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by Stephen Bruce | BLR

In legally dangerous territory of recruiting, there are a lot of potential mistakes. But the biggest mistake is setting out without a clear picture of what you are looking for.

Good Applicants Steer Clear

First of all, think from the point of view of the applicants. They are trying to  figure out what you are looking for and if it’s a good fit for them. If your  description of the position is vague, two things happen:

  1. The really good candidates steer clear—they can tell you don’t have it together, and they pass on by. 
  2. Unqualified candidates will line up in droves—with a vague description, almost all candidates can convince themselves that they are qualified.

You’ve lost the game even before you start: Your pool of candidates doesn’t even include the best prospects, and it’s full of unqualified people that you’ll  have to wade through.

Evaluations Are Meaningless

Then you start the evaluation process, comparing candidates to pick those to move  along in the recruiting process. 

But with no clear picture of what you need, you’re really just guessing. Your evaluations are essentially meaningless. But, OK, eventually you get a list of  finalists to interview. 

Unfortunately,  when you don’t know what you are looking for, your interview will devolve into  chitchat, small talk, and general beating-about-the-bush. You’ll make some  decisions about candidates, but based on what? Probably personality and  likeability. (Were those the discrimination bells ringing?)

Eventually, you’ll make a job offer. What’s the likelihood that you’ll end up with a  well-qualified hire? Not high.

Bottom Line—Start with a Job Description

Let’s  go back to those applicants. If you’ve used a well-written job description to  prepare recruiting materials—that is, the information you post or print or  share with recruiters to advertise the job—applicants can make a meaningful  self-screening. 

The  better candidates will eagerly apply when they see a believable job description  that matches their expertise and desires.

Will  unqualified candidates still apply? Sure, but most will screen themselves out,  and the ones that do apply won’t be angry or surprised when they don’t advance  to the next round—they’ll know it was a long shot.

Then comes the selection of candidates to interview. From the job description you  prepare a clear list of the skills, abilities, and attributes you need. It’s easy to screen candidates against that.

Is it time to interview? Actually, before you interview, ask yourself, is an  interview the best way to find out what we need to know about these candidates? 

 

http://trendpersonnel.com/en/news/item/128-no-job-description-no-go-for-recruiting