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How to apply. Ask for a resume, of course, but don't forget the cover letter.

5 Steps to Hiring the Right People for Your Business

Spell out exactly what that cover letter needs to address: I always ask people to tell me why they're interested in the job, and I identify the specific skills and experiences I'd like them to describe. While a resume can give you a sense of someone's career path, a good cover letter reveals how that career has prepared the candidate for this specific job. It also gives you clues about an applicant's communication and language skills: If communication skills are important for the position, a poorly written or error-filled letter can be an instant disqualifier.

I also require applicants to complete a form as part of the application process. Some companies like Zapier! Bonus points. At the end of a posting, I often indicate things we'd like to hear about but that aren't essential to the application. For example, when we were hiring our project manager, the "How to Apply" section ended by noting you'd get bonus points for having your own blog, telling us your favourite tech tool for managing time or organizing tasks, or having a strong opinion pro or con about Getting Things Done.

By the time you've got that all written up, your ad may well be — 1, words. But don't worry about it being too long. Would you rather hire someone who loves your ad so much they can't stop reading, or someone who won't spend more than 30 seconds looking at it?

The most time-consuming part of any job hunt isn't the interviewing: it's deciding whom to interview. While it's easy to quickly rule out applicants who fail to include your requested cover letter or who have never worked in your field, it can be time-consuming to determine if candidates have the range of skills and experiences you're looking for. I used to rely on screening interviews at this point in the process, but that meant spending time reviewing and screening candidates who then turned out to be unsuitable.

A better approach is to create a structured online application form that asks candidates to answer a question corresponding to each must-have qualification. For example, here's a look at some of the questions you'll answer if you apply for the position of Security Infrastructure Engineer at Zapier. You can probably see how this form expedites the whole process. If a candidate doesn't have experience or skills in a given area, that box might remain blank—or it would be easy to tell that it wasn't a fit.

And if someone isn't serious about the job, they might not fill out the form, saving you from wasting your interview time on them. But are those the people you want to be hiring?

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Unless someone is excited enough about your job that they're prepared to fill in your form, they aren't excited enough to be worth hiring. You can create an application form very easily with Google Forms. Don't be shy about asking 5 or 10 questions; aim for a form that can be completed in 15 to 45 minutes. Invite bullet-point answers and use paragraph-sized fields to indicate that you're not looking for essay-length responses…unless you are. We knew we needed people who had that specific background, and by asking them to list the relevant experiences, we didn't have to spend time talking to each person individually to determine who met our criteria.

Now that you have your big, beautiful job description, you need to get it out there. Post it in at least three places:. Your company website. This is where you post the full-length version of your ad. Your social media presences. Yes, all of them. That means not only your company's Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn page, but also your personal accounts.

I know it can be tricky to hire your friends, but many of my best employees were friends-of-friends who heard about our openings through these personal posts. When you post on social media, write a short version of your ad and tailor it a bit to the context, linking each post back to the full-length job description on your site. If your existing employees know people who might be interested in the position, encourage them to share your ad on social media too. According to Weber Shandwick , only a third of employers actively encourage employees to share their company news on social media, so that can be a great way to get an edge in the crowded recruitment marketplace.

It's also where a small business has a big advantage: Since you're not some big anonymous corporation, your employees and friends are more likely to help out by spreading the word.

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Job boards. Set aside a modest budget for placing your ad on one or more boards. Here are a few options to consider:. Virtually every person I've hired has come from Craigslist—all talented and educated people in skilled, well-paying jobs. I tend to post my full, detailed job ads here and let the length filter out people who aren't that serious.

I've been told that the personality of my ads stands out among the quickie posts. Industry sites. Many industries and fields have specialized job boards, or better yet, local and specialized job boards. These are worth a look.


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If you see jobs posted that remind you of your role or business, try posting one yourself. If you're looking for entry-level hires or people with specific training, consider posting to job boards at universities, colleges, and community colleges that offer degrees or training programs in your field.

Small businesses that struggle to compete for mid-career hires may find smart and enthusiastic employees by hiring people straight out of school. General jobs sites. Posting on major job-hunting sites like LinkedIn and Indeed will almost certainly yield the highest volume of applicants. But remember, volume comes at a cost: the time it takes to go through all those applications. I turn to general jobs sites only if I'm not getting anywhere with the options above.

