Advertising the position
There are many avenues in which you can advertise jobs. The Internet now offers a great opportunity to reach an otherwise inaccessible labor pool. The type of job will once again have some impact on where you place your ad.
Local newspapers are usually the first place to start, but don't forget about regional papers, and even statewide publications. Talk with your local Employment Security Commission. They often can provide a list of potential job candidates, as well as good advice on local publications for job listings.
If the position is of a professional nature then you also have the option of advertising in trade journals. These very targeted publications go directly to the audience you need for the position, and are very good if you need someone with industry-specific experience.
As we mentioned above, the Internet can be a gold mine for hiring for certain types of positions. Job sites like Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com, and your local newspapers' online counterparts offer searchable databases for employers and job seekers. Jobs can be posted on Careerbuilder for as little as $100 per month.
Another place to check is your local community college or university career placement services. Call their offices to find out how to list positions for which their students and alumni can apply.
Don't forget about local and industry job fairs or trade shows. You can often gather great leads on candidates at these types of events.
Writing the ad
Always title the job ad with a descriptive title that will catch attention. You have to put the position in a good light, while at the same time remaining very honest about the company, the working environment, benefits, perks, etc. Focus the beginning of your ad on the highlights of the job that will be most attractive to candidates. In How Hiring and Training Your Sales Team Works, we discussed focusing on what gets the attention of the type of employee you are trying to hire. Read that article for ideas on targeting a specific type of position.
When writing the ad, use active, exciting words that are relative to the job. Make sure you don't exaggerate! If there are any specific skills that are mandatory, list those clearly. To help "sell" the position, as well as the company, include information about the quality of the company, the work ethics, reward programs, opportunities for growth, challenge, fun, etc. Make it an ad for a job you would want to apply for yourself.
Broad descriptions versus detailed descriptions
This really depends on the type of position you are filling. Using broad descriptions may give you a greater selection and even help pull in some hidden pearls, but it will also be more time consuming to sort through the higher number of responses.
If you are hiring a technical person for a technical position then you'll probably need to write a more detailed description. More specific skills such as software program skills should be bulleted or otherwise highlighted. Productivity can be greatly hampered by someone who doesn't know how to use your established software programs. Depending on the program, the learning curve may be pretty steep.
If you are hiring a managerial person to oversee those technical positions then you'll probably need to write a more general description that includes the types of problem-solving needed, the creativity involved, and the necessary people skills. In either case you need to focus the description on the functions the position includes.
Head hunters and other professional services
If you really need to hire a top notch executive to help run part of your business then you may want to enlist the help of a professional headhunter. Corporate headhunters do all of the legwork and only bring the top candidates to you for interviews. Rather than waiting for candidates to come to them, they actively pursue the people they think would best suit their clients' needs. These may be from competing companies, or completely different industries. It's the active pursuit that makes headhunters so effective, but also expensive. Look for a firm that specializes in the type of position you need or industry you are in.
Employment agencies also can help you find good employees. While the majority of these agencies focus on clerical and support staff, there are some more specialized agencies that deal with technical positions, and management positions. Their fees are usually paid either by the employee, the hiring company, or both. The benefit of using this type of agency is the screening of employees before they are sent to you. You save time by interviewing only those applicants who are pre-qualified for the job.
Temporary agencies should not be confused with employment agencies. They work in a similar manner, but they pay the employee rather than your company paying the employee. Since temporary agencies are usually used for positions that are, well, temporary, it is often a smart step to take. You are relieved of the need to pay employee taxes and offer benefits. You simply pay an invoice sent by the temporary agency.
Often missed worker pools
You may also want to investigate worker pools such as senior citizens, women re-entering the market after raising a family, freelancers, retired workers, and disabled workers. For information to help you reach these groups visit the Links page of this article.
Let's move on to what you do once you've gotten response to your ad.