aggressively waiting for the fishing hook.

Here’s the typical job board posting experience: You post your ad. You receive 300 resumes. Of the 300, you cannot figure out what keyword 298 of the applicants clicked to apply. This group was so far off the mark, not only did looking at those resumes waste your time, but you’re now angry because you missed the lastest installment of “Dancing with the Stars.”

2 of the resumes in the group were outstanding. When you emailed/called those two candidates, you discovered they had gone off the market in the blink of an eye. You could have predicted that was going to happen when you saw their backgrounds – many others found their backgrounds attractive also.

This approach tends to bring the unemployed, useless, worthless, non-productive, toxic, poor performer to the table. Occasionally, you get lucky and find a “needle in a haystack”. Usually, the process of collecting resumes from job ads based on posting a job description is a complete waste of time.

What do you do now? Traditionally, you would have either re-run the job advertisement on a different job board, hoping you might see a different group of candidates. What you got was the same group of candidates you attracted the first time.

Your other option is to look at the 298 candidates from your initial job ad response and pick someone from that group. You’re probably thinking: better a warm body in that seat that no body.

Imagine you considered the first group to be the entire universe of available candidates for your open position (complete fallacy – but I’ll address the issue of candidate pools and how to fish deeply for the best talent in another blog post).

You know deep down that none of these candidates can get you the results you need, but now you’re desperate. You take the top 3, interview them, and pick the “tallest pygmy”, crossing your fingers hoping your deadbeat candidate makes it through the 90 day probationary period.

Does this sound dysfunctional?

What if there was a better way to attract candidates? Let’s tackle those “hiring best practices” for sourcing and finding great talent in our next post.

Barry

Why Does Top Talent Consider Your Job Ads to be Repulsive?

Candidate disgusted by your job advertisement

The vast majority of high-performing, top talent candidates consider your ads to be repulsive. The are disgusted, aghast, turned-off, repulsed, and consider your company’s attempt to hire to be an utter “fail.” They literally want to vomit when they read your job ads.

I see thousands of job ads on a weekly basis. Over 99% possess the same common element – the content of the ad is either the entire job description or a modified version of it.

Let’s be clear about two issues once and for all:

  • First, using the job description for your ad is not an ad! It’s a job description masquerading as a job ad.
  • Second, top caliber job candidates couldn’t give a darn about what you want as an employer.

Top Talent is motivated by a different set of criteria than desperately getting a paycheck. They want to be in a role where they’ll learn something new, have an impact, and become something better for having been in that role.

Traditional Job Descriptions masquerading as a Job Ad miss the mark entirely. It’s like shooting arrows at a target and purposely trying to miss. If you can’t hit the bulls eye on why candidates would want to leave their existing job and come to work for you, finding and attracting candidates becomes a random activity focused on luck and hope.

When a top performer reads your job description as your attempt to recruit them, they immediately TURN-OFF! They think “I couldn’t give a hoot that XYZ Company wants 4 of this, and 8 of that, and 12-14 years of whatever. I just don’t care” The next step is that they take their hand and pull it down. You never even get to see these candidates since they are REPULSED” by your inability to capture their interest and passion.

When do you plan on putting a stop to the traditional and tribal hiring cycle of using job descriptions masquerading as ads, and begin to craft more attractive marketing-oriented statements of work?

As you may know, in our executive search practice, and hiring manager training programs, we call this document a Compelling Marketing Statement, one that gets to the heart of our LIB Curve of Candidate Motivation. Check out some of our FREE examples of Compelling Marketing Statements by clicking here.

Also, make sure to read our previous blog article on the LIB Curve of Candidate Motivation by clicking here.

Once again, I ask the question:

When will you stop using outdated, tired, old, and inadequate recruiting techniques like posting a job description to attract good employees – when the evidence is overwhelming that it doesn’t work?

Here’s a better question:

Why do most companies keep doing the same thing over and over hoping for a better result when they know nothing will change or be better than the last time they attempted to use a job description as their advertisement?

I’d love to hear in the comments how you’ve used a more Compelling Marketing Statement instead of the traditional job description to attract great talent to your organization.