While application forms can expedite the process of identifying qualified candidates, you're still going to receive dozens of incoming emails.

How to Start a Business

Set up a single email account that you can use whenever you post a job. That mailbox—and not your own business email—is where you want all the applications to go. When I launch a new recruitment process, I set up a new top-level mailbox or label. Interview: For candidates I definitely want to speak with. For candidates I'll look at more closely if none of the the initial interviews dazzle me. For candidates that I am not going to consider. Sometimes, once I start reviewing applications, I end up creating a couple of additional folders: "Resume needed" if someone sends a terrific email but didn't include a resume ; or "Future reference" if someone isn't right for this position, but might be a great hire in the future.

Pro tip: Since I used Gmail to host my company's email, I always began my current hires with a period like. Once a hiring process wrapped, I removed the period, and my latest search folder sunk down into my sidebar with the rest of my archived recruitment folders. I used to rely on screening interviews at this point in the process, but that meant spending time reviewing and screening candidates who then turned out to be unsuitable.

A better approach is to create a structured online application form that asks candidates to answer a question corresponding to each must-have qualification. For example, here's a look at some of the questions you'll answer if you apply for the position of Security Infrastructure Engineer at Zapier. You can probably see how this form expedites the whole process. If a candidate doesn't have experience or skills in a given area, that box might remain blank—or it would be easy to tell that it wasn't a fit.

And if someone isn't serious about the job, they might not fill out the form, saving you from wasting your interview time on them. But are those the people you want to be hiring? Unless someone is excited enough about your job that they're prepared to fill in your form, they aren't excited enough to be worth hiring. You can create an application form very easily with Google Forms. Don't be shy about asking 5 or 10 questions; aim for a form that can be completed in 15 to 45 minutes. Invite bullet-point answers and use paragraph-sized fields to indicate that you're not looking for essay-length responses…unless you are.

We knew we needed people who had that specific background, and by asking them to list the relevant experiences, we didn't have to spend time talking to each person individually to determine who met our criteria. Now that you have your big, beautiful job description, you need to get it out there. Post it in at least three places:. Your company website. This is where you post the full-length version of your ad. Your social media presences. Yes, all of them. That means not only your company's Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn page, but also your personal accounts.

I know it can be tricky to hire your friends, but many of my best employees were friends-of-friends who heard about our openings through these personal posts. When you post on social media, write a short version of your ad and tailor it a bit to the context, linking each post back to the full-length job description on your site. If your existing employees know people who might be interested in the position, encourage them to share your ad on social media too. According to Weber Shandwick , only a third of employers actively encourage employees to share their company news on social media, so that can be a great way to get an edge in the crowded recruitment marketplace.

It's also where a small business has a big advantage: Since you're not some big anonymous corporation, your employees and friends are more likely to help out by spreading the word. Job boards. Set aside a modest budget for placing your ad on one or more boards. Here are a few options to consider:. Virtually every person I've hired has come from Craigslist—all talented and educated people in skilled, well-paying jobs. I tend to post my full, detailed job ads here and let the length filter out people who aren't that serious.

I've been told that the personality of my ads stands out among the quickie posts. Industry sites. Many industries and fields have specialized job boards, or better yet, local and specialized job boards. These are worth a look. If you see jobs posted that remind you of your role or business, try posting one yourself. If you're looking for entry-level hires or people with specific training, consider posting to job boards at universities, colleges, and community colleges that offer degrees or training programs in your field.

Small businesses that struggle to compete for mid-career hires may find smart and enthusiastic employees by hiring people straight out of school. General jobs sites. Posting on major job-hunting sites like LinkedIn and Indeed will almost certainly yield the highest volume of applicants. But remember, volume comes at a cost: the time it takes to go through all those applications. I turn to general jobs sites only if I'm not getting anywhere with the options above. While application forms can expedite the process of identifying qualified candidates, you're still going to receive dozens of incoming emails.

Set up a single email account that you can use whenever you post a job. That mailbox—and not your own business email—is where you want all the applications to go. When I launch a new recruitment process, I set up a new top-level mailbox or label. Interview: For candidates I definitely want to speak with.

For candidates I'll look at more closely if none of the the initial interviews dazzle me. For candidates that I am not going to consider. Sometimes, once I start reviewing applications, I end up creating a couple of additional folders: "Resume needed" if someone sends a terrific email but didn't include a resume ; or "Future reference" if someone isn't right for this position, but might be a great hire in the future. Pro tip: Since I used Gmail to host my company's email, I always began my current hires with a period like.

