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Targeting the Right People

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Targeting the Right People On the average day, I read somewhere between 10 and 50 job postings. Yes, the life of a professional recruiter is not a glamorous one – shocking but true. Also shocking and true is the fact that 90% of those job ads have something in common that limits their effectiveness in a huge way.

Very few job postings focus on the ideal candidate for the role; instead the requirements listed are all the minimum acceptable levels. Why are companies content to set out targeting mediocre applicants, rather than aiming for the superior talent that will drive an organization to succeed?

There are a few reasons I can think of for setting the bar low, but none of them truly offset the fact that limiting your outlook limits your results and, long term, can’t do anything other than negatively impact the bottom line of your company.

You might worry about a lack of response if your candidate criteria is too exacting. If this is the case, are you considering the time you might waste screening out the applicants meeting only the minimum? How about the fact that you might be excluding the really great candidates from applying at all, because they view the open position as beneath their level?

I firmly believe that in most cases you hit what you aim for – so why aim to accept average when great is there for the taking?

Now, I’m not saying that you should say something along the lines of, “Minimum 20 years of experience” because that kind of statement is just as limiting as aiming too low, but you should focus on what is really most desirable. Define EXACTLY what the metrics for success are in the role. Make sure that applicants understand from the get go what they’re accountable for, and what they must be capable of achieving for you to consider them.

Personally, I try and stick with the following logic statement:

“Individual job goals translate directly into departmental goals which in turn affect company goals. “

Your next job ad is part of the foundation for that strategy. People aren’t the greatest asset in any company. The right people are.

The best people in any field want to be challenged, so tailor your job description to throw down the gauntlet to exactly the kind of candidate you hope to be interviewing next week!

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