How do you filter out unsuitable candidates?


Putting off people is tough and it’s probably even tougher than it was because there are more desperate people around that need another job.

And if they’re unemployed and maybe their unemployment is linked to how many job applications they’ve made, that can also be a factor.

The better the first half of your job ad, and by that I mean the more that the job ad talks about what’s in it for the reader, how the reader might benefit from doing this job over and above the one they’re doing or the last one they did, so it’s all about them rather than what the hiring company want, then the more the second half of the ad can be quite demanding in what it asks for.

So, if you sell the job hard in the first half, and it’s all benefits, – here’s what you’ll get, here’s how you’ll benefit, here’s what you’ll learn, whatever – and then in the second half, you can be a little bit more brutal in just telling them what they’ll need to have, and you’ll probably get away with it.

It depends on the job, obviously. There are certain jobs where I think it’s still going to be hard to attract enough of the right people – IT development, software development will be an obvious one, I would imagine.

Even then, the biggest reason job ads attract wholly inappropriate candidates is because those people didn’t read it. And if you can write something that’s short enough and interesting enough for people to read to the end, honestly I don’t think there are that many people that will knowingly send their CV to a job they know they can’t do.

I just think most people see a job title ‘Project Manager’ and think: “Oh yeah, I kind of manage projects” and then they just send their CV.

If they don’t read the ad, there’s nothing you can do. All you can do is put out something that is more likely for them to read it.

So that will play a part as well.

Brevity, brevity always helps. Because, as you know, apparently the internet has reduced our attention spans.

Put something out that’s 350 words, let’s say, rather than a 900-word job spec, you’ll probably end up getting fewer inappropriate people, but there will always be some.

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