As we begin a new year, it's a good time to see if we're still stuck to old methods of conducting searches that no longer make sense, or whether we can move to smarter, better, and more appropriate techniques for 2018.
Here's my list for what's in and what's out in successful recruiting.
Applications that require salary history.
Starting pay will be tied to job responsibilities, not based on what a candidate earned elsewhere. It's time to end this method that sometimes disadvantages women and minorities. Be willing to provide a salary range, and be flexible to go higher if that's what it takes to get the right person.
Leave applicant hanging.
Close the search with kindness.
Most applicants who are passed up for a position are naturally disappointed. When the search ends, inform every applicant the job has been filled, thank them for applying, tell them who got hired, and include a one or two sentence bio, which hopefully will show them that you made a reasonable decision.
Firm application deadlines.
State applications will be considered as they come in, and until the job is filled. Why block a person who hears about the opening after the deadline, but before you've finished the search?
A bit longer, if that's what it takes.
For people who've worked 10+ years, at least two pages is usually necessary to list--concisely--a few accomplishments at each job, plus college degrees and relevant volunteer and leadership activities. But more than three pages is usually too much, unless the candidate's career is as impressive as Meryl Streep's.
Exhaustive and exhausting job descriptions.
Concise job announcements.
List the four to six most important responsibilities, followed by the four to six most important skills and areas of expertise the ideal person will possess. I have yet to interview a job candidate who denies being a "team player" or having a "strong work ethic." Better to leave out the obvious, and keep it to about two pages.
Job listing by anonymous employer, e.g., "International nonprofit based in Washington, DC, seeks chief financial officer."
Job listing that identifies employer.
Considering that an anonymous employer could be a worthy candidate's pesky neighbor or worse--current boss--why would he or she apply? Listing a job? State your organization's name, just as you would state your name if you were applying yourself.
What's on your list of what's out and what's in for 2018? I'd love to hear from you.