There’s a point at which every hiring manager and job seeker feels that hiring a “dream candidate” or finding a “dream job” has the same probability as winning the lottery. Why does this job or candidate search feel so challenging? Is it not a reasonable expectation for the right candidate be matched to the right job? It seems like it should be easy, like two sides to a single coin. Why is it so hard (and time-consuming) to connect a qualified, enthusiastic candidate to a position that allows them to flourish while providing great value and skills to the employer?

Perhaps neither side of the party has defined what the dream is. The more realistic and specific both sides can be with what they want, the better the chances are they find each other.

Simplify the Job Criteria

LinkedIn told us last year that it could take up to four months to fill a job posting.  We think this indicates an overly-complicated hiring process.  Let’s break it down a little bit and get to the key questions: Who, what, when, where, why and how?

Who

Who has the attributes you, as an employer, are looking for? Which employers that offer the worldview, pay levels, and benefits you require as a candidate? Attributes can be simply defined as elements of a person or company’s character. Is the candidate friendly, direct, or a ball-buster? Does the employer have a culture of progress? Have the managers had proper training on how to cultivate a strong team?

What

What needs to be done and what can you do? If you are trying to add adjectives to your resume or profile like “unique” or “amazing” …start over. What problems can you solve? Can you to talk to customers? Do you have strong linear and logical thinking skills? Are you a wordsmith and a salesperson? Can you fix stuff when it breaks? Your profile should focus on the actions you can execute, not the scale of how “awesome” you are at a certain performance.

As a recruiter, this requires you to trim the contextual fat of the role. Stop romanticizing your job descriptions. Focus on pinpointing the candidate with the skills you need rather than overselling the position in the hopes of catching the eye of your unicorn.

When

Define the fundamental logistics of the role. Everyone has a time constraint. Employers need to do a much better job of figuring out the value of time and leverage time to better support their mission. If this is not clearly defined, you are dumping money out the window by the truckload. For example, a shift person’s cost is not just their wages and overhead, but also the cost of losing customers, missing deadlines, and causing undue financial risk via turnover. So, plan your shift scheduling carefully.
Look beyond the traffic patterns and sales numbers. If employers can do a better job of this up front, candidates can narrow themselves to the best option and employers can avoid costly turnover and other expenses.

Where

Not all jobs require the employee to be in a physical location to be successful. If a job’s tasks can be managed via computer and only requires an individual contributor or a networked team, the job can be done remotely. The flip side is that employers must make is the environment you are asking employees to work in. If productivity is improved by having a physical team together, and there are continued investments in the company culture, an in-office team might be a better fit. Having a flex-work environment where employees have the option to work remotely a set number of days out of the week can also boost productivity and job satisfaction.

Why

Why am I hiring/why am I looking for a job? Think one layer up. Are you hiring additional staff because you are anticipating a new contract? Are you hiring a marketing person for the first time to engage a social media audience for the first time? If you are simply trying to “plug the holes” with your hiring, you are going to lose to better-prepared employers. You may get someone in the position, but they will immediately sense that the company is scattered and disorganized. Get ahead of the curve and use a growth mindset when hiring.

If you are looking for a job, is it simply for a paycheck? Or are you looking to better support your family by reaching for a higher paying position? Do you want a (new) job because it will develop skills you don’t currently have? Find your why and make it forward-looking. This mindset will help you crystallize and realize your true objectives and priorities.

How

How does the work get done and how do I do this work? This question is all about skills. If you don’t know what skills are required to get the work done, you shouldn’t be hiring. Make a list of the hard skills the position demands and the soft skills that will complement (not mirror) the rest of the team. You want to create a cohesive unit that can also fill in any slack. In a nutshell, don’t hire the same person three times. Not only will that hobble productivity, but it is also begging to create silos, and an “us vs them” mentality, which is terrible for company culture.

If you are looking for work, make a list of every skill you possess and then brainstorm the soft skills it relates to. You’re looking for connections that might surprise you. Even “weird” skills can point to a related soft skill. Can you juggle? In addition to awesome hand-eye coordination, you can add things like patience; pattern recognition; determination; tenacity. Figure out what soft skills you have back up your hard skills. Maybe you use them all in your Talent Profile, or maybe you just pick and choose.

This holds true even if you are just starting your career path – fresh out of high school or college. Take your skills and break them down to show employers what tools you bring to the table beside your technical skill.

Stop Searching, and Start Matching

By throwing out the traditional resume and turning job descriptions into meaningful information, the odds of finding the dream connection between candidates and jobs will become more likely. Pepelwerk teaches and gives the tools to put into action this approach when they become pwEmployers and pwTalent. Stop the deluge of resumes by utilizing a skills list. Streamline your job descriptions and quit overselling. We are heree to simplify the process and help you match to the best fit.