With the downturn in the economy, the employment arena has changed from a seller to a buyer’s market. With that change, employers became like “Kids in a candy store.” How do I decide whom to interview? Will I miss a great candidate? Do I have the time to vet as many as I would like?
Couple that with the reality of hiring in the technological age and some small business owners may be in for a shock; a single job listing easily can result in a stack of 700 resumes.
“It can be overwhelming,” said one small business owner. “I feel like I need to hire someone, just to find the time to hire someone!”
JVS Chicago, which serves 8,000 job seekers, employers and entrepreneurs each year, offers these tips to help small businesses manage and survive the hiring process:
Write a good job description.
Take the time up front to write a good job description and really capture the tasks and responsibilities of the position. Research job posting sites to get an idea of what job titles match the level of responsibility for which you are hiring. “Taking the time to do a detailed, focused, well-written job listing is doing yourself a favor,” says Wilma Nachsin, a career specialist for the Jewish Employment Network at JVS and a human resources veteran. “Efficient hiring starts with a well-written job description,” she advises. “How do you screen them if you don’t know what you need? The job listing also impacts questions that you’ll ask references.
Use your network.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. Sharing your job description with colleagues or through your personal contacts on professional networking sites like LinkedIn can yield candidates that come with built-in references from people you trust and can increase the quality and fit while decreasing the sheer quantity of responses.
Get organized and prepare for the
Set up an organizational system to prepare for the resumes that will be coming in. Can you set up a dedicated email for job applicants, or do you want them to come to your inbox? Outlook gives you the ability to color code emails. Can you mark each with a “green-yes,” “yellow-maybe,” or “red-no,” the first time you look at them? Or if you prefer to print and read resumes, can you set up a three ring binder with dividers for yes, no, maybe? Is there anyone who can provide administrative support, for example to send responses right away to the “reds,” or schedule phone interviews with the “greens.”
Get professional help.
It may feel like you need help just to manage the stress, and that’s available too, but here we mean professional help to find candidates that match the needs of your position. At JVS Chicago, that expert help is free.
“Hiring employees is a costly and stressful proposition which is why using a staffing company has become so popular over the past ten years. But headhunters, recruiters and staffing companies come with big fees”, says Linda Wolfe, Director of Career Development at JVS Chicago. “JVS Chicago doesn’t!”
“Our recruiting services are free to our employer partners since we are a not-for-profit social service agency our agenda is placement not profit,” says Terry Flynn, Business Development, JVS. “Since we screen, vet, and present only qualified candidates that our career counselor and business development staff knows personally, a company knows they are getting a certified candidate one that we are proud to take to market.”
The pre-screening process done by JVS Chicago’s team can eliminate wading through the mounting resume piles. Any candidates referred to the employer will have the skills, experience and organizational fit that JVS Chicago believes the employer is looking for.
“The only thing JVS asks of an employer is to provide feedback on the candidate submission so we can get better at understanding the employer’s needs,” says Malachi Kelly. “Feedback serves two purposes,” adds Wolfe. “It helps JVS Chicago to better match future referrals, and it helps candidates improve their skills for future job interviews.”
“You can contact us at any point in the process,” said Kelly. “If you don’t know what you need, we can give you advice about what to put in the job listing. We may have a pre-screened candidate who can fill the position – and when we do, we provide the candidate to the employer free of charge.”
To get started, visit JVSChicago.org