BY MARY BEST
On the anniversary of my entry into publishing, I’m reminded of the difficulties of hiring staff.
This month marks an important milestone for me because 30 years ago, I began my career in publishing. Fresh out of graduate school with a master’s degree in American history, I landed a position as assistant editor for a magazine—after five nail-biting weeks of waiting. When the editor finally called to tell me I had the job, he explained he was hiring me because “you don’t know anything.”
Which was true. I didn’t know the first thing about magazine editing. While I had a strong liberal arts background, I was a blank slate when it came to the mechanics of print production. That was exactly why he offered me the job. He said I had the basics but wanted to train me according to his editorial preferences.
My first “real” job worked out well. Three decades and hundreds of magazines later, I still follow many of the lessons I learned there, even though the publishing world has changed the way magazines are written, produced, printed and even read.
As you well know, hiring the right people can be one of the most challenging, time-consuming-—and, yes, even frustrating—aspects of operating a business, especially as the job market continues to change dramatically. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, although 76% of full-time, employed workers are either actively looking for a job or open to new opportunities, 48% of employers can’t seem to find the workers they need to fill job vacancies. Here are a few things the employment services website suggests you know about how candidates approach a job search today:
- Candidates are less likely to jump through hoops. The market has become more employee-centric and candidates are quicker to drop off if the application seems too cumbersome. One in five candidates said they are not willing to complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or more.
- Candidates move on quickly. An inefficient, slow-moving hiring process will kill your recruiting efforts. Sixty-six percent of job seekers said they will wait less than two weeks to hear back from the employer before considering the opportunity a lost cause and moving on to another.
- Candidates expect more information in the job listing. It’s not enough to describe your store and the job you have available. Job seekers want to see salary (74%), benefits (61%) and employee ratings (46%) in your job posting.
- You may not know how good or bad your process is in the eyes of candidates. Only 3% of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like. Put on your job-seeker hat, go to one of your openings and interact with your store through the eyes of the candidate so you can make improvements where needed. Happy hiring!