Hiring Employees: The “Wanted” Ad

July 28, 2009 at 9:30 am 1 comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

So, you’ve decided to hire an employee… Congratulations!  Now onto the recruitment process: How do you find that lucky person that is going to join your team?  You’ll have to create a Job Ad.  Now, keep in mind that you may not necessarily need to advertise if you can find that person through word of mouth, but going through the process of writing the ad is still important.

Writing Your Ad

Your job ad will have five key components.  Keep in mind, that I’m all for brevity.  Less is more, when you are trying to capture people’s attention.  Below are the 5 key components with an ad that I’ve used at mmm… paper and some additional hiring notes:

1 – A company description – What do you do?  What makes your company different?

mmm… paper is a custom designer and manufacturer of wedding invitations, baby announcements, party invitations and stationery.  We are cool small business located in Capitol Hill, and we are seeking people to help us grow in leaps and bounds.  Find out more at: www.mmmpaper.com.

(Hiring note: make it fun!  We are in a fun industry.  Write about it like you love it.)

2 – The Ask – What are you looking for?  What is this position called?

We are seeking an Assembly Lead to work part-time (10-20 hours/week).  You must be a college sophomore or junior enrolled at one of the local universities.  We are interested in people that are eager to learn and enjoy art and crafting as a career or hobby.

(Hiring note: I have always been very successful in hiring people at the sophomore and junior level in college.  This college level student is generally eager to learn and can usually work for 2-3 years before graduating college.  It gives me a few years to mentor this person.  If there is a full-time position at my company when they graduate, they’ve already had a few years training under their belt.  Also, if it’s a match for both you and them, sophomores and juniors don’t job-hop a lot.  They stick to the job that offers them the income they need and the flexibility they desire.)

3 – Qualifications – What characteristics and traits should this person possess?

YOU should possess:

    • organized thinking
    • positive attitude to learn
    • analytical mind to do business functions
    • creative talents to assist in product assembly
    • a love for going above and beyond for clients

(Hiring note: I am more interested in hiring someone who is an “out of the box” thinker and problem solver than I am in hiring anyone that is a visionary artist.  I can train someone to do the art.  I can’t train someone to think quickly and clearly and have a positive attitude.)

4 – Responsibilities – What (in greater detail) will this person be doing?

The Assembly Lead has the following responsibilities:

    • Meet with Production Manager weekly to discuss production plans for the week
    • Train / Teach 1-3 assembly people production for each job
    • Ensure timely completion of jobs, from beginning to end
    • Documentation of assembly procedures
    • Communication with Production Manager of any setback
    • Hand-assembly of Wedding Invites

(Note: Yesterday, I had you define the role that this person will play in your organization.  You should have identified responsibilities and jobs that the employee will be responsible for.)

5 – Call to action – How can the candidate apply for the job?

Please email your resume and a cover letter which tells us about one of the following:

    • your creative talents
    • your project management or leadership skills
    • how you’ve gone above and beyond for a client or employer
    • what makes you a team player

(Hiring note: The questions are the most important part of my “pre-interview process”.  By having the candidates respond to one of these questions, I am learning much more about them that their resume can tell me.  I am also weeding out the people who don’t answer the question (don’t follow directions), don’t include a cover letter (aren’t professional), and don’t have the characteristics that I’m seeking (eager to learn and out of the box thinker).)

Where to Look for Candidates

My recommendation of where to find good candidates is the same recommendation that I have for people who are looking for jobs, clients, and boyfriends: talk to people.  Networking is the best way to find people that are a good match for your business.  Spread the word.  You’ve written the ad, now you are able to communicate to everyone you know what exactly it is that you are looking for in a potential employee.

Never to downplay the need to advertise, you should also do that!  Place ads at local colleges and Craig’s List.  You can try some of the job boards such as monster, careerbuilder, and hotjobs.  But, in all honesty, if you have a good ad and know what you want, you will find aces on Craig’s List.  I’ve hired every one one of my employees from Craig’s List, or from an employee referral.

Go get’m!


Entry filed under: Human Resources, Strategy.

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