Where Do Candidates Come From?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket when recruiting top talent

This sounds like the typical question your 3 year old might ask?

Have you ever really thought about where they come from?

Candidates come from a number of different sources. I’m going to tackle the 4 major sources over the next few weeks in these blog postings.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t get to see the best ones. Instead, the only use ONE dominant source and it’s usually not the best source. This is known as “putting all your eggs in one basket”. I'm going to challenge you with a  “disruptive” thought: if we only use one method of finding candidates and it’s not the best method – what’s going to happen?

I’ll tell you what happens:

  • frustration
  • anger
  • desperation
  • more frustration
  • resignation
  • lowering standards
  • accepting mediocrity

This occurs because you’re using a technique of advertising that’s been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution and it just doesn’t work well in today’s social media-interactive-engagement oriented climate. Posting traditional job descriptions onto job boards is a worthless recruitment strategy and a complete waste of money. Occasionally, you might get lucky and find a gem – but it’s not an on-going rigorous process that fills your pipeline with great talent.

The traditional job description combined with classified job advertising (job board ad posting) primarily attracts the bottom 1/3 of the candidate pool. It attracts the rejects, retreads, dysfunctional, poor performers who will NEVER succeed in your company. It’s very difficult to separate the “wheat from the chaff” as the adage goes.

Here’s the scenario that most companies experience:

You post your job on one of the major job boards

You get 300 responses

Out of the 300, you can’t figure out what keyword did 298 click on to apply for the job. They are so far off the mark, it’s bordering on comical. Two in the group looked pretty good. Unfortunately, they went on and off the market in the blink of an eye – since 50 other companies were advertising for the same exact job with your same job description boilerplate language.

3 weeks after you posted the advertisement, you’ve got nothing to show for it except the 6 hours you spent reviewing resumes while watching Dancing with the Stars.

Now you’re faced with a dilemma – what to do? In most cases you will REPEAT and RINSE – you’ll run the same ad again hoping for different results (welcome to the insanity of traditional recruiting). What do you get – same results as the first time.

Except this time, you’re tired of the process. You crave for it to be over. You’ve got real work to do instead of wasting your time trying to hire someone. After 5 more weeks, you’ve managed to line up 3 candidates.

You know that not one of these candidates can achieve your expectations. However, you’re done – you want nothing more to do with hiring at this stage. So you pick the “cream of the crap” and hope they manage to make it through your 90 day probation period. You could deal with rehiring someone in 90 days – right now you just need a break.

I know you would never fall victim to doing this – but what about all the executives and managers who work for you? How many times does this occur in your organization on a daily basis?

STOP using just one method of hiring – posting on job boards – and especially STOP using the traditional job description as your advertisement. The job description is not an ad – it’s a job description masquerading as an ad – and it’s a complete turn-off to top talent.

I recently wrote a companion article to this blog post titled Hiring Mistake #7: Fishing in Shallow Waters. Fishing in Shallow Waters occurs because we try to easily and quickly skim the candidates floating near the surface of the pond. If you want to get great employees, you must fish deeply in the pond. You can read more about one of the greatest mistakes in hiring – fishing in shallow waters – by clicking here.

Are you frustrated by posting job descriptions on job boards and getting weak candidates? What other methods are you using to attract better candidates?

We’ve created a quick 15 minute phone review called “I could have had a V-8 to find better talent”. The hundreds of companies that have called us and asked for the 15 minute review are stunned at how easy it is to find great talent outside of generic job board postings. Are you ready for your “I could have had a V-8 to find better talent” review.

Fire off an email or use the contact form on our blog to send us a note asking for your 15 minute review. If you’re done wasting time attracting the bottom third of the candidate pool through traditional recruiting techniques, start right now to make a change to start getting the top 25%!

While you're going through this process over the next 48 hours of pure disgust over the quality of candidates you've seen off your traditional job advertisement, don't forget to download a copy of our award winning and popular guide to hiring, “You're NOT the Person I Hired.”

Barry Deutsch