Running a Shop Human Resources

Pit Stop: How to Attract the Right Job Candidate

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With the tech shortage under our belts, operators are searching high and low for good, qualified help, which are few and far between. Shops might go so far as to hire any technician that comes their way and end up going through employee after employee to find the right fit. So, in order to find the right people for the job, you have to have the right job ad to attract them in the first place.

Jackie Ducci, founder and CEO of the recruiting firm Ducci & Associates, has been a headhunter for nearly 20 years. Her agency has a 90 percent success rate for placing candidates in long-term positions—she knows what makes candidates stick. Ducci shares her tips on writing an effective job ad.

AS TOLD TO ABBY PATTERSON

It’s all about SEO keywords. For starters, the biggest thing is to make sure the job title is an exact match to the highest searches. If it doesn’t match what people are looking for, no one is going to find you.

Let’s say one of my clients is hiring a director of sales, but they are open to hiring someone who is a No. 2 in their company looking to step up. You can put the title as both “Director” and “Assistant Director” in the title or job description to appeal to both demographics.

You want to be clear about the role and the responsibilities—be very thorough. It’s important once someone is hired that the expectations were communicated to them. The applicant needs to be on the same page about the vision of what you’re looking for. Really think about what you want in an applicant and be thoughtful about it.

I have mixed feelings about adding the salary to the description. If you have a cap that is budgeted and there is no wiggle room, it doesn’t hurt to disclose the salary. Be aware if you put the salary on the ad, it could scare away people or attract people you don’t want. It’s kind of like showing your cards too soon in the process.

Location is also important. Sometimes, employers will post Hartford, Conn., for example, but the job is actually in another town close to Hartford. Make sure to put the area it is in to reach a wider audience of applicants, but disclose the direct town in the description.

You can even post the same job twice. For example, listing one job ad in Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul and another job ad specifically for Eagan, Minn. (a close suburb). This way, you’ll have more eyes on the job and no one is missing it because of a simple keyword search.

The No. 1 thing applicants are looking for are benefits; highlighting the job benefits is really important now, I hear it all the time. Sometimes, the benefits can make or break an applicant considering a company. If there are some things that make you stand out as a company, list them. Have a paragraph at the beginning of why it’s a great place to work; that’s what candidates are looking for nowadays. Make it human. Rather than reading a laundry list of responsibilities, they are thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Not being shy about the benefits can make a big difference. I’ve seen some companies even write a day-in-the-life description so applicants can envision themselves in the role.

The language should match the culture of the company. If it’s a corporate, buttoned-up environment, make it formal. If it’s laid-back, make it casual. Reflect what the environment is really like. Applicants can get a vibe of the company based on how it sounds. The way the job is formatted is more important that how lengthy it is. If you break it up into sections, you can add more information and applicants can skip to what they want to read. However, don’t add fluff content or anything that isn’t honest. Some companies will throw things in the ad to draw in applicants, but in the interview, it wasn’t an honest reflection. Doing this can affect a company’s overall reputation.

For a simple job ad, the top things to have in it are a simple title; clear expectations of the role and responsibilities; information about benefits; and a little blurb about the company and why it is a great place to work. As long as you have these four things, you can’t go wrong.

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