What does it take to hire the perfect job candidate? The answer may surprise you.
Today’s job market is tight. As a result, your talent acquisition team is probably experiencing frustration when it comes to finding ideal candidates for your open positions. But these highly qualified individuals are out there — and with the right approach, you can attract and hire them.
Below are best practices for recruiting the best talent. Yes, our recommendations are unconventional, but that’s precisely what it will take to acquire the talent you’re after. Frankly, we believe that you’d be a fool to ignore these tips. * (The asterisk is important, so be sure to get to the end of this blog post!)
Before applicants can wow you, you’ve got to wow them. That starts with a creative job title. The weirder, the better. Like Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence. Or Chief Troublemaker. Or even Chief Executive Unicorn. Using a quirky title will mean that the job posting is unlikely to show up well in search engines, but look at it this way: If a job ad is hard for candidates to find, that means that those who discover you are more determined, dedicated, and adept at Googling.
What does “EU” stand for? Who cares? If your candidate can figure out this and other vague acronyms that you should be stuffing into your job ad, great! But even if not, the right applicant must possess the ability to manage ambiguity. One of the best ways to screen for such an applicant is by making your job description purposefully hazy. (By the way, most candidates will recognize that “EU” stands for “excelling in uncertainty.” As if the letter could signify anything else!)
Keep your standards high. Don’t accept anyone who hasn’t worked for a Fortune 10 company. OK, fine, you may loosen your standards to include Google employees too. (Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is No. 22, in case you’re interested.) The larger point is that an applicant’s experience is less important than where one gained it. Just as with work history, your ideal candidate should be an Ivy League graduate — as long as the person isn’t pompous about it. You can always tell by how they talk about their school. When asked where they went to college, the perfect candidate will not answer “Harvard.” They will reply, “Harvard?” Doing so avoids sounding too pretentious. So, hiring managers should listen closely for the distinction.
Have you seen that study that points out that today’s younger generations care less about the size of their paychecks? How about that other survey that indicates people value purpose over pay? No, not that one. The other one. The bottom-line takeaway from all this research is that you can truly improve your business’ bottom line by underpaying people. Sure, your average candidate will balk. But the perfect candidate you want will gladly accept subsidized Netflix and Hulu subscriptions in exchange for a lower salary.
Many candidates are often curious about how you will eventually measure their on-the-job performance. In such cases, it’s best not to tip-toe around the notion that only sub-par employees need ongoing feedback. Perfect candidates, on the other hand, should be extremely intuitive. They should be able to read others’ minds to gain a good grasp of their performance.
When it comes to learning and development opportunities, let’s face it — only the most average candidates will need to grow their skills in your workplace. The perfect candidate already recognizes that they must come ready with the right competencies. And if they want to learn something new, they’ll simply view a YouTube clip.
* We don’t support any of the above recommendations — nor do we endorse them. But we do want to wish you a happy April Fool’s Day! Check out what we think about talent acquisition here.
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