Once a hiring process wrapped, I removed the period, and my latest search folder sunk down into my sidebar with the rest of my archived recruitment folders. Once a day, I review the spreadsheet that captures the answers each applicant has entered in our application form. That allows me to quickly spot the most promising candidates.

I then look in my hiring inbox and file each candidate in the appropriate folder. Note: If someone has submitted a truly terrific cover letter but hasn't completed the application form, I will send an email prompting them to complete the the form. Once I have between 3 and 10 people on my interview list, I email each of them with a Calendly link and ask them to book a minute appointment for a phone call.

These screening interviews benefit everyone: I don't want to waste anyone's time on an interview if there's no chance of it being a match. Before I start my screening interviews, I create an Evernote notebook for this particular recruitment process. The first note that goes in that notebook is a list of the questions I'm going to ask on my screening calls. They're usually pretty simple:.

The 31 Biggest Business Challenges Growing Companies Face - Mario Peshev

The point is not to get a comprehensive picture of any one candidate, but rather to get a sense of how somebody approaches the kind of role you are offering. When it's time for me to do a screening interview, I create a new Evernote note and copy my list of screening questions into it. I title the note with the date and the name of my candidate.

Then I take a few minutes to review their email and resume and jot down any additional questions in my Evernote note—for example, if there's a gap in their work history that I'd like to fill in, or a particular qualification I want to ask about. My screening interviews are a "sudden death" proposition.

Everyone gets 10 minutes, but after that, if anything gives me a bad feeling, I wrap up the call. In addition, employment discrimination can result when a neutral policy or practice has an adverse impact on the members of any race, sex, or ethnic group and the policy or practice is not job related or required by business necessity. Alpha Production Company needs to hire entry-level laborers.

The job requires heavy lifting and physical exertion, but does not require any technical skill. Alpha Production believes that all of its employees should have a high school diploma. So the company does not consider applicants who did not finish high school for the laborer job. The high school diploma requirement disqualifies a greater number of Hispanic candidates for the laborer job at Alpha Production than Non-Hispanic White candidates.

According to the most recent Census data, in the counties from which Alpha Production draws its applicants for laborer jobs, Alpha Production could not provide a business justification for using the high school diploma requirement. Thus, Alpha Production has engaged in prohibited discrimination. Professionally developed tests can be used to make employment decisions, so long as the tests are fair and nondiscriminatory. You should be aware of the legal requirements that apply when tests and other assessment instruments are used to select employees.

In addition, you might consult legal counsel or a Human Resource advisor before instituting any employment tests. A good place to post it is in a locker or lunchroom or an area where employees can take breaks. Include EEO Tag Line in Employment Advertising Federal contractors are required to state in all solicitations or advertisements for employment that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

Keep Records Federal contractors are required to maintain any personnel or employment records made or kept by the contractor. The contractor must permit OFCCP to inspect and copy the books and records that may be relevant to the matter under investigation and pertinent to compliance with the requirements of Executive Order EEO-1 Reports may be filed electronically through a secure web-based internet or may be filed in paper format.

More information on the EEO-1 Report can be obtained from any of the following contacts:. Box Washington, DC Following are examples of employer practices that foster equal employment opportunity and can help small businesses comply with some of their affirmative action program requirements. Recruit to Attract Qualified Candidates Whether you are required to recruit broadly to address an identified problem in your workforce, or you just want to ensure that recruiting efforts reach all qualified applicants, the following practices are effective in promoting equal employment opportunity:.

Audit Your Employment Practices to Prevent Discrimination Employers that periodically perform self-audits of their employment practices are much better able to avoid employment barriers and ensure that they are providing equal opportunity for applicants and employees.


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  8. There are three kinds of self-audits that you can do:. Self-audit before or shortly after you make an employment decision, like a hiring or promotion decision. This self-audit focuses on employment qualifications or standards used in making various employment decisions and how women and minorities fared in those decisions.


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    5. This generally involves a comparison of applicants or employees who are competing for a particular job or promotion or to retain a particular job. This self-audit should be conducted as soon after an employment decision is made as possible. You can even do a self-audit of a proposed employment decision, to ensure that there is no discrimination, before the final decision is made. Here are some examples of what information about the employment decision you should consider:.