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The how-to’s of hiring

Saturday, July 23, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David Drennon, VP, Marketing+Business Development
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The how-to’s of hiring
With unemployment rates high, firms overwhelmed with applicants

Premium content from Phoenix Business Journal - by Yvonne Gonzalez
Date: Friday, July 22, 2011, 3:00am MST

Arizona’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate makes for a cutthroat hiring market where employers in a position to hire can be overwhelmed by the number of applicants.

Small-business owners that have no human resources departments or resume-scanning software often handle hiring on their own, which can be a difficult task, said Marcia Rhodes, spokeswoman for WorldatWork, a global human resources association based in Scottsdale.

"Especially as the economy recovers, a lot more employers are starting to hire, and they get overwhelmed,” she said. "If you don’t have the budget for a third party or even the software, what do you do?”

Even before the resumes start flooding in, employers need to start weeding out candidates and getting the word out to those most likely to be qualified. Use current employees as sources to refer people to apply, and seek out passive candidates by looking at LinkedIn profiles and doing keyword searches, she said.

The job posting needs to be specific to avoid confusion.

"Instead of saying ‘communication manager, say ‘social media manager’ so candidates know exactly what you’re looking for,” Rhodes said.

Posting the opportunity on targeted employment sites, such as for public relations professionals, can help get the word out to a specific group of job seekers.

Once the resumes start pouring in, home in on the work history and company tenure to narrow the list of candidates.

"An average recruiter only spends 30 to 60 seconds reading a resume, and they’re looking to exclude, not include,” Rhodes said.

Cut applications to about 20 people, then do phone screenings of about 15 to 20 minutes each. Based on these phone interviews, cut the list down to five people to invite to a face-to-face meeting.

"Make sure you have all the people that need to interview that person on standby, or do a panel interview,” Rhodes said. "That would be really efficient.”

David Drennon, vice president of marketing and business development at the Arizona Small Business Association, said the cost of hiring a third party to handle the application process is worth it.

"The deluge of resumes could set you back weeks, if not months,” he said. "A recruiting firm can shorten the time frame, plus quickly identify active candidates with relative experience.”

Accent Hiring Group President Mark Staudohar said a third party not only can make the process more efficient, but also can ask questions small-businesses owners might not think to ask.

"They don’t necessarily ask questions about candidates’ salary histories; they don’t probe to identify job gaps, the size of the organization or department the job seeker worked for in the past, and don’t get into the personality traits of the candidates,” Staudohar said. "A lot of small-business owners just don’t have the experience of reading hundreds and hundreds of resumes a month.”

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