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How to attract the best candidates for a role in your business

By: Grant King - IndustrySearch Writer
01 June, 2015

The best candidates for your business might not be who you think. They might not be the most qualified or the most experienced. They might not be the charismatic crowd pleaser or the studious stickler for detail.

The best candidate for your business might not even be the standout candidate; they may be the 'fit in' candidate, the one who adds to your business culture rather than walks all over it.

Finding the right people for your business is no easy task. So here are a few ways to make sure the right ones apply.

Size up your business

Take your corporate hat off and step outside your business for a moment. Try to view it as if seeing it for the very first time. Do you like what you see? Does it feel like a vibrant, fun place to work?

Now imagine yourself as the kind of person you want to employ. Based on what you imagine of their likes, dislikes and expectations, how will they view your business and its culture? Will they be impressed by your entrance, reception area and, equally important, your receptionist?

Clichés are clichés for a reason and 'first impressions do count'. What will they think of your staff as you walk them through and introduce them to a few people? Will they fit in? What will they think of your work environment? Is there a good buzz? What will they think of you?

Assess all these things from the ground up. Give your business an honest, unbiased critique. If things need to be changed, how fast can they be changed? What really needs to be done now to ensure your best candidates become your shortlist, not your bucket list?

Rewrite your job description without the description

Job descriptions are an art. Unfortunately you only need to scan a few situations vacant to see that not many people have it. For starters, a job description shouldn't be a description. It's not a shopping list of all the ingredients you need your candidates to have.

It's the sizzle and aromas of the job itself; a tantalising taste of a promised career with side dishes of culture and cash. In other words it's about bringing the job to life so your applicants get the full flavour of what working for you would be like.

Make it feel like a real person with real passion wrote it, not an automaton from HR. If HR can't write it the way you want, write it yourself or hire a contract writer who can. Remember, if your job ad reads like a death notice, you'll attract zombies. If it reads like an inspirational speech, you'll attract zealots.

Cull bad candidates before they apply

Your time is important and the only candidates you want to see are those who fit. If your culture is round, write a round ad for round people that stops square people even getting through the door.

Your ad is a funnel and there's nothing clever in getting 1000 replies if 998 are wrong. So be upbeat and inspirational, but be relevant and ruthless. If specific skills and personality traits are important, don't just say so, demonstrate why.

Paint a picture of their working week in vivid colours, not apologetic pastels. The more your ad reflects you as a company, the more your company will attract the right people.

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