5 Secrets to Effective Recruiting

Recruiting great employees is very difficult and, often is more complex than people perceive it to be. After running a headhunting firm for the past 10 years, I’ve learned that it is the little things which separate your ability to recruit the right job applicants.

Below, I’ve listed 5 of these secrets. They only work if the hiring manager is coming from a sincere place, is honest, and is trusted by the applicant.

  1. Don’t ask an employee their desired salary; ask them what they are making now and increase that amount by around 15 percent. When we ask a job applicant how much money they want, they will tend to over ask. When an applicant gives a number (regardless of how outlandish it may seem), they tend to stand firm. Ask about their current compensation package and increase that number accordingly. It’s not best to give the applicant an open forum.
  2. Have a sales pitch. Know why employees should want to work for your company. What’s in it for them? Speak in terms of the other person’s wants. For instance, will they have access to the CEO? Will they have room for career advancement? Does the company offer great benefits? Ask yourself why you like working at your current company and draw on that for realistic inspiration. Always remember to be honest. If you promise something (ex: potential bonus) and the numbers are not close, you will have hired a resentful employee which could prove to carry significant ramifications to your management ability.
  3. The recruiting process should not be too long nor should it be too short. Too long, and you’re going to lose applicants and time. Too quickly, you’re going to lose the ability to make a sound decision. For a typical position, the ideal time frame is three to five weeks.
  4. Learn to look at resumes differently. Learn to look at a resume as an entrepreneur. Each resume tells a story not only of what the applicant has done, but one could infer as to what the potential employee can do. Sometimes, the prettiest resumes are written by those who have been on the job market longest.  Forget about formatting. Focus on content and extract the proper inferences.
  5. Learn how to stretch a budget. Recruiting employees is like shopping for a car. The more options (or experience) you want, the more you have to pay. Therefore, someone who likely has everything you’re seeking may be out of your budget. To properly stretch expenditures, learn what you can and cannot train this person on, and what is absolutely necessary from day 1. After close analysis, you should find some places you can cut costs.

In the end, make sure you treat every applicant with respect, as you are representing your organization to the outside public. If someone is not right for the job, politely tell them in a kind manner. Set firm goals and believe that you deserve a great employee and recruiting one should not be too difficult.