I talked with serial entrepreneur and transformational business coach Willo O'Brien about how to create a successful job ad. One that attracts your ideal candidate and easily filters out those who would not be a good fit.
And how to include a somewhat hidden easter egg question that will let your ideal candidates shine.
And the actual job ad and application form is located at https://willolovesyou.com/obm/
Let’s discuss this idea of attracting an ideal candidate for your open job position, and how can you visualize that person coming to you.
The perfect job offer
The first thing that you will notice in this ad is that it is very long. Let’s see what happens, what emotions you get when you read it.
Keep one thing in mind: if you don’t take a time to explain all your demands and expectations your ideal candidate won’t come to you. You will probably end up having a ton of people sending you their life stories and demands, but the real candidate will pass. Make your ideal candidate feel specifically invited.
Willo starts immediately with the most important question- the budget and availability. Once you get those out of the way, people don’t have to read on unless they’re a good fit.
Everyone thinks of himself as the most important person in the room. Keep that in mind, and perhaps start with stating what that ideal person is like.
You have to agree that this type of employer has a nice attitude, and potentially this also means that he/she treats employees that way. Hopefully, your next hire will feel the same way.
“Doesn’t matter who I am, it’s important who they are!“
Job application details
There are things in this ad that don’t seem important at the first glance.
Willo expects a kind person, among other qualities, but, she explains that this should be with healthy boundaries. OK, sure…
Well, this is the part where you can notice that she knows exactly what she wants and expects. The reason to write the ad is not only so you have your email piling up with applications.
Do you know what you want? And more important, do you know what/who you don’t want?
If your last hire was giving you headaches about grammar and similar things, Willo has a good answer here.
“Excellent grammar (strong feelings about commas and semicolons are welcome)“
Let me tell you one thing. Even if you are expecting for a person to be totally business oriented and sterile (without feelings, just execution) this doesn't mean that you shouldn’t. Simply, by listing some soft skills as well, you know that person that will be handling your clients as well as your other business demands, won’t be a robot. Don’t be scared to use this tactic. It will make your position even stronger.
Is your next hire a healthy person?
A very important thing that is listed in the ad is
Is this the position where you train someone from the start, or you want both of you to grow and learn from each other at the same time?
But make sure to clarify that in the ad.
“I am happy to train the right person, however, I don’t want this to be your first time supporting someone in running their life & business. Not that there still won’t be learning curves and surprises, but in addition to what you will learn from me, I’d love to draw from your experience and expertise as well!“
You have your business sh*t together
The way you start your ad is the tone you should keep throughout the ad. This is a good example. It states that you’re expecting no-nonsense type of person,
“It’s normal for a person to be eager and promise too much at the beginning. It all comes from very good intentions. But… it takes the experience to know your limitations, strengths, and weaknesses …“
People that don’t take care of themselves, don’t care about their job either.
I’ve worked with that kind of people before. Performance is bad, attitude is bad; they might want to work hard and they do, but then they get sick and the whole thing falls apart.
Plus, I’d much rather work and surround myself with people that take care of themselves!
What are your most important expectations, soft skills and desired qualities in candidate? List 3 of them, so that way you will have the basic guideline. Eg.
“What are the 3 most important things for you in the ad?
Specifics aside, it’s important we have:
- Trust: reliability & confidentiality
Honesty: open & clear communication
Connection: you like doing this work for me and I like working with you!“
The benefit here is that it is more fun to work with people that enjoy the work they are doing!
Once again, even though this is the ad for your ideal candidate, you are sending this out to the Universe about who you are trying to attract.
A fallback plan!
We all have a personal life. And that’s OK. What’s not is when someone lets that affect others. In this case your business and your company.
Make sure that you have a fallback plan for this scenario. Because it will happen, eventually. So, instead of having that problem occurs in the middle of your busiest week, be prepared and expect that from your employee.
Are you more interested in skills that are on paper or their personality?
Ideally, both. But, usually, that is not the case. A person can’t have all the qualities desired. Willo is more interested in what kind of person is, and energy that person has. You should determine this for your ideal hire also. Being the person you are, you might find that a good attitude might be as important as experience.
Experience doesn’t change their attitude, it might even be a bad thing; someone might feel superior, and that is not what you need.
It is always much easier to train a skill than it is to change an attitude!
Keep in mind that there are people that undervalue themselves, but still are excellent to work with. You will notice the difference when you post a job ad, that requests a person to post a short video about themselves. Many people are introverts, more or less, and this will be a no-go for them. But, if you don't need a spokesperson, a PR, or similar, is this the message you want to send to your next hire. Could it be that he/she is great at what they do, but behind the scenes. Be careful here, and make an honest judgment before posting this in your next ad.
Wrap things up
Among other things, you should ask the candidate to provide the social media links to their profile. You will be able to judge very quickly about their personality from there. It does say a lot about a person, from what kind of social media life he/she has.
And, remember to include the ”Easter egg question”:
What excites you about this opportunity?
You want to hear what their passion is. You want to hear the excitement in their voice. Or the lack of…
Thank you for reading this blog post. If you like, make sure you read
*TLC=To the Light, Connect
*WWIT=What Would It Take