23 Aug

It is state fair time in Minnesota, so I had to somehow sneak in some fair food! Even cheaper than a trip to the fair are the following free suggestions on recruitment…

Blue Octopus practices these methods, and if you do it too, you may never have to use a recruiter like me again! If Blue Octopus can help in any way, please track me down:

(1) Online Boards: Recruitment has shifted from the newspapers to CareerBuilder, Monster, Ladders, Dice, and on-line newspapers like Work Avenue. We’re seeing yet another shift to different sites that can sometimes find you that best candidate even faster such as LinkedIn, Craigslist, and Facebook. I’m a monstrous believer in social media. It’s not a fad for B2B – even Twitter. It is here to stay.  The only questions are what’s the best site today and how should you use it for your business. Pay attention to where your audience hangs out on-line and you’ll be able to attract them with a compelling message.

(2-3)  Posting Ads and Searching Databases or Google: When posting an ad, are you paying attention to relevancy, keywords, and searchability? Your job post ranking or search terms in databases (even your own CRM!) can vary tremendously. Think search engine optimization (SEO) or learn Boolean search terms ( and choose your words wisely. Repeat them several times throughout your ad and spend an extra five minutes bolding, bulleting, and anything else that makes it easier to read or find.

(4) Assessments and Checks: If forced to pick between background checks, drug testing, credit checks, and “personality” profile assessments, I would recommend the personality test every time. There are a lot of bad ones out there, but there are also some great assessments that can tell you a lot about your candidates in a very short period of time. Look into finding a profiling tool that works for your industry. If budget is an issues, at least use Strengths Finder 2.0 ($25 per assessment in every book).

(5) References: Should you bother with reference checks? Yes. These still work in the 21st century, but you have to be persistent, repeat some of your questions and talk to direct managers and co-workers in order to get the most honest references. Sterile responses from Human Resources don’t mean anything, but direct managers should be raving about your candidate. Blue Octopus has a format that we consistently follow because it works! Also, check out your candidates’ LinkedIn profiles for testimonials (and to verify information on their resume).

(6) Set a Clear Target: The best way to find the right person the first time is to clearly understand what you are looking for before you even start. This sounds easy but I would argue more than half the employers aren’t doing it correctly. Slow down, don’t hire the first charming interviewee that fits the salary. Don’t just create job description – spend a lot of time on the personality fitting your culture and the wider organizational role the person is being hired to perform. Setting a clear profile is the absolute most important tactic you can spend time until you make the offer to that best candidate.

Make every day count!



Twitter: @drew_schmitz

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