It was late at night. I was worried about how fast we were growing and how we are going to find more talent, and quickly. If you’re in SEO or any form of marketing, you probably feel my pain. It’s hard to find good help! We have a great team, but what happens when we need to grow again? What if we keep landing big contracts? There must be an easier way to hire! Then I came across this AppSumo deal where Noah Kagan shares all of his “hiring secrets” for $50. Wait – you want me to pay for some advice? I’m too frugal for that. But it was late. I was weak. I bought it. And it literally changed my life (well, at least when it came to hiring). (Alright, that was a little over the top.) Here are my favorite highlights from Noah.
1. Entice Potential Applicants
There are a lot of people looking for jobs today, but there are plenty of openings too. Your position is not the only one applicants are looking at. And the seriously talented folks know they have something to offer and are going to be shopping around. If you want to attract the ideal, most highly qualified and motivated person, you need to give them a reason to apply. So tell them why your company is worth working for. Sell them on why this exact position is exciting. And mention the perks your company offers. You don’t have to make the job look easy. Be honest about its demand, but also be honest about all the reasons why it’s going to be AWESOME. (And if it isn’t truly awesome, try taking a second look at the position itself first.)
2. Be Specific: Use the Job Description to Turn People Down
There’s nothing wrong with telling potential applicants what you are looking for and discouraging people that don’t fit to not apply. It saves you both a lot of time and heartache. A great way to do this is to narrow down 2 or 3 adjectives that describe the best candidate. What must they do/be/have. Go beyond the degree. Think specific experience or background, and personal characteristics like motivation and follow-through. Make sure to mention these near the beginning of your job description. Simply suggest that if the applicant doesn’t have them, they probably shouldn’t apply. Some will never read it and send you their resume anyway (we’ll get to that later). Others will get to that point and move on, grateful to not waste their time on something that isn’t a fit for them. Those that do meet your requirements will be drawn in all the more. And those are the candidates you want.
3. Use a Unique Job Title
The job title is the first thing a potential applicant will see. Whether it is on Craigslist or Monster.com, make sure it stands out. This can actually be quite easy. It’s time to brainstorm an adjective or two. Think of a non-business-like adjective that’s cool enough to put in front of the boring job title. Some great examples would be “Rockstar Personal Assistant” or “Out-of-this-world Project Manager.” One word (the right word) will draw considerably more attention to your listing.
4. Give Applicants a Simple Assignment
This is what made the biggest difference for us. Instead of the same old “send your resume in,” give applicants a specific assignment. Ask them to answer a question, send you their LinkedIn, or share their online portfolio as a first step. This will quickly weed out those that blindly send resumes without even considering the details of the position. And who wants an employee that can’t follow directions? I hope these tips help! If you want to see them all in action, drop me an email and I’ll be glad to send you a few we have done. If you want even more, you should definitely check out Noah’s hiring secrets on AppSumo. He had a ton more to say, and I didn’t want to give it all away!